By Praveen & Maahek Nair, BodyProCoach
While the tools and plans to attack belly fat once and for all may seem relatively straight forward, the causes of excess belly fat are less so for many women.
What’s Behind Belly Fat ?
Your weight is largely determined by three main factors:
- How many calories you consume during the day?
- How many calories you burn off through daily exercise?
- Your age
If you eat too much and exercise too little, you’re likely to carry excess weight — including belly fat.
Also, your muscle mass might diminish slightly with age, while fat increases. Loss of muscle mass also decreases the rate at which your body uses calories, which can make it more challenging to maintain a healthy weight.
Many women also notice an increase in belly fat as they get older — even if they aren’t gaining weight. This is likely due to a decreasing level of estrogen, which appears to influence where fat is distributed in the body.
Let’s get our facts clear: eating a slice of pizza, candy, or your favorite dessert every now and then is completely OK — it’s all about moderation and watching the calorie intake.
There isn’t one specific reason why women develop fat in their abdominal region, poor diet and low-activity levels arecontributing factors to increased amounts of belly fat.
Other reasons women develop belly fat are, “hormonal changes such as menopause, age, stress, and family history,”
Calories In vs. Calories Out
There are many reasons why women may have excess belly fat, the main one is down to the number of calories in and the number burnt off.
Quite simply if we consume too much food, it is stored as fat. However, most of us know when we attempt to reverse the fat, that it might not be as simple as that!
Aging plays a role. Even if they don’t gain weight on the scales, many women notice an accumulation of belly fat as they age, particularly around menopausal age.
This is due to hormonal shifts, when a decrease in estrogen impacts our fat distribution, making it belly focused instead of hips and thighs.
Sleep affects our weight. For those of us who sleep poorly, five hours or less a night is linked with weight gain. Sleep disordered breathing such as sleep apnea, is linked with higher amounts of belly fat.
Stress can cause belly fat! The body interprets any stress the same, whether it is physical stress such as smoking, or perceived stress such as driving in rush hour.
The bottom line for stress in the body is the production of the hormone cortisol, and cortisol, unfortunately encourages the body to deposit more fat at our bellies.
Genes can be a major factor in belly fat and obesity.
Women with PCOS have a higher amount of visceral fat than women who don’t have the disorder. It’s unclear whether the mechanism of PCOS is from hormones promoting weight gain or weight gain promoting hormone dysfunction.
Managing these factors with an effective diet and exercise program including resistance training can help you develop a toned healthy body.
We will share their diet & exercise recommendations next week in continuation of this article so stay tuned in.
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