Health Tips

What Causes Belly Fat: Common Reasons

For many people around the world, belly fat is a huge problem. It compromises your looks and develops various chronic diseases inside you. The risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even the possibility of some types of cancer can increase due to belly fat. The belly fat, called visceral fat, surrounds your vital organs to increase the risk of such diseases. Today, we will discuss how your belly fat is developed; you may find a solution to avoid these conditions to live a healthy and incredible life. 

Here are some of the common reasons that cause belly fat. 

Overeating and Poor Dietary Habits

When there is an imbalance between how many calories you consume and how many you burn, belly fat is destined to develop. If you burn more calories than you consume, your body will have less energy. On the other hand, when you are consuming more calories than burning, fats build up in your abdomen. For each pound of fat, you need to cut off about 500 calories a day. 

You can start by cutting junk food. Some ways to prevent your junk food craving are- drinking a lot of water, eating frequent small portions of healthy food to stop being hungry, planning your daily meals, not going outside hungry, and practicing  mindful eating

Junk foods contain higher calories than your veggies. Remove cookies, french fries, and soda at first, then replace them with low-calorie food like brown rice, apples, and broccoli. These foods are rich in nutrients and keep you full for longer.

Even if you are not consuming a lot of junk food, poor diet choices may still contribute to your body fat. You need to eat a balanced diet that includes a sufficient amount of carbs, protein, greens, and vitamins. 

Junk food


Aging is one of our enemies that snatches away our youth and leaves us with bulky bodies. With the increase of our age, our muscle mass declines, and our metabolism is slowed. Therefore, we don’t burn as many calories as we used to. 

This often results in eating up the same amount of food yet cranking up the scales. What’s more, this age-related weight is stored around the belly. So, to prevent this age-related bulking, you need to cut back on calories or associate muscle-building exercise with your fitness routine.

Genetic Reasons

Some people may experience belly fat even if they exercise regularly or consume the right amount of calories. In such cases, it may be caused by your genes. Our genes determine our metabolism and how we burn the calories in our bodies

If you see some other family member is struggling with losing weight, it may be a hint that you have this genetic marker. However, you can control your weight with the right exercise and diet, even if it runs through your genes. 

Hormone Changes

This is a prominent reason for females to gain weight after menopause. The loss of estrogen is the primary cause of gaining weight for females after menopause. 

Previously the fat that was stored in the hips will start to cluster around your belly at this point. Genes, overeating, loss of muscle mass will also contribute in this manner. This will not only make you gain weight but also increase the risk for heart disease.

Lack of Physical Activity

If you are doing a desk job, it may be a crucial factor in your weight gain. When you move less, the calories you consume will store in your body in the variation of fat. To avoid this kind of belly fat, there’s no alternative to exercise. You can either put yourself to 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise for a fit body. So, don’t be lazy; take your dog to walk once in a while.

On top of that, not being engaged in physical exercises often contribute to extra fat in your belly. If you don’t exercise, your body won’t burn the extra calories. This will make the fat stored in your body. 

Lack of Quality Sleep and a Healthy Sleep Cycle

There are certain hormones that make your stomach feel full. However, if you sleep less, they lose their ability to work properly. For this reason, when you get less sleep, you feel more hungry. As you feel more hungry, you’ll eat more and gain some serious pounds, especially in your belly. Most of our comfort foods contain high calories, and we tend to eat them when we lack sleep. 

You also need to maintain a healthy sleep cycle. The natural sleep cycle for humans is 70-110 minutes. You need to complete at least 4-5 sleep cycles to lead a healthy lifestyle. Incomplete sleep cycles makes you tired, and you will feel the urge to eat more when that happens. 

Stress Eating

Stress is a serious condition for both your body and mind. When you are under high stress, your body craves high-calorie foods. Therefore, you gain some extra pounds, and the stress hormone makes it gather around your belly. It can also keep you awake at night, which is another way of gaining weight. 



Some people simply have issues with metabolism. Metabolism includes two parts- anabolism and catabolism. While the former is responsible for body mass build-up, the latter takes care of the burning process. When these two are not balanced, your body is left with extra fat. 

In some instances, people tend to have faster anabolism and slower catabolism. They build fat fast, but their metabolism can’t burn the fat as fast. These people need more physical activity and exercise than usual. The key is to take advantage of the anabolic process to build muscle mass instead of fat. 


If you are looking for a reason to quit smoking, this can be a major one. Even if a smoker has a lower body mass index than a nonsmoker, they are often seen to have a bigger belly. Smokers are more likely to gain belly fat, resulting in heart disease and various other health conditions. So for your own well-being, it’s time you quit smoking.


These are the few major causes of gaining belly fat. To have a healthy life and a sound body, it is crucial to watch our weight. With increasing body fat, our lives get riskier. Most of the time, we gain body fat from the poor choices we make. Therefore, make better choices for your own safety and well-being.


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