2

votes

Weird Looking Belly Fat Loss

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 26, 2012 at 3:38 AM

So, first of all, I am not asking about spot reduction, I know that is not possible. I just want to pick your brains about my weird looking belly.

I just turned 44. I have been Paleo for over a year. I walk a lot, weight lift 3 times a week, and bike ride a fair bit. I have done very well. lost 125 pounds, packed on a lot of muscle, and gone from a 54 inch waist to a 41. I'm female, so I would like to lose a few more inches. I am currently between 210 and 215 pounds.

My lower belly has been steadily shrinking, but my upper belly, under my ribs is till very "full". I look like I'm having rib babies. I thought lower belly fat was more difficult to lose, so I'm slightly disconcerted by this.

My questions are:

  1. Is this a more or less common trend in weight loss, to still have the upper abdominal fat be more stubborn?
  2. This is likely visceral fat, yes?
  3. Do people usually lose subcutaneous fat and THEN visceral? Or do they come off at the same time?
  4. Could this have anything to do with fact that I have a pretty severe diastasis recti (separation of the abdominal muscles)? I had a 10 lb 7 oz baby 13 years ago, and a grapefruit size ovarian cyst removed about 4 years ago, via a midline incision, so maybe my belly structure is just all messed up? If so, any advice on that? ( I know that is sort of a weird question, just thought I'd ask. No pressure. :) )

Thank you.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on August 29, 2012
at 04:19 PM

The book I recommended has some!

Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

(7370)

on August 29, 2012
at 03:18 PM

Sorry, I meant to say thanks, I'll stick to planks. Do you have any recommendations of exercises good for DR?

Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

(7370)

on August 27, 2012
at 03:33 PM

Thanks! I'll try it.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on August 27, 2012
at 07:37 AM

Crunches are NOT a great idea with diastasis recti.

Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

(7370)

on August 27, 2012
at 04:53 AM

I have started recently taking the Vit D. I'll look into the Zinc and Mag. I do planks and crunches alternatively, as I try to shift my workout routine frequently to prevent boredom. Thanks for the book rec.

Fc64db6a555559762432d503a1dbad19

(1478)

on August 27, 2012
at 12:59 AM

My OB doctor and PCP were horrible. They totally ignored my DR Separation and didn't even tell me about it. I had a close friend who went through the same thing and had to have surgery, because she got a really bad hernia. Insurance would not cover the surgery because they said it was cosmetic. I am thankful that I found about about the condition from her.

Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

(7370)

on August 26, 2012
at 02:43 PM

Thank you, I will definitely look after my stress.

Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

(7370)

on August 26, 2012
at 02:43 PM

They didn't tell me about the lack of protection! That's scary. I have been careful with my ab workouts, but maybe I'll get a brace. I thought about physio for it, but my past experience with physiotherapists has been, at best, spotty. I will talk to my doctor again, and see if he can provide better information.

Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

(7370)

on August 26, 2012
at 04:58 AM

That is interesting. I took me a long time to recover from my surgery. I was out of whack on my lower half for a long time, including my knees and hips. My DR was so pronounced, you could see it when I was standing, and I actually had a CT Scan because they thought it was a severe hernia. My upper belly is quite firm.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on August 26, 2012
at 04:53 AM

I have a weird theory about this, I also had/have diastatis recti from my first pregnancy. I finally started doing physical therapy for it right before getting pregnant again. It seems like not having control of the lower ab muscles, I got used to using my upper abs to stabilize myself, and somehow got in a habit of sort of pushing them out whenever I wasn't actively thinking to relax them. The lower part of my gut would shrink at times, but the top stayed larger, and I wonder if it is because I was actually building muscles up there with my weird posture.

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6 Answers

4
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on August 26, 2012
at 10:47 AM

From the PaleoFX Mastermind session titled "Ancestral Wellness for the Metabolically challenged" one of the quotes I took note of is:

"If you're putting on fat below the belly button it's insulin resistance, if it's above (or on back + shoulders in extreme cases) it's high cortisol."

So look into things like meditation, good sleep, ashwaganda, holy basil (tulsi) tea, avoiding chronic cardio/too much exercise, good rest, etc. Inflammation is also a stressor, so make sure you don't have leaky gut, etc.

Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

(7370)

on August 26, 2012
at 02:43 PM

Thank you, I will definitely look after my stress.

