4 TYPES OF BELLY SHAPES: WHAT BELLY DO YOU HAVE?
If one of your health and wellness goals is to lose weight, knowing your body type and potential causes of weight gain can make the process much simpler. Dr Eric Berg, who created the Body Type theory, believes that when you understand your body type and can identify your areas of concern, you can determine the best exercise, lifestyle and nutritional changes to help target those specific areas and factors that are contributing to weight gain.
For both men and women, a common problem area is belly weight gain, and despite being otherwise fit, many will be concerned with lower belly fat. Fat deposited in the abdominal area can be the most stubborn of all, with many people struggling to lose those unwanted kilos around their midsection and therefore asking the question, ‘Why do I have belly fat?’. So, what causes lower belly fat? What’s a hormonal belly? Is there such a thing as stress belly fat? And what can we do to prevent belly weight gain?
In this blog, we’re going to cover all of the above plus more and look at Dr Berg's Body Type theory and the associated belly shapes in more detail. If one of your health and fitness goals is to lose weight, it's important to include the right supplements in your diet that will best support you in achieving this. At Happy Way, our protein powders and pre-workout powders are a great addition to your daily routine as they're not only made with all-natural ingredients and packed with nutrients, but they provide both physical and mental benefits that will assist you in losing weight. Read on for more info on how these favourite Happy Way products, and others, can help you achieve your goals.
Dr Eric Berg believes that his Four Body Type theory is more likely to help someone reduce belly weight gain, being that it’s based on hormones and their effects on one’s body shape and fat percentage. With each body type, he talks about their corresponding belly shape and details the causes and solutions for each. Click on the image below to take Dr Eric Berg’s Body Type Quiz.
1. ADRENAL BODY TYPE – LINKED WITH STRESS
The first body type is the ADRENAL and the adrenal belly, which is caused by increased levels of cortisol. When going through stressful periods, the production of cortisol increases, and this, in turn, increases the accumulation of fat around the waist, leading to a saggy abdomen. Both men and women are likely to gain stress belly fat if they’re constantly exposed to high levels of stress, and besides the excess belly weight gain, they’re also likely to experience fatigue, back pain, nervousness, poor memory and sleep problems.
HOW TO TELL IF YOU HAVE THE ADRENAL BELLY TYPE
If your belly looks as if it drops toward the legs and you have a lot of stress going on in your life, plus you tend to worry excessively, experience frequent episodes of brain fog or crave salty foods, it might be a sign that your adrenals are tired and you need to give yourself a break! The solution for this group of people is NOT to go on a restrictive diet or to double the time spent at the gym.
The most important thing for those with a 'stress belly' is to manage their stress levels and ensure they get enough rest and sleep. In regards to nutrition, people concerned with stress belly fat should ensure they’re getting enough protein in their diet, as well as consuming plenty of vegetables which will give them the potassium they need to help deal with stress.
BEST PRODUCTS FOR THE ADRENAL BELLY TYPE
An easy way to boost your daily protein intake, is by adding a Happy Way Protein Powder to your routine. Available in both whey and vegan-friendly varieties, our protein powders are made with 100% natural ingredients and filled with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The reason why Happy Way Protein Powders are good for this belly type in particular, is that they help to reduce stress and improve mood, being that they contain the essential amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan increases the production of serotonin in the brain, helping you to feel calm and relaxed, as well as improve your quality of sleep.
Read more about our proteins in our blog, 'Is protein powder good for women's weight loss?'.
2. THYROID BODY TYPE – CAUSED BY EXCESS OESTROGENS
Increased production of the oestrogen hormone can increase belly weight gain, causing the so-called THYROID belly or hormonal belly of the thyroid body type. People who have this type of belly shape tend to gain weight in the upper and lower body simultaneously (not in one targeted area like the adrenal belly), with the fat distributed throughout the entire body. Those with a thyroid condition can often have higher levels of oestrogen caused by heavy periods or digestive liver issues and also suffer from a lower metabolism caused by the result of a lazy thyroid gland.
