Underweight With Belly Fat: What to Do to Lose It?

There are many people that appear to be skinny but have excess belly fat, or you can say they are underweight with belly fat. This can occur due to many reasons, including unhealthy food, hormonal imbalance, physical inactivity, stress and maybe due to many other factors. And this can also cause a number of health issues.

But, what to do if you are underweight with belly fat?

If you are underweight and want to reduce your belly fat, you can simply do it by taking a proper diet, mental relief, exercise including walking, running, skipping, weight lifting, crunches, and many others, and adequate sleep.

Continue reading to learn more about this problem that keeps bothering you.

Reasons For Having Belly Fat While You Are Underweight

It’s great that you are within the normal body weight range. But if you have a bulging abdomen, no matter if you weigh normally, it can be a cause of many health issues. This can be occurred due to many reasons as:

Unhealthy Eating Habit

This is the main and most common reason that can cause fat to accumulate in the abdomen. Nowadays, eating junk food is a daily habit. However, junk food never fills a person up. In fact, it makes a person overeat. Junk foods contain a larger amount of fat in them than that of normal homemade food and contribute to obesity.

unhealthy-eating-habit

The fat we consume comes through a variety of food we eat in a day. Fat contains a considerable amount of calories. These calories are supplied by fats, oils, proteins, and carbohydrates from our diet. There is also a range of calories that our body needs.

If we start consuming too much oily food, the extra fat will start storing in the body especially in the abdominal region mostly in the layer just beneath the skin, or can be stored internally around the organs. This stored fat results in a bulging tummy, even if you have a normal weight.

If we eat too much fat, that is not actually needed by the body, it will get stored in the body. In some persons, who are doing gym, this stored fat is used to make up the muscular mass.

The muscular mass of the biceps and thigh can be increased, but in a person not doing any gym or any other kind of exercise or any other hard physical activity, this fat gets accumulated in the body, usually in the abdomen, under the skin forming a fat layer. This led to obesity and being overweight. But a person who is skinny can also get a bulging belly due to this reason. 

Physical Inactivity

Most of the fat in our bodies supplies energy to the muscles (skeletal muscles have a major part in this energy distribution). If we don’t do any muscular struggle, this fat will get stored in the body, causing a bulging belly.

Many people think that they do their jobs all day, and that is enough for their health. But that is not sufficient for the maintenance of good health. You must have to do some exercise, even if you have to do other jobs or activities. Soft exercises like morning walks, jogging, skipping rope, and push-ups should be a part of your daily routine.

Stress or Depression

Stress, depression, or any other emotional conditions lead to hormonal changes in our bodies. When we go through stress, it makes our body release cortisol in large amounts. Stress is detected by the hypothalamus of our brain, which then sends a message to the pituitary gland to take action.

This pituitary gland will then send a message to the adrenal glands, present on the top of the kidney, releasing more amounts of a hormone named cortisol. Cortisol works during stress by increasing energy production to tackle stressful situations. Cortisol does this by increasing energy production through glucose.

Due to continual stress conditions, cortisol continues the release of energy through glucose. The amount of glucose becomes sufficiently high in our bodies. Most of it is converted into energy, as needed by the body due to stress. But during long stress periods, this glucose is very high.

Some of it is used by the body for energy production, and the remaining is converted into fat and into some other compounds. This fat starts accumulating in different parts of the body, particularly in the abdomen, under the skin. Thus, it can also result in belly fat despite the person’s skinny nature.

Hormonal Changes

At the root of all reasons, you will find hormonal changes. Hormonal changes can occur due to a wide range of factors. Let’s discuss them separately: 

Age Factor

You may have noticed diabetes in most aged persons. That is due to increased insulin resistance in the body with the passage of time. This resistance prevents the usage or burning of fat. This fat starts accumulating in the body instead of its breakage for energy production.

Gender

In females, the hormonal changes that occur during the post-menstruation period can result in belly fat. Mostly, estrogen becomes dominant, and this change causes mood swings in females causing stress or depression. Stress increases the cortisol amount in the body, and the same process carries out as discussed in the stress or depression section, causing fat to accumulate.

