What Really Causes Belly Fat?

What Really Causes Belly Fat?

There are many points in our lives where we can find ourselves struggling a little with our weight or body shape. Sometimes no matter how much you reduce the fat on your body, it can stick around on your belly. This is because not all fat is made equal.

If you find that fat tends to collect on the lower parts of your body, such as your bottom or thighs, then you’d be described as having a pear-shaped body. This type of fat is subcutaneous. This type of fat sits nearer the surface.

If you find that fat collects around your abdomen, then you’d be described as having an apple-shaped body. A good portion of this fat is likely to be visceral fat. This is fat that surrounds your organs.

Having larger amounts of visceral fat is associated with a range of health risks. So there is good reason to learn more about it if you have an apple-shaped body. So what decides if you develop belly fat?

Factors That Cause Belly Fat

Genes and Hormones

A definite factor in your body shape is your genetics. Your genetic makeup may increase the rate at which your body produces visceral fat. One of the mechanisms behind this is your hormone levels. This is why some people’s body shapes and ability to maintain a healthy weight varies with age.

As you age, your hormone levels change and are somewhat responsible for the phenomenon of middle-age spread.


Unfortunately, if you get the balance of calories in and calories out wrong and consume more calories than you burn off, you will gain weight. If you have the body type where fat collects around your middle, then the last place you lose it is there. It’s also likely to be the first place that you gain it back as well.


It’s common for people who drink a lot of beer to develop that easy to spot paunch that overhangs their belt. A ‘beer belly’ is common in those who drink alcohol for two main reasons. The first is that alcoholic drinks contain a lot of calories. If you have a few drinks on an evening, you could easily be drinking as many calories as you’d normally eat for dinner. The extra calories will lead to more fat being stored in the body. Often this ends up on the waist.

The other problem with drinking alcohol is that your liver will use alcohol for energy over fat. So if you have alcohol in your system, then your body won’t bother burning fat; that will get stored instead.

Poor Sleep

Most people don’t get enough sleep. This can be very detrimental to your mental awareness and your health and well being. It matters when it comes to belly fat because it affects your eating and exercising habits.

Losing even an hour of sleep can lead to an increase in appetite. Basically, when you’re tired, you will turn to food to make up for this energy deficit. You are likely to eat more, and often fatty, sugary foods.

Your body drives you to make this decision because the sugar rush from these foods temporarily gives you an energy boost. It can compensate for the tiredness but at the cost of your calorie count for the day.

How To Remove Fat From Belly

If you are trying to remove belly fat, you are likely being bombarded by fad diets and exercise programs that promise to melt the fat away. Unfortunately, the truth is that there is no simple answer, no silver bullet that will allow you to quickly shed the weight from exactly where you want. It all comes down to making healthy choices.


If you want to lose fat from any part of your body, ultimately, it comes down to what you eat compared to what you do. To reduce that fat from your belly, you need to burn fat, which means having a calorie deficit. There are many ways to go about achieving that.

The best options are ones that are sustainable. Banning yourself from eating certain foods may work in the short term but is likely to be unsustainable.

A good tactic to take is to make small swaps. Gradually find lower-calorie alternatives for the foods you love. Eating more whole grains and finding more sources of fibre for your diet are all good places to start.

If you want support with diet and exercise advice, alongside medically prescribed solutions, our weight loss clinic can help.


Once you feel confident in your healthy eating, the next step is to look at your exercise plan. The first step is to get into the habit of exercising. Make it part of your routine to be active every day for between 30-60minutes. Just adding in moderate-intensity exercise for this amount of time every day can make a dramatic difference.

Try a mix of exercises. When you’re aiming to reduce the fat on your body, it can be tempting to stick to cardio workouts that get your heart racing and have a satisfying calorie burn. But there are a lot of benefits to adding strength training into your workout program. While you are training, you’ll likely burn fewer calories than if you’d done a cardio workout. But, you will burn more calories over the course of the whole day. This ‘afterburn’ is especially great for folks who like to exercise in the morning.
There’s no need to focus too heavily on ore exercises. Building muscles around your belly can tighten the area and add some definition, but it won’t mean you burn more fat from that area.

How To Get Rid Of Stubborn Belly Fat

Sometimes no matter how much diet and exercise you do, there are may still be some areas of fat that remain. If you have gone down the diet and exercise path and have reached a healthy weight but can’t shift the bits of fat around your belly that is bothering you, there is an option.

VASER is a minimally invasive type of liposuction that a skilled surgeon can use to remove the last bits of belly fat that diet and exercise can’t touch. It’s not an alternative to healthy living, but it’s a supplementary treatment that can help to sculpt your body and remove stubborn fat cells for a desirable shape and contouring. VASER can also sculpt around your abdominal muscles to create a toned, muscular appearance.

If you’d like to discuss your options in removing stubborn belly fat, our team are here to support you and find the right solution for your needs. Book your free consultation with Dr Mike Comins today here.

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