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Here is how to gain weight while keeping a flat stomach, healthily:

For those of us who want to gain weight, we usually want the weight to go in all the “right” places. Unfortunately, we can’t control where the extra pounds go. While there is nothing wrong with a little happy weight, there are many who want to maintain or attain a flat stomach. It is inevitable to gain some stomach fat as you increase your overall body weight. But, there are exercises and certain foods choices that can help to limit fat accumulation in your stomach.

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Disclaimer: We are not medical professionals or experts. What is written throughout the content of our website is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical or professional advice. What you choose to do with the information provided is at your own risk and discretion. Before making any significant changes to your diet and / or lifestyle, be sure to contact your health practitioner.

1) Do targeted exercises:

When trying to gain weight and in general, exercise is necessary in upholding a healthier lifestyle. When it comes to gaining weight while trying to keep a flat stomach, your workouts are where you are going to be able to tone and trim your abdomen area, so it is best to make the most out of them. Furthermore, you are going to want to aim for targeted strength and cardio exercises that primarily burn calories in the stomach and waist, so you can maintain your gained weight elsewhere.

Aside from your stomach exercises, to gain weight elsewhere, you can further increase your overall body weight with strength exercises. These types of exercises promote exponential muscle growth with resistance-based and compound exercises. To advance your results with your workouts, it helps to gradually increase your weight load and number of repetitions as you progress.

Exercises that can help with how to gain weight while keeping a flat stomach:

Crunches

One of the more popular ab exercises, crunches are a highly productive way to tone and shape your core area, with the challenge being felt almost instantaneously.

Ab crunches are particularly more effective for attaining a flat stomach when trying to gain weight, because they concentrate solely on the abdominal muscles. There is also the cross-body crunch and crossed-leg crunch – both very effective variations of crunches.

Flutter kicks

Flutter kicks are another exercise that help with keeping a flat stomach when trying to gain weight. This exercise strengthens and tones the lower abdominal muscles, which can also help with trimming the waistline. Simply lay on your back with your arms flat alongside and motion each leg in an up/down scissor-like motion, keeping your core tightened the whole time. Use a resistance band for even more muscle engagement.

Planks

Elbow planks are a simple yet effective exercise to attain a flatter stomach. Planks are shifting most of your strength to your abdomen area to hold yourself up. There is no major movement involved, so you won’t burn an excess of calories elsewhere, helping to maintain your gained weight. You can also do a side plank, which helps with tightening the waistline and additional abdominal muscles.

Russian twist

This exercise engages all of your abdominal muscles. It is another at-home exercise that requires no type of equipment. Start with your heels placed on the floor and legs bent at the knees. Slightly lean back and keep your arms grasped in front of you. Then, begin twisting the torso on each side while keeping your arms grasped in front of you.

Leg lifts

Leg lifts do not require any equipment either but are certainly more beneficial with a leg lift machine you can find at the gym. Simply lay flat on your back with your arms parallel at your sides, and raise both of your legs up and down all the while keeping your arms and back level on the surface. This exercise really engages the abdominal muscles and is a beneficial choices of exercises when seeking how to gain weight while keeping a flat stomach.

2) Limit unhealthy carbohydrates

While healthy carbohydrates are a necessity in our diet, try to limit the unhealthy ones like sodas, fries, and other junk foods when trying to gain weight and maintain a flat stomach. These unhealthy foods, often times consisting of refined carbohydrates, contain added sugars that aren’t really used for the benefit of the body. Instead, these processed sugars can gather and contribute to the storage of the unhealthy kind of fats.

This can in turn inhibit progress when trying to attain a flat stomach. Incorporate healthier energizing foods like fruits, vegetables, and potatoes, into your meals that are fulfilling and nutrient-dense.

