Where you gain fat and how easy it is to lose belly fat is somewhat influenced by genetics. Our genes actually determine how many fat cells we have and where these fat cells are stored. Most men usually deposit fat in their abdominal area, which is a result of the action of the male hormone, testosterone. The stress hormone, cortisol also stimulates belly fat. Women are prone to depositing fat on their hips, thighs and buttocks, which is down to the effects of the female hormone, estrogen. For this reason, a woman’s body shape changes and belly fat increases after the menopause when estrogen levels decrease. Though men tend to have more belly fat than women, they generally lose belly fat faster as a result of regular exercise.
Apart from the genetic factor, a person’s body type also plays a major role in determining the speed of belly fat loss.
- Apple body types are at greater risk of health issues than pear body types.
An apple-shaped person is someone who has a significant amount of fat in the abdomen, has a large waist, and has normally slimmer legs and arms. If you are apple-shaped, you are prone to having a lot of visceral fat, which increases your risk for heart disease.
A pear-shaped body type is prone to a smaller waist but larger hips and legs. If you are an overweight pear-shaped person, you may still have higher than ideal levels of visceral fat. However, your risk for heart disease is usually lower because you deposit more fat in your extremities. Therefore, you have less toxic fat that produces dangerous hormones and byproducts around your organs.
It’s a fact that every body type should strive towards maintaining a healthy weight and losing abdominal fat. But, for the apple-shaped type, it’s even more critical to lose weight in order to prevent future disease risks. This body type should adopt a diet and workout regimen specifically aimed at losing excessive belly fat.
- The slim type can be an unexpectedly dangerous body type.
The hidden danger with slim people is that because of their weight, they are often unaware of having too high a percentage of visceral fat, which puts them at risk for complications associated with this excess fat around the middle. Thus, if you are the slim type, i.e. if you’re already at or close to an ideal weight, make sure you assess your body proportions. Taking a tape measure and determining your waist-to-hip ratio is a good way to see whether you’re at risk. And if you’re at risk even though you’re already thin, reducing your belly fat can help to improve your waist-to-hip ratio.
- After-pregnancy body types can get rid of the excess belly fat.
Although possible, losing belly fat after pregnancy can be quite time-consuming as your belly cannot go back to normal overnight. If you’ve just had a baby, it’s good to remember that not only is normal weight gain associated with pregnancy, but stomach muscles have been stretched and expanded for nine months. In case you are breastfeeding, don’t cut down on your food intake or lose weight too quickly as this will have an impact on your milk production for your baby. Take time to establish a breastfeeding schedule with your baby before putting yourself on a weight loss regimen. And be sure to consult your physician before making changes to your diet while breastfeeding.
Still, if you aren’t breastfeeding, you can target a faster rate of weight loss. Anyway, your expectations must be realistic as a new baby brings along numerous challenges, including sleep deficiency, reduced meal planning, and even stress-related eating.
- Post-menopause body types cope with changing body proportions.
The onset of menopause brings about many changes for women, including slower metabolism and greater midsection. Body proportions change, even if a woman keeps the same weight throughout menopause. This can largely be attributed to hormone changes incurred by menopause, which lead to an increase in body fat and a loss of lean muscle mass.
Simply because you’re going through or have gone through menopause, which is inevitable, you don’t have to put up with increased belly fat.
- The male body type is more prone to having excess belly fat.
Similar to women, men start to lose muscle mass with age, particularly if they’re leading and inactive and sedentary life. In your 40s and beyond, hormonal imbalances (such as changes in testosterone and estrogen levels) may lead to lean muscle mass loss and fat gain, especially around your waistline. Men are more likely than women to have excessive levels of belly fat. Therefore, they are at a higher risk of diseases and disorders related to visceral fat. Various factors, including lifestyle choices, such as inactivity, poor diet, and excessive alcohol intake, can contribute to excessive visceral fat.