Losing the lower gut
July 29, 2010 4:54 PM   Subscribe

Will I ever lose this (decades-old) lower belly fat?

Was a fat kid, lost most weight sometime in teenage years and then have kept fairly stable through a) lots of running for the past ten years and b) of late, lifting + few carbs. (I like the latter much better.)

I've always had my stomach pooch. It is smaller even in the past year, but I've heard in the past that I will never lose it all as the fat is too old. Is this legitimate?

I am pretty sure a liposuction doctor told me that actually, so I wanted to see if others have had experience in particular with losing lower stomach fat from childhood simply through sheer dietary endurance.
posted by johnchristopher to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
A friend of mine was in your shoes once, and he dropped those final pooch pounds with strict dieting. As Spam says, it has to come from somewhere at some point. Most people who fail to lose the spare tire aren't sticking to their diet.
posted by teedee2000 at 5:04 PM on July 29, 2010

The fat isn't "too old" to lose. It'll be gone if you eat less.
posted by halogen at 5:05 PM on July 29, 2010

I strongly encourage you to strengthen your core* (very simple pilates exercises which take about 5 minutes per day). This will correct the angle of your abs, which will lessen considerably the perception of the fat around your belly. Plus, it will be beneficial to your general physique.

*You'll need to seek out a practitioner to help you learn how to switch on the correct muscles in order to achieve this, but that's the only difficult part (which is why I haven't linked to anything online).

When you undertake any exercise beyond this in order to lose your fat, switching on the core muscles will aid the process immeasurably.
posted by a non e mouse at 5:14 PM on July 29, 2010

I recall my college nutrition instructor telling me that alcohol tended to turn into abdominal fat. The closest I can come to a reliable citation on this is a of eldery Swedish men where "high alcohol intake was associated with abdominal obesity". So reducing alcohol intake might help, if that's applicable to you. Or it might not; nutrition is hella' complicated.
posted by serathen at 5:17 PM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

You will lose it and tone the area too if you do core strength exercises and maintain a sensible diet. Pilates is great, yoga is great, and standard abdominal exercises, including those that use weights, are great. I speak as a fellow (former) pooch owner!
posted by bearwife at 5:24 PM on July 29, 2010

You'll need diet and exercise. You can only continue cutting calories so long before you'll stall out.

Fat cells staying enlarged are not permanent but fat cells themselves are. So if you ever lose all the fat it will be more susceptible to coming back in that area.
posted by zephyr_words at 5:55 PM on July 29, 2010

The core exercise may help the appearance of the fat, but I recommend you just google "spot reduction" for the answer to this question.
posted by proj at 6:16 PM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

Cut more carbs. Worked for me.
posted by runningwithscissors at 8:15 PM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

Seconding proj. Anybody who claims you can lose bellyfat by doing ab exercises is just quoting someone else. Bodyfat doest work that way.
posted by hal_c_on at 12:55 AM on July 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

The only thing that gets rid of lower belly fat for me is complete elimination of wheat and sugar. It just melts off then.
posted by MexicanYenta at 7:44 AM on July 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

No, old fat isn't any easier to lose than new fat. BUT as to whether you'll be able to get rid of it...
Some people keep fat in different places than others. I know semi-chubby guys with great abs, but then there's me: Even when I was frighteningly skinny, I still had a layer of fat covering my abs that never went away. Now I have to work to keep off the pooch, even when the rest of me looks great.

So yes, you'll be able to get rid of your stomach fat without surgery, but it might be the very last bit of fat to go.
posted by coolguymichael at 12:22 PM on July 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the responses. The core of my question was to difficulty in losing old fat. Sounds like the hive thinks "nope, not a problem," but YANAD, so what really do you know?

In my case I am increasingly gaunt in the face while the pooch remains. Guess I'll be getting gaunter! Or I won't; to hell with the pooch.
posted by johnchristopher at 3:58 PM on August 2, 2010

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