What Causes Belly Weight Gain in Women?

BECKY BELL, MS, RD | LIVESTRONG

Most women would like to have a slim waistline, but belly fat is more than just a cosmetic problem. Excessive abdominal fat increases your risk for chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. There are ways to combat belly fat, however, and understanding the causes of abdominal fat gain may help you prevent it.

Lifestyle Factors That Increase Belly Fat

The most obvious factors that can cause belly weight gain are a lack of exercise and poor diet. Excess calories in the diet, specifically from sugar and starch, can cause the body to store fat. Consuming a higher-protein diet may help shed abdominal fat, compared to a lower-protein diet, according to a 2002 study published in Diabetes Care. Get your carbs from nutrient-rich foods such as legumes, fruits and unprocessed whole grains. Limit sugar and focus on incorporating healthy fats like olive oil and avocado rather than saturated fats.

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