Belly fat is the most fascinating dent in our looks as it grabs all the attention. Belly fat not only spoils your outside appearance but might also destroy you from the inside.
Belly fat holds a great reputation, due to its different types and various reasons for its appearance and its aftereffects. Abdominal fat is a risk to make it go a long way because it opens the door to health problems.
As we all know, the risk always comes with some sort of solution in the name of prevention, and it all needs your perseverance, commitment, and proper effort. Don’t be a victim of belly fat, know it, work on it, and stay healthy.
Unhealthy fat around the belly is termed “belly fat.” It is the excess fat deposited in the middle part of the body due to being overweight. Generally, the fat deposited in humans is of two types. And the same goes for belly fat. Visceral and subcutaneous belly fat are the two types of belly fat.
When it comes to knowing what kind of fat is present in the belly. The only way that exists is a CT scan (not so pocket-friendly).
1. Causes of Belly Fat
Belly fat is common for most people. A little belly fat is considerable. But biggy bags of belly or excess belly fat is not to be welcomed.
The reasons or causes for excess belly fat or excess fat might be different. Once you get to know them, you can work on them.
1.1. Diet and Calorie Intake
A primary and significant factor that contributes to a fatty belly or excess belly fat is your imbalanced diet. Any of the wrong food eaten at the wrong time will contribute significantly to belly fat.
Foods like sugar, candies, cakes, baked foods, fast foods, unhealthy snacks, etc. also affect the fat percentage and metabolism in the body.
1.2. Inactive Lifestyle
Lack of physical activity is the next great influencer for abdominal fat or belly fat. According to Medical News Today, calorie intake should be equal to or nearly equal to calorie expenditure.
If your calorific consumption is higher and there is a lack of exercise, fat accumulation happens. If more fat accumulates, then it becomes more challenging to reduce it.
1.3. Sleep Schedule
The short sleep duration adds to the list of causes of weight gain, in particular with abdominal fat deposition.
However, an irregular sleep schedule has an indirect effect by signalling the brain to eat more. Irregular sleeping patterns affect metabolic processes as well.
Genetics is the only factor that guides body fat deposition and also belly fat deposition. Some genes might increase fat storage in the abdominal region, and sometimes it cannot be controlled.
The genetics of our body influences fat metabolism as well and it might create problems during weight loss.
Physical and psychological stress both greatly influence abdominal obesity and overall weight gain. People with chronic stress release the steroid hormone called cortisol.
Due to the constant release of cortisol, effective digestion does not take place, and this leads to fat accumulation in the abdomen. This eventually leads to an ineffective and slow metabolism.
1.6. Excess Alcohol Consumption
According to a study on Springer, excess alcohol consumption or recreational alcohol consumption leads to obesity, especially in the belly region. This increases the adipose fat tissue in the abdominal region.
Drinking limitless alcohol leads to an increased hunger for unhealthy and fast food. This might also lead to many other complications.
Medication has a great influence on weight gain. According to NIH, some medications list weight gain as a common side effect.
Fluctuations in hormones are also associated with the accumulation of belly fat. The different hormonal releases create different issues in the body.
Some hormones influence the visceral fat accumulation in the belly. As the leptin level of production increases, the radius of belly fat increases as well.
Smoking is always an issue. Smoking is a direct cause of belly fat accumulation and is also a risk factor for many health issues.
Smokers have more visceral belly fat than nonsmokers.
2. Two Major Types of Belly Fat
2.1. Visceral Fat
Visceral fat is known as “deep fat” and “harmful belly fat”, as it wraps around the abdominal organs and in-between spaces of the abdomen like the liver, kidneys, pancreas, etc. Visceral belly fat causes trouble as it is seated deeply.
Visceral types of belly fat are mostly seen in men. Men develop an “apple-shaped” body, and it is also found as one of the types of belly fat. Women develop lower belly fat, which leads to a “pear-shaped” figure.
Health issues related to Visceral belly fat:
- Impairment of glucose
- lipid metabolism
- glucose intolerance
- elevation in lipid levels
- insulin resistance
- cardiovascular diseases
- type 2 diabetes
- liver damage
- gall bladder-related issues
- heart strokes and attacks
- systemic inflammation
- raise disease risk
- metabolic risk factors for highly obese people.
2.2. Subcutaneous Fat
Subcutaneous fat is an eyesore but is innocuous. This fat sits directly under the skin. It is generally observed in lower body parts – thighs, hips, waist, and abdomen. Subcutaneous fat is soft and supple to the touch, and it jiggles and looks like loose fat to the naked eye. It is seen in other fat deposits in the body.
Skin-fold callipers are used to estimate the percentage of fat in total body fat by measuring subcutaneous fat.
However, subcutaneous fat doesn’t contribute to chronic diseases. Generally, women have more subcutaneous fat deposits than men.
And even if you are fat, but can climb stairs, play sports, run, walk, dance, and sleep well, and are free from infections, then you are healthy and fit.
