Why does belly fat form?

There are many reasons why one gains belly fat, including poor diet, lack of exercise, and stress. Improving diet, increasing physical activity, and other lifestyle changes can help. Belly fat refers to the fat located around the abdomen.

There are two types of belly fat:

Visceral fat: This fat surrounds the organs
Subcutaneous: This is the fat that is under the skin.
Health complications related to visceral fat are more dangerous than those related to subcutaneous fat.

Why is belly fat dangerous?

Being overweight is one of the main causes of major diseases. Excess belly fat can increase the risk of:

– heart disease
– heart attack
– high blood pressure
– stroke
– Type 2 diabetes
– asthma
– breast cancer
– Colon Cancer
– dementia

Causes of Belly Fat

Common causes of excess belly fat include:

1. Poor diet

Sugary foods such as cakes and candies, and drinks such as sodas and fruit juices, can:

– cause weight gain
– slow down the metabolism
– reduce a person’s ability to burn fat

Diets low in protein and high in carbohydrates can also affect weight. Protein helps you feel full longer, and people who don’t get lean protein in their diets can eat more overall. Trans fats, in particular, can cause inflammation and lead to obesity. Trans fats are present in many foods, especially fast foods. Also, reading food labels can help a person determine if their diet contains trans fats.

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2. Excess alcohol

Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to various health problems, including liver disease and inflammation. A 2015 report on alcohol consumption and obesity found that excessive alcohol consumption leads to weight gain around the belly in men, although study results in women are inconsistent.

3. Lack of exercise

If a person consumes more calories than they burn, they gain weight. An inactive lifestyle makes it difficult for a person to get rid of excess fat, especially around the abdomen.

4. Stress

A steroid hormone, cortisol, helps the body control and manage stress. When a person is in a dangerous situation or under high pressure, their body releases cortisol, which can impact their metabolism. When feeling stressed, people often turn to food for comfort. Cortisol keeps those excess calories around the belly and other areas of the body for later use.

5. Genetics

There is some evidence that a person’s genes may play a role in their obesity. Scientists believe genes can influence behavior, metabolism and the risk of developing obesity-related diseasesTrusted Source. Environmental factors and behavior also play a role in the likelihood of a person becoming obese.

6. Poor sleep

A 2013 study links weight gain to short sleep duration, which could lead to excess belly fat. However, causality cannot be inferred from this study. Short sleep duration is linked to increased food intake, which may play a role in the development of abdominal fat.
Not getting enough sleep can also potentially lead to unhealthy eating behaviors, such as emotional eating.

7. Smoking

Researchers may not consider smoking a direct cause of belly fat, but they do think it is a risk factor. A 2012 study published in the journal PloS one showed that although obesity was the same in smokers and non-smokers, smokers had more belly fat and visceral fat than non-smokers.

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7 steps to lose unwanted belly fat:

1. Improve your diet

A healthy and balanced diet can help a person lose weight and also has a positive effect on their overall health. It is advisable to avoid sugar, fatty foods and refined carbohydrates with low nutritional value. On the other hand, you can eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and complex carbohydrates.

2. Reduce alcohol consumption

A person trying to lose excess belly fat can watch their alcohol intake. Alcoholic beverages often contain extra sugar, which can contribute to weight gain.

3. Increase physical exercise

A sedentary lifestyle can lead to many serious health issues, including weight gain. People trying to lose weight should include a healthy dose of exercise in their daily routine. Doing aerobic exercise and strength training can help people tackle belly fat.

4. Get more sun exposure

A 2016 review indicates that exposure to sunlight in animals could lead to reduced weight gain and metabolic dysfunction.
The review notes that few studies have looked at the effects of sunlight on humans with respect to weight gain, and that more research is needed.

5. Reduce stress

Stress can lead to weight gain. The release of cortisol, the stress hormone, influences a person’s appetite and can cause them to eat more. Stress reduction tactics include mindfulness and meditation, as well as gentle exercises like yoga.

6. Improve sleep habits

Sleep is vital for people’s overall health. The primary purpose of sleep is to allow the body to rest, heal and recover, but it can also affect a person’s weight. Getting enough quality sleep is key to losing weight, especially belly fat.

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7. Quit smoking

Smoking is a risk factor for increased belly fat, as well as many other serious health issues. Quitting smoking can significantly reduce the risk of excess belly fat and improve overall health.


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