Skip to main content
ASK AN EXPERT
Got a question about a health story in the news or a health topic? Here's your chance to get an answer. Send us your questions about general health topics, diet and fitness and mental health. If your question is chosen, it could be featured on CNN.com's health page with an answer from one of our health experts, or by a participant in the CNNhealth community.




* CNN encourages you to contribute a question. By submitting a question, you agree to the following terms found below.
You may not post any unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. By submitting your question, you hereby give CNN the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your questions(s) and accompanying personal identifying and other information you provide via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. CNN Privacy Statment.
Thank you for your question!

It will be reviewed and considered for posting on CNNHealth.com. Questions and comments are moderated by CNN and will not appear until after they have been reviewed and approved. Unfortunately, because of the voume of questions we receive, not all can be posted.

Submit another question or Go back to CNNHealth.com

Read answers from our experts: Living Well | Diet & Fitness | Mental Health | Conditions

Expert Q&A

  • Share this on:
    Share
  • E-mail
  • Save
  • Print

How can I get rid of my 'spare tire'?

Asked by Steve, Antelope, California

Open quote
Close quote

I have been working out religiously and eating very healthy for the past six months and have lost about 25 pounds, now down to 170. I am 5 feet 9. However, I am still having a difficult time getting the area around my stomach trimmed down. It is so frustrating to keep losing weight but not see the "spare tire" go away. My question is, what should be my ideal weight, and what suggestions do you have to focus that weight loss on my midsection? My workouts consist of running on the treadmill, various ab exercises and some light to moderate weight training. Thank you.

Expert Bio Picture

Diet and Fitness Expert Dr. Melina Jampolis Physician Nutrition Specialist

Expert answer

Hi, Steve. Congratulations on losing 25 pounds. You are already much healthier despite the frustration with your remaining "spare tire." Your BMI (body mass index), which is a simple calculation of your weight relative to your weight and is a good indicator of total body fat and disease risk, is 25.1. Normal BMI is 18.5-24.9 so you are just a few pounds overweight, according to government criteria, so losing a few more pounds is reasonable. To lose those last few pounds and keep them off, here are a few suggestions:

1. Change the intensity or duration of your running workout to boost calorie burning. Your body may have become accustomed to your current workout and may not be burning as many calories as it did when you were less fit and weighed more. You could run for an extra 10 to 15 minutes several times per week, add a slight incline to your run or try interval training (adding five to 10 30- to 60-second "sprints" during your regular run). This can boost calorie burning and may help you take off those last few pounds.

2. Increase the intensity of your weight training. Building muscle can help burn more calories 24 hours a day, giving you a big metabolic boost. It can also help offset the muscle loss associated with aging (about 3 percent per decade).

3. Measure your waist. If your waist is greater than 40 inches, you might consider cutting back on carbohydrates somewhat, especially processed and sugary carbs, to get rid of those last few pounds in the belly area. Carrying extra weight around your waist can be associated with a decreased tolerance for carbohydrates, so cutting back on carbohydrates may help you lose weight more easily, especially stubborn belly fat.

Hope this helps. Good luck and keep up the good work.

More Q&A

  • CNN's Medical UnitCNN's medical unit brings you the best experts available to answer your questions about current events and health issues that matter most to you.
Will jogging hurt an obese person's joints?asked by: Asked by John Simmet; St. Paul, Minnesota
Is creatine a safe supplement?asked by: Asked by Ralph; New York
What foods cause flatulence?asked by: Asked by Peter; United States
Quick Job Search
keyword(s):
enter city:

CNN Comment Policy: CNN encourages you to add a comment to this discussion. You may not post any unlawful, threatening, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. All comments should be relevant to the topic and remain respectful of other authors and commenters. You are solely responsible for your own comments, the consequences of posting those comments, and the consequences of any reliance by you on the comments of others. By submitting your comment, you hereby give CNN the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your comment(s) and accompanying personal identifying and other information you provide via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. CNN Privacy Statement.

The information contained on this page does not and is not intended to convey medical advice. CNN is not responsible for any actions or inaction on your part based on the information that is presented here. Please consult a physician or medical professional for personal medical advice or treatment.