Trying to Flatten Your Stomach? Reasons Why You Can't Lose the Bulge ...

If you're trying to get into better shape, you might create a plan to lose fat in certain parts of your body. But despite your best efforts, you might discover it's hard to flatten your stomach. This can be frustrating, especially if it's bikini season or if you're planning a winter getaway to a tropical location. Instead of getting frustrated, get to the root of why you're unable to lose the bulge.

1. You’re Eating Too Much Sodium

Even if you exercise and reduce your calories, eating too much sodium can make your stomach appear larger. Too much sodium causes your body to retain water. And when you're bloated, you might notice extra plumpness around your stomach and thighs. You can reduce the bloat by increasing your water intake to about eight glasses a day. Additionally, reduce your sodium intake to no more than 2,500 mg per day.

2. You’re Drinking Too Many Sodas

Drinking too many sodas, including diet sodas, can also cause a larger stomach. Regular sodas are full of sugar and empty calories that add inches to your waistline. Additionally, carbonation in sodas can make you feel gassy and trigger bloating. Eliminate sodas from your diet completely or significantly reduce your consumption to help lose the bulge.

3. You’re Eating Too Much Dairy

Diary is a good source of calcium, but if you're lactose intolerant, eating too much dairy can cause bloating and make your stomach larger. Dairy is found in a variety of foods and drinks, such as yogurt, cheese, milk and ice cream. If you're unable to reduce stomach bulge with diet and exercise, try eliminating dairy for a few days and see if it makes a difference.

4. You’re Not Doing Enough Cardio

If you don't have time to work out, you might think you'll lose a lot of weight by simply cutting calories. This works for some people, but not everyone. If you're unable to lose stomach bulge, it might be time to increase your weekly cardio routines. Try and squeeze in a cardio exercise three times a week for at least 30 minutes. If you can do more each week, you'll lose weight quicker.

5. You’re Not Exercising Your Abdominal Muscles

In addition to cardio workouts to burn fat and increase your heart rate, you also need to do exercises that target your abdominal muscles. By building your abdominal muscles, you’ll boost your metabolism and lose stomach fat quicker. Effective exercises include stomach crunches, bicycle crunches, leg lifts and planks.

6. You’re Overeating

Adding cardio and abdominal workouts to your routine won't be as effective if you're overeating. To lose one pound of fat you need to burn 3,500 more calories than you take in. You can burn these calories with a combination of exercise and a reduced-calorie diet. Exercising is not an excuse to overeat, and it definitely won’t help you lose stomach weight.

7. You’re Stressed

It might come as a surprise, but stress contributes to extra weight around your waistline. Our brains release cortisol when under stress. If dealing with prolonged stress, this brain chemical changes the way our body distributes fat, increasing the amount of fat we hold in our stomachs. Adopt techniques to reduce your stress level. Get enough rest, reduce some of your commitments or practice deep breathing exercises.

It might seem impossible, but you can lose the bulge. Between a combination of exercise and an improved diet, you can attack stomach weight and get a firm, toned physique. What are other tips for trimming stomach fat?