Re: 140 pounder trying to lose 20 !
Time and patience. Diet and exercise. Where the body stores fat first, it will be the last to go. So it will take time for that stomach fat to go....but it will eventually. The body takes fat from all over but where the fat was places last or less...will go first. Why you would see faster results losing it in the face, hands/arms for example. But longer for the stomach area or wherever it is deposited first/most.
It is combination of diet, good nutrition and a good workout program that will help keep your metabolism up and turn your body into a fatburning engine. You have tried the Atkins...but how long did you stay with it? You have to give yourself several weeks...not just a month. Do not get discouraged if you do not see results right away. Do not use scales for awhile as the body can fluctuate a couple of pounds a day or so and this can be frustrating. Better to let your wardrobe be your guide.
Lifting with freeweights/machines with/without cardio is a good way to get your body's metabolism up longer to burn the bodyfat. You will not bulk like a guy....that is a common myth. Women do not have enough testosterone to do this. Female Bodybuilders have to work very hard with heavy weights and strict diet to look the way they do. To lift for strength is what most women need and it will build muscle and keep you "toned". Lifting for strength is using moderately heavy weights for 4 sets of 10-12 reps with a minutes rest between sets. Do this for an hour during a three day split. Cardio can be done on the off lifting days or right after a workout.
The lifting forces your muscle/body to work harder to burn the fat as energy. Modifying your diet to eat 5-6 smaller meals a day will also help fuel the body to lift better and burn the fat. Up your protein to about one gram per pound of lean body mass. Eat more veggies/whole grains and less overly processed carbs. Some fats are needed but you know which ones these are. Cut the sugar if you havent already.
That and give yourself time and have patience. Stay determined and motivated
to lose those 20 pounds of bodyfat.
Over a year ago, I started a similar program at a local college. Stuck with it for a year and lost 60 pounds. Was 245 when I started and had been more for nearly 33 years. Was never skinny as a teen and was always hefty. Just rode my 10 speed as a teen but my diet was awful. With me, I am 5'6"/largeboned and carry my weight mostly in my stomach, back and shoulders rather than in my hips/thighs/butt as alot of women. Still have a stomach.....but it is certainly not as big as it once was. Dropped 10 inches and 6 pant sizes. Can now fit in pre marriage clothes sizes now.
Believe me, I once thought of stomach stapling and thought I would never get below 240. Tried a number of diets with little success. I raise animals but it was not enough exercise and my diet was awful. At 50, I decided to make a concerted change in my life and did. Stuck to my guns and now I am happy with myself. learned alot about nutrition, what I can do to keep the pounds off AND stay healthy.
So can you.