1
Fc64db6a555559762432d503a1dbad19

(1478)

on August 26, 2012
at 02:35 PM

I have the same problem. My lower belly is flat but upper looks like a 3 month pregnant pooch. No matter how much weight I loose it is still there. First of all if you have separation you need to be very careful with the exercises you do, especially ab work. This can actually make the problem worse and make the muscles separate more. I have seen several specialists to try to "naturally" cure the problem without surgery. They hooked me up to a machine and worked the muscles safely twice a week for 2 months. This helped a lot but did not solve the problem. I have a brace I wear if I lift anything or do any ab work. I saw another specialist who recommended some additional exercises, but said I really needed to get surgery to repair the separation, because it is so bad, that If I get hit in the stomach hard enough it could kill me, because my aortic artery is not protected by the muscles and could be punctured.

Good Luck...I know this DR separation really sucks!!

Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

(7370)

on August 26, 2012
at 02:43 PM

They didn't tell me about the lack of protection! That's scary. I have been careful with my ab workouts, but maybe I'll get a brace. I thought about physio for it, but my past experience with physiotherapists has been, at best, spotty. I will talk to my doctor again, and see if he can provide better information.

Fc64db6a555559762432d503a1dbad19

(1478)

on August 27, 2012
at 12:59 AM

My OB doctor and PCP were horrible. They totally ignored my DR Separation and didn't even tell me about it. I had a close friend who went through the same thing and had to have surgery, because she got a really bad hernia. Insurance would not cover the surgery because they said it was cosmetic. I am thankful that I found about about the condition from her.

1
D214a0e6c83bc1ba442d92d4494593bc

on August 26, 2012
at 04:40 AM

I'm curious too. While my stomach area that was larger is flattening, the area above the belt isn't going down and now is bigger than my lower abdomen.

0
743c6f14bdff360777531b6d16a5d4e0

on August 27, 2012
at 07:46 AM

Try focusing on posture and breathing! This condition often occurs to individuals who at one time or another had a large belly and were embarrassed by it and so they would often suck it up. The process of sucking in the gut to reduce its prominence unfortunately changes our posture and the muscles in our abdomen and diaphragm. The reason I know this is because this is what I did and as a result I too experienced the large upper belly problem. I have since resolved it and now have a normal looking belly (abdomen). 1. Ensure you are breathing correctly. In other words breath into the stomach and not the chest. Qigong (chi kung) breathing techniques are very good at this. 2. Push your stomach out and pull your bum up so that you have a greater curvature in your lower spine. In other words, stand up straight. While walking push your stomach out and breath in every so many paces. At first you may want to cough and these muscles will be very tight. The more you do this along with the breathing the quicker you will notice the change. Note: don't always push the stomach out when breathing into the stomach let your breath do the work. But every now and then push it out to stretch the muscles and to correct your posture:) Hope this helps

COMBINE 1. & 2. and you will find that within a few months you will start to notice your belly flatten.

Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

(7370)

on August 27, 2012
at 03:33 PM

Thanks! I'll try it.

0
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on August 27, 2012
at 01:25 AM

As far as the fat distribution, it's all about hormones, so making sure your Vitamin D level is sufficient (50-60 ng/ml) Also, optimizing Zinc and Magnesium can be helpful.

This book comes recommended by a very fit mom I know who gave birth last year to full-term twin boys (each over 8 lbs!):

http://www.amazon.com/Lose-Mummy-Tummy-Julie-Tupler/dp/0738209813

Personally, I think planks are the best exercise for your abs. I don't do crunches anymore (I'm a former personal trainer.)

Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

(7370)

on August 29, 2012
at 03:18 PM

Sorry, I meant to say thanks, I'll stick to planks. Do you have any recommendations of exercises good for DR?

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on August 27, 2012
at 07:37 AM

Crunches are NOT a great idea with diastasis recti.

Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

(7370)

on August 27, 2012
at 04:53 AM

I have started recently taking the Vit D. I'll look into the Zinc and Mag. I do planks and crunches alternatively, as I try to shift my workout routine frequently to prevent boredom. Thanks for the book rec.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on August 29, 2012
at 04:19 PM

The book I recommended has some!

0
F87d66ef4244ea0289723193e20979b0

(10)

on August 26, 2012
at 05:52 AM

I have the same problem, upper belly much bigger than the lower. I've never had children or abdominal problems. I'd really like to know the answer to this because the more weight I lose the bigger it looks.

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