Foods that help with how to gain weight while keeping a flat stomach:

Almonds, walnuts, chestnuts

Nuts are known to be packed with calories but multiple health and nutritional benefits as well. This is why they make a great choice of snacks for those seeking how to gain weight while keeping a flat stomach. Almonds are one of the healthier nuts. These snacks contain high amounts of protein (great for the promotion of muscle growth), fiber, and calories.

Avocado, mangoes, peas

Fruits and vegetables are a very beneficial source of carbohydrates and other essential nutrients. They contain natural sugars like glucose that help to restore energy.

There are fruits and vegetables that also contain a decent number of calories, like avocados with around 300 calories per fruit, that can contribute to weight gain without accelerating belly fat accumulation.

Quinoa, whole wheat and whole grain foods

Whole wheat and whole grain foods can actually be beneficial for those seeking how to gain weight while keeping a flat stomach. The fiber content from whole wheat and whole grain foods tend to create a “full” feeling after eating. With the right food choices, meals with whole wheat/grains can give you the right amount of calories without speeding up belly fat accumulation. Just make sure to timely space out your meals when whole grains/wheat foods are involved to avoid possible bloating. Quinoa is a good choice as it is a complete protein food, meaning it contains all of the nine essential amino acids we need from our diet.

Chickpeas, beans

From the legumes family, chickpeas, black beans, and kidney beans are just a few healthy food alternatives. These small edibles are densely packed with nutrients including vitamins and minerals, protein, fiber, and more.

Because they are small yet nutrient-dense, you are getting a good amount of your necessary vitamins and minerals with a bonus source of calories.

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin A which is an antioxidant that helps to promote good bone and immune system health. You should consider adding sweet potatoes to your diet in the interest of gaining weight because they are a nutrient-rich, healthful source of calories. There are also a variety of recipes involving sweet potatoes to select from.

3) Maintain a caloric surplus

While trying to gain weight and maintain a flat stomach, you may forget to keep up your calorie intake for the rest of your body. The key to weight gain is maintaining a caloric surplus – consuming and retaining more calories than you burn off. For example, if your recommended daily calorie consumption is 1,800, you would need an additional 300-500 calories daily to gain weight, depending on your metabolism rate. There are many calorie calculators available online to view your specifics.

Consuming more calories is the first part to gaining weight. However, to limit the weight gain accumulating in your stomach area you are going to have to watch the kinds of foods you eat. As mentioned previously, nuts, avocados, and quinoa are a few good food choices because they are nutrient-dense, contain a decent number of calories, and give a fulfilling feeling without the bloating and accelerated belly fat accumulation. Weight gain shakes are another healthy alternative, as they contain plenty of calories and other necessary nutrients all the while still leaving room for the rest of your meals.

More tips for how to gain weight while keeping a flat stomach:

  • Be wary of waist trainers

You have probably seen or heard of waist trainers, with testimonies posted all over social media. They are supposed to help slim the waist with hardly any physical activity involved. Waist trainers do not cause fat to be burned unless there is some sort of exercise being done. Even then, there has not been enough research or evidence to confirm that they in fact do create a slim waist or flat stomach. Continual and prolonged use of waist trainers may even cause digestive issues and respiratory complications.

  • Avoid consuming foods too quickly or over-consuming

Another healthful tip for how to gain weight while keeping a flat stomach, is to avoid consuming foods too quickly. This can lead to bloating because the stomach has not been given time to fully digest and store nutrients. When trying to gain weight, one might be tempted to eat more in order to add the extra calories. However, if you want to attain a flat stomach, aim for nutrient-dense yet high-calorie foods that will supply you with enough calories but keep bloating at bay.

You also want to avoid an over-consumption of food when trying to gain weight but keep a flat stomach. As mentioned previously, the body does not have enough time to fully digest and can lead to bloating. Space out your meals timely so that your foods can healthily digest.

