That Tricky Area – Causes of Weight Gain in Stomach

That Tricky Area - Causes of Weight Gain in Stomach

Well it’s that area again folks – even the fittest of us struggle to keep tabs on that spare tire area around the abdomen!

There are several main causes of weight gain in the stomach area and some of them you have the power to change.

There’s nothing worse than taking on a strict cardio regime only to see that stomach expand even further – you are losing weight everywhere else…why not your stomach?

Have you taken on the wrong kind of workout? Is this down to family tree genetics?

Let’s take a closer look…

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Abdominal Weight Gain Causes

Let’s not beat around the bush here – when we complain about a fat stomach we are really complaining about a fat abdominal area (that is where we are gaining the weight!).

The abdomen is the section of your body between your chest and pelvis – your stomach is nothing more than a ‘machine’ that digests the food you put inside yourself.

So what is the most likely cause of abdominal weight gain?

Well the obvious answer to this is just general weight gain – the weight your body takes on overall.

And why is this weight gain happening? (as if you need to ask…)

You are piling way too many calories in your body and you are not getting enough exercise.

Simply put – eat less and move more!!!!

Hormones & Age

Unfortunately, the older you get the slower your metabolism becomes and this means you are a lot more likely to gain weight in certain areas.

As we get older the fat distribution changes inside or bodies leading to more fat being dumped in the tummy area.

This seems to happen more with women – especially after the menopause.

Hormones & Age

The Meaty Kinda Diet

This was actually a little bit of a surprise to me – but it’s backed up by the International Journal of Obesity.

Apparently meat eaters are much more likely to gain weight in the abdomen than anywhere else in their body!

So if you like to chomp down on a steak a couple of times a week you may want to re-think your dietary direction. The same goes for pork and chicken (yikes!).

The Meaty Kinda Diet


The University of Alabama at Birmingham actually conducted a study that lasted 15 years on the link between depression and weight loss.

They discovered that study participants who initially reported that they were going through bouts of depression, were much more likely to experience abdominal weight gain (when compared to the study participants who were not depressed!).

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Fancy a Beer??

This is the part of the article that 99% of you (including me) are going to ignore…but facts are facts I’m afraid!

Drinking alcohol increases the amount of calories you are putting into your body – period!

Alcohol is terrible for abdominal obesity – period!

The European Journal of Nutrition carried out research which concluded that people who drink over 3 alcoholic drinks a day are way more likely to see ‘tummy trouble’ in their weight gain…regardless of the amount of physical activity they took part in!

Alcohol & Belly Fat

The Genetic Link

Some of us are just plain unlucky…according to the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders.

Yep, some of us are doomed to live out our lives ‘a little tubby’ due to the genetics passed down to us through our family tree.

But it’s not all doom and gloom…well…it isn’t if you’re a man anyway!

That’s right – genetics are more likely to play a role in abdominal fat in women than in men. Men tend to get a spare tire due to lack of exercise and a shitty diet!

The Genetic Link

Causes of Weight Gain in Stomach

Abdominal fat isn’t just uncomfortable and…undesirable???

It’s also linked to a variety of different health conditions…

Heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance and high cholesterol levels.

So if you notice the spare tire getting bigger it’s probably time to rethink your diet and introduce a bit of fitness into your lifestyle. Remember – your health could well be at risk!

If you have any thoughts or opinions on the subject we have covered above, please leave them in the comment section below.

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24 thoughts on “That Tricky Area – Causes of Weight Gain in Stomach

  1. I have always been jealous of people with perfect abs. But no matter how fit I am, i always keep some belly fat. I guess genes play some role along with the office work… Our bodies are not designed to sit on a chair all day long.

    The most important thing though is, as you said, to stay healthy. The goal is not the perfect abs but to keep the stomach fat in low levels.

    I really love reading your articles and find some of your health topics really engaging – once again you’ve nailed it with this piece!

    Will be returning again soon for my weekly fix 🙂

    1. Hi Evita,

      Well unfortunately I know exactly what you mean – some people just have that sort of build around the stomach areas where the abs always show…I’m not one of those people!

      Nope – I have to work hard and eat correctly to keep my abs up to trim. I guess those genes have got a lot to answer for!

      Great to hear that you are a regular to the site and enjoy our work – I’ll keep an eye out for you in future! 🙂

      Stay Healthy! 🙂

  2. My weight gain is mostly in the stomach area. Knowing the causes can be very helpful to lose the weight.
    I eat meat quite often, maybe this is one of the cause for me? 

    Lucky I did not have the genetic link. I’m not depressed but sometimes I’m stressed out because of work – this could certainly be behind my stomach problems!

    Well, thanks to this article, I will reduce my meat consumption and be more relax to help reduce the weight in this area to get flat abs that I’ve always dreamt of.

    Great article once again – this site has helped me so much in the past! 

    1. Hi there Diana!

      Well it’s always great to hear from people that have found some worth in our content – so glad you enjoyed this article. Good luck with tackling that stomach weight (hope the article helps you nail it!).

  3. It scares me to look at my cousin and see his stomach.  It’s literally like a bowling ball around the middle of him and he’s only in his early 50’s.  He’s a handsome man, and a kind, generous, funny guy, and I’d really like to have him around for a while on this planet, but trying to talk to him leaves me feeling frustrated.  Beer appears to be his downfall.  I see you list it as one of the problems.  When I clicked through your link and saw that the Old School – New Body book was a mere $20, I thought “PERFECT CHRISTMAS PRESENT!”  

    He talks about losing the stomach, so it will be easy for me to say, “I know you have been talking about trying to reduce your stomach, and I saw this book, so…” without hurting his feelings.  I really hope he takes it to heart.

    Thanks for the article.  It has guided me in a positive direction for him.

