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Why Fat Accumulates in Your Belly and Buttocks

It’s a rather complicated metabolic process overall but, simply put, your body stores fat within specialized cells that remain small when you’re thin but plump up when you consume more calories than you need.

Not all body fat is the same, so we separate it into type and location. The types of fat are:

Some fat, called subcutaneous fat, lies just under your skin’s surface. This is the pinchable fat that you can grab as love handles or upper arm fat.

Visceral fat is found deep within your abdominal cavity, where it wraps itself around your organs. This type of fat is especially unhealthy, and is linked to a higher risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and other concerning health issues   

Not all fat is bad

If you’re healthy, you have a thin layer (with the emphasis on “thin”) of subcutaneous fat padding most of your body. This fat helps maintain youthful volume in your facial cheeks and can keep the skin on your hands from looking dry and withered.

White fat’s job is to provide energy your body can call on in times of need, such as when you’re hungry. It also produces hormones that are sent into your bloodstream to perform various tasks.

For instance, fat cells that aren’t too plump secrete adiponectin. This hormone helps your liver and muscles use insulin properly, which makes you less prone to developing diabetes. But when your fat cells are … well, too fat, adiponectin production slows dramatically or shuts down completely.

We used to think brown fat was useless to adults, maybe just a junk component of youth. We now know it acts more like muscle than fat and actually burns white fat when activated. Babies have more of it than adults and use it to keep warm. It’s also the type of fat that helps animals burn their fat stores during hibernation. In hopes of combating obesity, science is looking at ways to activate the brown fat we once ignored.

Why your belly or buttocks expand

Hormones make a difference when it comes to fat accumulation. For men, testosterone motivates the development of belly fat, the visceral type that is so dangerous to your health. High levels of testosterone, typically noted in youth, keep these visceral fat cells from expanding. Declines in testosterone that may occur with aging or other factors cause these cells to expand, often resulting in that pot belly you keep trying to suck in.

Until menopause comes along to shake up your life, women typically notice fat accumulation in their hips, thighs, and buttocks. This likely supports childbirth and breastfeeding. As you age, however, and your estrogen production declines, your fat redistributes itself and lodges in the belly -- some as subcutaneous fat and some as the deeper visceral fat.     

Certainly, though, every individual is unique. You may be a woman who has been apple-shaped with a round tummy since birth or a man whose pear shape is easy to spot. Either way, belly fat poses the most danger to your health and, along with thigh and buttock fat, is often the most difficult type to get rid of.   

Not all fat responds to weight loss

The only way to reduce the size of your fat cells is to lose pounds via a healthy diet that limits your caloric intake enough that they release their fat. As your fat cells shrink, you lose weight and appear thinner.

Exercise is another necessary component of weight loss and especially targets visceral fat. A well-balanced routine can also improve your cardiovascular health and strengthen and tone your muscles.

Sometimes though, even when you’ve reached your ideal weight and exercised yourself back into shape, stubborn pockets of belly and buttock fat remain. And there’s not a diet or exercise routine that’s going to help. That’s where Tampa Bay Body Sculpting comes in.

Once you’ve reached your weight loss goal, or if you’ve always maintained a healthy weight but can’t budge your belly and buttock fat, we can help. We offer liposuction and other body sculpting techniques that tighten your skin and get rid of stores of subcutaneous fat on your abdomen and buttocks. Just call or click to set up your appointment.     

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