  • Weight gain supplements help

A good way to reach a caloric surplus for weight gain is through weight gain supplements. This includes weight gain shakes, protein bars, powders, etc. Take this protein powder here, it contains 1,250 calories per serving, along with an ample amount of protein. You can easily reach a surplus of calories for weight gain. Add other nutrient-rich foods alongside like fruits and veggies for more benefit. Just be sure that you are exercising while taking weight gain supplements to limit belly fat accumulation.

  • Avoid junk foods

Unsurprisingly, it is best to avoid consuming a lot of junk foods if you want to attain a flat stomach. Junk foods are filled with processed sugars and unhealthy fats. These components aren’t reused by the body for betterment. Instead, the sugars from junk foods can cause long term deposits of fat and an increased risk for certain diseases. This excess fat is commonly stored in the stomach area, so try to limit your consumption of junk foods.

With some of the best ways for how to gain weight while keeping a flat stomach in mind, here is how to gain weight with a fast metabolism

How To Get A Smaller Waist Fast Charushila Biswas Hyderabd040-395603080 January 13, 2020

If getting a smaller waist is on your mind, we can help. Sure, shedding fat from your waist and lower belly area is challenging. But with the right plan, you can steer yourself in the right direction. Keep reading to know the ways you can get a smaller waist quickly. Roll the scroll!

#1 Understand Your Body

This is the most important step – understanding your body type. If you are someone who gains weight quickly and finds it difficult to lose weight as quickly, your body type is endomorphic.

If both gaining and losing weight is easy for you, you have a mesomorphic body type. And, if gaining weight is difficult for you, you have an ectomorphic body type.

Depending on your body type, you may need less or more time to get a smaller waist. The mantra is to stay positive and keep doing the following.

#2 Alter Your Diet

You are what you eat. Increase your fruit and vegetable consumption to lose weight soon (1), (2). They are rich in antioxidants, dietary fiber, and minerals and low in calories (except high GI fruits and veggies). This makes fruits and vegetables perfect for weight loss.

Also, consume nuts, seeds, herbs, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats in the right portions (3), (4), (5).

Consume three servings of five different veggies per day. Try to have at least two servings of three different fruits per day. Snack on pistachios or a cup of cucumber/watermelon. Follow this diet to get the complete picture.

#3 Drink Adequate Water

Another important thing to do when you are trying to lose weight is to drink adequate amounts of water. Drinking 2-3 liters is recommended. Increase your water intake if you workout, sweat a lot, or live in hot weather conditions.

Staying hydrated helps to prevent your body from getting confused between thirst and hunger. This limits the tendency to overeat. Water also helps flush out toxins and boosts cell functions.

#4 Make Time For Cardio

To use up the calories you consume as well as the stored calories, you must exercise. Choose a form of exercise that suits your lifestyle and interests you. It can be dancing, cycling, kickboxing, running, walking, swimming, or playing sports.

We recommend exercising for 3-5 hours a week. Also, add strength training and HIIT to your workout routine to get a toned and fit body.

#5 Work On Your Upper Body

Apart from working on your entire body, it is important to work on your upper body as well. Do exercises that target your upper back, shoulders, and chest. Working on these muscles will help build lean muscle mass and make your upper body look toned. This, in turn, will make your waist look smaller.

#6 Target Your Waist And Lower Belly

You need to add a few exercises to your routine that will help tone your waist and lower belly. Here are a few exercises you may do:

  • Leg raises
  • Side lying leg raises
  • Mountain climbers
  • Spiderman mountain climbers
  • Vertical leg up crunches
  • Flutter kicks
  • Scissor kicks
  • Russian twist
  • Resistance band side bends
  • Kapalbhati
  • Plank

#7 “Wear” Your Waist Smaller

Think of peplum tops or a cool belt! You can also wear color block patterns to make your waist appear smaller. Crop tops are a no-no, but you may pair a knotted shirt/T-shirt with high waist jeans or jeggings to give your figure that hourglass look.

These are the 7 ways you can get a smaller waist. Do not act in haste, and do not stress out. Staying happy can help you lose weight faster than fretting about it. Lead a stress-free, healthy life, and you will see the results soon. Take care.

