We have been shamed for not doing enough to stay fit, but exercise and a strict diet cannot solve all the problems.
The previous year has forced us all to change our lifestyle. Spending more time indoors with little to no physical activity has led to a sedentary lifestyle where we have all gained a few pounds. Your midriff may have become wider than it was in 2019. It is a totally normal thing to have happened. Even before the pandemic took a toll on our bodies and minds, we were being shamed for not doing enough to stay fit and in shape. But it is not always about exercise and neither does it always have something to do with the food we eat.
There are several other reasons why your tummy is round and why you seem to gain weight. This includes stress, hormones, childbirth, among other reasons. Here are five types of belly fat that are caused for different reasons and have different solutions.
An increase in the level of stress a person experiences can show up in the belly. As stress increases, so does the level of cortisol, which is known to be the cause of obesity, especially abdominal obesity. The fat is distributed mostly in the navel region and is hard to the touch. Stress could also trigger your need for comfort food, which may further get accumulated in your belly region. It will help to control your food intake, especially coffee and sugar consumption. If you do get the urge to eat, make sure the food is rich in magnesium like almonds or pumpkin seeds. Also, find a way to calm your mind and body by taking up yoga and meditation. Good sleep can help as well.
A hormonal belly is characterized by cushiony flab on the sides of your belly, commonly known as love handles. It can be a result of medical conditions such as hypothyroidism or PCOS. This fat can be dealt with through a low-fat diet and exercise. If your midsection continues to grow despite a healthy diet, it would be best to consult a doctor to check for underlying conditions. They may even prescribe suitable medication to treat the primary concern, if necessary.
As the name suggests, this is the belly of a mother who has just given birth. It is the "soft pooch that falls below a woman’s belly button after she has a baby," according to Healthline. It has less to do with fitness and more to do with the postpartum health of the mother. It can cause diastasis recti, which is a condition when the large abdominal muscles may separate. There are specific exercises that can fix the tummy, and a few to avoid after delivery.
Also known as "beer belly," it is the calories that you intake in the form of alcohol that adds up to form this paunch. Dietitian Susie Burrell said, "Alcohol-based weight gain leads to an overall larger belly that protrudes from higher up underneath the diaphragm." She added that it is closely related to problems of fatty liver. The obvious solution for this is to reduce the intake of alcohol and get a lot of exercises. A fiber-rich diet of fruits and vegetables will be effective to combat it.
You may have experienced a bloated belly at some point in your life. This is your belly's reaction to a bad diet or foods that you may be allergic to. Your body holds on to too much water or you feel gassy, making it an uncomfortable experience. Even though your tummy was fine in the morning, it becomes bloated by noon because of the intestinal gasses. This happens because of irritable bowel syndrome or acid reflux. Your best bet to get rid of the bloat, apart from avoiding certain foods that don't suit your system, is to exercise and do a lot of cardio. Getting a good night's rest can also help.
Cover Image Source: IllustrationDisclaimer : This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.