Excess belly fat is extremely unhealthy. It’s a risk factor for diseases like metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
The medical term for unhealthy fat in the belly is “visceral fat,” which refers to fat surrounding the liver and other organs in your abdomen.
Even normal-weight people with excess belly fat have an increased risk of health problems. Here are 7 things that make you gain belly fat.
1. Sugary foods and beverages
Candies, cakes, frozen yogurt, soda, flavored coffee drinks, and sweet tea are generally considered to have high added sugars. These added sugars contain high fructose content. Studies have shown that a high fructose content might reduce the metabolic rate and fat burning. Hence, consuming more of added sugars will likely make you gain belly fat.
2. Processed food
Fibers, vitamins, and nutrients are ripped off from these foods. Processed foods such as white rice, white bread, and food products made of refined flour are easily digestible and lead to a rapid increase in blood sugar and insulin levels after meals. These foods also have a high content of salts and preservatives.
3. Physical inactivity
Sedentary lifestyle remains the main culprit in increasing abdominal obesity. Women sitting continuously for more than three hours are at an increased risk of abdominal obesity.
4. Lack of sleep
Sleeping for less than five hours may result in a weight gain of around 32 lbs. Similarly, sleeping for more than eight hours also does the same. People with sleeping disorders are most likely to experience weight gain. Hence, sleeping for six to eight hours seems to be adequate and is essential.
5. Stress or cortisol
Stressing out a lot releases the “stress hormone” cortisol, which can increase abdominal obesity. Stress also leads to declined sleep quality, overeating, and heavy alcohol drinking, which in turn also contribute to abdominal obesity.
Most of the time, we tend to binge due to stress. Overeating can result in the consumption of excess calories and eventually weight gain. Thus, mindful eating is the key to prevent abdominal bulge.
Bloating may not be permanent. It is the collection of gas in the gut and stomach and results in a feeling of fullness and tightness. Massaging can relieve bloating and prevent gas formation. Practices such as eating slowly, taking small morsels of food, and taking fennel after food can reduce bloating