There are pills and exercises on the market today that claim to erase belly fat effortlessly. However, changes in a person’s lifestyle are a more direct and more effective approach to eliminating the problem. Excessive belly fat increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and even Alzheimer’s disease.
Here are 5 of the most common causes of belly fat.
1. Drinking Too Much Alcohol
“Beer belly” is the common term for excess fat that has accumulated due to drinking a lot of alcohol on a regular basis. Beer isn’t the only culprit, though. Contrary to the specific term, drinking an excessive amount of any alcoholic beverage can cause beer belly. (Except wine, according to research.) Alcohol contains nothing but empty calories that are stored in the stomach area.
2. Eating Too Many Bad Carbohydrates
There are good carbs and there are bad carbs. Eating unrefined carbs like fruit, legumes, vegetables and whole grains is good for you, and helps in weight control. Eating biscuits, cakes, donuts, white bread and other refined carbs does the opposite. Eat too many of these carbs and a person’s insulin level will rise. Their metabolism will slow down, and the excess sugar the body can’t use will be stored as belly fat.
3. Stress Overload
Too much stress has many negative impacts on the body. Stress causes the body to switch into survival mode. One way the body ensures its survival is by storing more fat so starvation doesn’t occur if there’s no food eaten.
Stress also causes the body to produce excessive amounts of cortisol. This hormone moves stored fat to the abdomen area and creates belly fat. According to a study by the Psychology Department at Yale University, women (in particular) who had a higher amount of belly fat were more negative, and lived with higher levels of stress.
This cause of belly fat may be the toughest one to hear, because it entails not really being able to do all that much to prevent it. Genetics play a role in deciding where the fat distribution goes in your body, and it practically relates to two different body types. Either you are apple-shaped or pear-shaped. If you are pear-shaped, then the fat generally accumulates in your lower areas like your fanny. If you are apple-shaped, then your body has the tendency of storing fat around your midsection, thus leading to belly fat.
5. Sedentary Lifestyle
A sedentary lifestyle is defined as one in which a person fails to exercise regularly, or fails to get any exercise at all. The biggest problem with a sedentary lifestyle is that it can increase your chances of developing serious health conditions, which are all somewhat preventable. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, you are raising your chances of dying younger, yet you can easily avoid this by simply moving more and exercising regularly. It commonly consists of the practice of sitting on the couch and watching too much TV. Such a lifestyle is not limited just to TV watching; it also involves reading too much or using the computer too much. Basically, if you are not moving enough, it is sedentary.