8 Things Nobody Tells You About Belly Fat

By | May 28, 2023
8 Things Nobody Tells You About Belly Fat

These are 8 little-known things about belly fat, how it accumulates, and how to get rid of it. Getting a flat stomach can be very straight forward but there are some things that contribute to fat gain that most people aren’t aware of. Many people are looking for the best exercises to reduce belly fat but exercises typically don’t contribute as much to fat reduction as diet.

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We’re told that Belly fat is unhealthy, unattractive, and based solely on eating too many calories. The common perspective is that anyone can lose their gut and replace it with 6-pack abs just by dieting and working out consistently. And while there is a lot of truth to this it’s not entirely accurate and there are many things that nobody really talks about when it comes to belly fat whether it’s trainers, influencers, or even doctors. 
Starting first with genetics which plays a SIGNIFICANT role. Specifically, we can refer to a study from Uppsala University which found that genetic factors significantly influence fat distribution in the body. (1) The research involved nearly 360,000 participants and found that men accumulated more fat around the abdomen while women tend to store more fat on their hips and legs. Using data from the UK Biobank, the researchers identified almost 100 genes that influence the fat distribution, and many of those effects were stronger or exclusively present in one gender over the other. Another well-known factor that influences body fat distribution in men is testosterone. An older study and analysis published in the International Journal of Obesity found that “Recent studies in men have shown that abdominal fat increases with age and decreasing testosterone concentrations” (2)

The good news is that, even if you happen to be more predisposed to storing fat around your midsection, you shouldn’t use it as an excuse. You still can get a lean midsection. It just might be a bit harder because your body will burn that fat only after it has burned off the fat from the rest of the body. If you are more likely to store fat around your midsection you’ll first likely burn the fat from your extremities like your hand’s feet and face. Next will be your arms and legs and eventually it should come off your hips and belly. Since your body’s preferential fat storage patterns are likely different than someone else’s I always say you should compare your results to yourself only by measuring with a tape measurer, a scale, and how you look in the mirror. As long as you are making progress regardless of how small keep moving in that direction and the belly fat will eventually come off.

Another myth about belly fat that has been increasingly coming to light is the myth of spot reduction. Even though far fewer people believe in this nowadays there are still countless people in every gym around the world doing crunches right now believing that they can target and spot reduce their belly fat. But especially lately the academic world has made it crystal clear that you can’t shed belly fat solely through ab exercises. For example in a study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, participants engaged in four hours of ab training per week for six weeks. Yet, despite their hard work, the ab exercises resulted in no significant belly fat loss or overall fat reduction in general. The researchers concluded, “There was no significant effect of abdominal exercises on body weight, body fat percentage. . . abdominal circumference, abdominal skinfold, and suprailiac skinfold measurements.” To put this into simple terms, chasing a toned and trimmed midsection by only performing endless crunches and sit-ups is essentially a complete waste of time. Instead, your primary focus should be on your diet. Make sure that you’re in a calorie deficit, that you’re eating real unprocessed foods found around the outside aisles of your grocery store and you should also be getting enough protein while performing resistance training at least 3 to 4 times a week. That’ll help you get rid of belly fat while maintaining muscle mass.

Next, you probably don’t know that Vitamin D has a direct connection to belly fat. That’s right studies have found that individuals with lower levels of vitamin D tend to have higher levels of belly fat and larger waistlines. (5) Vitamin D is produced in the skin upon contact with sunlight and it plays many important roles in the human body which is why its been linked to protection against heart failure, diabetes, and cancer. However, the crazy thing is that Over 40% of the US population is vitamin D deficient, which some authors call “an ignored epidemic.” So you’re probably thinking Why does vitamin D cause higher levels of belly fat? Well, even though we need more research to say for sure there are a couple possible reasons for this connection. First, vitamin D is involved in the regulation of insulin….