Types of Belly Fat & Exercises to Burn: A Closer Look

The belly is home to delicious dinners and nervous butterflies. And to be honest, sometimes a bit more padding than we’d like. Belly fat is also the not-so-welcome guest that often overstays. It accumulates around your midsection and is a common concern for many people. Types of belly fat may vary. And it’s under your skin but can also be around the organs. It makes your clothes feel tight. Alongside it can also increase health issues.


Belly fat is not that bad itself. It is a sense of warmth to our body like a hug. But too much can be our foe. So it’s time to get moving and burn it. This article explains the different types of belly fat and exercises to lose it.



Different Types of Belly Fat

The belly area usually has a small amount of fat. Generally, belly fat is of two major types – the one under the skin and the other wrapping the organs. Other than these 2, many of the body conditions can lead to fat. And sometimes it’s the swelling, not the actual fat.


Subcutaneous Fat

Subcutaneous fat is the subtle layer beneath the skin’s surface. It is our body’s natural cushion in areas like the thighs and buttocks. It’s also the layer you can pinch between your fingers.


While subcutaneous fat is not risky, its accumulation can affect body shape and confidence. Balancing its presence is crucial, as excessive subcutaneous fat might create obesity-related concerns.


Visceral Fat

It is usually nestled deep within the abdominal cavity around vital organs. It wraps itself around organs like the liver and pancreas, influencing their functionality. Unlike subcutaneous fat, visceral fat remains hidden. This makes it a silent yet potent player in our well-being.


The dangers of visceral fat are health issues, such as heart attack and liver failure. It also influences hormonal balance and insulin resistance.


Stubborn Fat

Stubborn fat is resistant to traditional weight loss methods. These are often concentrated in regions like the belly and thighs. Genetics, poor blood circulation, and specific receptor distributions can raise stubborn fat’s tenacity. Recognizing these elements helps in overcoming the obstacles hindering conventional fat loss.


Hormonal Belly Fat

Our body’s hormones dictate how and where fat is distributed. Hormones like cortisol and insulin determine fat storage patterns. Imbalances in these hormonal levels accumulate belly fat. These hormones are disturbed by stress and poor lifestyle choices. A perfect hormonal balance can combat this particular type of adiposity.


Bloating and Water Retention

Bloating is a transient yet bothersome companion to belly fat and often results from excess gas, overeating, or intolerances to certain foods. Sometimes water tends to remain around the belly area causing swelling.


Distinguishing between persistent belly fat and temporary bloating is crucial. While bloating is often a fleeting issue linked to diet and lifestyle, persistent belly fat requires a well-targeted approach. You need to know the nature of abdominal distention to make informed choices.



Body Shapes and Belly Fat Distribution

The formation of fat is directly influenced by the body shape. Beyond aesthetics, body shape plays a role in determining potential health risks. Different bodies tend to have versatile patterns of stretch marks due to the chubby belly.


You might want to read 10 strategies to manage stretch marks, click here.


Following is the comparison between apple-shaped vs. pear-shaped bodies.


Apple-shaped vs. Pear-shaped Bodies

Our bodies, unique in their diversity, fall into two primary categories: apple-shaped and pear-shaped. Apple individuals tend to carry more weight around their midsection. This creates that classic apple silhouette. On the other hand, pear-shaped bodies have a distribution that favours the hips and thighs, resembling a pear.


Apple-shaped bodies accumulate fat around the abdominal organs, leading to the characteristic roundness. This distribution can result in a higher waist-to-hip ratio, a crucial metric in understanding health risks associated with visceral fat. Conversely, pear-shaped bodies carry their weight in the lower half, which often includes subcutaneous fat.


Android and Gynoid Fat Distribution

The terms “android” and “Gynoid” describe specific fat distribution patterns as apple and pear dichotomy. Android fat distribution is classic apple shape with central obesity. This pattern forms metabolic disorders and is more common in males.


Meanwhile, Gynoid fat distribution is typically observed in pear-shaped bodies. This involves lower limb obesity and is more prevalent in females. The differences in fat storage locations are due to hormonal factors of each gender’s body shape.



5 Effective Exercises to Burn Any Type of Belly Fat

Shedding belly fat requires more than just good intentions—it demands a strategy to exercise. Here are the five effective exercises that go beyond the traditional, offering a cool perspective on burning belly fat.


Related: 11 Exercise Tips for Staying Active


Cardiovascular Exercises

Do some cardio to bid farewell to the subcutaneous type of belly fat. Activities like brisk walking, jogging, basketball or cycling elevate your heart rate. This further prompts your body to tap into its fat reserves for energy.


Try exercises that you enjoy to ensure long-term commitment. And strike a balance between duration and intensity for optimal results like 75 minutes of vigorous activity is just perfect.


Basketball is also a complete cardio and has many health benefits, check out why basketball is healthy, here.


Strength Training

Resistance training not only sculpts lean muscle but also tackles visceral types of belly fat. This fat is more disturbing. But when you are building muscles doing squats, deadlifts, and bench presses, your body literally melts fat.