    1. Hi Babsie,

      Yeah I’m afraid beer is the downfall of 99.9% of men’s stomach shape – I used to have the same problem before I took up running. At least he’s aware of it! 

  4. I would hate to have this belly fat.  I need to see my belt loop from standing.

    I’m on the fence about genes because perfectly healthy people who eat poorly and lead a sedentary lifestyle use it as an excuse weather they have it or not.

    God old fashion healthy eating, a lot of exercise and you can go a long way to a slimmer tummy.  Just my 2 cents worth

    1. I see what you mean Stew – a lot of people do blame weight gain on anything other than the fact that they don’t look after themselves. Eat less and move more! 🙂

  5. I have always been really jealous of the people who have perfect abs and still eat junk and drink beer. Even though I train like a machine doing crossfit, I don’t seem to be able to get there.

    In your opinion, are some people just never destined to have the perfect abs or do perhaps think there is something in my diet that is preventing me from reaching my goal as I consume 1 – 2 alcohol units per week?


    1. One to two units of alcohol is nothing Richard – you should see what I drink a week (and I’m not proud of it!). 

      You should really be looking at a more intense version of cardio, like running, then a calorie sensible diet, to get that washboard stomach! 

  6. I know hormones play a role in fat distribution, as well. That surprised me when I first learned that, but it made complete sense when I looked at where I store the most fat (my arms) and what hormone that’s linked to (testosterone–my testosterone levels are on the higher side due to a genetic issue I have). Abdomen/back is the next area, followed by butt/thighs as the last place I gain. It’s interesting.

    I definitely notice that the kind of food I eat makes a big difference. I have a much flatter belly when I’m eating clean, even if my portions are higher than they should be. That’s interesting about the meat eaters carrying weight in the midsection. Seems the “rules” with meat are changing all the time!

    1. I’ve noticed that myself Holly, meat seems to be a grey area with weight loss once again! Thanks for sharing your opinion on hormones and weight gain with us. 

  7. Belly fat could be a very bad experience, I hate it so much but my fiance had belly fat until I recommended her to the word eat less and move more. She doesn’t eat Kate any longer and does yoga exercises every morning and we’ve seen an appreciable increase. In my opinion, the most natural way to control belly fat is this.

    1. LOL you’re a much braver man than me Lok – I would NEVER comment on a girlfriend’s weight and expect to come out of the conversation without a limb or two missing! 

  8. Hi Chris,

    Thanks once again for taking the time to write a good article to read to know more about what causes the weight gain in the stomach area.

    So easy to have some sugary food one day and the next one, and one day you get to say, “oh, no! now what do I need to do to get rid of this”

    Reading your article gave me a few ideas to know what to do, as you said, no more steaks or chicken every day thinking that meat based diet is good as I was keeping carbs in the right limit.

    After reading your article makes sense to me why doctors and nutritionist tell people to add some fish on our diet. Today it’s also known that we should add more protein from vegetables, am I right on this?

    I love your website and I will come back to read more!

  9. Hi Chris – thanks for sharing this interesting article. I am guilty of blaming the menopause for my weight gain, but I know in reality that’s its simply due to eating and drinking too much! Unfortunately with Christmas on the horizon, there is way too much temptation coming up. Once that is out of the way, I am definitely going to tackle the problem. As you rightly point out, alcohol is just unwanted calories, so I will start by dropping that glass of wine I have in the evening. All the best, Diane

    1. Well that’s good to hear Diane. Don’t forget there’s a lot of weight loss articles on this site if you need a little help getting started. Good luck! 

  10. Great article and one that I think anyone over the age of 25 can relate to. I was one of those blessed with great genes but that doesn’t mean I don’t have to fight a constant battle against ‘beer belly’. Being a male over the age of 60 (and one who rather enjoys the adult beverages more than I should) it’s a struggle to keep the abdominal area under control. It was interesting to read that meat is a contributing factor. For other reasons, I have changed my diet to one that mostly includes fish for protein and the weight gain in my abdominal area has been easier to control but I assumed it was for other reasons. Good to know that sacrificing steak and beef in general has had other benefits for me. Thanks for the info.

  11. Being in my 40’s, this article hit home with me. My tummy area is not that great, it is not awful yet, but well on its way to being awful.

    After reading your article, I decided I need to do something about this before I get “fat”. I am plump right now. 

    Being aware of all the potential health issues is the biggest factor that brought me to my new quest, and that was thanks to reading your article!

    Thank you for pointing me in a better direction!


  12. Hello Chris, 

    Oh boy, did you burst a couple of my bubbles with this article – but it is all good…knowledge is power. I struggle with that ‘extra love handle and pudgy feeling’ in the lower part of my female body – and yes, it seems like everything else seems to disappear and not in that area.

    I am not a big meat eater, so relinquishing that from my diet is easy to do…especially in the hopes of reducing belly fat. As a matter of fact, I was even looking at doing a raw food diet as well. I have a girlfriend who swears by it.

    The part will put a damper on everything is the occasional glass of red wine that I have with dinner. Living in Europe, it is almost a ‘given’ to have wine with dinner and then some cheese..yes, I know…it might not always be a recipe for optimal health. Even though, red wine is by far much better than white wine. You wrote about beer, how do you feel about wine?

    I also found it interesting when you wrote abut the recent studies on ‘heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance and high cholesterol levels’ in relation to belly fat. This is news to me. I will have to check on this some more. In any event, I will see if I can reduce my meat intake and ‘adult beverage’ and see what it brings.

    Great article.


    1. Hi Michelle,

      Well if you have to pick a drink for weight loss, I’d say that red wine is a good choice to go for as it contains less calories (and it’s actually quite good for you!). Just don’t go drinking two bottles a night!!!!

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