We usually think that people who are overweight must be living an unhealthy lifestyle, and people who are skinny are eating right and exercising regularly. However, many people find their stomach sticks out but are thin everywhere else. Women may especially be alarmed by this condition. So is it something to be concerned? What could cause it? Keep reading to get the answers. Fortunately, no matter what the cause is, there are things you can do to get rid of your bump and get a flat stomach.
I'm Skinny but Have a Gut: Is There Any Problem?
A constant routine of exercise and healthy eating will help you stay skinny and in shape, but genetics can determine where your body will hang onto fat longer. Depending on your background, fat can stubbornly stick to your thighs, stomach, hips and butt. If you’re losing weight and not seeing the results you want in your stomach, it is likely your body likes to store fat there. It may take you longer to tone your stomach area, and there may be some fat you cannot lose at all. Following a healthy weight loss plan that includes strength training, cardio workouts and a low-calorie diet can make you stop wondering the question.
Low Muscle Tone
If you’re thin but don’t regularly lift weights or do strength training, this lack of muscle tone may explain why your stomach isn’t totally flat. Even people who are naturally skinny or have good metabolisms may have a small bit of fat on their stomachs because there are no muscles there to add support. If you incorporate weight or strength training into a regular exercise routine (at least twice a week), it can help build that muscle tone and make your stomach flat. Exercises that focus on the abdominal muscles can help, as well as eating foods rich in protein since they assist in building muscle mass.
You might be asking “Why I’m skinny but have a gut?” and it has nothing to do with where your body stores fat, how you’re exercising or how you’re eating, as discussed above. Besides, if you have a slumped or slouched posture, it can make it appear like you have a stomach pouch when you actually don’t. Even women who are skinny can make themselves look like they have extra fat if they’re not standing up straight. So put your shoulders back, hold your head up high, stick out your chest and tighten your stomach muscles. Your torso will appear longer and slimmer and get rid of the illusion of any stomach fat. Maintaining good posture takes practice, and you’ll have to remind yourself to do it until it becomes routine.
This is often the most common culprit of appearing like you have a stomach when you actually don’t. Bloating, which causes a distended stomach, is a little more complicated and can be caused by many different things, so it will be explained in more detail below.
The main cause of bloating usually has to do with your digestive system. And a number of things can affect the health of your stomach and intestines, from your metabolism not breaking down food and nutrients properly to your body not eliminating waste correctly.
When the body can’t break down proteins, sugar or carbohydrates completely, it can cause gas in the intestines that contributes to bloating.
An imbalance of the bacteria in your stomach, when the “good” bacteria outweigh the “bad” bacteria, can also contribute to bloating.
People who are constipated will also experience bloating because waste gets stuck in the intestines and leaves you with a hard, distended stomach, pain and gas.
For women, their monthly menstrual cycle and hormonal changes can cause bloating. While many women think the bloating during their period is from extra water weight, this is actually a misconception. Fluid can’t build up in your stomach and cause bloating. So when you’re wondering “Why I’m skinny but have a gut?” don’t blame an excess of water. If you are retaining water, it usually shows up in your ankles, feet and face.
And though it sounds contrarian, being dehydrated can actually cause bloating. When you haven’t drank enough water, your body will hold onto as much as possible which will make your stomach stick out.
Fortunately, there are so many effective ways you can try to deal with bloating, such as:
Don’t get constipated: If you’re not eating enough food with fiber, not getting enough exercise and not drinking enough water, you’re likely to become constipated. Be sure to load up on foods high in fiber such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits and nuts. Drink at least eight glasses of water a day and exercise for 30-45 minutes at least three times a week.
Rule out any food allergies: People can become allergic to foods or ingredients in foods at any time in their lives. This may include gluten allergies or being lactose intolerant. Besides bloating, food allergies will usually cause stomach pain and other digestive symptoms. Your doctor can run tests to confirm.
Slow down your eating: Eating too quickly can cause you to accidentally swallow air, which leads to bloating. So chew your food slowly.
Avoid carbonated drinks: Soda creates gas that can get trapped in your stomach. So next time you ask “Why I’m skinny but have a gut”, consider if you have always drink carbonated drinks.
Limit chewing gum: Similar to when you eat too fast, chewing gum can cause you to swallow air and create bloating. Sucking on hard candy can be a good alternative.
Limit sugar foods: Foods that have artificial sweeteners cause bloating, even though they’re low in calories. You'd better limit your intake to two or three servings a day.
Avoid sodium: Foods high in sodium cause water retention and other symptoms that can lead to bloating. Find food that is labeled no or low sodium.
Watch your bean intake: If you don’t regularly eat beans, they can give you gas and a bloated feeling. Work them into your diet slowly so your body has the time to get used to them.
Make smaller meals: Eating too much can make you feel bloated after a huge meal. Smaller portions more often throughout the day keep you satisfied but not miserable afterwards.
Include more anti-bloating foods: Things like yogurt, ginger, pineapple and peppermint tea can help calm the digestive system and keep things moving as they should, helping to avoid bloating.