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The #1 Thing That Gives You Abdominal Fat, Say Experts

Five habits that contribute to abdominal fat and why belly fat is so unhealthy, according to experts. 

Having a little abdominal fat is normal and nothing to worry about, but having too many extra pounds around your waistline can be a health risk and cause severe health problems. Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with Onyx NASM certified personal trainer Cameron Countryman who revealed five common habits that increase your risk of getting abdominal fat and how much is too much fat. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Not Drinking Enough Water

woman drinking water

Countryman explains, "Water flushes toxins out of our body, including fat. YES fat leaves our bodies through our pee. So if we are not consuming enough water in a day and not using the restroom often enough, we can keep these toxins in our body longer than they should be there, resulting in unwanted body fat and inflammation."

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Sitting For Too Long

Mature businesswoman working on laptop in her workstation.

According to Countryman, "Having a sedentary lifestyle is unhealthy for a number of reasons. Our bodies are meant to move. When we sit for too long, or too regularly, our metabolisms slow down because our bodies no longer have to work as hard and burn as much food for fuel. Slowing that metabolism down can result in an increase of fat storage if we are not eating as clean as we should be."

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Consuming Too Many Saturated Fats and Sugars

Woman reaching for chip and holding soda in processed junk food array on table with popcorn

"Eating saturated fat leads to the accumulation of more visceral fat and less muscle mass,"  Countryman states. "Too much sugar (fructose) is also a one way ticket to accumulating belly fat quickly. Enjoy your treats and snacks, but make sure you are balancing it with healthy and nutritious foods as well."

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Leaving Cardio Out of Your Workout Regimen

woman in hiit class

Countryman reminds us, "Like I said before, we must move our bodies. According to doctors, we need 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 5x a week to keep ourselves healthy and not at risk for heart disease. This means using our bodies and increasing our heart to healthy levels is a MUST."

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Not Consuming Enough Fiber

fiber rich foods

"Fiber is a carbohydrate that cannot be broken down into sugar," Countryman explains. "It then moves throughout the body undigested and is exposed in due time. This process also helps clear other toxins out of our bodies and helps us stay 'regular.' It is so important for our bathroom cycles to have a pattern and there is a direct correlation between gut health and overall wellness."

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Why Abdominal Fat is Unhealthy

man is putting his hand to the chest

According to Countryman, "Belly fat can be a sign for a number of health concerns including high cholesterol, heart disease, slow metabolism and inflammation. There are also many food allergies that result in inflammation and feeling "bloated" or full past a point of comfort." 

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How Much Abdominal Fat is Too Much?

man measuring waist weight loss

Countryman explains, "Doctors say a belly larger than 40 inches in circumference for men and 35 for women is considered obese. However we all carry our fat differently and it becomes distributed differently based upon our genetic code and hormone levels." And to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Heather Newgen
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more about Heather