The primary goal of every weight loss management is to lose fat, especially in the abdominal area. Belly fat can be stubborn, but it’s not impossible to lose it. First, you need to know more about the different types of belly fat and what causes them. This post explains everything you need to know about abdominal fat, its causes, and the simple ways to reduce it.

What is Belly Fat?

Belly fat is the fat around the abdominal area. Body fat is demonized regardless of its location. However, we have body far for a specific purpose. The main function of body fat, including that in the abdominal area, is to store energy, insulate, and protect the vital organs.

Having some belly fat is normal. However, too much fat in the abdominal area can be harmful to your health and quality of life. Although there is little information specifically on belly fat, evidence shows[1] that 91% of adults and 69% of children in the United States have excessive fat mass.

What are the Different Types of Belly Fat?

When the term “belly fat” comes to mind, it’s easy to think that all fat in the abdominal area is a single, uniform mass, but the truth is, it’s not. The different types of belly fat are subcutaneous fat and visceral fat.

1. Subcutaneous Fat

Subcutaneous fat is the fat rights under the skin, hence the name. Subcutaneous fat is stored in the deepest layer of the skin with the other two layers being the epidermis and dermis. Subcutaneous fat is a type of fat that you can grab and pinch between your fingers. When you poke your stomach, the fat that feels soft is subcutaneous.

The most common locations where the subcutaneous fat builds up, besides the abdominal area, are hips, butt, and thighs.

The healthy level of subcutaneous fat[2] is 15% to 25% in women and 6% to 12% in men. In most people, 90% of total body fat[3] accounts for subcutaneous fat.

2. Visceral Fat

Visceral fat is a kind of fat that is stored deep inside the abdomen, which is why it’s called “hidden fat”. Only 10% of total body fat[4] accounts for visceral fat, but it can still have a major impact and the highest risk for metabolic dysregulation. Visceral fat wraps around the organs including the intestines and liver. Not only is visceral fat stored in the abdominal cavity, but it can also accumulate in arteries.

Everyone can accumulate more visceral fat than is considered normal. However, men have a higher tendency[5] to build up abdominal visceral fat than premenopausal women. That happens because the dietary fat uptake by the abdominal visceral fat is higher in men. Production of chylomicrons (ultra-low-density lipoproteins) is higher and bigger in men, which could also contribute to the buildup of visceral fat.

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Causes of Excessive Belly Fat

People develop different belly types for many reasons. In most cases, a combination of several factors is involved rather than one specific cause. The most common causes of excessive belly fat are:

  • Unhealthy diet: Caloric surplus (consuming more calories than you burn) increases fat storage and contributes to weight gain. Since fats have the highest level of calories per gram, they can increase the caloric intake quickly. Trans fats are particularly harmful; they can cause inflammation and contribute to obesity. Consumption of foods high in sodium is also a problem and a major cause of upper stomach fat.

  • Lack of physical activity: A sedentary lifestyle contributes to the accumulation of different types of belly fat and weight gain or obesity. Due to lack of exercise, the body doesn’t burn more calories than you consumed. The body starts storing this excess in calories as fat. Studies confirm[6] that a sedentary lifestyle is associated with a higher BMI, weight gain, and chronic diseases.

  • Excessive alcohol consumption: High intake of alcohol increases fat levels, especially visceral fat[7] regardless of a person’s BMI. Alcohol is bad news for your weight, but there are other foods to avoid to lose belly fat too, we’re going to talk about them further in this post.

  • Stress: High levels of the stress hormone cortisol contribute to excess belly fat. That happens because chronic stress causes metabolic problems[8] dysregulation of homeostasis and obesity. Some people may eat more when they’re stressed out, especially unhealthy food. Overeating leads to a caloric surplus and excess belly fat.

  • Genetics: Studies reveal distribution of fat and the risk for obesity have a genetic component. Heritability of BMI is 40% to 70%[9]. However, genetics is never the only culprit behind different belly types, it works in combination with other factors from this list.

  • Smoking: Evidence confirms that abdominal obesity is more prevalent in smokers[10] than in nonsmokers. That also indicates smoking is associated with excess belly fat, particularly visceral fat.

  • Sleep deprivation: Short duration of sleep is associated with increased visceral fat[11]. People who get enough sleep don’t tend to feel tired, less active, and are more likely to increase food intake.

Dangers of Excess Belly Fat

The buildup of different types of belly fat is harmful to your health in more ways than one. Belly fat isn’t just about weight gain and dress size, it’s about the effects on physical health and wellbeing. Common health effects of excess belly fat are:

  • Heart disease: People with excess abdominal fat are more susceptible[12] to heart disease than people who have fat elsewhere. Increased abdominal fat contributes to heart disease because it is associated with metabolic parameters such as high cholesterol and triglyceride levels and increased blood sugar.

  • High blood pressure: High levels of visceral fat are linked to changes in glucose and lipid homeostasis that predispose to the onset of hypertension[13]. Excess fat in the abdominal area causes narrowing of blood vessels, which increases blood pressure.

  • Stroke: Excess belly fat, whether it’s upper stomach fat or lower stomach fat, is associated with metabolic factors that increase the risk of stroke[14]. These include high blood sugar levels, high cholesterol and triglycerides, and hypertension.