3. Other Types of Belly Fat
All fats are not equal. The different types of belly fat effects in different ways and had their reasons to appear.
- Hormonal Belly – It is a sudden rise in weight in the lower belly region due to hormonal imbalance.
- Stress Belly – It appears because of stress and the upper abdomen part bulges underneath the ribs.
- Alcohol Belly – It appears underneath the diaphragm and is caused due to overconsumption of alcohol.
- Mummy Belly – It is seen after giving birth.
- Bloated Belly – It is seen because of bloating and over-bloating, i.e., abdominal bloating.
- Punctured Tired Belly – It bugles out around the waist and the reasons are an unhealthy diet with a sedentary lifestyle.
- Lower Belly – It is a common type of belly, the soft belly, seen because of wrong dietary practices.
4. Why is Belly Fat harmful?
Body fat and its conversion to disease are generally estimated by measuring waist circumference in proportion to height. It helps in measuring overall obesity in the body and also answers the questions of why belly fat is harmful and why reducing belly fat is important.
As per scientific studies, visceral fat is the centre of the conversion of fat into disease. Furthermore, as per PudMed Central, body fat distribution has a direct relationship with the risk of cardiometabolic disorders.
Bigger the belly, bigger the issues!
4.1. Risks Associated with Bigger Bellies
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Breast cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
- Sleep apnea
- Metabolic syndromes
5. Tips to Reduce Belly Fat
Reducing your different types of belly fat is important. It is a type of stubborn fat in the entire body, so trying to lose your belly fat might give you a great body and fitness.
5.1. Eat Right and Healthy
- Keep your plate richly colorful with nutrition-rich foods.
- Follow a balanced diet.
- It not only helps achieve optimal weight but also maintains a healthy weight.
- It seems hard initially, but it works wonders with your body weight and types of belly fat.
- You can try the liquid diet for weight loss
- Start oatmeal diet for weight loss.
5.2. Make Necessary Changes
- Avoid junk food and fast foods
- Reduce intake of processed foods
- Reduce sugary drinks and foods
- Include fibre-rich food
- Eat lean protein
- Eat ample amounts of fruits and veggies
- Drink enough water
- Reduce alcohol consumption
- Quit smoking
- Avoid emotional eating
- Increase exposure to morning sunlight
- Put your senses in control.
5.3. Exercise Regularly
- Exercising is the next key step to do while trying to lose weight.
- Try to exercise for around half an hour or so per day.
- Perform some spot exercises, which may apply a little more pressure on your abdomen than other parts of the body.
- It will help reduce waist circumference while gaining muscle mass.
- Regular exercise can also help your fat from coming back.
A few recommended exercises to get into shape quickly –
- Aerobic exercises – cardio (swimming, cycling, running, brisk waking)
- HIIT- High-intensity interval training (jumping jacks, burpees, squatting, deadlifting)
- Resistance training (squats, lunges, bicep curls)
- Abdominal exercises (planks, crunches, leg lifts)
5.4. Improve Sleep
- Sleep is a vital activity in the optimal range for overall health.
- The fewer the sleep hours, the greater the accumulation of visceral fat
- Those who sleep more than 8 hours face the same problem.
- The primary purpose of sleep is to allow the body to heal, rejuvenate, and energize
- It also affects a person’s weight.
- Enough quality sleep helps a person shed weight.
5.5. Reduce Stress
- Always mind your mood.
- If stress increases, visceral fat increases in the body, specifically around the lower abdomen.
- Stress releases cortisol, which greatly influences fat deposits in the body.
- Be mindful and do some meditation and yoga.
- These reduce unnecessary mood swings, anxiety, tension, depression, and other psychological issues.
- By relaxing your mind, you will get a gift of physical well-being.
There is no shortcut to eliminating your type of belly fat. And there is no spot reduction but whatever you do, it reflects on your entire body. You think of starting to lose your belly or if you think of losing your overall body fat, they are interlinked and work on both.
The toughest battle will be fighting with the first-formed fat, the stubborn belly and thigh fat. So, while you try to spot reduction, your entire body shape transforms.
One easy try for spot reduction is armpit fat workouts, and also try the gaming-type exercise with the jump rope, if want to begin weight loss workouts.
Enjoy life after belly fat reduction with some daily routine changes. Keep it and other types of belly fat accumulation at bay. Mindfully work on it to reduce it and be fit. A good, happy, healthy life needs some effort to be put in; do the same and get going.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Yes, skipping helps strengthen the core of your body. It helps to reduce belly fat and tighten the abdominals.
- Hot water breaks down fat in the body and mobilises them to molecules, making it easier for your digestive system to burn them
- Lemon water can promote fullness, support hydration, boost metabolism and increase weight loss. However, lemon water is no better than regular water when it comes to losing fat. That being said, it is tasty, easy to make and can be used as a low-calorie replacement for higher-calorie beverages.
- Swap your beef for salmon
- Red bell peppers
- Diluted vinegar.