When I was a freshman in highschool I was 6'1 and 170 ( I had no fat in my stomach and had a 6 pack) and that was my ideal weight. I gained more weight up to 230 or maybe 240. I went on a diet and worked out and am now down to 160 and 23 years old and and can see my ribs but I still have a pouch of fat around my belly button that makes me look fat and it leans down over my pants when I sit down. I don't know what to do at this point and need some help.

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    possible duplicate of Best exercise to lose belly fat fast
    – JohnP
    Commented May 12, 2014 at 20:15
  • Have you tried...exercise? Commented May 12, 2014 at 20:25
  • Describe the contents of "worked out". The diet worked fine, but you might need to change what you are doing for exercise. Commented May 13, 2014 at 13:29
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    @DaveLiepmann I was about to reply to this saying he's skinny fat and should put on some lean body mass... Then I realized he lost 80 lbs. I think it's pretty common for people who lose that much weight to have a lot of excess skin around the belly. Not sure if putting on muscle will take care of it.
    – Daniel
    Commented May 13, 2014 at 22:08
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    @Doc, I do think lean mass will help him. As will patience with the process. I do want to see more detail of what type of exercise he was doing. Going for maintenance calories will also help in the process. Commented May 14, 2014 at 11:22

3 Answers 3


You still have belly fat for two reasons:

  1. You still have some body fat.
  2. You are genetically predisposed towards storing any body fat that you have in your abdomen.

There are two possible courses of action here.

  1. Keep lowering your overall body fat level until you no longer have noticeable belly fat. This will be extremely difficult, probably not sustainable, will compromise athletic performance and your ability to gain muscle and may just result in you looking 'skinny-fat', can easily be taken too far which could leading to eating disorders and/or detrimental effects on your health, and is not something I'd recommend.
  2. Accept that visible body fat is normal, healthy, and something that everyone has. Maybe gain some muscle so your belly looks smaller in the context of your overall frame.

Also note that losing fat from your belly specifically, without having to focus on overall body-fat loss, is not an option. You can't target fat loss to specific areas of the body.


Diet alone is not enough to reduce deep belly fat. Exercise is key to prevent and lose belly fat. john hopkins medicine

I'd suggest seeing a doctor or measuring your bodyfat percentage and seeing what your actual bodyfat is and before taking any further steps. Just to make sure it is not visceral fat you contain. if it is, you're getting more into the 'healthy' aspect of dieting that is very important, such as proper nutrition, vitamin deficiencies or lack thereof, proper activity each day (not a couch potato), no health issues like diabetes..etc that don't go away with a calorie deficit---

"You may be more likely to get health problems from this kind of belly fat if: You waist is more than 40 inches if you are a woman -- Your waist is more than 35 inches if you are a man" John hopkins medicine

abs typically become visible anywhere from 10-15% depending on your genetics. bellyfat, lovehandles, etc contain stubborn fat that is harder to burn off, and as said by others can also be genetic, etc. Losing weight is easy but losing weight while preserving muscle and MAINLY losing fat, especially around stubborn areas is difficult. Once you diet, if you're losing more than a couple lbs a week, you could be losing a lot of muscle too, which can make you appear more 'skinny fat'. One of the attributes of stubborn fat is insulin sensitivity as well, for this reason complicated steps such as only eating your carbs around your workout or pacing yourself throughout the day(dont eat two bowls of oatmeal in the morning all at once for instance even if your diet allows it), carb cycling, eating low carbs on non training days (a healthy amount, not keto) , fasted training (mixed research on this), and even walking which burns mostly fat. I wouldn't let your bodyweight dip too low without speaking with a doctor as well. you can also try to build some core muscles if you're ever bulking later to reduce the look of fat on your abdomen. Metabolism, aging, genetics, and several other things can also make this almost difficult. The below articles all talk about losing visceral fat, which can be bad for your health. also, sometimes ATP(anterior pelvic tilt) can also cause your abdomen to look bigger, but this is just a side thought:



Again, see a doctor to see if you're just predestined to not have a 6 pack, or if you actually have something contributing to visceral fat.


From both personal experience and things I've read, losing belly fat is more about diet than exercise. Sugar intake, specifically, is something that should be severely limited when trying to lose belly fat. For most adults (myself included), alcohol is a major contributor of sugar intake. The point in my life during which I had the least amount of stomach fat was when I was drinking the least -- 2 times a week, max. That being said, I was also exercising regularly at the time (4-6 times per week), rotating weight lifting and cardio.

The following Medical article has some good suggestions under the question on tricks to losing belly fat: http://www.rush.edu/rumc/page-1298330047559.html

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    I'm not sure this is what the OP needs. He's already lost a lot of weight. He's also at a normal body weight for his height. I think he just needs to do some recomposition (maintain the body weight but change the muscle to fat ratio). Commented May 14, 2014 at 11:24

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