Spare tire.  Muffin top.  Beer gut.  Pooch…the only one that sounds remotely pleasant is love handles.  We may have used these words to describe ourselves at one point or another.  I know I have.

The thing is, there may be reasons that you may not have thought of as to why you’re not losing that stomach fat. Here are 3 big reasons:

Keep Calm and Relax!

When stress arises, it stimulates appetite and increases belly fat.  A nasty thing called cortisol increases when you start to stress and worry. Higher levels of cortisol holds onto the fat you eat or have present in your body. This is how diabolical cortisol is – It even takes fat from other parts of your body and moves it to your stomach!  So not only is it resisting losing stomach fat, it’s also storing fat in your stomach!

So take a few relaxing breaths and stop worrying about your stomach fat and take that energy into doing more core exercises.

Got Sleep?

Losing weight in my sleep?  Sounds almost too good to be true. Getting seven to eight hours of sleep is optimal for your mental and physical well being. It also plays a role in helping you lose weight. When you don’t get enough sleep, your appetite increases because of an irregulation of two hormones – ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin stimulates appetite while leptin helps suppress it. When you don’t get enough shut eye, ghrelin levels increase and leptin levels will decrease, meaning you’ll consume more calories. Plus, you’re more likely to skip a workout if you’re feeling sluggish. A potential step back in trying to flatten your stomach.

Father Time (aka Metabolism Aging)

As we get older, our body functions will slow down. The metabolism slows down by 1-2% every 10 years. That comes out to about 10 calories a day for the average male. If we do the math, it comes out 3,650 calories a year (one pound equals 3,500 calories). So if you don’t make adjustments to your workout or nutrition, you can gain one pound a year from just a slowing metabolism.

So stop stressing, catch some Zs, and kick nature in the butt and get to the gym!