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Why won't these body fats just go away

5 Reasons You Don’t Lose Body Fat Even After Exercising

“I exercise regularly and try my best to maintain a healthy diet, but why won’t the fats on my tummy and hips just go away already?”

Do you find yourself asking this question every now and then?

We also get this question from patients a lot, so you can be rest-assured that you are not alone, for stubborn body fat is a very common problem for many of us.

Last week, Dr Loo shared on How to Reduce Body Fat Quickly and Effectively, especially if you have a big event like a wedding coming up soon.

So today, we’ll explore a little on the reasons behind these stubborn body fats. Why won’t they just leave us? Are we doing something wrong?

1. You’re stressed out

Stress can affect weight loss

“When I feel stressed out over work or get emotional over social relationships, I find comfort in ice cream and cakes, chocolates too!”

Does this sound like you?

Did you know that stress can actually cause weight gain?

Naturally, we feel hungry when our body has metabolic needs. However, the presence of stress can drive non-homeostatic feeding, which is the act of eating without any actual metabolic need.

This is because stress can affect our brain’s reward and motivation pathways involved in seeking food to make ourselves feel better, rather than to fill hunger needs.

Stress-induced eating can also lead to binge-eating (eating large quantities of food in a short period of time), which is bad for health.

According to studies, some of the common stress factors that can cause weight gain are interpersonal relationships, work stress, self-esteem, financial stress, and academic stress.

2. You’re not resting enough

Lack of rest can affect weight loss

Getting enough rest and adequate sleep is one of the most underrated steps in weight loss and maintenance.

Did you know that being short on sleep can affect our weight? And specifically, being short on sleep can cause our body to hold on to body fat, too, to preserve the energy needed to stay awake!

Physically, being tired due to a lack of sleep also means that our body rely on food for energy, rather than rest and sleep. We also tend to skip exercise due to fatigue, and crave for more food in this condition.

Mentally, our tired brain can trigger a desire for rewarding ourselves, which usually comes in the form of food. Imagine yourself working through the night to finish that project. Once you’re done with it, a reward of a pizza or an ice cream sounds just about perfect, right?

3. You’re not dieting correctly

Diet plans can affect weight loss

“I’ve cut down on my diet and am eating less than I usually do, but why am I still not losing my body fat?”

Diet is one of the most important aspects in weight loss. No matter how much you exercise, if you do not take care of what you eat, it will be very difficult to lose those extra body fats!

There are many advices on what to eat or what kind of diet plans to follow to lose body fat effectively. However, the diet requirement for every individual is different, depending on our body requirements and lifestyle needs.

For example, if you actively do cardiovascular activities like walking or climbing regularly, you may need to balance out your carbohydrates and proteins intake.

On the other hand, if you do office desk jobs and have a more sedentary lifestyle, you may not need as much carbohydrates but more of proteins and vegetables.

Body metabolic differences and other factors like eating time intervals come into the picture, too. One way of making sure that you are on the right track is to get medical advice from your doctor.

4. Subcutaneous fats

CoolSculpting results

We also need to know that not all body fats can be lost through diet and exercise alone.

Have you heard of subcutaneous fats? These are storage fats that lie directly under our skin. Unlike visceral fats (fats around your organs) that are harmful to our health, subcutaneous fats are less detrimental to our health, but can be difficult to lose through diet and exercise.

Some common areas where you would find these stubborn subcutaneous fats are at your:

  • Tummy
  • Abdomen flanks
  • Inner thigh
  • Outer thigh
  • Underarms
  • Chin (double chin)

No matter how much you diet or exercise, these fats may still be with you, leaving you with frustration and disappointment.

In cases like this, medical treatments may be needed to effectively get rid of these fats.

5. You haven’t considered body fat reduction treatments

“How to get rid of body fat quickly and effectively, but also without the need of surgery?”

Since not all body fats can be removed naturally, sometimes treatments can be needed. And today, surgical procedures are not necessarily required for body fat removal.

Fat reduction via CoolSculpting

For example, CoolSculpting is a non-surgical fat reduction procedure which works by freezing fat cells to cause them to die off and be eliminated naturally.

It is also only targeted on subcutaneous fat, not visceral fat (organ fats). CoolSculpting is FDA (Food and Drugs Administration) approved, so it is one of the safest options in fat reduction procedures.

There are also other body contouring treatments like radio frequency treatment and laser treatments.

Make sure you read more about the treatments available for body fat removal here, written by Dr Loo Keng Shien, our Consultant Aesthetic Physician: Patient Mailbox: Reducing My Body Fat Quickly For My Wedding.

CoolSculpting results

If you’re interested to know more about a treatment that can finally help you get rid of those stubborn body fats, call us at +6011-22882299, WhatsApp us here, or book an appointment with Dr Loo here!

We’ll be back with the Patient Mailbox series with Dr Peter Ch’ng next week, stay tuned!

Dr Loo Keng Shien Consultant Aesthetic Physician

Dr Loo Keng Shien is a Consultant Aesthetic Physician with a special interest in Dermatology and Aesthetic Medicine. She has highly certified qualifications from the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine, American Academy of Anti-aging Medicine, and in Practical Dermatology from Cardiff University. She currently practices at Peter Ch’ng Clinic in Desa Park City.

Read more about Dr Loo Here.



Weight loss maintenance: A review on dietary related strategies – Medical Journal
Stress and Eating Behaviors – Medical Journal
Effects of Chronic Social Stress on Obesity – Medical Journal
Why do individuals not lose more weight from an exercise intervention at a defined dose? – Medical Journal
Stress and abdominal Fat – Medical Journal
Barriers to and Facilitators of Long Term Weight Loss Maintenance – Medical Journal
Exercise and weight loss: the importance of resting energy expenditure – Medical Journal



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