Leptin Receptors Impairment

The hormone leptin signals your body when you are full, but sometimes it can become very high in our bodies because of certain factors. This results in the dysfunction of the leptin receptor, due to which a person never gets full while eating. This condition usually leads to overeating. Overeating results in fat accumulation in our bodies.

leptin-receptors-impairement

Inadequate Sleep or Rest

Restlessness results in fatigue, and fatigue can be a reason for stress. And stress then becomes a cause of fat accumulation in our bodies causing bulging belly.

What to Do If You Are Underweight With Belly Fat?

You can simply lose your belly fat despite your skinny nature, by doing a number of exercises and altering some of your daily routine habits. The number of exercises that you should do include:

underweight-with-belly-fat

Morning Walk

This is the easiest method you can do to reduce your belly fat. Morning walks must be a part of your daily routine if you want to live a normal, healthy life. In order to reduce belly fat, you have to walk fast and for a longer period of time. At a fast speed, you have to walk for at least 20 minutes. But, if you are a beginner, you should stop walking when you get out of breath.

Running or Jogging

Just like walking, you can go jogging to reduce your belly fat. This is a better option than that of morning walks, as in jogging, muscles undergo more struggle. More muscular activity requires more energy, which means more calories are required.

running

These calories are then supplied through the stored fat in our body. All this process is accomplished by using the fat that is already stored in our bodies. It results in a reduction of the fat and thus reduces the bulged stomach.

Skipping

Skipping a rope can be a better option as compared to jogging, as it requires more struggle than jogging. Actually, it can be the cheapest and most workable exercise that you can adapt to reduce your belly fat. Muscular demand for energy increases, which is then supplied by stored fat.

Gym Exercises

If you can afford it, you should join a gym. As there are advanced types of equipment there that are exactly according to the variety of exercise that you want to do. You can use lightweight dumbbells as your starting point. This will activate your muscles. Recumbent bikes, resistance bands, home gym, spin, and upright bikes, and a good deal of other equipment can be used. 

All we require is just to activate or enhance our muscular working, so that fat can be broken down for energy.

Proper Eating Habits

If you want to reduce the fat storage in your body, you should avoid oily food as well as junk food. These foods are the main reason for fat accumulation in our bodies. It can prove to be very dangerous to our health.

Adequate Sleep

Proper sleep helps you to get out of the fatigue feeling and keeps you fresh and away from any kind of stress. This will prevent hormonal changes in your body. The hormonal changes like cortisol elevated levels can be a prominent cause of fat accumulation.

adequate-sleep

Mental Health

As discussed earlier, depression, stress and any kind of emotional changes cause an increase in cortisol levels in our body resulting in the conversion of glucose into fat and then getting them stored in the abdomen resulting in a bulging stomach.

FAQs

Question: I have a fatty belly, but my weight is normal. Is there any need to worry?

Answer: Yes, you are still at the risk of getting more diseases as compared to a normal person who is fit in his tummy. Fat accumulation can itself cause a number of hormonal changes in our body that can lead to a number of diseases in the same way as obesity does.

Question: How can junk food cause belly fat?

Answer: Junk food causes a higher intake of fat and many other components like processed sugar that can cause obesity. Furthermore, it makes us overeat. So, we should avoid it.

Question: Why do most women gain weight after their 40s?

Answer: That is actually due to hormonal changes. After the 40s in females, their reproductive systems undergo a change like menopause, which causes an elevated level of estrogen in our body. This change causes further hormonal changes in our bodies that make our mood swing. Stress is common at this age due to these changes and all that can lead to fat accumulation.

Conclusion

So, if you are underweight with belly fat, you can reduce this fat simply by increasing your muscular activities by doing a number of exercises like jogging, skipping, etc., by taking proper sleep, by maintaining your diet and mental health. You can go to the gym to improve the quality and intensity of your exercise.

Dr Hafeez Arshad

Dr Hafeez Arshad

This is Dr. Hafeez. I have done my M.Phil in Pharmacology. I am a healthcare professional. My core competencies focus on writing different types of research articles/blogs regarding health sciences.

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