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17 year old and weight loss

8/17 9:10:02

My son recently lost 45lbs by mostly cutting out sugar and exercise. He is not losing in his lower stomach and is starting to become discouraged. Do you have any advice how to target that area? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

Hi Julie, thanks for you question.  I don't think there is much evidence that we can successfully "target" an area of the body for weight loss, except with plastic surgery.  Each of us distributes adipose in a slightly different pattern on our body.  For most women, the fat is stored in the subcutaneous tissues, especially the thighs and hips.  For most men, the fat is stored in the omentum and abdomen.  

It sounds like he has lost a good deal of weight and should be congratulated for the hard work and his achievement.  It may help him to perform truncal strengthening exercises as part of his routine, situps, leg lifts, and use of various machines for abdominal strengthening.  But this will not change the genetically programmed way in which his body stores fat.  Usually for men, the last place to the lose the fat is the abdomen, and it is the first place to put it back on.

But you can tell him that he has made great progress, and that the abdominal fat will come off too, if more slowly, and after other stores have been burned.  Unfortunately we cannot change our genes, but with his continued hard work, he can make the most of them.

Good luck,

Kent C. Sasse, M.D., MPH, FACS, FACRS
Medical Director,
International Metabolic Institute
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