Everyone, including those with flat abs, has some belly fat. This is normal but too much fat can affect our health.
Belly fat is a problem, and not just how it looks. The type of fat that accumulates in the belly is called visceral fat. It surrounds the organs and raises a person’s risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. Here are a few reasons why belly fat forms.
1. Poor Diet
Sugary foods like cakes and drinks like sodas can cause weight gain, slow metabolism, and reduce one’s ability to burn fat. A low-protein, high-carbohydrate diet can also affect weight.
2. Drinking too much alcohol
Excessive alcohol consumption causes a variety of health problems, including liver disease and inflammation. A 2015 report on alcohol consumption and obesity in the Journal of Current Obesity Reports tells that men who drink too much alcohol gain weight around their bellies, although the results of the study are inconsistent with women.
3. Lack of exercise
When a person uses more calories than they burn, they gain weight. A sedentary lifestyle makes it difficult to rid a person of excess fat, especially in the abdomen.
4. Poor sleep
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine links weight gain with shorter sleep periods, which can lead to excess belly fat. Poor quality and short sleep can play a role in the development of belly fat. Not getting enough sleep can potentially lead to unhealthy eating habits, such as emotional eating.
Scientists believe that genes can influence behavior, metabolism, and the risk of developing obesity-related diseases. Likewise, environmental factors and behavior also influence the likelihood of people becoming obese.
6. Stress and cortisol
The hormone cortisol, which is secreted in response to stress, can increase abdominal fat. This is especially true for women with a high waist-hip ratio.
Many different factors can make a person gain excess belly fat. There are a few an individual cannot do much about, like genes and hormone changes at menopause. However, there are also many factors a person can control. Making healthy choices about what you will eat and what to avoid, how much exercise you do, and how you handle stress can help you lose belly fat.
1. Sonya C. The truth about belly fat. Available at https://webmd.com.
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