Belly fat can make us feel self-conscious and uncomfortable. Also stomach fat is notoriously dangerous as it wraps itself around our organs. People with visceral belly fat are also more prone to heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Mums go through enough! We don’t want to struggle with stomach fat reduction too! If you’re having a difficult time getting rid of your tummy fat, it could be for a variety of reasons.
Here are the seven stomach fat causes which may explain why you’re struggling to get rid of it.
1. YOUR DIET ISN’T HEALTHY
If you’re eating junk food regularly, it will impact your health in many ways. Especially around your belly as too much salt, sugar and refined carbohydrates contribute to fat storage.
Even the occasional cheat meal can set you back a bit. And destroy any progress you made that day with exercise.
Ditch the takeaways, lollies and soft drinks and try incorporating foods like green leafy vegetables into your diet and drinking a lot more water.
2. YOU DRINK ALCOHOL TOO MUCH
Unwinding with some wine is fine as a treat, but too much alcohol is linked to weight gain as it contains a lot of empty calories, which can contribute to stomach fat.
Generally speaking, alcohol intake is associated with having a bigger waist, because when you drink, the liver burns alcohol instead of fat stores. Plus, when you drink a lot, it makes you want to reach for unhealthy food choices which complement it, such as snacks, burgers, and pizza. If you want to drink alcohol, try to have one glass of water between each alcoholic beverage to limit your intake and eat something with lots of fresh veggies beforehand to fill you up
3. IT’S A HORMONAL THING
When we’re young women, fat is more concentrated around the hips and thighs so we can bear healthy children. But once we get older, our estrogen levels change, and the fat tends to move to our stomachs.
While some stomach fat is fairly common, a lot may indicate a hormonal imbalance.
A common disorder is polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) which can cause weight gain because the body struggles more when using insulin. This insulin resistance means that glucose and sugar can build up in the bloodstream, not only resulting in weight gain around the tummy, but also making it virtually impossible to get rid of that stomach fat.
4. YOU’RE STRESSED OUT
For many busy mums, stress is an all too real problem!
But when you’re stressed, the body releases a hormone called cortisol which makes it much easier to store fat, especially around your stomach areas. And when we’re stressed, it’s also very easy to comfort eat.
Try clearing your mind with a walk, a bit of yoga or just having some downtime with our Mind, Body and Breath sessions on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge.
5. YOU’RE EXERCISING TOO MUCH
Working out to the extreme surely means you’re going to banish belly fat, right? What could possibly be wrong with stomach fat exercises?
It turns out that if you’re pushing yourself to the absolute max with your workouts and exercising excessively, you are raising your cortisol levels. Lower your cortisol levels by finding the right workout for you that you’ll still feel the effects from, but one that won’t cause you too much stress.
Keep in mind – this is not an excuse to put off the exercise part to help you during your weight loss journey!
6. YOU’RE ONLY DOING CRUNCHES
It’s a common myth that if you want a six pack of chiseled abs, you need to be doing thousands of crunches a day. Sure, core strengthening can help, but if you really want to get rid of belly fat, you need to work the whole body and lose fat everywhere. Work on multiple muscle groups with a full body, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts. That way you’ll get toned arms and legs too (and not just tummy fat loss)!
7. YOU HAVE A MEDICAL CONDITION
These are more serious, but certain medical conditions like Cushing’s disease and liver disease mean you’re more likely to develop a bit of weight around the middle. Similarly, people with Type 2 diabetes are also more susceptible.
Be sure to chat with your doctor if you are struggling to lose weight through diet changes and exercise. They may be able to make further suggestions to make losing stomach fat easier.