4 Contributing Factors To A Bigger Midsection

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There’s nothing wrong with carrying around a few extra pounds. But when those pounds seem to accumulate in your midsection and make you feel self-conscious, it’s time to make a change. Belly fat isn’t always the result of general weight gain — here are four reasons you might be carrying around a bigger belly and what you can do to combat it.

1. Bloated Belly

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If you start the day with a relatively flat stomach that grows bigger throughout the day and is accompanied by gas, cramps, and stomach pains, you’re likely bloated. A bloated belly could be the result of a food intolerance or not eating enough dietary fiber. Many people have food sensitivities to gluten and dairy, so you could try cutting those out to determine if they’ve been causing your stomach discomfort. You could also try adding more fiber to your diet and taking a daily probiotic supplement.

2. Booze Belly

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A booze belly is caused by alcohol consumption and produces a large, protruding, almost swollen-looking belly. If you regularly experience sugar cravings and back pain, it’s probably time to start cutting down on your alcohol intake. Alcohol is very high in calories, so when you do drink, opt for light or low-calorie versions instead. It’s also important that you exercise regularly and eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.

3. Hormone Belly

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Certain thyroid conditions, low estrogen levels (generally caused by menopause), and polycystic ovary syndrome can all create insulin resistance. Insulin resistance causes your body to crave sugar, which results in extra belly fat. If you suspect you have one of these conditions, you should consult with your doctor. However, eating more fiber and Omega 3s and cutting down on dairy consumption (which can cause inflammation) are all good places to start.

4. Stress Belly

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When your cortisol levels are high (due to stress), your body starts to store visceral fat. This in connection with the very real concept of “stress eating” can cause you to pack on the pounds around your midsection. To eliminate a stress belly, you need to practice healthy coping mechanisms for your stress. Instead of reaching for the junk food, try going for a walk or practicing yoga. You should also avoid caffeine and establish a consistent sleep schedule.