Belly Fat 101: The Most Common Causes of a Flabby Stomach
Based on recent findings, about 49% of Americans want to lose weight. Other studies have found that 80% of people who lose 10% or more of their body fat will put that weight back on. For some people, that regain even includes some extra pounds they didn’t have to begin with!
Our clients often complain about their flabby stomach regardless of how much weight they are trying to lose. The flabby stomach seems to plague us all at some point in our lives. The question is, what causes belly fat and why is it so hard to get rid of?
Read on to find out why you’re belly so stubbornly holds on to extra fat.
The Science Behind the Flabby Stomach
Before we begin, let’s talk a little bit about what’s happening when we lose or gain weight.
We all have a certain number of fat cells in our bodies. The number you have is determined during childhood and adolescence. Once you’re an adult, that number is going to stay the same. When fat cells die, your body will generate new ones.
So if you’re not losing fat cells, what is happening to them when you lose weight? The volume of fat cells will change during weight loss or gain. In other words, if you’re losing weight, it means that your fat cells are shrinking.
It is in part because your body can’t naturally shed fat cells that it can be so difficult to lose the weight and keep it off. Now, let’s talk about the sources of a flabby stomach.
The science behind genetics and weight gain is still rudimentary. However, genes contribute to the way our bodies respond to different environments and can change the way we live our lives.
In other words, you didn’t inherit a flabby stomach from your parents, but you may have inherited habits that did. Plus, genes seem to affect metabolism and the rate at which our body converts fat into fuel.
What that means is that for some people, increasing activity or improving their diet may not be enough to cut their belly fat. It may be necessary to go through a fat removal procedure to see real results.
A diet that is high in calories and low in nutrients will cause weight gain that is not limited to the stomach, alone.
Trans fats, in particular, are a big culprit when it comes to belly fat. Trans fats come from partially hydrogenated oil, which can be found in a number of processed foods from pre-packaged snacks to fried foods.
Trans fats increase belly fat. They do so in part by redistributing fatty tissue found on other parts of the body to the stomach area.
Sugar also slows metabolism and tends to increase appetite by tricking the brain into thinking you’re still hungry.
A better, more-rounded diet will always help your weight loss journey as well as your overall health. To target belly fat, specifically, cut out foods that contain partially hydrogenated oil. Opt for cleaner, less processed foods.
Inactivity or Repetitive Activity
If you aren’t burning as many calories as you’re taking in, that fat is going to be stored on the body rather than burned.
However, you may be a highly active person that still has a flabby stomach. Why? Because your regular activity is not targeting your core!
For example, riding a bike or taking a spin class is great exercise. However, it targets your legs and glutes more than any other part of the body. In fact, if you’re hunched over to hold on to the handlebars, your core is almost completely inactive.
Make sure that your exercise routine targets each part of the body. You might take a spin class one day and the next do Pilates or another core-focused workout to make sure that you’re busting that belly fat.
When you’re under a lot of pressure or feeling a great deal of anxiety, your body releases a steroid hormone called cortisol to try to balance you out. Cortisol can interfere with your metabolism, slowing the rate at which you burn fat.
On top of that, many people who are feeling stressed out turn to food or high-calorie drinks for comfort. Studies have found that eating certain junk foods releases dopamine, a feel-good neurotransmitter. In other words, your brain rewards you for eating by increasing your mood, which in part leads to over-eating and even food addictions.
Alcohol contains a lot of calories and we have a tendency to ignore the calories that we drink. A lot of people probably don’t realize that their flabby stomach has more to do with the beers they knock back every weekend than with their diet or exercise routine.
In addition to the high-calorie count, drinking forces your liver to focus its attention on processing and flushing alcohol out of your system. That means that it isn’t processing and burning fat.
Alcohol also dulls the hormones that tell your body and brain that you’re full. You could eat a satisfying meal and, after several drinks, feel as though you’re hungry again.
And let’s face it, if you’re coping with a hangover on Sunday morning, are you going to go out for a power walk? Or are you going to hang out on the couch and snack on alcohol-absorbing carbs?
Boost Your Weight Loss and Ditch the Flabby Stomach
At Better Off, we use a non-surgical procedure to target and destroy fat cells in certain areas of the body. This will give you a more sculpted look without the pain and invasion of other fat removal procedures like liposuction.
Of course, for the betterment of your health, you’ll still want to make positive life changes like eating a more balanced diet and exercising regularly. Our procedure guarantees that you’ll see better, faster, and longer-lasting results than diet and exercise, alone!
To schedule an appointment or request more information, contact us today!