Abdominal fat may not only be from increased calories, say health experts.


How to deal with stubborn belly fat.Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona/Unsplash

It is officially time for 'fun in the sun,' beaches, bikinis, and shorts. A beach-ready body is a priority for many singles and couples too. Many health experts have recognized the harmful effects of abdominal fat. Several health websites, reviewed by healthcare professionals, have published articles addressing this problem. Several influencers on Youtube and TikTok have shared home remedies that have helped them. Fitness experts and physicians have identified the four primary causes of abdominal fat.

Stubborn belly fat can be dangerous.

Belly fat, abdominal fat, or visceral fat is defined as fatty tissue found under the abdominal muscles and surrounding the vital organs of the abdominal cavity. Keri Gans, R.D., author of The Small Change Diet, explains that abdominal fat is due to an increase in caloric intake. You cannot control where fat goes after ingestion. It commonly ends up in the abdomen, hips, and thighs, and where it ends up depends on gender, genetics, and or age. Jessica Cording, R.D says in her book, The Little Book of Game-Changers, 'that different body types are prone to storing fat tissue around the midsection.'

Health professionals are addressing the harmful effects of abdominal fat in health articles. Preventive cardiologist Haitham Ahmed, MD, MPH, describes abdominal fat as a risk factor for heart disease due to its contribution to atherosclerosis. Lawrence Cheskin, M.D., chair of Nutrition and food studies at George Mason University, also explains that abdominal fat circulates in the blood, increasing the risk of heart disease. Excessive fat stores also contribute to Diabetes type 2 development.

Increased caloric intake is not the only cause of abdominal fat. According to Cording, sleep deprivation and stress also contribute to abdominal fat accumulation.

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Increased calories lead to abdominal fat.Louis Hansel/Unsplash

How does fat accumulate in the abdomen?

Michal Martin's article on Eat This, Not That explains four common causes of increased abdominal fat.

1. High liquid caloric intake.

Dr. Mark Hyman, a physician with the Cleveland Clinic, declared on his podcast that soda, juices, and other sugar-sweetened beverages are primary contributors to increased abdominal fat. Even sweetened coffee, teas, and energy drink can spike blood sugar levels.

2. Sugar increases the caloric intake.

Sugar calories from high-sugar foods are bad. The problem in our society is either the tendency to overeat or the absolute excess intake of starch and sugar, according to Dr. Human. JoAnn Manson, MD, DrPH, a professor at Harvard Medical School and Chief at Brigham & Women's Hospital, is the major contributing factor to obesity. She suggests that priority should shift to the quality of our meals. Therefore, eating donuts, candy, and potato chips for snacks, use but and fruits.

3. Insomnia contributes to abdominal fat.

Research conducted at Wake Forest University concluded that Individuals who slept for 5 hours or less nightly had twice as much abdominal fat as those who had at least six hours of sleep. Experts explain that weight gain is due to two sets of hormones. First, inadequate sleep causes altered regulation of two hormones that control appetite. Dr. Liji Thomas, MD, explains that during sleep, leptin levels increase which decreases the need to eat. Leptin also assures the brain that there are sufficient calories for the time. However, in sleep-deprived individuals, the hormone Ghrelin increases while leptin decreases. Hence you feel hunger more frequently at night.

Persons who are sleep deprived have higher cortisol levels since sleeping has an inhibitory effect on cortisol. Elevated cortisol increases your appetite, specifically for sweet, salty, and fatty foods. As mentioned above, high caloric intake contributes to abdominal fat, explained OrlandoHealth.

4. A sedentary lifestyle isn't good for your health.

If you consume large amounts of calories daily and exercise minimally, fat accumulates around the body. Moreso, if you have less muscle mass, less fat is used up. Therefore, to combat this problem, The American Heart Association recommended a combination of moderate exercise for 150 minutes and at least two sessions of strength training weekly.

Eat healthy to prevent abdominal fat.Jonas Allert


Abdominal fat is a problem in society. Simple remedies like dieting may not help. Therefore, individuals may need other interventions to address other issues like sleep deprivation.

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DISCLAIMER: The author of this article is NOT a skincare or health professional. The opinions shared are inferences based on the facts researched. All facts presented were researched and extracted from haircare and health sources. All sources are supported by skincare and health professionals.

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I am a Healthcare major with a minor in biology. For the last 2 years, I have been blogging on Medium and Vocal Media sharing health tips. Besides my volunteer work, blogging is another way to get information our to the public, especially health.

Hackensack, NJ

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