Losing fat around waist/stomach


I've been running for a couple of years now, but this summer I was in hospital, I lost lots of weight and lots of my fitness too. I have generally always struggled with weight (very underweight as a child/teenager) and found it difficult to gain weight. I'm running again now, and I've managed to put the weight back on. But I don't think I've done it correctly. and instead of putting it on healthily I'm getting a bit wider around the middle.

I am in no way overweight, I'm 5'10" and about 10st, but whereas before I went into hopsital I was mostly lean muscle and very little fat, I now have more fat around my middle.

My question is, what exercises are best for losing fat specifically around your middle? I'm not interested in losing weight at all, I just know how unhealthy it is to carry fat around your tummy and I'd like to cut back on it.

That turned out to be a longer post than I anticipated, but I appreciate any suggestions!

Lucy x


  • Thanks for the advice, but what's "spot reducing"?

    I was told that crunches only strengthen the stomach muscles and don't actually get rid of any fat, is that not true then?


  • Spot reducing means picking an area of your body where you have fat (belly typically being the most common) and trying to lose weight from that area only.

    Unfortunately the only real way to get rid of this is to lose weight in general, so if you want the belly to go you need to accept you need to lose some weight. 

    Did you do anything other than run before?  Personally if you want to get rid of the belly fat I would recommend losing the weight whilst doing weight lifting / bodyweight exercises if you want to develop that lean look again.

    I realise thats probably not the answer you were looking for. image

  • LV - sadly your age, genetics and that fact that you are female will decide where your body lays it's fat down.

    in females, normal subcutaneous body fat is deposited on thighs, pelvis and arse - it's though that deposits in these areas confers some physiological advantage during pregnancy - and arms (bingo wings!)  for us blokes, it's the belly.  but your family genes will also have some play in this and if there is a history of family females laying fat down on their gut - then that's likley to affect you as well.

    do as suggested - use diet and toning to minimise the issue


  • RM, yes I've done karate for 8 years now, so I'm generally fit and active. It's just since I was unwell that my fitness has plummetted image 

    I'm all up for trying new exercises, and I'm generally pretty motivated. So whatever I have to do I will do image

    Could you recommend a website that shows some good weight lifting/body weight exercises please?  

  • Also, dieting is something I want to avoid, as I have had trouble with disordered eating before, and I really don't want to get back into that at all. 

    I want to eat healthily but not deprive my body of anything it needs, I have a pretty fast metabolism and get hungry pretty quickly, so i don't want to cut down calorific content of foods. 

  • WilkieWilkie ✭✭✭

    If you don't want to reduce your calorie intake, then more calorie/fat burning exercise is the way.

    Or liposuction.

    Or learn to love your belly!


  • You don't say what you eat normally, but it might help to change your diet slightly rather than 'diet' as in 'eat less' for weight loss -- if you do more conditioning exercises and avoid things like refined sugar, white bread etc. and eat more brown rice, nuts, yoghurt and other protein-y things, that should help with muscle tone while not encouraging your body to store fat.

    Also, I know you are wary of losing weight, but you're not currently anywhere near underweight (just comfortably in the middle of a healthy range), so if you are still feeling good there's no reason why you shouldn't lose a few pounds. There's no point trying to stay exactly the same weight if that means hanging onto a couple of pounds of fat that you'll be just as healthy without. And although it is true that you can't lose fat from a specific place without losing it all over, if, as you say, you haven't much extra fat anywhere else then it's likely that losing a couple of pounds will reduce your tummy fat (as it's the only place there is any).

  • Hey Lucy, not sure I'm the best to advise here for a lady but in terms of weightlifting you might try:



    BB.com forums have some solid advice, beware the main site is full of crap though really just trying to sell their supplements.

    Also the New Rules of Lifting for Women (book) has a pretty good popular feedback at the moment, although personally I dislike the cardio hate they seem to have:


    I'm sure there's probably much better info out there but might be worth an initial look.

    I personally discovered lifting after injuries kept me from running and it's a great compliment to cardio and will make you look miles better than cardio alone.

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