If you’ve been adhering to a strict diet program and you’ve actually lost weight, you’re likely excited to keep on with it. But regardless of how much weight you may have already lost, you may still have a stubborn issue with your midsection. If so, you’re far from alone. Of course, the mirror doesn’t like, and you could find yourself staring in the mirror wondering what went wrong.

Despite your best efforts, having tummy fat is a significant problem among women. While there are several diet plans that promote themselves as the solution to this issue, they often can’t fight this problem all alone. Belly fat requires extra effort, especially when it comes to abdominal workouts.

Similar to a double chin, even the slimmest women suffer from stubborn belly fat. Even regular exercise is not enough to get rid of this problem for many women.

This is because there are two types of fats stored in the belly. One is Subcutaneous Fat (which is an extra layer of padding that sits below the skin), and the other is Visceral Fat (which is deep-seated in the abdomen.)

Caloric intake, heredity, and menopause all play a significant role in belly fat, especially in women. Decreasing estrogen levels can also contribute to excess belly fat. As the menstrual cycle comes to an end, women begin to go into perimenopause and menopause, which contributes to the decrease of estrogen. This causes a redistribution of fat and takes fat stored in the thighs, buttocks, and hips and moves it to the abdomen as breastfeeding is no longer needed.

When a woman is pregnant, the uterus grows and stretches the stomach muscles. This is called diastasis recti abdominis and it happens in the large parallel muscle bands in the middle of the abdomen. This causes a serious bulge. Obviously, this causes a weakening of the muscles themselves.

All of these issues contribute to belly fat. So don’t worry, you’re not pregnant, you’re just a woman facing the same problems of anyone else.