Referencess

    1. “The association of fruit and vegetable consumption with changes in weight and body mass index in Chinese adults: a cohort study.” Publich Health, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    2. “Fruit and vegetable intake and body adiposity among populations in Eastern Canada: the Atlantic Partnership for Tomorrow’s Health Study” BMJ Open, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    3. “Health Benefits of Nut Consumption” Nutrients, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    4. “Whole grain consumption and weight gain: a review of the epidemiological evidence, potential mechanisms and opportunities for future research.” The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    5. “The role of protein in weight loss and maintenance.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health

Recommended Articles:

    • 3 Simple Ways To Lose Upper Back Fat In A Week
    • 11 Simple Ways To Get A Flat Tummy In Just One Week
    • How To Lose Weight In Just A Week – 26 Simple Tips
    • 10 Best Gait Belts
    • This Remarkable Diet Can Make You Lose 10 Pounds In Just 3 Weeks!
    • 5 Tips To Lose 20 Pounds In A Week

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Latest posts by Charushila Biswas (see all)

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  • Are You Losing Weight Due To Stress? Here’s What To Do – April 4, 2019
  • 8 Best MCT Oils You Will Love When You Are On A Keto Diet – March 29, 2019

Charushila Biswas

Charushila Biswas is a Senior Content Writer and an ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist. She is an alumni of VIT University, Vellore and has worked on transgenic wheat as a part of her Masters dissertation from NRCPB (IARI), New Delhi. After completing her Masters, she developed a passion for nutrition and fitness, which are closely related to human psychology. And that prompted her to author a review article in 2015. She has written over 200 articles on Fitness and Nutrition. In her leisure time, Charushila loves to cook and enjoys mobile photography.

Hey lovelies, as summer gets closer, and the pool is calling your name, I thought we’d talk about that area that most women – and men too – hate… Their stomach. The area that many of us carry extra fat in, and that’s okay because today I’m letting you in on some information as to why you may have that little pooch, muffin top, a busted can of biscuits, whatever you call your stomach. Here are five reasons your waist is getting bigger.

You can train like a professional athlete, eat like a nutritionist, and log in your 8 hours of sleep, but still not have that thin waist you want for the beach. However, according to some new research there’s a reason or two behind that. So grab your notebook and get ready to take some notes on what may be causing that extra fat to stick around.

Your Diet Soda Habit

Who could’ve guessed I would start with soda? Here’s the thing, no matter whether it’s diet or not, it’s not good for you. It makes you dehydrated – making you retain water and causing bloat -, the carbonation from the soda creates gas in your stomach – back to the bloat -, and all of the excess artificial sweeteners. Plus if you’re thinking “well I only drink diet”, according to recent research you’re more likely to gain belly fat than your non-diet drinkers.

Diet soda fans on average drink about 1.5 cans per day, and pack on about 3.2 inches onto their waist over the course of nine and a half years. Meanwhile, non-diet drinkers gained less than an inch. The reasoning? The artificial sweetener found in diet soda prevents your brain from registering that you’re full when eating. Causing you to crave more sweets, and overeat during meals.

If you can’t seem to breakup with your soda, try switching to naturally flavored calorie-free seltzers. They’re made without any sweeteners, and by sipping the slightly tangy carbonated drink, it can mimic the soda experience. Or if you need your caffeine, try coffee, or tea.

Your Commute

The longer your commute to work is, the wider you waistline may be getting. The reasoning? A longer commute means less time to workout. Now, you may not be able to change how you get to work, but you can add activity to your commute by parking a mile or two away from your workplace, or train stop, and than walking, biking, or running the rest of the way.

You could also join a gym that’s on your way to work and keep clothes and sneakers in the car. Making it easier for you to hit the gym on your way back home, and giving you less of an excuse to not go.