  • Type 2 diabetes: Increased levels of abdominal fat, regardless of belly type, leads to type 2 diabetes through mechanisms[15] such as multi-organ insulin resistance, alterations in β cell function (beta cells have to work harder to produce enough insulin), and the biology of adipose tissue.

  • Asthma: Upper stomach fat causes extra weight in the chest area, which affects the lungs. As a result, it becomes more difficult to breathe. At the same time, abdominal fat produces inflammatory substances that affect the lungs and thereby contribute to asthma[16].

  • Dementia: People with excessive levels of both subcutaneous and visceral fat are more likely to lose brain cells and develop dementia[17]. The risk for dementia is even bigger in women than men. The relationship between belly fat and dementia requires further research, but one potential mechanism could be a direct link of dementia to hormones derived from fat cells. The fat mass is involved in vascular and metabolic pathways that lead to the accumulation of amyloid proteins or brain lesions that are associated with dementia.

How to Get Rid Of Belly Fat in a Healthy Way

The buildup of abdominal fat leads to chronic diseases that jeopardize your well-being, but it’s possible to prevent or manage the above-mentioned health problems. The tips below will show you how to get rid of upper belly fat and fat in other parts of the abdominal area:

  • Eating a healthy diet: The food you eat is one of the biggest culprits for excess belly fat. Make sure to eat a well-balanced diet that consists of fruits, vegetables, protein, healthy fats, nuts and seeds, and whole grains. Foods to avoid to lose belly fat include sugar, fatty foods, refined carbohydrates, and foods with too much sodium. It will be easier to achieve a calorie deficit if you limit or avoid intake of these foods.

  • Exercising regularly: A sedentary lifestyle goes hand in hand with an unhealthy diet in accumulating excess levels of different types of belly fat. The recommended amount of physical activity is at least 150 minutes[18] of light activity during the week. Both cardio and strength training can help lose belly fat. Try to incorporate both types of training, just not on the same day.

  • Reducing stress levels: Most people ignore stress thinking it will go away on its own. Be proactive about stress management and dealing with negative emotions. With stress management, you will learn to stop using food to cope with your emotions and your metabolic parameters will improve. Engage in relaxing activities such as yoga and meditation, exercise, walking, jogging, swimming, reading, writing, and more.

  • Getting enough sleep: Quality sleep is essential for good health and well-being. It can help you lose belly fat and slim down too. Sleep promotes stress management, helps establish good eating habits, improves your athletic performance, and boosts energy just like Nuu3 Green Pura. All these effects are necessary for losing belly fat.

  • Limiting alcohol intake and avoiding smoking: Both alcohol consumption and smoking contribute to the accumulation of different types of belly fat, which is why it’s important to limit or avoid them entirely.

  • Nuu3 Apple Cider Vinegar: Besides lifestyle modifications, it’s useful to try quality products that can help get rid of fat in the abdominal area. The benefits of Nuu3 Apple Cider Vinegar for healthy weight loss are well known and they include a powerful formula, healthy digestion, detox, and energy boost, and it also improves heart health and the immune system’s defenses.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Know What Kind of Belly Fat I have?

The easiest way to know what kind of belly fat you have is to try and poke your stomach. The fat that seems soft is subcutaneous because visceral fat is hidden. You can also schedule an appointment to see a doctor who will order certain tests that will provide more information about your body composition. A doctor can also inform you how to get rid of upper belly fat or lower abdominal fat, depending on your specific needs.

What Foods to Avoid to Lose Belly Fat?

The foods to avoid to get rid of belly fat include doughnuts, chips, ice cream, alcoholic beverages, hot dogs, refined grains and cereals, pasta and simple carbs, fried foods, and processed meat. Ideally, you should eat a well-balanced diet and make sure your calorie intake is lower than the number of calories you burn. It’s also useful to add products like Nuu3 Daily Multivitamin Gummies to your lifestyle. These products aid with nutritional deficiencies.

What Position Should I Sleep in to Lose Belly Fat?

Sleeping itself won’t reduce belly fat, but it can make it easier to do so. To learn how to get rid of upper belly fat by choosing a specific sleeping position, you need to know what position to avoid. That would be sleeping on your stomach. The reason is simple; sleeping on your stomach disturbs breathing and slows down food digestion.

The best way to promote the reduction of fat is to sleep on the side. This sleep position doesn’t disturb breathing and digestion and it reduces swelling in the legs, buttocks, and thighs. Just keep in mind sleeping shouldn’t be your only strategy to get rid of excess fat. Combine it with noting the foods to avoid losing belly fat and other lifestyle adjustments.


While there are different types of belly fat, it’s important to remember there’s a lot you can do to reduce it. Accumulated abdominal fat causes many health problems. With simple lifestyle tweaks and products that support weight loss, it becomes easier to reduce fat in the abdominal area and lower the risk or manage problems it causes.



Dr. Ahmed Zayed

Dr. Ahmed Zayed

Dr. Zayed, has years of experience in the field and has been contributing to public health awareness. Dr. Ahmed Zayed holds a baccalaureate of Medicine and Surgery. Egypt. Dr. Zayed believes in providing knowledgeable information to readers. His articles were featured on many websites like HuffingtonPost, Chicagotribune . Other than his passion for writing, Dr. Zayed spends his time outside the hospital, either reading or at the gym.

Written by Dr. Ahmed Zayed

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