Genetics can play a significant role in the distribution of body fat, including belly fat. Studies have shown that some people are genetically predisposed to store more fat in their abdominal area, which can be more challenging to lose than fat stored in other areas of the body.
They found that 67.7% of belly fat is attributed to diet and other environmental factors, while 17.9% is influenced by our genes.
Causes include poor diet, lack of exercise, and short or low-quality sleep. A healthy diet and active lifestyle can help people lose excess belly fat and lower the risk of problems associated with it.
"Reducing belly fat takes a combination approach of a low-calorie diet that is high in fiber and low in (refined) carbohydrates and sugar along with cardiovascular and weight training," said Dr. Kashyap. "If you are willing to do the work, you can move past genetics and lose it."
Inheriting these genes from one parent elevates your odds of living with belly bulge, but if you get socked with a lot of genes from both sides, you may be at an even greater risk for belly pudge that won't easily budge. (Did you know you can do an at-home DNA test to find out if you have the gene?)
Even if you're thin, you can still have too much visceral fat. How much you have is partly about your genes, and partly about your lifestyle, especially how active you are. Visceral fat likes inactivity.
If your stomach sticks out even if you are skinny, you may need to change certain habits to try to get rid of it. In order to do so, first you need to figure out what causes your protruded belly. It may be the regular consumption of alcohol, stress, hormones, bad posture, recent pregnancy, bloating, or others.
Gaining weight solely in your stomach may be the result of specific lifestyle choices. The two S's — stress and sugar — play a significant role in the size of your midsection. Certain medical conditions and hormonal changes can contribute to abdominal weight gain.
Excess belly fat can be dangerous because it surrounds internal organs and puts you at greater risk for developing several kinds of health problems, including heart disease, diabetes and liver problems.
Research suggests that for some people, genes account for just 25% of the predisposition to be overweight, while for others the genetic influence is as high as 70% to 80%.
Gently press your stomach specifically around the swollen area. If your abdomen feels hard and tight, it means you are bloated. Generally, our stomach is soft and spongy and it remains the same even after gaining weight. If you can easily gasp an inch of your stomach, it can be due to excess of fat.
People who are naturally thin can have the same size or even larger stomachs than people who battle their weight throughout a lifetime. "Weight has nothing to do with the size of the stomach.
A waist circumference of more than 35 inches in women and more than 40 in men indicates an unhealthy amount of visceral fat. Measure your belly at the level of the navel, not at the narrowest part of the torso.
The hard belly is caused by the build-up of visceral fat, a soft belly is caused by subcutaneous fat, which is located near to your skin. Subcutaneous fat makes your belly jiggly, unlike the visceral fat. One cause behind the build-up of visceral fat could be your genetics.
If you notice your stomach tends to become more round after meals or the puffiness seems to come and go, it's more likely you're dealing with bloating. However, if your rounder stomach is consistent and you've been dealing with it for a while, it's more likely to be caused by fat.
Also called a “beer belly,” it means you have more fat stored around your stomach, while your lower body stays thin.
One reason belly fat is so hard to lose is that it's considered an “active fat.” Unlike some fatty tissue that simply sits “dormant,” belly fat releases hormones that can have an impact on your health — and your ability to lose weight, especially in the waist and abdomen areas.
There are a few reasons that someone's stomach can stick out. The first is body fat levels, and the second is metabolic dysfunction (linked to heart disease, diabetes, etc.), and the third is related to posture.
If you eat too much and exercise too little, you're likely to carry excess weight — including belly fat. Also, your muscle mass might diminish slightly with age, while fat increases.
Resistance training becomes increasingly important as we age, for many reasons, including reducing the accumulation of belly fat. A study published in a 2013 issue of the International Journal of Cardiology showed that high-intensity resistance training induces faster belly fat loss than cardio activity alone.
What should your waist measurement be? For men, a waist circumference below 94cm (37in) is 'low risk', 94–102cm (37-40in) is 'high risk' and more than 102cm (40in) is 'very high'. For women, below 80cm (31.5in) is low risk, 80–88cm (31.5-34.6in) is high risk and more than 88cm (34.6in) is very high.
To have your best chance at maintaining good health, you should aim for: Men should have a waist circumference of 40 inches or less. Women should have a waist circumference of 35 inches or less.