Belly fat shows itself differently in males and females, but the way your stomach looks also depends on your genes, lifestyle, and metabolism – that’s why the same amount of fat will usually appear different on different people. Having that in mind, it’s important to remember that not every diet and exercise plan will work on your belly, and that is why sometimes your pooch remains intact no matter how much you work out.
Discover your abdominal fat type below and read up on the preferred approach you need to take to finally dislodge that bulge.
1. Belly caused by alcohol
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Also known as the spare tire, in this case, the pooch will usually rest on your lap when you sit down. If you sometimes have back pain, feel hungry, or crave sugary foods, booze is probably the reason behind your pot belly. Beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages prevent the body from breaking food down properly as well as lowering the ability of the liver to burn fat. Alcohol also tends to have a high calorie count.
What to do:
* Cut down or give up alcohol, or drink “lighter” beverages
* Exercise more
* Eat more fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.
2. Mommy belly
After giving birth, a tummy might stay even after losing the baby weight. The reason might be post-pregnancy diastasis recti, which causes the abdominal muscles to separate. If your belly still looks like you’re carrying, it might be down to this condition that causes your tissues to stretch. Insulin levels also go up during pregnancy, causing the abdomen to store fat.
What to do:
* Stop doing crunches and sit-ups, as they aggravate diastasis recti
* Visit your doctor if the pooch is accompanied by back, pelvic, or stomach pains
* Walking and exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor and core are ideal; look for programs that are geared towards diastasis
* Severe cases may require surgery or physical therapy
3. Stressed-out belly
Cortisol itself is connected to weight gain because it causes the body to store visceral fat. Coupled with stress and anxiousness, it also stimulates the appetite. Fat tends to gather around the waist and may cause sagging in the midsection. Poor sleep patterns are another by-product.
What to do:
* Get more rest. Try to go to bed earlier to help regulate your metabolism
* Avoid junk food and overeating; watch out for triggers like cravings for sweet and salty foods
* Kick caffeine – it raises cortisol levels
* Eat a healthy breakfast to avoid cravings and mood swings
* Exercise, do yoga or try meditation to relieve stress
4. Hormonal belly
Hormone levels can sabotage your efforts to get rid of extra fat. High levels of estrogen linked to a thyroid condition can affect fat everywhere, not only in the abdominal region – neck, shoulders, or legs tend to be affected. Low estrogen levels due to menopause can bring on a muffin top because less estrogen causes the fat to move from the hips and the thighs to the abdomen.
Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have elevated levels of testosterone, causing fat to hang out around the waistband and thighs. The condition can also cause insulin resistance, making you crave sugar and junk food. In men, low testosterone leads to a slow metabolism and an increase in visceral fat.
What to do:
* Eat healthy fats like Omega 3’s and 6’s
* Up your intake of fiber by consuming more fruits, beans, veggies
* Cut down on dairy and foods that cause inflammation
* Light exercise like walking or yoga will help keep stress (cortisol) levels low
5. Bloated belly
If your stomach is flat in the morning but expands as the day goes by, you fall into this category. A bloated stomach affects both slim and overweight people equally. Causes include gas, food intolerances/allergies, imbalance of the gut flora, or poor digestion.
After you eat, you may notice bowel trouble and feel bloaty. Could you have a problem with gluten? Not eating enough fiber? Experiment with cutting out pasta, corn, and yeast to narrow down what foods could be causing problems.
What to do:
* Take probiotics to help with intestinal flora
* Drink lots of water throughout the day to help with digestion
* Try breathing exercises that draw the breath deep into the diaphragm
* Up your fiber intake with fresh veggies, nuts, legumes, and fruits
In all of these cases, eating healthy fats and engaging in exercise routines that target the deep abdomen will be most beneficial. Belly fat might be a precursor to more serious health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, or cancer. Consult a medical professional about which physical activities and foods will work best for your stomach issues.
* This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances.