Saturday, April 13, 2024

Why Am I Gaining Weight In My Lower Stomach

Your Thyroid Is To Blame

“Why Am I Gaining So Much Weight in My Stomach?!”

The thyroid, a gland in the neck that sits above the Adam’s apple, regulates a wide range of bodily functions including metabolism. But sometimes, for a variety of reasons, your thyroid may become under-active and result in a condition called hypothyroidism. One of the many symptoms of the condition? You guessed it, weight gain. The worst part is that the condition often develops slowly, so many people don’t notice the symptoms of the disease until they’re full-blown, says The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. It gets worse: If a thyroid issue is to blame for your weight gain, it doesn’t matter how diligently your dieting and working out it will be near impossible to shed the pounds.

The solution: Take a trip to the MD. “If you’ve suddenly put on weight for no apparent reason, I suggest you see a doctor so a medical professional can decide whether it is a thyroid issue or another cause,” Forberg.

Hate Your Hanging Belly Fat Heres Everything You Need To Know

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As women, we undergo a series of changes in different stages of our lives. Whether its pregnancy, weight loss, weight gain or any other surprise, theres a lot thats going to come your way. You might notice that your body looks very different, from what it used to be.

Some women also notice that theres an excessive amount of fat, tissue and skin hanging down like an apron from their abdomen. Theres no denying that it looks unsightly, and you would want to conceal it as much as possible, but you need to tackle the issue.

But before we talk about the solution, lets understand what an apron belly is all about.

Understanding an apron belly

Also called a pannus stomach or mothers apron, it occurs when the belly and fat that surrounds the internal organs expands due to weight gain or pregnancy. This results in additional fat deposits in the omentum, which is an apron-like flap under your abdominal muscles, and in front of your intestines.

It isnt that everyone has the same apron belly, the size can vary. Generally, there are two causes: giving birth and gaining weight. That being said, it isnt that it does not occur only in women who are overweight.

Having an apron belly increases the risk of certain types of cancer, including ovarian cancer, and has been linked with higher incidence of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Is it possible to reduce an apron belly?
Geetika Sachdev

Sedentary Lifestyle Can Lead To More Fat

The more advanced technology we develop as a society, the less moving around we need to do. Many of us are used to sitting down and watching Netflix during our leisurely hours. At work, we may sit at desks in front of computers or otherwise remain stationary as we satisfy our duties. The more sitting you do, the greater the risks to your health. You are also more likely to have belly fat than someone who remains active throughout the day.

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Side Effects Of Birth Control Pills:

Birth control pills may cause weight gain in certain women based on the hormonal levels, brand of the pills and dosage. Weight gain could be around stomach region only. It is advised to consult with a doctor before starting any birth control pills and report any issue with weight gain. This can be managed by changing the medication or by prescribing additional medication for reducing weight gain. After starting a new medication, it is generally advised to give 2 weeks to settle in and see the weight gain is in control.

Bacterial Overgrowth In The Gut Can Cause Sudden Weight Gain In Stomach:

" Why Am I Gaining So Much Weight in My Stomach?!"

Bacterial infestation in the gut can lead conditions such as bloating, abdominal cramps, fatigue, bowel issues, feeling of fullness and weight gain around the stomach area. Imbalance in the gut flora can also alter our immunity. Slow bowel movement and issues with digestion can also lead to weight gain. It is essential to follow a high fibre diet with adequate hydration to avoid poor digestion and bowel issues. Side effects of certain medications can also alter the gut flora.

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How To Reduce A Big Stomach

As mentioned above there are several causes that may be responsible for increased waist line with no relevant change in body weight. Treating this can be personalized according to the problem experienced by the person.

For example if the person is suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, he should avoid dairy products, beans and lentils, starch products etc as these may cause more amount of gas. Person can take digestive enzymes to counter the gasses.

If patient is suffering from stress he should try to practice relaxation techniques such as yoga, and meditation. If lactose intolerance is the cause person should avoid milk and other dairy products.

