Belly fat: it’s embarrassing, it’s uncomfortable, and everyone wants to get rid of it. Unfortunately, the fat that forms around your belly can be really difficult to remove, even when you are dieting, exercising, and taking the strongest diet pills available.
Having an understanding of why you are gaining belly fat can be your ticket to finally slimming down and having the body that you have been dreaming of. In other words, once you understand what is happening in your body, and what is leading to you gaining belly fat, you can work on developing and implementing a weight loss and fitness strategy that will get you the toned and flat belly that you want.
Below is some helpful information on a few of the most common causes of abdominal weight gain.
First, a Word About the Dangers of Gaining Belly Fat
Beyond ruining your beach body, gaining belly fat might also be dangerous by putting your overall health at risk. According to Healthline, gaining belly fat might increase your risk of developing disorders like type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cancer, and heart disease. Therefore, putting a stop to gaining belly fat isn’t only important for your looks; it’s also important for your long-term well-being!
Gaining Belly Fat Causes
Okay, now that you know about the dangers of gaining belly fat, it is time to tackle the actual causes of gaining belly fat. In this way, you can get to the source of the problem by developing a weight loss and fitness program that will work for you.
Drinking Too Much Alcohol
Drinking alcohol in small quantities might be beneficial to your health, especially if you stick with red wine. That said,, if you are overdoing it with the alcohol consumption, it might be what is causing your abdominal weight gain.
Researchers have found that alcohol can actually end up suppressing your body’s fat burning ability. On top of that, when you drink alcohol, you might not realize the high number of calories that you are consuming, and that can lead to gaining belly fat.
To put things into perspective, a study determined that if you have more than three drinks every day, you can be up to 80% more likely to develop unhealthy belly fat. On the other hand, if you drink alcohol daily but you keep it to a maximum of just one drink, you can reduce the odds of gaining belly fat.
Not Sleeping Right
If you aren’t sleeping right, you might end up gaining belly fat over time.
Did you know that sleeping for five hours or less every night can boost your risk of belly fat, and that if you sleep eight or more hours, your risk also increases? For this reason, experts recommend that you aim to get anywhere from seven hours to nine hours of restful sleep every night as a means of preventing the development of belly fat.
Why is sleep so important? Well, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, your metabolism can end up slowing down in an effort to save as much energy as possible. You might also end up experiencing cravings for unhealthy foods throughout the day, thereby throwing off your diet. Furthermore, if you end up spending too much time asleep, you might be less likely to lead an active lifestyle and exercise simply because you won’t have enough hours in the day to do so.
Consuming Foods and Drinks That Are High in Sugar
If you are gaining belly fat, you might be eating too much sugar every day.
The thing about sugary foods and drinks is that they can definitely creep up on you. You might not think that you are ingesting a lot of sugar, but when you add up the sugar in the juice that you had for breakfast, the sugar in your afternoon cup of coffee or tea, and the sugar in your yogurt or fruit bowl, you will quickly realize that you are getting more of the sweet stuff than you imagined.
Beyond looking at your intake of sweets like cakes and cookies, really analyze what you are eating, and try to calculate how many grams of sugar you are actually consuming. Then consider cutting back on your sugar intake by taking steps like eliminating soda or reducing the amount of sugar you use in your coffee.
Stressing Too Much
Stress has detrimental effects on your entire body, both physically and mentally. Beyond that, however, stress can also lead to gaining belly fat as well.
Researchers have found that individuals who spend a lot of their time feeling stressed out are actually more likely to gain fat in the belly area. It basically comes down to the fact that, when you feel as though you are under loads of pressure, the body ends up producing more cortisol, the famous “stress hormone.” This hormone entices you to eat foods that are high in sugar and fat, thus contributing to weight gain. On top of that, it can also result in changes that cause your body to burn fewer calories and store more calories as fat.
If you are the type of person who feels on edge the majority of the time, and you are gaining belly fat as a result, relaxation techniques are highly recommended. Physical exercise, meditation, chatting with a friend, and taking a few moments to be alone are a few ways that you might be able to bring your mind and body back into a stable state. However, if nothing seems to work and you are still super stressed, therapy might be the next necessary step.
You’re Getting Older
Getting older might be another reason that you are gaining belly fat. Did you know that, as you age, muscle mass is reduced while fat increases? Moreover, when you have less muscle throughout your body, you also end up burning fewer calories, so that can lead to additional weight gain.
Women, in particular, might notice that they begin gaining belly fat with age. A drop in estrogen levels might play a role in where the fat in your body is distributed, and there is a tendency for women to carry the excess fat around the middle. For example, during menopause, a woman who might have been pear shaped for most of her life might end up noticing that she starts to become more apple shaped. This is the result of estrogen falling, along with a drop in the speed metabolism.
The good news is that you can counter some of these effects by not only eating right, but also by exercising. Focus on strength building routines that include weights for additional resistance, and be sure to work on your core. A combination of fat-burning cardio and muscle-building strength training might be your ticket to slimming your belly.
Gaining Belly Fat vs. Getting Rid of Belly Fat
In the end, whether you are gaining belly fat or losing it has a lot to do with your lifestyle. Sticking with a healthy diet, exercising regularly, sleeping right, and keeping stress levels to a minimum are all great strategies that you can try. All of these efforts can be just what you need to maintain a slimmer waistline and flatter abdominal area that you will be proud to show off.