Why does belly fat begin to hang?

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As you gain weight and your stomach gets bigger why does it start to hang instead of sticking out like a pregnant stomach?

In: Biology

4 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

In short, subcutaneous fat “sits outside” most of our body’s support structures so it doesn’t benefit from them.

The only thing that’s really supporting belly fat is skin, and some connective tissue inside the fat. In contrast a baby is supported by the uterus (which is a pretty serious layer of muscle) and the inner abdominal wall, and the whole network of abdominal muscles, and (last and least) the skin.

Note: if someone has a gut, some of that fat is right under the skin and that’s what I was mostly talking about above, AND some of it is visceral fat that’s in among the abdominal organs. Visceral fat is well supported, structurally, so it’s barely involved when you see gut sag. It’s a metabolic and hormonal calamity but that’s not what we’re talking about here. 🙂

Anonymous 0 Comments

To somewhat simplify the other answer. When fat expands in areas outside the support structures of the body (like under the ab muscles), the skin can’t hold the weight and gravity takes over = sagging.

When it happens to be fat inside the support structures expanding, it can defy gravity to an extent and stick out

Anonymous 0 Comments

As opposed to growing straight out? Like a traffic cone? It’s gravity…

Anonymous 0 Comments

Most fat is between the muscles and skin, so there’s no “muscle wall” to help contain it. Fat is like heavy jelly, and your skin can’t hold it up very well. But you might have observed that men often have more of a “protruding” stomach when they gain weight (AKA the “beer belly”), while women’s stomachs are more prone to sagging. This is because men tend to develop more “visceral” fat around their internal organs, behind that supportive wall of muscle. This is not great, because that fat is putting more of a direct strain on the organs.