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What Causes Belly Fat in Women?

Unwanted belly fat can be a problem for most women. Many people even struggle to find ways to remove them. Learning about the different causes of it can further help you eliminate or prevent them.  

So what are some of the most important factors in the development of belly fat in women? There is no one answer to this question since there are several causes for it. Factors like food intake, unhealthy habits, hormones, genetics, or medical conditions all contribute to it. 

5 Causes of Belly Fat in Women

There are various causes of belly fat, so you can’t just blame a single reason for it. It’s good to know its different causes so you can identify which is applicable for your case. 

1. Food Intake

Food intake is one of the top causes of belly fat in women. To prevent getting a bigger waist, it is important to eat a healthy diet. You need to incorporate more protein and vegetables in the food you’re eating. 

  • Sugary Food and Drinks: Food and drinks that are high in sugar is one of the main culprits for belly fat. Studies have shown that there is a positive correlation between belly fat and high sugar intake. Sometimes, people consume more sugar than they think they do. When you don’t take into account how much sugar you consume daily, you are going to gain weight, and possibly more belly fat. It’s important to take note of high-sugar food like cakes and candies. You should also avoid drinking drinks like sodas and certain juices since these can be high in sugar as well.
  • Alcohol: When consumed in moderate amounts, alcohol can have several benefits.  However, too much consumption of alcohol can cause health problems like liver disease and inflammation. With this, alcohol can also contribute to belly fat in women. Some researches have shown that heavy drinking is associated with weight gain. This is because when you drink alcohol, the liver burns the alcohol instead of fat. 
  • Low Fiber Diet: A low fiber can also be a culprit to a bigger waistline. According to some studies, soluble fiber has been linked to less belly fat because this kind of fiber encourages gut bacteria diversity. Low fiber diets will make your waist bigger and make it difficult to lose weight. Incorporating fiber into a diet is important to make sure that you are regulating what goes in and out your body. 
  • Caloric Surplus: The relationship between the food you eat and belly fat almost always goes down to whether you’re eating in a caloric surplus. This simply means that you are eating more calories than you are burning. It is important to monitor how many calories you eat per day. When you consume an excessive amount of calories, this does not get used up by the body and it gets stored as fat. 

2. Unhealthy Habits

Aside from food intake, unhealthy habits can also affect the amount of belly fat you have. It is important to be mindful of these unhealthy habits to prevent weight gain. 

  • Lack of Exercise: A lack of exercise is one of the biggest factors that contribute to increase in belly fat. Having a regular exercise routine can help you shed inches off your waist. Exercise helps you burn more calories and keep your heart rate up. A sedentary lifestyle makes it difficult to lose weight and eliminate excess body fat.  
  • Lack of Sleep: Not getting enough sleep is sometimes linked to an increase in belly fat. It increases levels of a hunger hormone which can lead to poor eating habits. Additionally, sleeping disorders like sleep apnea can also cause belly fat.
  • Stress: Stress can also increase the amount of belly fat you have. When you are stressed, your adrenal glands produce the stress hormone called cortisol which slows down unnecessary body functions, so you can focus more. The longer you are stressed, the longer these body functions are slowed down. This affects your mood and habits which can also cause weight gain in the long-run.

3. Hormones

Women have varying levels of hormones throughout their life, and this can affect the amount of belly fat they have. Here are some hormones that can affect the amount of belly fat in a woman’s body. 

  • Estrogen: A woman’s reproductive cycle can be a reason for a bigger waistline. As a woman gets older, a decrease in estrogen may affect the way that fat is distributed throughout the body.  Some women may gain more weight during menopause because of the low estrogen levels in the body, which promotes fat storage in the belly. 
  • Cortisol: When a person is stressed, the adrenal glands produces a hormone called cortisol. Excess production of cortisol can affect the way that fat is distributed around your body. Because of this, fat tends to be stored centrally around the organs. Extreme exposure to cortisol can also cause an excessive amount of visceral fat. 
  • Androgen: When a female produces too much androgen, it causes them to develop more male characteristics. One of these characteristics is an increase in muscle mass which makes it difficult to lose weight and can increase the amount of belly fat in women. 

4. Genetics

Some people gain weight on their bellies because they are genetically predisposed to do so. Genes can affect the way that fat is distributed throughout your body. For example, some people may inherit abdominal obesity, which can influence a person’s metabolism, making it more difficult to eliminate belly fat. 

5. Medical Conditions

Some women may have medical conditions that cause them to have more belly fat. Here are some of those: 

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can cause weight gain because of a high production of the male hormone called androgen. It can also cause irregular or absent ovulation that can mess with a woman’s hormones.
  • Ascites: Ascites doesn’t necessarily cause more belly fat, but can give you a bigger waistline because of the abnormal accumulation of liquid in the belly. One of the most common causes of ascites in the United States is the cirrhosis of the liver wherein the abdomen is enlarged, similar to a beer belly.
  • Addison’s disease: Addison’s disease is a condition wherein the adrenal glands do not produce enough hormones for your body. The adrenal glands are responsible for regulating your metabolism, so the condition may cause an accumulation of fat in the abdominal area.    

What Makes Belly Fat Different From Other Fat? 

Belly fat is the fat found around someone’s abdominal area. There are two types of fat found in this area: subcutaneous and visceral. Subcutaneous is underneath your skin. It is accumulated around the lower body and is the kind that you can pinch. 

On the other hand, visceral refers to the fat that surrounds your organs. It is accumulated around the abdominal area and is the kind that can be seen and measured. 

Visceral fat is regarded as unhealthy because it can cause health complications. Aside from being linked to higher levels of cholesterol and insulin resistance, it also causes the body to release immune system chemicals called cytokines. 

Cytokines are proteins that affect insulin production. It can also increase inflammation in the body, which is linked to various diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers. This can also cause higher blood pressure which can be dangerous. 

Since belly fat grows bigger over time, it can wrap around major organs like the liver and kidney, causing them to fail. More of this means that there is more pressure put on the organs.

Eliminating Belly Fat at NJ Center of CoolSculpting

Belly fat can be a problem area for most women. It is difficult to eliminate, and there are several factors that can influence it. Thus, professional aesthetic procedures are sought after to help remove stubborn fat around the abdominal area. 

Here at the New Jersey Center of CoolSculpting, we offer safe and effective CoolSculpting treatments to help you feel your best. Our team utilizes the latest advances in non-invasive cosmetic treatments and technologies.  

We have a team of licensed and experienced professionals who will provide safe and effective aesthetic procedures for you. Our team guarantees optimal results that you will definitely love. Book a consultation with us today to know more. 

Read more: Is Body Sculpting Painful?

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