Unbelievable,10 causes of stubborn lower belly fat you never knew.
May 23, 2019
I know that feeling you get when you put on a nice fitting outfit but your stomach pouch can’t help but show. Disappointing, right?
One thing is for sure though; you are not alone in this. A woman around the world struggle to cut off their lower belly fat and it is not an age specific issue.
For you to actually succeed in cutting that pouch, you need to first understand what causes it. I call it taking the bull by its horns. Lol.
Types of belly fat
- Visceral fat: This is gel-like fat that is wrapped around major organs such as the kidneys and liver. It is the excess intra-abdominal adipose tissue accumulation. It is found deep inside your abdomen and is more dangerous than regular belly fat.
- Subcutaneous fat: It is the loose and pinch-able fat that accumulates under the skin. It is not dangerous to one’s health and is what you would mostly want to cut off to become fit.
Why am I gaining fat in my lower stomach?
Well, you may be wondering why your lower stomach and not any other desirable parts of your body like the hips.
It all comes down to the hormone composition in your body. A hormone like cortisol which is produced due to stress is one of the hormones that actually facilitate belly fat gain.
It is important to actually understand your body type and the role of hormones in gaining belly fat.
I have expounded more on this topic to help you understand better. You can check it out here.
Common causes of lower belly fat
- Poor Diet
Garbage in, garbage out. One of the major causes of fat gain for one is poor diet. Such diets include:
Sugary foods and beverages
Foods with high sugar content such as soda, cakes and candy contain high fructose levels.
Fructose results in the reduction of fat burning and metabolic rate. This causes belly fat gain and generally weight gain. So the next time you are tempted to have those sweet temptations you might have to think twice.
These are unhealthy fats used in foods to extend the shelf lives of packaged goods. They contain hydrogen and saturated fats that increase inflammation and results to insulin resistance. This in turn leads to compounding of fat in the abdomen region causing belly fat.
Low protein intake increases the hunger hormone neuropeptide Y. This makes you eat more and more and the long-term effect is gaining weight and increased belly fat.
Low fibre diets
High fibre whole grains are associated with reduced abdominal fat. When you consume foods with low fibre content and high refined carbs, you risk gaining calories.
When you have stress, your body naturally produces a hormone called cortisol which causes fat gain around the abdomen.
If you are the kind that stress eats, you may consume high fat diets which end up being stored on your belly. This is particularly true in higher waist-to-hip ratio women.
We are all different in terms of our genetic composition and the hormones in our bodies. Women with high estrogen levels experience low abdominal fat accumulation. This is all natural and you probably can do nothing about it.
- The wrong gut bacteria.
Did you know that you have hundreds of bacteria in your gut? They maintain a healthy immune system. Having the wrong gut bacteria can lead to increased absorption of calories from food resulting in weight gain including belly fat.
- Little or no aerobic exercise
Inactivity is actually known to result to gain in abdominal fat even after losing weight. It is important that you engage in some aerobic exercises on a frequent basis to cut belly fat or if you have already lost weight, to prevent gain of belly fat.
Aerobic exercises include: running, swimming, walking, hiking just to mention but a few.
- Little muscle mass
We all have a given percentage of fat mass and muscle mass. When you have little muscle mass around your abdomen, you are highly likely to have more fat mass and hence accumulate belly fat.
You can work on building a lean muscle mass and burn excess abdominal fat.
- Poor sleep
Poor quality sleep generally results in weight gain and hence belly fat accumulation. Having enough sleep is always advisable.
You will be surprised to learn that women who sleep less than 7 hours in a day are more likely to gain abdominal fat as compared to those who sleep more.
While smoking may not be a direct cause of belly fat, smokers have more belly and visceral fat than non-smokers. If you are keen on having that flat tummy then I bet you wouldn’t compromise on this.
At puberty, hormones estrogen signals the body to store fat on hips and thighs in preparation for pregnancy.
Menopause which occurs a year after a woman has her last menstrual period. The estrogen levels naturally drop and fat that was stored in the thigh areas and hip areas shifts to the abdomen and visceral fat.
- Too much alcohol
High alcohol intake reduces the fat burning capability of the body. Excess calories from alcohol are partly stored as belly fat. This is commonly known as the beer-belly.
This does not affect men only, women can also gain beer- belly.
Daily alcohol drinkers who take fewer drinks have least belly fat as compared to occasional drinkers who take more drinks at a go.
I am almost sure you can identify with one of these as a cause to your lower belly fat and you are pumped up to work and get rid of it. But before you dive into the workouts and the diet plans, you should first see (Why it is difficult to target lower belly fat)