Factors That May Impact Weight Loss

Weight loss is largely a product of burning more calories than you ingest, and in general, a deficit of around 3500 calories will yield one pound of fat loss. With that said, various factors affect your metabolic rate and subsequent weight loss, including the following:

  • Age

Belly fat-burning elixirs will not target stomach fat and melt it away as they claim. The same goes for the foods you eat. Zuckerbrot explains that while fiber has been shown to help decrease the amount of visceral fat in the abdominal area, subcutaneous fat will decrease only with overall weight loss. Creating a caloric deficit can help to decrease overall fat stores as well as eating whole, fresh foods instead of processed fat and sugar.

Ideally, the key to reducing fat is through exercise, but know this: You can’t reduce fat in different areas of your body through targeted workouts. Sure, you can tone these areas and, in turn, burn more calories via muscle development, but there is no “fat-busting” exercise for your stomach or butt. Instead, you need to utilize an overall approach to fitness. “Doing total-body workouts will help to reduce total body fat, and strength training will tone up and build muscle that will then define parts of your body,” explains NASM-certified personal trainer, Amanda Butler. This can be achieved through high-intensity interval training and lifting weights to build lean muscle, which increases your metabolic rate and subsequently supports overall fat loss.

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Your Work Schedule Has Shifted

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 weâre 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.”

You’re Drinking Too Much Alcohol

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As a qualified nutritionist, this is one Clarissa sees all the time. “While having a glass of red wine has been shown to have some health benefits, it is widely known that consuming excess alcohol can impact your health and your waistline.”

Why? Well, when you consume alcohol, the liver burns alcohol instead of fat, which over a long period of time can lead to fat accumulation. “Additionally, alcohol can increase your appetite, potentially leading to an increased consumption of calories. Try to stay below the 14 units of alcohol per week that is recommended by the NHS and opt for a few nights alcohol free,” she recommends.

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You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep

From scrolling through social media to having a late-night coffee, there are plenty of ways we unknowingly keep ourselves awake at night. Aside from feeling tired and groggy the next day, not getting the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night can affect weight loss, explains Dr Luke.

“When were lacking in sleep, our bodys hormones get thrown off balance which can impact our hunger levels the next day. We all have two hormones that affect our appetite: ghrelin and leptin. When we dont get enough sleep, our ghrelin levels rise, and our leptin levels drop. This means that when were awake, we tend to eat more but feel less satisfied. Try going to bed a little earlier than usual to avoid this imbalance and remember to remove any distractions that might prevent you from nodding off,” he continues.

Add Vinegar To Your Diet

If youre trying to lose weight, vinegar is an excellent addition to your diet. Whether white vinegar or apple cider vinegar, vinegar is one of the most versatile condiments regarding health benefits. One study found that a mere 15 to 30 ml of vinegar daily reduced body weight, belly fat and waist circumference over a three-month period.

According to one study, adding vinegar to your diet will reduce your daily caloric intake by 275 calories. Considering there are 3,500 calories in a pound of fat, you can lose over half a pound of fat per week with this one simple change. To increase your metabolism and satiety, try adding white vinegar to refreshing, hydrating salads and tangy barbecue sauces.

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Ageing And Lifestyle Pattern

As you tend to age, the body has a tendency to start depositing fat towards the abdomen in comparison to other parts, this further leads to a fat disproportion in the body. Moreover, ageing also affects muscular mass and skin firmness. While muscles tend to become flaccid, skin tends to become lose due to loss of collagen.

Longer Term Water Retention

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As I mention earlier, water retention is the most common cause of short term weight gain. It happens all the time to virtually every single person on the planet.

However, sometimes certainly less frequently in comparison there are instances where water retention can exceed the short term and last for a longer period of time.

So, instead of a day, or a few days, or a weekit can occasionally last for a few weeks.

This sort of thing can happen to anyone, although its probably more common among women than men, partially because of a womans menstrual cycle, and partially because well certain things are just weirder when it comes to women .

And because of this occasional longer term water retention, a person can see their weight loss progress stall completely on the scale for a few weeks or potentially even see themselves gaining weight WHILE they are actually continuing to lose body fat.

The gain in water weight they are simultaneously experiencing is just counterbalancing that fat loss and preventing it from actually showing up on the scale .

That is, until a magical whoosh finally occurs and the scale finally shows a sudden meaningful amount of weight loss in a short period of time and the person tends to notice they almost instantly look a little leaner.