HOW TO TELL IF YOU HAVE THE THYROID BELLY TYPE
Those with a thyroid or hormonal belly may suffer from frequent headaches, poor circulation, hair loss and brittle fingernails. They can tend to crave sweets and usually prefer sugary, starchy carbs like bread, but carbs like this should be consumed in moderation—preferably only during and after exercise to provide a quick energy burst, as having too many carbs won’t help them lose belly fat.
Instead, these people should focus on restoring the normal production of hormones and lowering their oestrogen levels with the help of a healthcare professional. With regards to nutrition, ensuring they get enough protein in each meal and even including fish oils into their diet will be beneficial. Determining what causes lower belly fat in the thyroid type is important as this will have an effect on what’s best in their diet to help reduce it.
BEST PRODUCTS FOR THE THYROID BELLY TYPE
If you have the thyroid belly type, including a Happy Way Protein Powder into your daily routine will offer many benefits. Being a high-quality source of protein and rich in fibre, Happy Way Protein Powders help to boost metabolism and control appetite—keeping you feeling full for longer periods. Enjoying a protein shake or smoothie throughout the day will help prevent unwanted snacking and will be a much healthier alternative to high-sugar treats. If you want to beat those sweet tooth cravings the healthy way, try flavours like Caramel Biscuit, Triple Choc Fudge, Vanilla or Choc Caramel for guaranteed deliciousness!
With this belly type, you can also add our Charge Up Pre-workout Powders to your routine. Our pre-workout powders are packed with vitamins and minerals and without any artificial preservatives, flavours or sweeteners. They'll provide you with an all-natural energy boost that's perfect for before and during your workout, helping you train at a more intense level and therefore burn more fat. Read our blog '7 benefits of having a natural pre-workout', for more info on our Charge Up Pre-workout Powders.
3. OVARY BODY TYPE – SPECIFIC FOR WOMEN
The OVARY body type or ovary belly is a female-only problem and is where weight is gained in the thigh and lower belly areas. The ovary belly type is also caused by an excess of the oestrogen hormone, and it’s often more present during hormonal changes that take place during menstruation and after giving birth.
HOW TO TELL IF YOU HAVE THE OVARY BELLY TYPE
Those with the ovary belly type may experience heavier periods during their menstrual cycle, headaches, acne outbreaks and ovarian cysts. Hip and knee pain, depression and increased water retention, libido problems and night sweats can also occur. The solution in this type also refers to balancing the hormone levels, but in some cases, medical treatment might be required—if ovarian cysts are present, for example. A diet that’s rich in protein and healthy fats from plant-based sources, rather than those from dairy or animal sources, is more likely to help get rid of this type of belly.
BEST PRODUCTS FOR THE OVARY BELLY TYPE
Just like the other belly types, adding a protein powder into your diet if you have the ovary belly can prove to be beneficial. Because it's recommended to consume protein that's plant-based rather than dairy, we suggest sticking with our Vegan Protein Powders which are made with a blend of either rice and pea protein or hemp protein. Another product suggestion for this body type is Happy Way's BCAAs, which can help to balance out women's hormones and relieve stress, amongst other benefits.
4. LIVER BODY TYPE – CAUSED BY LIVER AND BILE PROBLEMS
If your midsection looks like a pot and your arms and legs are rather thin, you’re likely to have a LIVER body type or liver belly. This type of belly sticks out more than the adrenal body type and is made of fat tissue that accumulates due to a decreased production or impaired release of bile, associated with low blood sugar levels in the morning.
Men are more likely to develop this type of belly and can tend to have issues like bloating, flatulence or other digestive problems, as well as some back pain and soreness. Shoulder pain can also accompany these types of belly shapes, and in the morning, irritability and an increased hunger sensation may be present. All of these are the results of a tired liver that no longer works as it should, and the solution is a detox.
