Why is that belly fat not going away?
Updated: Mar 17
Author: Dr. Blaise Ntacyabukura
There are many reasons why people gain belly fat, including poor diet, lack of exercise, and stress. Improving nutrition, increasing activity, and making other lifestyle changes can all help.
Belly fat won't go away because of the reasons below;
Our body stores excess energy as fats on our bellies and buttocks, and unhealthy foods are rich in them. If your meals are generally made of unhealthy foods such as starchy carbohydrates and bad fats, you will see that your belly or buttocks are enlarging.
There is no magic in reversing this process; you just need to cut excess foods (excess source of energy) and make sure you frequently eat healthy foods. They include food items such as veggies, lean proteins like white meat, healthier fats in fish, nuts, and avocados. Additionally, cut back on fats, red meats, and carbs (grains, pasta, sugars).
Not Drinking Enough Water
Unless your doctor has given specific recommendations, adequate daily fluid intake should be about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men and about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women.
Research have shown that drinking more water help in weight loss. Water has zero calories (zero energy), so instead of drinking sweetened drinks like soda when you are thirsty, take cool water; it will help you cut calories and make your organs functioning well.
Not Exercising Enough
When we take in energy, we have to spend it otherwise our body will store an excess of it as fats. Too much body fat can lead to heart disease among both normal and obese individuals—even for people who have no other risk factors. It can also increase the likelihood of developing high blood pressure, degenerative diseases, and type 2 diabetes.
Active and regular physical activities help our body to spend extra calories ingested and exhaust those stored as fats.
Shedding belly fat is not easy, it requires extra effort and time! A simple exercise routine like walking 35 minutes a day or a minimum of 150 minutes a week would give excellent results after 3 months. However, running for 75 minutes and strength training at least twice a week is generally recommended for everyone under 75 years old.
Remember that your baseline body mass index (BMI) and your health conditions may dictate a different type of exercise or exercise routine. Check with your doctor first before starting any exercise program.
Eating too much
Eating more than enough is the main way to intake too much body energy, and our body stores them as fats on our bellies! Limiting your food portions will give your body energy to use, and nothing to store. Doing otherwise will increase your under-skin belly fat (called subcutaneous), the fat under your abdominal muscles, and around vital organs (called visceral). Visceral fat specifically, is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. It can also lead to high blood pressure and more. Eating too much is at least partly to blame for that flab.
Exercise helps our body use stored energy like fats and then we lose weight. Doing a casual exercise like walking alone would not be enough if your baseline body fats distribution, as quantified using the Body Mass Index(BMI), is high. In this case, you also need weight training to build muscle. More muscle means more calorie burning.
It is better to consult a sports specialist or your medical doctor for further advice. Whatever you will be recommended to do, just start slowly and make it a habit.
Stress is not a good thing to have. When you are stressed, you eat and drink a lot. Additionally, a stress hormone called cortisol increases your blood sugar and appetite. Talk to a doctor about how to handle and avoid stress. Exercise, Yoga, and meditation can help ease it. Talk to a mental health professional if your stress was caused by unbearable life experiences, or if you started noticing escalation of your stress into mental health symptoms such as insomnia and anxiety. To access doctors online try the Byon8 App.
Smoking cigarettes is very dangerous since it can cause much more serious consequences than weight gain. Add this to the list: One study showed that it leads to more abdominal and visceral fat. So if you needed one more reason to quit, you have it.
Too Much Beer
Yeah, the beer belly is real. It's not just beer and the carbs in beer that make that beer belly pop. All alcoholic drinks have excessive calories more than soft drinks! If you take in too many calories -- especially if you're not exercising and eating well -- you're going to pack on the pounds. If you drink beer, remember to do it in moderation, and do physical activities to burn fat stores.
Cut Soda, as well as Sport and Energy Drinks
These drinks are sugared to taste nice or to boost energy. More sugar means more calories. If you drink too many of these, you're setting yourself up for weight gain that might end up around your waistline. Cut on those drinks to reduce the amount of calories you take in.
Yes, your family tree affects your risk of obesity. It also has a say in where you store fat, on the belly or on the buttocks. Still, there is hope. Striking the right balance between how many calories you take in (your diet) and how many you burn (through exercise) can help keep you from gaining weight, despite your genes. Did you know that healthy behaviors delay chronic diseases that go through a family? It is crucial to adopt healthy habits such as doing regular physical activities and healthy meals
You're Not Sleeping Well
It is recommended to have enough sleep not only for increasing your work efficiency but also to prevent health consequences such as having a low sexual drive, weakened immune system, thinking issues, and weight gain. If you're not sleeping, you're jump-starting stress hormones that increase your appetite for junk foods and lead to obesity.
Learn good sleep-time habits, like:
Put down the phone.
Turn off the laptop.
Go to bed at the same time each night.
Get a comfortable bed
Avoid alcohol before bed.
Take a warm shower before bed, to relax your muscles and induce sleep quickly.
Douketis, J. D., Macie, C., Thabane, L., & Williamson, D. F. (2005). Systematic review of long-term weight loss studies in obese adults: clinical significance and applicability to clinical practice. International journal of obesity (2005), 29(10), 1153–1167. https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ijo.0802982
Freedman, M. R., King, J., & Kennedy, E. (2001). Popular diets: a scientific review. Obesity research, 9 Suppl 1, 1S–40S. https://doi.org/10.1038/oby.2001.113