Types of Belly Fat and Their Causes

Types of Belly Fat and Their Causes

The shape of your belly fat is indicative of the lifestyle you live. As such, all types of belly fat are not the same. 

This is especially the case for women. Unlike men, women’s bodies go through different changes during different stages in their lives.

Whilst men do put on excess weight around their belly; cases are more frequent among women. Belly fat comes about when the metabolism rate slows down. 

As a result of a slow metabolism rate, the number of calories burnt is not commensurate to those consumed. The calories that are unaccounted for are what end up settling as fat around the abdomen.


Types of Belly Fat and Their Causes

There are 2 major types of belly fat:


 Visceral fat is the more dangerous of the types of belly fat as it sits around the organs. Some of the vital organs it surrounds include the liver, stomach, intestines, and arteries. 

Visceral fat is also linked to ailments such as cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, and diabetes. 


 This is the easily visible fat that sits under your skin. It is primarily harmless to your health, and, in some cases, it actually helps in the prevention of diseases

If anything, the drive to rid ourselves of subcutaneous fat is influenced by social constructs. 

It is also responsible for numerous belly types. These tummy types are influenced by motherhood, stress, poor lifestyle choices, and hormones. They include;


Here subcutaneous fat is brought about by high-stress levels. As a result, ‘stress hormone’ cortisol is produced in excessive amounts. 

Eventually, these high cortisol levels slow down the metabolic rate leading to the depositing of subcutaneous fats.

Fat is often deposited on the front and naval areas of the abdomen. To remedy the situation, avoid caffeinated drinks such as coffee. 

Instead, opt for physical exercises such as walks or yoga for stress management and increase your magnesium intake.


Characterized by soft on the sides. It could be caused by either insulin resistance or polycystic ovary syndrome, which raises insulin levels. 

These conditions are facilitated by poor lifestyle choices, i.e., excessive carbohydrate and alcohol consumption.

To get rid of this belly, first, reduce your alcohol consumption. You can then introduce foods such as eggs, lean protein, and vegetables to your diet. 


As the name suggests, this type of belly often affects mothers who haven’t given birth not too long ago. 

In most cases, you end up still looking pregnant even after you’ve given birth. This is because the body built up subcutaneous fat during pregnancy to protect the fetus. 

In such cases, however, patience is key. It is impractical to rush your body to shed its pregnancy weight soon after giving birth.

As such, it is recommended to wait at least two months before engaging in any physical exercise aimed at shedding weight. 

In the meantime, you could add some less laborious exercises such as Kegels to your routine. You could also add some foods that contain healthy fats such as olives to your diet. 


Characterized by two layers of stomach fat within the belly. There is one layer of fat at the top and another layer near the navel. 

This is caused by fat around the belly and the hips. Getting rid of this type of belly is all about portions. 

Skim a chunk off the top of the dessert you’re having the next you’re having one. Focus on low or no-salt snacks such as popcorn when you have a snack. They are easier to burn off.

Ultimately, incorporate whole-grain foods, lean proteins, i.e., fish and eggs, and vegetables, into your diet. 


 This type of belly is common among those with a slender frameTherefore, if you’re lean and see a gradual increase in the lower abdomen, low belly fat is what you have. 

 It could be a result of anything from motherhood to strenuous physical exercise on a fixed diet. To remedy the situation, incorporate high fiber foods such as leafy vegetables into your diet. 

You might also want to tweak your workout routine to include exercises that engage all your muscles, i.e., planks.


Although the causes of belly fat vary for different people due to varying lifestyle choices, here are some general, albeit indirect reasons for the accumulation of types of belly fat:


Genetics plays an important role in your metabolism. It can thus be the difference between shedding off that extra calorie or not. 

Most overweight people have excessive belly fat, with the types of belly fat varying between subcutaneous and visceral.

 Studies have insinuated that as a result of a complex interaction among multiple genes, obesity can be influenced genetically.


Lack of enough sleep has been linked with a high body mass index and weight gain. This is particularly due to the link between lack of sleep and its effect on how we eat.

 Studies show a higher chance of becoming obese among those who get less than 7 hours of sleep. 

This susceptibility to obesity is what facilitates a thriving environment for various types of belly fat.


Researchers consider smoking as a risk factor for putting on excessive belly fat by researchers. 

A study revealed that nonsmokers have a lower chance of gaining excessive belly fat as compared to smokers.

According to the study, a group of obese people was put under observation. 

Although obesity was the same between smokers and nonsmokers, smokers had an excessive amount of various types of belly fat, such as visceral fat, compared to nonsmokers.


If the calories you consume are not more than the ones you burn, you will gain weight. Extra calories often manifest themselves as belly fat in areas of the body like the abdomen. 

This is how various types of belly fat end up coming about.


Cardio exercises refer to the exercises that keep your heart rate up for long periods of time. They thus heavily engage the respiratory system. 

This is because it works hard to ensure that the steep energy demands are met due to an elevated heart rate. 

The positive thing about cardio is that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all approach.’ There are various ways to get your cardio in. 

Cardio effectively eliminates any types of belly fat as it targets the body fat percentage throughout your body. However, it is best to note that where the body deposits fat is purely out of your control. 

That is purely up to your body. This is why getting rid of belly fat can be a challenge even to the most seasoned pros.

We thus combat body fat by engaging in exercises that reduce body fat throughout the body, including the abdomen areas.

Some of these cardio exercises include;


At some point in our day-to-day life, we’re always either walking or running. 

So then why don’t you already have a toned stomach? Well, you might have to do a bit more, a bit more consistently.

Running or walking at a moderate pace is a proven surefire way of fat-burning. It is also an easily accessible form of exercise. All you need are a good running pair of shoes and some space. 


To lose belly fat, you’re going to have to engage as many muscles as possible. The burpee involves going from a push-up position to a jump and back to a push-up position. 

This ends up engaging every muscle from your head to your toe. 


Cycling is an impactful low impact cardio exercise. It also involves equipment that is easily accessible. 

If you don’t have a bicycle, numerous affordable spaces lease out books for affordable rates.

In fact, you only need 30 minutes to burn about 250 to 500 calories during a bike ride. 


The Mountain climber engages all the units that the plank does while moving. You assume a push-up position with your hands below your shoulders. 

The mountain climber is, however, a bit more strenuous. This is because your core works really hard to keep your body stable every time you lift your foot off the floor.


While sometimes belly fat is caused by factors well out of our control, others are caused by our lifestyle choices.

 Thankfully, with good exercise and a good diet, you can trim most of the belly fat you might be experiencing.

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