Multi-tasking

Despite the fact that multitasking is supposed to be good for your productivity – it makes you less productive – it can be a contributor to your waist getting bigger. The reasoning? Those who can focus on a single task carried about a pound less of belly fat when compared to those who mind’s jumping between tasks continuously.

The theory behind this is that people who are mindful can view their feeling more objectively, and have a greater power to overcome urges – like resisting that fried food at lunch in favor of their run after work.

Enhance your power to focus on a single task by meditating, prating yoga, or engaging in endurance exercises, such as going for a long run, biking, or swimming laps. This encourages you to constantly focus on your pace, the way your body is moving, and how you’re feeling.

Watching TV and Eating

It’s no surprise that people who watch more than three hours of TV a day have significantly more belly fat than those who watch an hour or less a day – lying on the couch with your hand in potato chip bag isn’t exactly the formula for weight loss.

Plus by tuning into cooking shows, it increases your chances of gaining weight as well. People who watch food channels and cook the featured dishes weigh 10 pounds more than people who find recipes elsewhere. The reasoning? Cooking shows tend to show unhealthy recipes, but make viewers believe it’s okay to eat that way. My favorite sources for recipes when I’m wanting something new, is to look through cookbooks, magazines, and even friends and family.

Quality of Sleep

There’s numerous studies out there that show sleep deprivation can increase your cortisol levels. However a new German study found that the quality of your sleep matters, and that people who don’t sleep soundly have more fat. Waking up in the middle of the night because of snoring, nightmares, restlessness, etc happens more than you might think. We’re naturally wired to wake up a few times, but the problem lies when you start panicking about falling back to sleep, which can raise your cortisol levels. If it’s your phone that you check the time on, place it across the room instead of on your bedside table, or next to you in bed. If it’s an alarm clock, turn it the other way, so when you wake up you don’t see the time.

What’re Your Thoughts?

Do you have any tips for slimming down your stomach? Or favorite workouts? Exercises? Share them below in the comments!

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

Ask the doctor: My waist has expanded but I haven’t gained weight. Is this because I’ve stopped wearing a belt?

Updated: June 17, 2015Published: June, 2015

Q. The article in your December 2014 issue about women’s waistlines expanding the past few years intrigued me, because I have experienced an increase, and I have not gained weight. My theory is that the styles of the past few years—pants riding low on the hips, no belts at the waist, and loose shirts—may have caused my waist to increase from 24 to 25½ inches. I am 59 years old, so it also could be aging in general, but I still think the belted styles kept women smaller. Am I right?

A. There is no evidence that the physical effect of wearing a belt influences waist circumference. At best, wearing a belt is one way to keep tabs on your waistline. While having to loosen their belt a notch may drive some women to re-examine their diet and exercise routines, it doesn’t sound as if you need to do that. I think your alternative explanation that aging is responsible is more likely to be true.

A combination of things happens as we age. We tend to lose muscle mass, so our abdominal muscles aren’t as tight as they once were, and the loss of elastin and collagen in our skin allows gravity to have its way so skin starts to sag. Both can cause the waistline to expand. We also lose height as the discs between our vertebrae compress, shrinking the vertical space in our abdominal cavity and expanding it outward. Finally, the loss of estrogen after menopause causes a slight shift of fat to the abdominal region.

If it’s any consolation, women whose waist measurements are 28 inches or less are at the lowest risk for heart disease, and you are still within that range. By keeping your weight stable, you’ve already reduced your risk for diabetes and certain cancers.

— Anne Fabiny, MD
Editor in Chief, Harvard Women’s Health Watch
Image: Thinkstock

Disclaimer:
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

10 Causes Of Sudden Weight Gain That Are Actually Underlying Medical Issues

While most of us have been conditioned to think otherwise, the truth about weight gain is that it’s not always a problem or an indicator of poor health. However, there are times when sudden and unexplained weight gain might be dangerous for health and long-term wellbeing. Being in tune with what’s “normal” for your body, whether that’s weight, smell, or the amount of hair you lose in the shower, is an important way to gauge your health over the long term.

