The abdomen is one of the trickiest areas when it comes to fat accumulation and weight gain, especially in case of women. The main reasons for weight gain in women are genetics, menopause, and pregnancy. This article provides information about the various reasons of fat accumulation in the abdominal area in women.
The body stores fat in two ways, one is the subcutaneous fat and the other is the visceral fat. The former is stored just beneath the skin, while the latter is deep inside the body, around the vital organs. Visceral fat provides cushioning to the vital organs. Abdominal fat includes both the visceral and subcutaneous fats.
Subcutaneous fat poses cosmetic concerns, whereas visceral fat can lead to various health problems. If a proper diet is not maintained it can lead to excess fat storage in the body, including abdominal fat. There are other reasons which can also lead to excess fat storage in the body, they include genetics, increasing age, etc. Given below are some of the reasons which can lead to fat deposition in the abdominal area.
Given below are some of the most common causes of abdominal fat in women, and most of these can be easily regulated by conscious effort.
When the metabolism rate is slow, the digestive system finds it difficult to break down complex nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. As a result, fats and carbohydrates get stored inside the body, usually around the abdominal area as this is the least exercised part of the body. Metabolism may be slow in some people due to some illness, genetic predisposition, or due to advanced age. This is the reason why it is difficult to shed fat from around the abdomen, hips, and upper thighs as you grow old.
Poor Eating Habits
You are more likely to gain weight around the abdomen if you starve yourself for a good part of the day and then binge on fast foods, deep-fried foods, and desserts. However, if you keep munching on salads, dry fruits, nuts, protein bars, fresh fruits, etc., throughout the day, it is much healthier. Remember, a small amount of processed, deep-fried, sugar-rich food eaten at odd hours does more harm to your body, than evenly spaced out healthy snacks.
Stress acts as a double-edged sword when it comes to making your body gain weight. On one hand, it increases your cravings for comfort foods like chocolate, fast food, fries, etc., due to increased cortisol and insulin levels, and on the other hand it slows down your metabolism, so that all the unhealthy snacks show up around your midriff in a matter of time.
If your work schedule is such that it doesn’t allow any physical movements, then it can increase the risk of obesity. Half an hour of vigorous aerobic exercise four times a week is ideal to keep the fat deposition to its minimum. If that is not possible, some light aerobics and yoga at home can also work, provided you perform them on a regular basis.
Your genes may also play an important role in your health and fitness. If you’ve had a slow metabolism since childhood, then your genes can be the culprit. Also, which part of your body has a tendency to accumulate the most fat is also determined by your genes.
How Can Women Lose Belly Fat?
While not much can be done if it is genetic, a healthy diet including lots of protein, fiber, and vitamin C, regular exercise, and meditation can help lose extra weight in some cases. Another tip is to drink lots of water throughout the day. Following a schedule of abdominal exercises that include crunches, cardiovascular workouts, and knee-ins on a regular basis may prove beneficial.
The aforementioned causes are responsible for belly fat in men as well. Besides these, one of the most gender specific causes can be the onset of menopause. The drastic change in the level of certain hormones often leads to an accumulation of fat around the abdomen in women. Poor posture can also be a leading reason behind a pot-bellied appearance. Excessive intake of caffeine and alcohol has been proven to contribute towards obesity as they slow down the metabolic rate of the body, leading to fat accumulation around the waist.