HOW TO TELL IF YOU HAVE THE LIVER BELLY TYPE
In healthy people, the levels of blood sugar are higher in the morning, but in those with a liver belly, the glycaemia values are lower. What this means is that the hunger sensation persists after eating because food isn’t properly processed and bile isn’t released in sufficient amounts.
People with the liver belly type should avoid consuming high amounts of alcohol and sugary sodas if they want to reduce belly fat, and they should limit the amount of heavy protein in their diets and remove complex carbs from junk foods. Instead, they should look at increasing their vegetable intake as this will help with liver function and ensure they consume healthy fats from nuts, avocados and olive oil. Increasing their exercise like the other body types and limiting starchy, sugary carbs to during and post-exercise is best for the liver belly type. Once the liver function is restored, the lower belly fat will go away also.
BEST PRODUCTS FOR THE LIVER BELLY TYPE
Just like the thyroid belly type, if you have the liver belly, including Happy Way Protein Powders in your diet will help reduce hunger cravings and keep you feeling full—preventing the need to consume junk foods and snacks with a high sugar content. You can also use our Charge Up Pre-workout Powders to help increase energy, strength and endurance during your workouts. If you have this belly type and struggle to meet your daily veggie requirements, our Happy Way Super Greens Powder can also be a great addition. Made with raw, organic ingredients like kale, spinach, kelp and wheatgrass, our Super Greens Powder can be mixed with water or added to your protein smoothie for an extra nutrient boost.
For more info on our Super Greens Powder, read our blog, 'Super Greens Powder: 5 reasons to include it in your diet'.
Check out our recipes page for stacks of smoothie and healthy snack recipes too!
WHAT PRODUCTS WILL HELP ME LOSE BELLY FAT?
As mentioned above, we’ve created a range of health and wellness supplements at Happy Way that are designed to help you look, and more importantly, feel amazing! All-natural and packed with vitamins, minerals and nutrients, when used in conjunction with regular exercise and a well-balanced diet, they can definitely assist you in achieving your health and fitness goals.
So, what products do we consider absolute essentials for every belly type to add to their diet to help with weight loss and reducing belly fat? Check out our go-to's below.
Our Charge Up Pre-workout Powders are made with key ingredients that work to stimulate hormonal reactions in the body to break down fat stores to be used as fuel. Our unique formula offers premium ingredients needed to boost performance and provide fat-burning benefits. Free from artificial colours, sweeteners or preservatives, Happy Way’s Charge Up Pre-workout Powders are also 100% natural.
Being that protein is considered the most hunger-reducing macronutrient, it’s no wonder that people from fitness fanatics to busy on-the-go mums incorporate it into their daily routine for its convenience and health benefits. Having a protein smoothie for breakfast or a shake throughout the day can help to reduce your cravings and need for snacking quite significantly.
If used correctly, protein powder can help with weight loss as well as help you to build and maintain lean muscle mass. Like a pre-workout powder, it’s important to still eat whole foods regularly, to look after both your physical and mental well-being, and if your goal is to lose weight, ensure you choose a protein powder that’s free from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives. When a protein powder contains unnecessary fillers, it can not only increase the calorie count of your smoothie or shake but can also lead to sugar cravings throughout the day.
When you add a scoop of Happy Way Protein Powder to your smoothie, it can promote a feeling of fullness and send signals to your brain that you’re not hungry, helping to also keep your sugar levels stable. Happy Way’s protein powders are also 100% natural and filled with high-quality raw superfoods and antioxidants.
Available in both whey and vegan formulas, our whey protein is sourced from NZ pasture-fed cows, whilst our vegan is made with a blend of rice and pea protein or hemp protein. Both are considered gluten-free, free from any nasties like artificial flavours, preservatives or sweeteners, and made using a combo of certified organic and organically grown ingredients, providing optimal health benefits.
For more info and tips on Happy Way’s whey and dairy-free protein powders, check out our blog, ‘The Best Protein Powder Types & Flavours’.
For further info on losing belly fat, read our blog ‘3 essential lifestyle changes for a flat belly’.