What makes a beer belly how it is, round and hard? What makes it different from a normal stomach or a soft(fat) stomach?

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What makes a beer belly how it is, round and hard? What makes it different from a normal stomach or a soft(fat) stomach?

In: Biology

8 Answers

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If you stab your belly with a knife, first you will cut the skin, then subcutaneous fat, then your abdominal muscles, then visceral fat, then your organs.

That means if you press your belly and feel softness, you are pressing against your subcutaneous fat. Cutaneous means skin, and subcutaneous means below the skin. If you press against your belly and feel something hard, you are pushing against your muscles.

If you have a big belly, but it’s hard that means that you have a lot of visceral fat. Visceral means deep. It feels hard because you are pressing the muscle, but there’s a lot of fat behind the muscle which causes your gut to bulge.

This visceral fat is very dangerous. It’s right next to your organs, so it can “spill into them”. You can get non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, for example. Visceral fat is the thing most associated with heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, etc. In fact, measuring your waist size is probably even better than measuring your weight or BMI.

Drinking alcohol causes beer bellies. Taking in a lot of calories causes beer bellies. And most importantly, genetics causes beer bellies. Asian people tend to store their weight in their belly, which means they can get heart attacks at far lower BMIs than other races.

Fortunately, even though visceral fat is the most dangerous kind of fat, it’s the easiest to lose. Cardio like running, swimming, cycling can melt away visceral fat. It’s the first kind of fat to go.

As a last thing, sometimes people say that if you have a lot of visceral fat, you are apple shaped. Your gut is big and your arms and legs are small. If you have a lot of subcutaneous fat (especially in your thighs) you are pear shaped.

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