Moreover, specific exercises that engage the core, such as planks and Russian twists, also contribute to reducing visceral fat. These exercises promote fat loss but can enhance body strength and stability as well.


High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

The short-interval training is for those stubborn fat areas that seem impervious to traditional methods. HIIT combines training with rest. Therefore maximizes the calorie burn and boosts metabolism long after your workout ends. Tailor your HIIT routine to target specific stubborn fat areas. Join exercises like burpees, mountain climbers, and sprints to create an efficient fat-burning circuit.


Abdominal Exercises

Building a strong core is more important in reducing belly fat. A robust core improves posture, stability, and overall functionality. Prioritize exercises that engage not only the superficial abdominal muscles but also the deeper stabilizing muscles.


Combine traditional abdominal exercises like crunches and leg raises with functional movements such as planks and bicycle crunches. This ensures you’re targeting all aspects of your core, promoting both strength and definition.


Learn more about sports for weight loss: Top 5 picks to sweat it out!


Yoga and Pilates

Both of them offer a dual benefit of stress reduction and core engagement. Stress management is crucial, as high cortisol levels can contribute to belly fat accumulation. Yoga poses like the Boat Pose and Pilate exercises like the Hundred can target the core while fostering mental calmness. These practices not only enhance flexibility and balance but also contribute to a more centred and focused mind.

Explore Benefits of Yoga: Improving Sexual, General, and Active Health!



Nutrition Tips to Complement Exercises

A symphony of nutrients is the foundation of a balanced diet.  When proteins collaborate with carbohydrates and fats – they keep belly fat in check. A perfect blend of macro and micronutrients bolsters cellular functions, fortifying the body against the rigours of daily life.


Foods that Support Belly Fat Loss

  • Green tea
  • Fatty fish (Salmon, mackerel)
  • Quinoa
  • Oats
  • Whole Grains
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Chicken
  • Legumes


Foods to Limit

  • Added Sugars (Soda, Punch)
  • Refined Carbs (White Bread, Sugary Cereals)
  • Saturated Fats (processed meats)


Hungry for more wisdom! Check out 7 Strategies to Manage Your Sugar Cravings.



Lifestyle Changes for Sustainable Results

Belly fat can only melt if you focus on a whole body weight loss. While diet and exercise do their work, other lifestyle factors also play a huge role. Two such factors – stress and sleep affect belly fat.


Stress and Belly Fat

When we are stressed, our body releases cortisol. This hormone increases appetite and promotes fat storage in the abdominal area. This is why stressed people crave unhealthy foods and gain more belly fat.


Here are some stress management techniques that can help:


– Exercise: It is a natural mood booster.

– Meditation: It reduces anxiety.

– Deep breathing: It promotes relaxation.

– Yoga: It improves flexibility.


Related:  How To Master Stress Management Techniques?


Adequate Sleep for Weight Management

When we don’t sleep enough, it affects our appetite and metabolism. In response, our body produces more ghrelin (a hormone that stimulates hunger) which means overeating.


Here are some sleep patterns to follow:


– Sleep 7-9 hours per night.

– Make a sleep schedule and stick to it.

– Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bedtime.

– Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet.


For more hacks on how to improve sleep quality, click here.



FAQs on Different Types of Belly Fat


What are the various types of belly fat?

Subcutaneous and visceral fat are the major types of belly fat. Subcutaneous is under your skin, and it is soft and jiggly. In contrast, visceral fat hugs the organs and is “active” fat because it can affect your health.


Are there specific exercises that target stubborn belly fat effectively?

There is no specific exercise that can target stubborn belly fat effectively. But tend to lose body fat rather than belly fat. Try a combination of cardio and strength training, which can increase your metabolism and help you shed extra layers.


Does diet actually help in reducing any type of belly fat?

A diet that is high in fibre, protein, and healthy fats can help with belly fat reduction. All of them combined mean feeling full for a long time while building muscle mass. This fast-paced metabolism helps you burn more calories.


Are there any alternative methods for targeting many types of belly fat?

Several methods help in targeting belly fat like acupuncture, massage therapy, and herbal supplements such as green tea extract and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).


Which exercises can help me burn belly fat?

Some exercises to help burn belly fat include walking especially at a quick pace, running, biking, rowing, swimming, cycling and group fitness classes.


Can I lose belly fat through seated exercises?

Seated exercises can be effective in burning belly fat, as they can help you stay active and engaged while targeting various muscle groups, including the core.



Ending Remarks

Belly fat doesn’t have to be complicated instead find out how to melt it and that could be a healthy start. Just understand the different types of belly fat and target them with specific exercises.


Before you head off, let’s recap the three main takeaways:

  1. Know your enemy – what type of belly fat
  2. Move your body – do exercise
  3. Fuel your fight – nutrition


Burning belly fat is a lifestyle shift. Mix up your workouts, have nutritious meals, and move a lot. And if you’re hungry for more healthy recipes, check out this weight loss meal plan.


With dedication and exercise, melting those pesky “types of belly fat” is totally achievable. So, lose inches and gain a life filled with vitality. Happy sweating!


Related: How To Lose Weight After Pregnancy?