Upper belly fat is a common problem for many of us. It refers to the accumulation of visceral fat around the organs in your upper abdomen, which results in an increased waist size. If you have more fat around your upper belly and waist than you would like, then just counting calories may not be entirely sufficient. While a healthy diet and regular exercise plan may help manage your weight and reduce belly fat, the last few inches of upper belly fat are far more complicated to get rid of. It takes a calculated, and consistent, plan to shed the last few inches around the upper belly. The causes of upper belly fat, or upper abdominal fat, are in most cases proportional to our lifestyle choices. For some, the reasons could be based in genetics or even hormonal fluctuations. One must consider a holistic approach that targets all these elements to change their body and achieve their desired fitness goals. But, first let’s understand the basic reasons or causes of upper belly fat in detail.

Reasons For Upper Abdominal Weight Gain | 5 Things That Are Causing Your Upper Belly Woes

1. You Are Eating Unhealthy Food

We all love to devour fried foods and delightful sweet treats, don’t we? From piping hot samosas, cheesy fries, butter popcorns and chicken patty burger to sugar-dipped jalebis, cheese cakes and chocolate-laden waffles, the list is never ending. Most of these foods have been termed ‘unhealthy’ because they don’t do any good to our body and have zero nutritional value, and end up adding calories in your body. Eating junk and processed foods regularly may reduce our metabolism and contribute to a larger waist size.

2. You Are Doing Wrong Or No Work Out

If you think that cardio workouts alone can give you a fat tummy, then you are wrong. A daily run or yoga class are also important for a healthy heart and flat belly. A combination of weights and cardiovascular training could do the trick, in addition to specific exercises that target the upper belly. Strength training increases muscle mass, which further helps our body to burn more fat. Muscle burns more calories than fat, and therefore, we burn more calories throughout the day by having more muscle.

3. You Are Stressed

Stringent timelines, meetings, bills, traffic jams – whatever your source of stress is, having too much of it may result in excess belly fat, including the upper belly. Stress causes the body to secrete cortisol that forces the liver to release excess sugar, sometimes more than what the body requires to function, resulting in more visceral fat.

4. You Have An Erratic Sleep Cycle

Upper belly fat can also be caused due to lack of sleep or a poor sleep cycle. If you are one of those who sleep less than six hours a night, here is one simple way to shape your waistline: sleep for at least eight hours a night, it’s that simple! According to various studies, it was found that those who slept six hours or less a night were more likely to gain weight than those who slept seven to eight hours a night. Enough sleep also makes sure you are more energetic through the day and less inclined to skip workout sessions!

5. You Are Getting Older (Sorry, But True!)

As we age, our body goes through numerous changes; we experience a declining metabolic rate. Various studies have shown that as we age, subcutaneous fat (below the skin) decreases and visceral fat increases. Visceral fat is an independent risk factor for many lifestyle diseases, including weight gain and the Buddha-belly mid-life waist.