Belly Fat: 8 Possible Reasons Why You Accumulate It

It’s important that you know the possible causes of belly fat build up so you can find the solution that’s right for you. Read more here!
Belly Fat: 8 Possible Reasons Why You Accumulate It

Last update: 20 May, 2022

Most people have to fight belly fat constantly. This is because the fat in this part of the body is easy to accumulate and hard to remove.

The abdomen is one of the areas of the body that can change the most and putting on fat there can negatively impact your health.

Research has shown that abdominal fat isn’t just an aesthetic problem – it can cause bone density loss, putting you at risk of osteoporosis and increasing your change of developing asthma. That’s why it’s important that you know the possible causes of belly fat build up so you can find the solution that’s right for you.


Researchers at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute determined that genetics can increase our risk of storing fat in different parts of the body.

Other studies have also shown that genetics play an important role in relation to how full each person feels.

People who are genetically predisposed to eat more also tend to accumulate more abdominal fat. And if other members of your family have problems with this issue, you might also be more likely to build up belly fat.

Not getting enough sleep

People who don’t get enough sleep tend to consume more calories and store more abdominal fat. When you’re sleep deprived, your levels of the hormone leptin decrease, while levels of ghrelin increase. Both of these may cause weight gain.

According to some studies, people who only sleep for six hours a day have nearly a 27% more likelihood of being obese than those who sleep more than nine hours.

Read more here: 5 Tips to Burn Abdominal Fat by Improving Your Routine


Just like poor sleep, stress also causes hormonal changes that may end up causing weight gain.

According to Patricia Ramirez, a nutritionist, during stressful times our adrenal glands release hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. When cortisol levels increase, it triggers the storage of body fat, particularly in the abdominal region.

Lack of exercise

A woman exercising.
Getting regular exercise is one of the best ways to keep your metabolism active and burn more fat.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland found that exercise is a key part of achieving and maintaining an ideal weight. Burning fat through exercise is one of the best ways to ensure good cardiovascular health.

Poor diet

Eating foods that are high in carbohydrates and fats is another possible cause of the buildup of abdominal fat. Today’s supermarkets and restaurants are full of unhealthy options. As a consumer, you need to know how to identify them. Foods that are known to cause obesity include:

That’s why you need to outline a healthy diet for yourself that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and plenty of water.

Drinking too much alcohol

Excessive consumption of alcohol can cause weight gain because you’re just drinking empty calories. In a study published by the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that high alcohol consumption can make people 50% more likely to store abdominal fat.

Certain medications

Some medications can cause weight gain if they’re taken for too long. Drugs that are prescribed to treat diabetes, seizures, mood disorders, migraines, high blood pressure, steroids, birth control pills, and hormone replacement drugs are among the usual suspects.

However, not all of them cause weight gain, and the effects can vary from person to person.

Snacking between meals

While eating several small meals throughout the day is a recommended technique to aid weight loss and boost your metabolism, eating unhealthy snacks between meals can cause the opposite effect.

Foods like potato chips, cookies, and candy only increase your calorie intake.

Discover: Meal Tips to Help You Lose Belly Fat Without Starving Yourself

What else can you do to help fight belly fat?

Whatever is causing your abdominal fat to accumulate, you need to find a way to fight it in order to reduce your risk of suffering from the associated health problems. Some key ways to fight abdominal fat include:
  • Maintain a healthy diet.
  • Do cardiovascular and localized exercises.
  • Sleep at least eight hours a day.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Detox your body.
  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol.
  • Chew your food completely.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.