As a certified health coach, I work with clients on connecting with their bodies and understanding how certain foods, behaviors, and hormonal changes can interfere with their abilities to maintain health, happiness, and confidence long-term. Sometimes weight gain can occur for no clear reason, and while changes in body size and weight happen constantly, it can be frustrating to feel at a loss of knowledge. Further, these changes could be indicators of medical issues that merit attention from a doctor.

Look for these 10 causes of sudden weight gain and how they can affect your overall health and wellness. By identifying the potential cause of the weight gain, you’ll be better able to determine if it’s a sign of a medical issue, and talk to your doctor about how to feel more like yourself again.

1. Your Thyroid Is Out Of Whack

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

If your thyroid is unable to produce enough thyroid hormone — which could indicate that you might have hypothyroidism, Graves, or Hashimoto’s disease — then weight gain is rather common and can be harmful to your health if not treated appropriately, Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP said on Women To Women, the site of a women’s health clinic. If you notice swelling in the neck (a “goiter”) or other symptoms, such as fatigue, depressive mood, irregular bowel movements, and irregular body temperature, seek a physician for a diagnosis.

2. You’re Taking Birth Control

Experts at Mayo Clinic share that birth control might lead to extra fluid retention depending on brand, dosage, and hormonal levels. It may take your body a few cycles to adjust to a new birth control brand, so be patient (unless, of course, you’re experiencing other symptoms that get in the way of your daily functioning). If you’re still experiencing extra fluid retention after three cycles, talk to your doctor about finding a weight-neutral prescription.

3. You’re Not Getting Enough Nutrients

If you are not properly absorbing nutrients or consuming balanced meals, it can mess with your metabolism, explains running coach and personal trainer Susie Lemmer, over email with Bustle. For instance, vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble and must be consumed with healthy fats to be absorbed by the body. If you eat vegetables without a healthy fat, your body won’t reap the benefits. Pair healthy fats, such as avocado, olive oil, fish, and nuts, with meals to get in all the nutritional aspects.

4. You’re Having A Depressive Episode

Denis Val/

Numerous studies have found that depression can lead to changes in appetite and metabolism that can cause weight gain. In an interview with Live Science, University of Alabama at Birmingham Professor Belinda Needham, PhD, explained that this link may be due to the stress hormone cortisol. “Cortisol acts as a support for the body’s fight-or-flight system,” Joyce Faraj, PhD, RDN, CDN, a nutritionist at Mountainside, a substance use recovery center, tells Bustle. “When we are in a constant state of stress, cortisol can affect our body composition by upregulating gluconeogenesis, that is, the creation of blood glucose through breakdown of muscle, leading to a state where more muscle is broken down and visceral fat is accumulated.”

5. You’re Working Out Too Much

While working out benefits the body, as it boosts endorphins to make us happier, more creative, more productive, and balances our blood sugar levels to prevent diabetes and heart disease, too much training can cause our bodies to store fat, thanks again to the stress hormone cortisol. “When you start working out, especially for strength training, tiny muscle tears and fluid retention can lead to increased weight,” Farajsays. “These microscopic muscle tears occur during weight lifting and are part of the muscle-building process. When this occurs, muscles swell and retain fluids for a few days, and is a normal part of the recovery process.”

6. You Have Bacterial Overgrowth

Sometimes bad bacteria (different from our typical microbiome) can grow inside the gut, leading to bloat, fatigue, irregular bowel movements, and weight gain. Roughly 60% of our immune system resides in the gut, certified healthy lifestyle coach Liz Traines tells Bustle, so when there’s an overgrowth and imbalance within it, it can throw our bodies and hormones out of whack. “Poor digestion and even slow bowel movements can lead to sudden weight gain,” nutrition coach Darin Hulslander tells Bustle. “Low fiber, dehydration, certain medications, or even a lack of healthy gut flora can lead to poor digestion and constipation. A probiotic can assist with this,” Hulslander adds.

