All belly fat is not the same for women. The way women put on excess fat around their belly depends on hormones, motherhood, stress, bad eating habits. To deal with this you need to cut back on processed foods, sugar and excess salt. Eating small meals and regular exercise goes a long way.
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The shape of your belly fat tells a lot about the kind of lifestyle you have; this is true especially for women. They, more than men, tend to put on excess fat in different ways around the belly. It is different for women because a woman’s body goes through changes at different stages in her life.
In such cases your metabolism slows down which means your body is unable to burn the calories which become fat that sit around your midriff.
The Types of fat
Body fat occurs when your body has larger fat cells than normal. You turn overweight. Excess fat can also cause many serious health problems especially diabetes, hypertension etc.
Our body generally stores two types of fat – 1. subcutaneous and 2. visceral. Subcutaneous fat is the one that is easily visible so we are more bothered about this kind of fat.
This fat accumulates below the skin and is more prominent around your thighs, hips and waist. Subcutaneous fat actually takes away the body tone and totally finishes off your natural toned shape.
While this is most visible, you don’t have to be so worried about this type as much as you should be about visceral fat. It is the invisible kind of fat that gets deposited between the organs in your abdomen.
This leads to slowing down of your metabolism which leads to glucose intolerance and increased lipid levels in the body. Visceral fat is actually related to many diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension etc.
When you are obese, it is a double whammy for you, since you are most likely to have both visceral and subcutaneous fat.
The cause of fat deposition in the body
Well, when you are body is unable to process the sugars into energy, you end up with fat. Fat is necessary for the proper functioning of the body, as it is the source of energy. However, when your body is unable to burn the same effectively that’s when you end up with the two types of fat depositions in your body.
Research shows that natural aging process, hormonal ups and downs, excess intake of sugar and trans-fat, and sedentary lifestyle all lead to deposition of visceral fat.
Signs that fat deposition in your body may be harming you include shortness of breath when climbing stairs or your clothes feel tight around your abdomen.
Types of belly fat deposition that women get
The pattern in which women put on weight around they abdomen depends on their lifestyle and certain conditions that their bodies go through. Check out here the kind of belly fat you may get or are already having, and what should you do about it:
1. Mommy’s belly fat
How it looks: A mommy’s belly falls low, below you actual waistline. All that fat, that your body accumulated to ensure you give birth to a healthy baby, tends to hang loose after you deliver. This also happens because your muscles get stretched when you are carrying. You might even feel a gap between the stomach muscles in your upper abdomen, which also feels loose.
What you should do: A month or so after delivery you should start regular belly workouts. If you are breastfeeding, then it is good news!
Your body will burn up extra fat to support your and your baby’s energy needs. If you eat right, along with doing lying leg raises, and boat pose from yoga, you should be able to get back the shape of your belly.
2. Stressed out belly fat
How it looks: The upper belly – just below your ribs – is expanded and bulges out when you sit or wear your shirts. You might get a sensation of discomfort and even breathlessness after a tiring day.
What you should do: This types of belly is caused by the stressful life you might be leading, and lack of proper sleep at night. Due to excessive fatigue your metabolism slows down and fat gets deposited on your upper abdomen.
Start sleeping at the right time and follow healthy sleeping habit including switching off from your emails and phone at least half hour before you hit the bed.
You can do low impact, yoga stretches to get your body to relax. It also helps you digest your food. Eat little early at night so that you are not discomfited by the digestion process. Avoid caffeine at night.
3. Hormonal belly fat
How it looks: Sudden weight gain around your lower belly, especially around your pelvic area is a sign of belly fat caused by hormonal imbalances. Many women suffer from PCOS, which might lead to lower belly extending out and falling low. This weight gain happens suddenly without any apparent cause.
What you should do: Consult your gynaecologist to find out if it is caused by PCOS or other feminine hormonal issues. Get a treatment for the same. Besides try eating lean proteins like fish and chicken, along with cruciferous green vegetables which is also high fibre.
Add antioxidant food like tomatoes and oranges to improve your body immunity. Try healthy juices, and smoothies. Include exercises that work on your lower belly, along with hip raises to tone the lower belly area.
4. Tiered belly fat
How it looks: You know you have tiered belly fat, when you find that your belly has two layers, with a bulging upper abdomen which dips near the belly button and then bulges out again. The fat sits all around your belly and hip area like a tyre.
What should you do: This is caused by a sedentary lifestyle and bad eating habits, especially alcohol and smoking. Say bye to those French fries and packs of salted chips if you want to fight this belly fat.
Include daily moderate-intensity exercise. Pick whole grain cereals like oats, brown rice, lean proteins like eggs and fish, along with vegetables. This kind of belly fat is toughest to lose – the progress might be slow but keep going at it.
5. Bloated belly fat
How it looks: The stomach looks distended with an increase in the overall girth of your abdomen. You get a sudden feeling of being very full. There is sense of tightness around your stomach. Your stomach looks completely round and extended forward.
What should you do: This is not so much due to fat as due to digestion disorder. You might notice this distension after certain foods. It follows a cyclic pattern where your stomach might be in normal shape in the morning, and increase in girth as the day progresses.
Just follow a balanced diet with foods and herbs that assist and regulate digestion and eliminate specific foods like dairy or gluten that might be causing or aggravating the problem.
What should you do about belly fat in general
When you start noticing that your belly fat is increasing, first move is to figure out the root cause. It could be any of the type mentioned above. This is important because each person gains fat in different ways and for different reasons.
As a rule, avoid smoking and alcohol if you want to fight belly fat. Add some moderate amount of exercise on a daily basis. You don’t have to hit the gym – go for a run or jog, dance, swim or do yoga to get your muscles moving.
Eat right. Small meals at regular intervals. Lots of fluids especially fruit-infused water. Add fruits, vegetables and lean proteins. Nuts and whole cereals are a must too.