5 basic causes of lower belly fat

lower belly fat

There are many reasons why your lower belly fat is jelly-scious.

You probably know how you got into this situation.

Or, you have an inkling on what are the causes.

There’s no better time to start reducing your belly fat.

There are many causes, and every individual is different.

Regardless of the cause, the good news is that you can get rid of your belly fat.

So, what are the causes of lower belly fat?

5 causes of lower belly fat you need to fix to get abs of steel

causes of lower belly fat

There are 5 things you need to fix in your life that will make a significant difference to your overall health. 

When you fix these problems, not only will you lose your belly fat but also be healthy.

1. Oversleeping and undersleeping

woman sleeping

The Sleep Research Society did a 5-year study on how sleep affects obesity. Participants under 40 years old who slept less than 5 hours and more than 8 hours gained weight. 

While people who slept 6 to 7 hours maintained their bodyweight. Over 40 years of age did not record any significant change in body mass in varying sleep durations.

[source: Sleep Duration and Five-Year Abdominal Fat Accumulation in a Minority Cohort: The IRAS Family Study]

Aim to sleep for 6 to 7 hours a day. If you are not able to sleep for more than 5 hours, try catching up by having an hour nap during the day.

If you have trouble going to bed early, try working out before bed. Now, you don’t just half-ass the workout. You need to push the intensity up a notch to feel tired.

Also, don’t drink coffee after 4 PM if you plan to sleep at 10 PM advises The Journal Of Clinical Medicine. The effect of caffeine on your body lingers for at least 6 hours.

[source: Caffeine Effects on Sleep Taken 0, 3, or 6 Hours before Going to Bed]

2. Stress

woman stressed

Why do people handle stress differently? Some go out of whack, and some go in their comfort zone like it’s their zen. 

Well, our adrenal glands produce cortisol in times of stress. Your cortisol stays elevated if you can’t handle stress properly.

If you produce high levels of cortisol, you will increase your intake of foods high in fat or foods filled with sugar or both. There may also be a connection to how much food you eat and the amount of cortisol you produce. Hence, some tend to overeat more in times of stress, which causes obesity.

[source: Stress and abdominal Fat: Preliminary Evidence of Moderation by the Cortisol awakening Response in Hispanic Peripubertal Girls]

How do you handle stress? That was the question given to me during a job interview. To which I answered, I never get stressed. And I persisted with that answer. Of course, I didn’t get the job.

Truthfully, I was young, and I’ve never been in a situation where my stress level has been so high that I would go into panic mode.

I am one of those people that is very chilled and don’t stress too much on little things. But when crap hits the fan, my grey hairs come out.

The following is how I deal with stress:

  • Take things one step at a time. Fix one problem and move on to the next. If you can’t fix it, oh well. Some things are just out of your control.
  • Learn how to say no and prioritize. If John wants to go for a drive because he is bored out of his mind, but you have work to finish, tell John to do it next time. If he refuses, ask him to buy a dog. You will be super stressed if you are on a very tight deadline. If you are always saying yes to things that add more stress, your life will be constant chaos and unhealthy.
  • You can use exercise to help relieve stress. Pump up your favorite tunes and workout. I love shadowboxing because I get to imagine my stress in front of me and punching it in the face. A punching bag is also suitable for this type of treatment; make sure you wear gloves.
  • Hang out with friends. It’s funny how humans are social creatures, and a little bit of interaction can help change the mood significantly.

3. Overeating


My family can attest to this; my biggest problem is that no matter how full I get, I always have room for desserts.

You know the food is so good when you can’t stop shoving it in your mouth. You also want seconds because the first was a warm-up. 

If you are like me who loves to binge on food, you know what I am talking about. And you know that it’s how to tip the scale.

Look, gaining weight is all about the imbalance between daily energy and energy output. If you are eating more than your daily recommended intake, you will increase belly fat.

4. Eating junk

woman eating junk

Junk food is addictive. Sugar is addictive. Once you pop a Pringle, you can’t stop. When you become addicted, the more you’ll end up overeating, which will result in weight gain. 

If you don’t want to gain fat, you need to stay within your daily recommended calorie intake. 

Avoiding junk food can be hard when it’s easily accessible, or your other half keeps buying them “for the kids.” I know it’s for the kids, but the Ferrero Rocher keeps calling out to me.

It will go a long way if you don’t have any junk food lying around in the house. The best way to avoid munching on crisps or ice creams is not to have it in the first place.

5. Inactivity

watching tv

Move it or gain weight. If you love to just sit in bed reading books, binging on Netflix, playing games all night, you are likely to gain belly fat.

Inactivity and eating junk go well together. When you watch movies, you usually accompany this with some sort of food or beverage. 

Even when you are playing games at night, the longer you stay up, the more you will likely eat. Stacking more calories and making you gain a considerable amount of weight.

Causes of lower belly fat recap

There are 5 major causes of lower belly fat, and they are manageable. You need to tackle each one to lose your belly fat and prevent it from coming back.

I know it’s hard to change, especially when it comes to food. However, it’s crucial that you stop overeating and indulging in junk food.

You also need to get moving and be active. There are many ways you can eliminate inactivity. First of all, you need to get off the couch.

If you can’t help but binge-watch, why not incorporate a quick 10 minutes strength training in between boredom?

Make it a 3 quick 10 minutes, and that’s 30 minutes of strength training under your belt. And it’s most likely a 2-hour movie so why not do another 30 minutes of cardio. 

Stressing will likely increase your already jelly midsection. The more you stress, your appetite for sugary, and fatty foods increases. Learn how to negate the stress in your life.

Sleep plays a vital role in weight gain. Studies have found that sleeping less than 6 hours leads to weight gain. And sleeping more than 8 hours produces an increase in weight. 

Aim to sleep for 6 to 7 hours. 

Fix all these things, and you will see your abs in no time. 

For a complete detailed guide, look into this article to turn your belly fat into a 6-pack lean ironing board.