7. Your Work Schedule Has Shifted

Impact Photography/

If you’ve noticed a change in work schedule or travel, you might find yourself with diminished sleep or irregular cycles. Plus, if your travel is international, the jet lag can really take a toll on the body, according to a study published in the journal Cell. Not getting adequate sleep can interfere with our hormones, predominantly cortisol and the hunger hormones, ghrelin, and leptin, which can enhance cravings and overeating.

“Shorter sleep is associated with lower leptin and higher ghrelin,” Faraj tells Bustle. “Less sleep also leads to decreased leptin secretion, which is an appetite suppressant. These differences in leptin and ghrelin are likely to increase appetite… Another contributing factor may be that when we’re tired we tend to put in less effort to make healthy food choices or we may also be more sedentary as a result of increased fatigue.”

8. Your Electrolytes Are Imbalanced

If you’re not drinking enough fluids during the day (think water or juice), or are eating too many salty foods, you might experience water retention and bloating. “A high sodium meal can cause you to store some excess water,” says Hulslander.

Another reason for this imbalance? Drinking so little water you’re dehydrated. “Dehydration, which is very common during working out, can also lead to water retention as part of our survival mechanism,” Faraj says. “Therefore, maintaining good hydration can help fight water retention caused by dehydration.”

9. It May Be Due To A Tumor

If you gain weight around your belly, as opposed to your lower body, it could signal a larger problem at hand. Sometimes an extended stomach can be the result of a tumor, such as an ovarian tumor, as Howard Eisensen, M.D., director of Duke University’s Diet and Fitness Center, told Shape. It’s worth checking with a doctor to rule out any possible tumor diagnoses, especially if you’re experiencing pain.

10. You Have Insulin Resistance

Yulia Grigoryeva/

If you do any Googling on this subject, you might come up against the phrase “insulin resistance.” This symptom, which basically means your body doesn’t process the hormone insulin the way it should, is a precursor to diabetes, and is manageable.

“Insulin resistance … is in large part a result of chronic inflammation,” Faraj says. “In an inflammatory state, fat cells may grow, and this growth pulls in cells from the immune system leading to increased proinflammatory signals and decreased anti-inflammatory signals.” In order to manage a diagnosis of insulin resistance, try to manage your exposure to inflammatory foods or stressors, such as processed foods.

While most weight gain is not dangerous, some weight gain — especially if it’s sudden, painful, or out of the norm for your body — can be dangerous for long-term health and wellbeing. If you notice something off with your body’s normal functioning, talk to your doctor to rule out any serious complications. It’s always worth a second check if you notice any abnormalities or discomfort.

This post was originally published on September 29, 2016. It was updated on June 18, 2019.

Why am I suddenly getting fat in my belly?

It’s not true for all people. There are differences among people in where fat tends to accumulate, depending on factors such as gender, ethnicity and age.
In women, for example, fat tends to accumulate in the hip, thigh and buttock area, while for men it does indeed accumulate on the belly (men also tend to have more visceral fat — the bad kind). Even among women, some studies find that fat distribution differs between ethnicities.
So a better question might be: why does fat accumulate in the lower trunk area? As always, the answer is probably linked to evolution. Fat serves a purpose as a store of energy, and it has to go somewhere.
There are some good reasons for favoring the lower trunk:

  • Energy cost – Studies have found that even small increases in weight at the extremities (for example, wearing slightly heavier shoes while running), lead to significant increases in energy cost. Since evolution tries to minimize energy waste, it makes sense to put fat on the trunk where there’s less movement.
  • Balance – it makes sense to put extra weight where it least causes changes to balance (for walking, running etc), and the best place would be near the center of gravity.
  • Convenience – many internal organs already are mostly made of fat, so putting new fat near them may be easier to do.
  • Blood supply – when making new fat (from the liver for example) or breaking it up for use, fat travels through the blood. So it would make sense to put it where there’s a healhy amount of blood vessels (preferably large ones), and again the trunk fills that role nicely.
  • Proximity to the liver – since a lot of fat is created by the liver, it would make sense to deposit it nearby.
  • Insulation – fat could do double-duty as an insulator against cold, so it makes sense to put it around the body’s core.

