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Why Is It So Hard to Lose Belly Fat?

Liposuction in Chicago

Have you had some success losing weight with diet and exercise, but find yourself frustrated at the persistence of a flabby stomach? It’s not your imagination: belly fat really can have some of the most stubborn fat cells in the body. To learn more about the science behind belly fat as well as a potential cosmetic solution, continue reading this blog by Dr. Marco Ellis.

What Is Abdominal Fat?

Subcutaneous fat refers to the fat cells located between your skin and muscles. Approximately 90% of your body’s fat is subcutaneous. Although subcutaneous fat is found in many areas of the body, this is the specific type of fat that is responsible for creating a bulging midsection. You can usually pinch and feel it with your fingers.

While diet and exercise do shrink subcutaneous fat cells, research has found that belly fat is slower to burn off than the subcutaneous fat in other areas like the arms. The explanation is that belly fat has fewer beta receptors than subcutaneous fat elsewhere in the body. Since beta receptors receive a message from the body to burn fat during a calorie deficiency, the belly does not get this message as strongly and therefore burns less of its fat.

Visceral fat is another kind of fat that resides in the abdomen. This fat is located around the organs, such as the liver. Doctors sometimes refer to this fat as “hidden” fat because it cannot be seen and does not affect your appearance. Still, it is important to keep visceral fat low because it does have a serious impact on your health. The good news is that visceral fat is more responsive to diet and exercise, so burning this fat is less challenging.

What Causes You to Gain Belly Fat?

Since belly fat can be difficult to lose, understanding some of the leading causes of belly fat can be important:

  • An unhealthy diet: Consuming more calories than you burn in a day adds to fat deposits.
  • An inactive lifestyle: Exercise and movement throughout the day help to burn calories.
  • Alcohol consumption: Your body exerts energy burning off the alcohol rather than fat.
  • Genetics: You may be predisposed to store more fat in your belly.
  • Metabolism: With age, your body can no longer convert food into energy as efficiently, resulting in more fat.
  • Menopause: Hormone changes related to menopause can cause fat storage to shift from the thighs and hips to the abdomen in maturing women.

Keep in mind that a few of these causes are related to the aging process. You may have started developing more belly fat not because you’re suddenly “unhealthy,” but rather because your body is changing.

Liposuction Is a Good Solution to Belly Fat

If you continue to be unsatisfied with the way your abdomen looks despite exercising and maintaining a good diet, you may decide that plastic surgery is a reasonable solution to handle stubborn belly fat. Liposuction is a practical and safe way to suction out excess fat cells to trim down your contours.

To learn more about this procedure from an elite plastic surgeon in Chicago, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Ellis by calling (312) 695-6022 today.