Many women feel self-conscious about their belly fat. A tiny pouch in the belly may deflate your self-confidence, making you hesitate before wearing certain clothes or swimsuits. From a medical perspective, excessive lower belly fat can also lead to different health issues. Too much belly fat may increase your risk of experiencing heart diseases, strokes, diabetes, among other conditions.
Unfortunately, belly fat can be very stubborn and difficult to get rid of. It might take a while for any weight loss to occur, even with a steady routine of diets and exercises. For this reason, the SculpSure body contouring treatment at Beauty Med is quite popular. This treatment is effective at reducing unwanted fat in your body, including targeted areas in your belly, thighs, and back.
As you make progress on toning your body, you may be curious about what causes lower belly fat in females. There are certain foods, activities, and habits that may increase the development of belly fat. Let's learn more about the different lower belly fat causes.
Foods that cause belly fat
In a weight loss journey, many people develop the habit of counting the calories they eat and drink daily. The key to weight loss is making sure your body burns down more calories than what you consume. Otherwise, any excesses will be stored in your body as fat, particularly in the belly.
Eating too much food can result in more belly fat. What you eat and drink day after day will also make an impact as well. Certain foods and beverages are made with ingredients more likely to cause belly fat. You will want to minimize these foods in your diet to make the weight loss journey easier.
Here are some foods to avoid for belly fat:
Sugar – As you may have expected, sugar can make you gain lower belly fat. This ingredient is often found in the form of candy, soft drinks, and other processed foods or beverages. Soft drinks are particularly harmful since they contain lots of sugar. These beverages are also designed to make us feel hungrier after consumption.
Beer & Alcohol – Drinking one glass of red wine a day can be good for your health. However, drinking too much beer and other types of alcohol daily can harm your body's fat burning process. Excessive consumption may result in more lower belly fat.
Foods good for belly fat
Did you know there are bad fats and good fats with separate distinctions? Foods that contain trans fats are bad for your diet, while monounsaturated fats are considered healthy fats. Monounsaturated fats can actually help you get rid of your belly fat, as long as you consume them in moderation.
Below are some examples of foods that have good fats, considered useful for burning belly fat:
- Olive oil
- Fatty fish
In addition to the above foods, one of the best ways to target belly fat in women is to eat a balanced diet. Plan your meals thoughtfully, making sure that you include a variety of vegetables, fruits, and other nutritious cuisine. What you eat and drink has a significant impact on losing lower belly fat in the long term.
Belly fat after pregnancy
When a woman is pregnant, her uterus enlarges. This means her abdominal muscles stretch so the baby will have space to develop. After she has given birth, it will take time for her uterus to shrink back to its previous size. It will also take time for her muscles to go back to their initial state as well.
Some of the weight gained during the pregnancy can be difficult to lose. All these conditions combine to create stubborn belly fat in women. Fortunately, the situation can be corrected with a healthy diet, gentle core compression exercises, and body contouring treatments at Beauty Med.
Stress and belly fat
Excessive stress can cause a variety of health issues, including lower belly fat in women. When we are stressed and anxious, our brain releases a hormone commonly known as cortisol. The cortisol hormone affects our metabolism, which leads us to crave food and especially junk foods. That's why many women turn to snacks, desserts, or sweets during stressful moments, such as before an important exam.
Any extra calories we consume from stress eating are stored as fat, which will be transferred towards the belly. To avoid overeating, it's important to find healthy ways to manage your stress. A calm mind not only leads to better mental health, but it will also help with reducing belly fat!
Water retention and belly fat
While water is undoubtedly important for our health, it may intensify the appearance of existing belly fat. Water retention can make a woman's abdomen look puffy and bloated. In addition, the water retention can also be responsible for regular weight fluctuations. This issue occurs when the body holds onto water to balance its hydration levels.
Water retention can have different causes, including hormonal changes, menstruations, or pregnancy. This phenomenon may also occur if you eat too much sodium-rich foods. If you are struggling with water retention, it is a good idea to eat more protein and less salt.
Sleep and weight gain
Women who sleep less than five hours each night have a higher risk of gaining belly fat and weight. Research suggests that not getting enough sleep influences the hormones regulating our hunger. As a result, we tend to eat more when we are awake. Plus, a lack of sleep makes us feel exhausted, so we're less likely to exercise. Always try to sleep at least eight hours each night to have more energy and less appetite.
Sleeping too much, however, may also increase the chances of gaining belly fat. When you are constantly inactive, your body doesn't manage to burn all the calories available. Any excess calories are stored into fat instead. If inactivity is a problem, try to add some exercises to your routine. Even a simple 15-minute walk each day can make a difference in getting rid of lower belly fat.
Aging and belly fat
Finally, menopause can cause lower belly fat in women. When a woman reaches puberty, her body starts storing more fat in her thighs and hips. This is the body's way of getting ready for an eventual pregnancy.
When menopause starts, however, her estrogen levels drop. As a result, the excess fat is more likely to be stored in her lower belly than in her thighs and hips. It's very common for women to gain weight at the beginning of their menopause. Fortunately, regular exercise and a healthy diet can help to alleviate the problem.