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Avatar universal

Does fat loss travel from top to bottom?

I've lost 27 pounds since Dec 1. However, I have a lower belly pouch. I've been doing a lot of crunches, sit ups and other ab exercises at the gym to get rid of this belly fat. I notice I'm getting toned on my upper torso (stomach where my ribs are) but not my lower belly area. Do you always lose fat from top to bottom? I notice all my fat is settling in my lower belly but my upper half is toned and getting muscular. I hope this question makes sense.
22 Responses
649848 tn?1534637300
COMMUNITY LEADER
I addressed this on your other thread, but will respond here, too.

No, not everyone loses from the top down.  Some people will first notice a weight loss in their face, neck, etc, others (including me) often see it first in the lower 1/2 of the body.  My feet seem to be the first to lose weight....... yep, when the rest of my body gains weight, my feet, too, get fat...... the next place I often lose, is my boobs, then belly.  Thighs and butt are always last to slim down, for me.

As discussed on your other thread, try the zumba and yoga.  It also just occurred to me -- I don't know how much over weight you were or for how long, but I have known people who lost weight and rather than "fat settling" somewhere, their skin had lost elasticity and they simply had loose skin.  I've known some people to have that surgically removed.

If you were only 27 pounds over weight, I can't this would be the case, but it's hard to say.  Just something to think about.

Try the zumba and/or yoga and see what happens.  

Keep posting so we know how you're doing.
Avatar universal
What I've read, and it has been true for me, is "first on, last off."  If your abdomen was the first place you started gaining weight, it will be the most stubborn fat deposit to get rid of.  
649848 tn?1534637300
COMMUNITY LEADER
Good point; I didn't really pay attention to where I first started gaining, this last time (when my thyroid stopped working); I think it was kind of all over.... I'll start paying more attention.....
Avatar universal
Also, there are metabolic issues with belly fat.  Oftentimes, it is as if the body tries very hard to hold onto belly fat, simply because the initial process of weight gain brings about longterm metabolic changes that, unfortunately, do promote belly weight.  The lifestyle improvements -- diet and exercise -- that induced the overall weight loss may have to be maintained for a very long time, in order for the belly fat to be lost.  Belly fat come not just from calories but from what your liver and pancreas are doing with the calories.  Belly fat is responsive to deep-seated changes in physiology, both in the gaining and the losing of it.  To make a fundamental change for the better in one's physiology requires a sustained effort.  

Anyone who is interested in learning more about stubborn belly fat can look up metabolic syndrome.  Foodie123 is undoubtedly too young to have metabolic sydrome, but people who retain belly fat are prone to getting it in middle age.  Foodie123 is doing the right thing by changing her lifestyle for the better while still young.  
649848 tn?1534637300
COMMUNITY LEADER
Yes, there are metabolic issues with belly fat.  I'm very aware of metabolic syndrome, because I have it.

I'm not sure how old Foodie is, but I don't think metabolic syndrome chooses victims by age.  Anyone with the right set of issues can get it.

One thing I recommend prior to beginning a weight loss effort is to get checked for certain medical conditions such as hypothyroidism, insulin resistance, PCOS, etc, which can all play a role in metabolic syndrome.

