Belly fat help?!: I'm a female in my late... - Weight Loss NHS

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Belly fat help?!

Sayitagainsam2020 May

I'm a female in my late-30s and have slowly accumulated some belly fat over the last few years. I've decided I need to make some key changes for my health.

I would say I eat relatively healthy, home cooked, balanced meals but my diet falls down with sugary snacks and puddings (and too many glasses of wine).

I exercise regularly (walking and running upto 10km) and have now started to feel the extra 5-6kg I'm carrying is affecting my ability to enjoy this.

I've decided to cut out alcohol and have downloaded a food tracking app which is really helping me stay accountable - not so easy to grab a chocolate bar to eat with my cup of tea now I have to record it!

My worry is, even by cutting down on calories by eliminating sugar and alcohol, I might struggle to lose belly fat. I've heard it can be very stubborn. I'm prepared to give this new approach a few months and I'll focus mainly on my waist measurement rather than the scales.

I wondered if anyone had had similar problems and had any advice to share? Thanks! 😀

13 Replies

I should add, according to my fitness tracker I've spent the past week eating ~2000 calories a day and burning between 2200-2500 depending on my activity levels. No weigh ins yet apart from my pre- changes baseline measurement.

More detail, now it's not midnight....

We have two types of fat, subcutaneous ("under the skin") and visceral ("of the organs"). While you can't tell your body which subcutaneous fat to lose, there do seem to be ways of losing the visceral fat - and this is the fat that drives type 2 diabetes.

There are studies showing VLCD (very low calorie diets) and intermittent fasting can target belly fat, and this reflects my experience.

I started on Fast800, eating something less that 1000kcal a day for a month, low carb/high fat and intermittent fasting. In that month I lost 7kg of weight, and 10cm around my waist.

In the subsequent 4 months, still IF and LCHF I lost another 5kg, but only 1cm around my waist.

Then last Wednesday, I stepped up the fasting, only eating every second day ("alternate day fasting"), my weight has actually gone up a little, but I have lost another 4cm off my waist!

So yeah, I think it's possible to target belly fat.

Sayitagainsam2020 May
in reply to Subtle_badger

Thanks for that! May I ask how you structure your eating after the weight loss target has been achieved?

I ask because I've probably heard scare stories in the past about using VLCDs and transitioning out of them.

Good question!

(not a doctor,blah blah blah)

I was only low calorie fur a month or so, not long enough to destroy my metabolism.

Now I am only eating every second day, but all I want. That should not affect BMR

But do your own research.


Hello and welcome to the forum

You have made a good start by cutting out alcohol and sugar and it's good to see that you cook from scratch. What you need to do now is be aware of the hidden sugars in your food. White carbs once digested convert to large amounts of sugar, take a look at the following links and see if these will encourage you to stop eating some of them, if you do.

If you haven't already, please take the time to read the Welcome Newbie post, this will help you to navigate the forum, which is best done using the full website and not the app.

Please also take a look at all of the Challenges, Clubs and Events that we have, to help to keep you motivated and engaged with the forum.

The above link will take you to all the information you need. Participation is key to success and I would recommend that you at least join the Daily Diary and a Weigh In day of your choice.

As a peer to peer support group, we all benefit from encouragement and support from one another, so look forward to seeing you join in around the forum :)

Wishing you the best of luck on your weight loss journey :)


I am afraid that your body decides where to lose fat from. That is down to your genetics and body type. I lost my tummy pretty quickly, but still have a Hugh Jarse. That’s my body type. Age is on your side as it’s harder to lose a tummy after middle age. However, everyone’s tummy goes eventually when they lose weight. You won’t end up with skeletal arms & a fat tummy.

Cutting back on sugar & hidden sugar in food is a great approach. As far as your body is concerned, potatoes, white bread, & flour are sugar. They don’t rot your teeth but behave in the same way otherwise.

Thanks so much for the feedback everyone. I can see looking at my new data this week I'm generally hitting the carb and fat components of the trackers calorie targets, but under on protein. I'm going to have a look at how I can tweak some of my favourite meals a little to cut down those carbs and replace with fibre/protein.

I think I'm predisposed to belly fat, unfortunately I have a parent with type 2 diabetes and they started with significant weight gain in their thirties... It's really kicked me into action to see that belly growing disproportionately to the rest of me! I took a waist measurement this morning and I'm in the high risk category at 35". ☹️ Oh well, I'm at least heading in the right direction now.

Hidden2020 May

Hi. I’m new to this as have only just downloaded the app!! I can wholly relate to what you are saying about the alcohol. I tend to have a couple of ciders per night!! Which I know is not good or helpful. My other problem is portion control and the lack of an “off switch” to tell me I’m full!! I can’t offer any advice at the moment as I am looking for help and advice myself.

Good luck on your journey.

in reply to Hidden

Hi and welcome, Lozza63 :)

I'm afraid I need to advise you to get rid of the app and use your phone's browser to access the full website page, as the app gives you very limited access and you will struggle to navigate our forum

A diet high in carbohydrates/sugar upsets the balance of your hormones and result in a faulty 'off switch'. Lowering carbs and increasing fat will have the opposite effect.

All of the information you need about the forum can be found in Pinned Posts and I hope you'll be joining all the Events, Challenges and Clubs that we run, especially a weigh-in and the daily diary.

We've found active participation to be key to successful weight loss and, of course, it's a good way to get to know people, find inspiration and share support and encouragement.

Wishing you all the best :)

Vikpink2020 May


Wow i could've written your post myself! This is exactly what I'm struggling with and I've taken the same approach after seeing a nutritionist who helped me understand just how high in sugar my diet was when i hadn't thought of myself as a sugar feind (only eat chocolate etc once or twice a week) - it came down to white carbs, root veg and alcohol for me! Easy to swap to brown carbs and green veg but the alcohol has been tougher lol, don't want to give up entirely but i have reduced.

I'm a few months in and have also increased exercise and incorporated more core work in the form of pilates which i think has helped me tone my stubborn belly. My weight has only dropped a few lbs but I'm not concerned there and ive lost a couple of inches from waist and hips which is my focus. I think its going to be a long process but just knowing that my diet is healthier now helps me know I'm doing everything possible to look after my health for the future and that's the most important thing to me.

Hope you are enjoying the process too?

Victoria x

in reply to Vikpink

Hi and welcome, Vikpink :)

That's a lovely reply to Sayitagainsam.

I hope you'll follow the link to Pinned Posts that's been given before and will also become an active member of our community.

Onwards and downwards! :)

Goinggone2020 May

I have similar problem , I walk and regularly run 5k , I’ve seen my body shape change a little others say they see it more than I do , but my weight hasn’t changed at all in the last year , I’m wondering if I’m getting obsessed with numbers rather than my fitness and measurements 🤔 hope u get on well this week x

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