Belly fat is bad news whether for a male or female and not just because you want to show off your abs or flat tummy but because it has an overall healthy implication.
Continuous research has suggested that the size of your tummy and waist can be a risk factor for serious diseases than your overall body fat percentage. Deep lying visceral fat found deep in the abdomen is responsible for belly fat.
Visceral fat is found surrounding internal organs and they release chemicals into the body which can cause oxidative damage. Too much belly fat can lead to diabetes, some type of cancers, stroke, and damage to blood vessels and organs.
The first thing to do to reduce belly fat is to avoid foods rich in carbohydrates and added sugars. Embracing a diet rich in whole grains, healthy days and fresh produce can go a long way in reducing your belly fat.
Exercises can also do wonders but despite all the above, some people still have a hard time shedding fat from their middle which is not due to bad luck. Here are five reasons all the food you eat appear to go straight to your tummy and turn into belly fat.
Research has suggested that a lot of people accumulate fat in their tummy when they are stressed. When you’re stressed or under pressure, the body produces and releases more of the hormone – cortisol. This hormone can cause you to crave for more sugary and fatty foods to provide comfort. The hormone also alters body chemistry in a way that your calories burned slower and get stored as fat.
A spike in your cortisol levels is usually in response to adrenaline release as a result of an actual life-or-death situation. In the fast paced world of today, everyone gets stressed on occasion, but if you’re always in a fight-or-flight mode you may want to see a doctor or therapist for consultation.
You’re Sleeping Too Little Or Too Much
Sleeping less than five hours every night has been linked to an increase in belly fat. The surprising thing however is sleeping for more than eight hours can also cause an increase in belly fat.
Being sleep deprived will cause body metabolism to reduce in order to preserve energy which will cause you to eat more than you should. More so, researchers are not exactly sure the reason why people who sleep a lot add extra fat around the middle but more time in bed could mean a reduction in the time you spend being active. The sleep of each individual varies but it’s best to stick to between seven to nine hours per night cycle.
You’re Genetically Inclined To Be Fat
Genetics go a long way in determining what part of your body you store your fat. A quick look at your family tree can help you determine if a lot of your parents are apple-shaped or pear-shaped. If a lot of people from your family tree fall into the apple category, you may have to do a lot to limit your calorie intake and stick to exercising to stop your belly from protruding.
There’s A Paradigm Shift In Your Hormones
When women hit menopause, those that were formerly pear-shaped (carry most of their weight on their hips and thighs) usually realize that their bellies begin to increase in size. This is usually as a result of a drop in oestrogen and a slow down in body metabolism as a result of aging.
A good way to stop this is to build your muscles by concentrating on your core through exercises.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS affects as much as 20 percent of women during their reproductive years because such women have higher testosterone levels and most times find themselves gaining weight, especially around their waist.
Symptoms of PCOS may include irregular periods, excess body hair, and pimples. It is best to talk to a doctor if you suspect you have this condition to prescribe the right medications.