Personally, I have Hashimoto's/hypothyroidism, insulin resistance/pre-diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and am overweight.  Just one of these conditions can make losing weight a real struggle; add them all together and it's a whole different ballgame.
Avatar universal
Thank you for your responses. This is very helpful. And yes, I was 27 pounds overweight. I started my diet and exercise regime on Dec 1st. I was 140 pounds. To date I've lost 27 pounds, the scale says 113. However, like I said in my previous posts I still have some lower belly fat. I'm naturally thin and small framed. My natural weight is 113-115. I'm 5 feet 2 inches. The reason why I gained 25-27 pounds over the past 2-3 years was because I went off to college and was eating way too much. I had unlimited amounts of food and would eat a lot of junk food. Pizza, burgers, fries, chocolate..you name it! I was just tired of looking fat and wanted my body back so I started dieting and exercising. What I did was cut out junk foods, decrease my calorie intake, practice portion control and exercise everyday for about an hour. Even if I don't feel like going to the gym I'll just walk for an hour or so. I mean anything helps. Also, I've been eating a lot more fruits and veggies, whole grains, yogurts, overall more healthy foods. I don't drink soda anymore. No ice cream, pastries, fast food joints etc. At least not until I work on getting my stomach more toned. I do have another question.. how does one maintain their weight? I don't want to slip back into my old patterns of eating nonstop. How do you eat what you want but not gain weight? I guess I'll just keep doing what I'm doing..portion control, exercise and eat in moderation. If I want Mcdonalds I can have it just not often..make it more like a treat. I do have to say that dieting and exercising is hard work. You have to have tremendous will power and self control if you want to lost weight for real. I know this from personal experience. It was very difficult for me but I always kept saying to myself it will all be worth it at the end. And it was worth it because I'm so much happier and confident with my body. I have received many compliments which makes me feel good. Because I've lost all the weight I wanted to and have now reached my goal. I like to say that I'm not on a diet anymore, but rather this is my new lifestyle. My new lifestyle of eating better and exercising. Because essentially that's all it is.Implementing healthier changes into your life. And what I've realized is that weight loss, eating better, exercising, portion control, maintaining weight is a life long change. You have to keep up with it if you want to always be in shape and be healthy, otherwise you'll just gain back the weight and be more at risk for medical problems.
Avatar universal
Forgot to add.. I'm 23 years old, female.
Avatar universal
Barb, you're right.  Metabolic syndrome can affect people of any age.  In our society, it does tend to be more common among middle-aged people who have had a number of years to practice poor eating habits and low activity, so that's where I was coming from in my comments.  I was aware of Foodie's age from another thread, and I'm thinking it's unlikely that she has metabolic syndrome at the age of 23 and having been "only" 27 pounds overweight.  But such a thing is not  impossible.

Foodie, good for you.  You've "got it."  Now just keep it up.  In regard to how one can eat to satisfaction without gaining weight, what I am finding for myself is that it is WHAT I eat that makes all the difference.  Like you, I've given up the junk food and sweets.  I refuse to be chronically hungry, so I eat all the healthy food that I want to.  You just never hear about somebody being fat from eating too many apples.
Avatar universal
Thank you for your reponse. This has been very helpful. You have some good points. It's what you eat that makes all the difference and eating mostly healthy foods, I agree.
Avatar universal
You're right about "first on, last off". I had gained weight in my stomach first and I'm noticing its the last to go. That's why I'm working really hard doing ab exerises to get rid of the belly once and for all. I'm never going back to being overweight. I think I finally got it. It always takes me a while to learn things in life. Its eating in moderation and excerise.
Avatar universal
Ab exerciess and core exercises are good for you, so I encourage you to continue them, but don't get discouraged if the ab exercises have litttle or no immediate effect on your belly fat.  If they do, that's great, but it won't necessarily happen that way.  The ab exercises will strengthen and tone the muscles of your abdomen, but you might find that you still have a fat deposit on top of your toned muscles for a while.  You might also have a fair amount of visceral (internal) belly fat that lingers for a while.  I do think exercise helps in the long run, but maybe not as directly as you are hoping.  When you get to the point in a weight loss program that the only obvious fat you have left it belly fat, then in my opinion, the main thing that is going to help you get rid of it is to maintain your current lifestyle for the long term future.  Give this whole thing time.  Belly fat can be really hard to get rid of, so be patient.  Don't lose faith in what has brought you this far.  Keep up the good work and be happy.  I predict that your belly will eventally melt away, but it might take quite a while.  In my humble opinion, the main way that ab exercises will help you get rid of your belly fat is by making your metabolism more efficient.  Independent of the belly fat problem a strong core is a great thing to have.  Is your belly going to look the way you want it to by this summer?  Maybe, maybe not.  But I bet it will by summer of next year, if you keep up your good work.  Thanks for all your posts.
649848 tn?1534637300
COMMUNITY LEADER
I agree that at 23 and only 27 pounds overweight, it's unlikely that Foodie has metabolic syndrome, though, unfortunately, I have seen people younger than her with it, as insulin doesn't work as well, when one is overweight.  It's not easy to get everything moving in the right direction.

In my case, the fact that I have hypothyroidism, aggravates the whole situation.

Foodie - you're doing good; keep up the good work and keep posting so we can keep up with your progress.

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649848 tn?1534637300
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