So the short answer is, it has to go somewhere, and that’s the best place to put it.
* It’s also important to note that subcutaneous fat accumulates throughout the body too, not just in the trunk area.

Shocking: 5 health conditions that can make you gain belly fat and disrupt weight loss

Excess body weight may be due to an underlying health condition in some individuals&nbsp | &nbspPhoto Credit:&nbspThinkstock

New Delhi: Most people put on weight because of their unhealthy lifestyle such as consuming too many calories and not burning enough of them through activity. But turns out, calories aren’t always the culprit for belly fat and unintentional weight gain, especially if you’ve been keeping yourself active or hitting the gym regularly, and eating a well-balanced diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, etc. Obesity, in most cases, is a result of overeating, however, experts say that excess body weight may be due to an underlying health condition in some individuals. So, if you feel like you’re not getting desired results despite your best efforts to tip the scale to achieve weight loss goals and improve health, a medical problem could be messing with your waistline.

Pilling on even just a few pounds with no apparent reason can be extremely frustrating. Unintended weight gain is a common issue that occurs without increasing your daily food intake and decreasing your physical activity. The problem is that there are some medical conditions and widely used prescriptions that can actually add pounds to your body – anywhere from a little to a whole lot of excess flab, particularly around your stomach. Here are five such medical issues that can cause weight gain and make you fat. Read – Weight loss: Five unhealthy Indian breakfast items that make you gain belly fat

Hypothyroidism

Also called underactive thyroid or low thyroid, hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland produces too little thyroid hormone, which regulates our metabolism. Too little thyroid hormone or not producing enough this hormone slows the body’s metabolism, causing weight gain. Hypothyroidism can affect anyone at any age, but it is most common in older women.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Often women with PCOS find it hard to lose weight. The disorder makes it more difficult for the body to use the hormone insulin, which plays a key role in the regulation of blood sugar levels. This can cause insulin resistance, making the ovaries to produce more male hormones such as testosterone, which in turn leads to body hair growth, irregular periods, weight gain, typically in the abdomen. That’s why women with this condition tend to put on weight around their waist. Read: Is weight gain a symptom of polycystic ovary syndrome? Here’s the best diet for PCOS

Cushing’s Syndrome

Weight gain is a common symptom of Cushing’s syndrome, a condition caused by high exposure to the stress hormone cortisol. The condition can trigger excessive weight gain, particularly on the chest, face, and stomach because cortisol causes fat to be redistributed to these areas. Cushing’s syndrome is very rare and affects only around 1 in 50,000 people. While the most common cause is the use of long-term steroid treatment, it could also be a result of a tumour (endogenous Cushing’s syndrome), says the NHS Choices.

Low leptin levels

Leptin, often referred to as the ‘satiety hormone’ or the ‘starvation hormone’, is produced by the fat cells in the body. Leptin’s main role is to regulate the number of calories we eat and burn, as well as to tell the brain that you have got enough food and fat stores to sustain the metabolic process. However, when your leptin levels become too low – whether due to infection, disease, or some genetic component – it sends a ‘starvation alarm’ to the brain, triggering fat storage and slowing down your metabolism. This can result in weight gain. In fact, being resistant to leptin’s effects is now believed to be the main driver of fat gain in obesity.

Antidepressants

While depression itself can cause changes in weight, taking antidepressants can cause weight gain, making you more depressed. The fact is that people with depression tend to overeat as they turn to food to lift their mood, which can lead to abdominal obesity. If you think your antidepressant medications are making you fat, you may talk to your doctor about changing your treatment plan. However, you should never stop or change medication on your own.

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