This is one of the many reasons why I recommend properly tracking your body weight over the span of 2-4 weeks before freaking out and adjusting your diet and/or workout.

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How To Break The Cycle

In a way, weight gain is a sign that the insulin is working your body is utilizing sugar, fat and protein more effectively and able to store nutrients.

Typically, your appetite is increased when your blood sugars are higher. . When your body is utilizing nutrients better and is able to store them, food intake should be adjusted to maintain the same weight. Youll need to make further adjustments if youre attempting to lose weight. If food intake isnt adjusted, then you can expect to gain weight.

Also, insulin isnt necessarily the only factor.

When youre managing your diabetes, your body has a better chance to rehydrate, which can also cause mild weight gain. Of course, dehydration is a greater risk if you have diabetes .

Drugs you take for other conditions also sometimes cause you to gain weight.

So what are your options if weight gain and insulin are an issue? Try these three tips:

Sedentary Lifestyle And Physical Inactivity

A sedentary lifestyle is one of the biggest risk factors for negative health events. It involves prolonged sitting throughout the day .

Even if a person is physically active, meaning they engage in physical labor or exercise, prolonged sitting may increase the risk of negative health events and weight gain (

47 ).

In one study, researchers reported that people who performed resistance or aerobic exercise for 1 year after losing weight were able to prevent regaining visceral fat, while those who did not exercise had a 2538% increase in belly fat .

Another study showed that those who sat for over 8 hours each day had a 62% increased risk of obesity compared with those who sat for less than 4 hours each day .

Its recommended that most adults aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity each week and engage in regular resistance training.

Further, try to limit sedentary behaviors and prolonged sitting. If sitting is part of your work, try to incorporate standing breaks every 3090 minutes by standing for 510 minutes or taking a quick walk around your office, home or neighborhood.


A sedentary lifestyle and physical inactivity are associated with a number of health risks, including weight gain and increased abdominal fat. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each week.

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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.”

Exercises To Lose Upper Body Fat

Why am I gaining belly fat?

These exercises do not focus on spot reduction but help strengthen your core, aid inch loss, and tone your body.

a. Surya Namaskar


This is an excellent exercise for the entire body. It is not only effective for weight management and preventing obesity, but it also improves your cardiorespiratory health . There are 12 poses in Sun Salutation.

Target: Whole body


  • Stand at the end of the mat, keeping your feet together and your spine straight. Puff your chest out and roll your shoulders to relax them.
  • Breathe in, lift your hands to your sides, and join your palms in front of your chest in a prayer pose while exhaling.
  • Inhale, lift your arms, and stretch them back completely. Make sure that your biceps touch your ears.
  • Exhale and bend forward from the waist while keeping your spine straight. Try to touch your head to your knees and place both palms on the ground beside your feet. Try to keep your knees straight.
  • Breathe out and push your right leg back as far as possible, touching your knee to the floor. Bend your head back and lookup. Your left leg should be between your palms, folding at the knee and perpendicular to the floor.
  • Breathe in and push your left leg back and align your whole body.
  • Slowly press your knees together, breathe out, push your hips back slightly, and rest your chin and chest on the floor.
  • Breathe in and pull your right leg between your palms. Your left leg should be touching the floor. Keep your hips down and lookup.
  • b. Plank Hold

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    /5if Only Your Stomach Is Bulgy

    The first thing to determine if you have gained weight is to examine your belly visually. Can you see bulges in other parts of the body or is it only around the middle portion of the body? If it is widespread then you should start exercising to lose weight. But if it is localised then you are just gassy and you need to take appropriate measures for some relief.

    Gas Acidity And Bloating

    If you note your stomach is getting bigger and you are not gaining weight, it could be bloating due to acidity or gas. Some of the common causes of bloating include air swallowing, too much caffeine consumption, drinking beverages can lead to acid reflux in the stomach, thereby causing discomfort in the form of bloating. Acid is produced in stomach as a protective lining to kill bacteria. But, when this acid interferes with the digestion process or increases in quantity than required it could lead to reflux and bloating. Constipation or irritable bowel syndrome can be another major reason for bloated stomach leading your waistline to plunge without any significant gain of weight.

    For most of gastric problems, you are sure to have gastric complaints along with your stomach getting bigger.

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