For many of us, belly fat has become the number one scourge of both our good health and appearances. It’s stubborn, it slows us down and it wreaks havoc on many a man’s or woman’s self-esteem. Belly fat makes us gaze with hopeless longing at the slim, beautiful models who grace the pages of our favorite magazines and shy away from sexy summertime clothing that we wish we could wear.
It is this longing to look and feel better that has spawned one of the biggest and most successful industries in the developed world – the diet industry. Makers of magic weight-loss pills and fat-burning detox programs make it sound so easy.
1. Not Sleeping Makes Your Belly Grow
Sleep-deprivation is a big problem for a lot of people and while you may not realize it, lack of sleep can have a direct effect on the size of your waistline for a couple of reasons. Being tired makes us more likely to make unhealthy food choices such as drinking too much caffeine or partaking in sweets in an effort to catch and maintain that ‘sugar-high’ to get you through the day.
2. Worrying About Belly Fat Makes It Worse
Stress is probably the biggest hidden cause of weight-gain and retention of fat around the midsection. When we experience stress of any kind, our bodies respond by producing two hormones – adrenaline and cortisol. The former provides a rush of energy which facilitates the instinctive fight or flight response. The latter then instructs us to replenish that lost energy (even if we didn’t really use it) by eating. A lot.
3. Poor Digestion Hinders Weight-Loss
Check out these warning signs to determine the status of your gut. If you believe that you do indeed have some form of digestive malfunction, you may want to speak with your doctor about getting a professional diagnosis. You can also take steps to naturally improve your gut health by eating naturally probiotic foods.
4. Genetics May Be A Factor
Force yourself to smile while you get in your daily dose of physical activity. While this may sound utterly ridiculous, the physical act of smiling can actually trick your brain into producing “happy hormones” which will i n turn create a positive experience for you.
6. Why Post-Pregnancy Belly Fat Lingers
In some cases it isn’t actually an over-abundance of belly fat which causes this appearance of a ‘fat stomach.’ Pregnancy can actually cause the abdominal fascia (the connective membrane which holds our abdominal muscles and organs in place) to become stretched out. Because it isn’t elastic like skin, over-stretched fascia doesn’t retract back to its original form, resulting in a permanent bulging tummy effect.