Belly Fat Overview: Causes, Diet Plan and Cure

Written by Sandra Green
Belly Fat Overview

Where you store fat in the body may be strongly connected to your risk for developing certain diseases like diabetes and those that involve the heart. Experts say that fat concentrated on the legs and butt area may be less dangerous when compared to that which is concentrated in the belly area. This is especially the case when it comes to older men and women. The big problem is that more people have fat concentrated in the belly area. In fact, about 50% of men and 70% of women in the US between the ages of 50 to 79 exceed the waist circumference threshold for abdominal obesity.

Causes of Belly Fat

The main cause of fat storage in the abdominal area is genetics. Most people store fat in this part of the body but most men are genetically predisposed to storing fat in the belly area. On the other hand, women are more likely to store fat in the thighs and buttocks. Unfortunately, some people have body types that are called “apple-shaped” wherein fat generally accumulates in the abdominal area.

Of course, the main cause of excess fat in the body is overeating and a sedentary lifestyle. Eating too many calories regularly causes weight gain and the tendency is that the fat will be stored in the abdominal area. A sedentary lifestyle is another major cause of belly fat. It all comes down to the number of calories you burn daily. Exercising helps you burn calories and prevent weight gain. If you don’t perform enough physical activities and consume a lot of calories then you will gain weight which often manifests in the expansion of your waist.

What Are Belly Fat Diet Plans?

If you want to lose belly fat, you have to understand the basics of calories. Weight gain and weight loss are all about calories. Consume lesser calories than your body needs and you will lose weight. On the other hand, when you consume too much calories then you will gain weight. Avoid skipping meals since it can lead to binge eating and overeating later on. You also need to drink plenty of water which can help you feel full faster and for a longer time period. There are many kinds of diet for reducing fat in the abdominal area but the general idea is to create a daily caloric deficit or consume fewer calories than required by your body.

7 Effective Ways to Reduce Belly Fat

1. Don’t Skip Meals:

As previously mentioned, skipping meals is something you should never do. This is because when you are starving, the body’s natural response is to hold on to its fat stores making weight loss more difficult. This means that it will become more difficult to reduce belly fat. The body instead burns muscle for energy which can decrease your metabolism.

2. Increase Vitamin C Intake:

When the body is under a lot of stress, it secretes more cortisol which is referred to as the stress hormone. There are many studies indicating that cortisol promotes the storage of fat in the abdominal area. This is why there is a close connection between stress and belly fat. Vitamin C helps control stress levels in the body. Also, vitamin C plays a crucial role in the body’s production of carnitine which is a compound used by the body for turning fat into energy. You can take a vitamin C supplement daily or just add oranges, bell peppers and kiwi to your diet.

3. Sleep:

If you want to stay up to watch television or work overtime, you need to think again. This may get in the way of your goal to lose belly fat. When the body’s circadian or sleep cycle is off, the person’s natural response is to compensate by eating more. Lack of sleep also leaves you tired the next day which triggers cravings for fatty, sugary and unhealthy foods. You need at least 7 hours of sleep every night.

4. Drink Plenty of Water:

Water is a powerful tool for fighting belly fat. Drinking plenty of water helps you reduce food intake since it helps you feel full faster and for a longer time. Also, there are some studies indicating that water plays an important role in a person’s metabolism. One study also found that drinking a glass of water can increase the metabolism for a few hours.

5. Exercise:

The notion that abdominal exercises like sit-ups and crunches are the most effective for reducing belly fat is just a myth. The best exercises for targeting belly fat are cardiovascular exercises and weight training which are very effective for weight loss. According to experts, the best way to target abdominal fat is through interval training or incorporating short bursts of high-intensity performance into any exercise you are performing like running or lifting weights. This kind of training helps you burn more calories up to 16 hours after your workout.

6. Supplements:

The problem with weight loss is that the results are usually very slow and insignificant. A great way to lose belly fat fast and lose more weight is by using dietary supplements for weight loss. Just make sure that the product you purchase is safe and effective. Natural supplements are the best option since they are safer and free from serious side effects. Look for supplements that can increase your metabolism, help control your appetite and increase energy level.

7. Surgery:

Surgery for weight loss or Bariatric surgery is only recommended for those who are dangerously obese. Liposuction and other procedures for reducing belly fat are also available. These are very effective and offer quick results but there are many disadvantages related to such procedures. The main problem with these procedures is that there are many possible complications that can even put the patient’s life in danger. Also, the cost is very high reaching up to thousands of dollars. This is why most people choose natural treatments or a combination of a reduced-calorie diet and exercising regularly.

What Experts Say About Belly Fat?

Experts describe belly fat as an active “organ” that continuously produces dangerous hormones and inflammatory substances. According to one research, abdominal fat breaks down easily into fatty acids that flow directly to the liver and muscles. When the excess fatty acids reach the liver, a reaction of changes is triggered. Production of LDL or “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides increases. It can also make insulin less effective in controlling blood sugar (insulin resistance). Basically, belly fat increases risk of many serious illnesses like heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis.


The fact of the matter is that 50% of adults in the United States have an unhealthy amount of abdominal fat. This is very alarming since belly fat has a strong link to serious health problems and diseases. It is very important to lose belly fat before you get older in order to reduce risks for serious diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Follow the tips mentioned above to help you reduce belly fat and avoid health problems in the future.


Contributor : Sandra Green ()

This Article Has Been Published on July 25, 2013 and Last Modified on May 14, 2014

Sandra Green writes for many blogs, which, considering where you are reading this, makes perfect sense. She is a freelancer and counselor with a keen interest in helping people lead a healthy and energetic lifestyle with the right information. You can follow her on Twitter.

View All

Take Action: Support Consumer Health Digest by linking to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (Click to copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite with clickable link.