Blog Weight Loss Stomach Sticks Out But You’re Not Overweight? Here’s The Deal With That

Stomach Sticks Out But You’re Not Overweight? Here’s The Deal With That

The Problem Of A Protruding Belly

Sometimes working out and dieting or being naturally thin doesn’t mean you won’t ever have to deal with a  visible belly. The fact that your stomach sticks out even with proper diet and exercise is confusing, but it is not a one-in-a-million case and happens more often than you might think. You may grow a belly due to draining a bottle of cold beer after work being your way of kicking back and unwinding or it could be the result of a certain health issue you’re battling with. In this article, you’ll find out why your stomach sticks out and how you can effectively solve this problem.

Reasons Why You May Have Stomach Fat

There are different reasons why your stomach sticks out, even if you’re in prime shape. To figure out how to get rid of this problem, you first need to determine its cause. So, here are some factors that might cause a visible belly:


It may be nice to relax after a hard day at work with a bottle of beer or a glass of wine, but if the amount of alcohol you consume surpasses the norm and is regular, it may promote the deposition of fat in your abdominal area. Korean research has shown that consistent alcohol intake by adults causes an increase in waist circumference, which results in belly fat (6). So, if you want to trim your waist a little, you should reduce your alcohol intake or consider kicking the habit altogether.


The appearance of a protruded belly does not only depend on your lifestyle. A study has shown that stomach fat may be caused by certain genetic factors and can be managed with the help of correct nutrition and physical activity (13). If your parents are a bit on the fuller side, you may expect to have a similar body shape.


A bad posture doesn’t only make you look older, it also makes your stomach stick out. Although slouching doesn’t exactly make you gain belly fat, it relaxes and weakens your abdominal muscles, squeezes your organs, and makes your stomach protrude. This is just one of the many benefits of improving your posture. 

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Another thing that may cause a visibly rounder belly is recent pregnancy and delivery. The abdominal muscles significantly stretch and weaken during pregnancy and may require some additional local exercises to get back into shape.

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It is also possible that your stomach sticks out due to a conditioncalled diastasis recti. This occurs when your abdominal muscles separate to allow your uterus to expand but don’t reconnect after some time following delivery. To treat this condition, it is recommended to consult a doctor (4).


Being under constant stress can significantly harm your mental health and may also be a great danger to your physical wellness. Your body deposits fat in your belly for long-term use due to the excess production of a stress-regulatory hormone – cortisol (17). Try reducing your stress levels by exercising or meditating.


Bloating is generally temporary and appears as a result of constipation or gas. It can also occur due to lactose intolerance, fizzy drink consumption, and dehydration. This problem can be solved by fine-tuning your diet. Avoid all gas-inducing foods, such as beans, broccoli, wheat, onions, garlic, dairy products, beer, hard candy, and fatty foods (24). If you suffer from bloating all the time, make sure you consult a specialist.

stomach sticks out  


When a woman hits menopause, her body goes through a slew of changes, one of which is decreased estrogen production. Some of the other causes of growing depositions of belly fat among women who go through menopause are changes in sleep pattern and lack of sleep, decreased muscle mass, and insulin resistance. This problem can be solved by regular full-body workouts, proper sleep, and the consumption of healthy fats.

How To Effectively Target Belly Fat

Now that you’ve figured out the reason why your stomach sticks out and found out a little about how you can get rid of it, it’s time to delve a bit deeper into this topic. Read on to find out how you can make your tummy fat vanish by changing your lifestyle and implementing some of the following recommendations into your everyday life (1).

Nutrition Recommendations

It’s not a secret that a balanced diet is the key to sound health. And although there are lots of different diets that promise to instantly melt away your excess fat, some are not that healthy or well-balanced. If you want to work on  your protruding belly, here are some nutrition recommendations that will help you fight this problem:

Increase Your Consumption Of Healthy Fats

Healthy fats, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, are not only a great option for health improvement, they are also highly recommended by dietitians as a substitute for saturated and trans fats. Olive oil is particularly effective in the weight loss process as it decreases lipotoxicity, which leads to the reduction of saturated fatty acids that attach to the internal organs (20). Other sources of healthy fats include avocados, eggs, fatty fish, nuts and nut butters, and chia seeds.

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Read more: 10 Exercises to Flatten Stomach, and What Else You Should Do to Lose Belly Fat

Swap Sugary Drinks For Water, Coffee, Or Tea

One of the main rules of any healthy diet is to avoid drinking sugary drinks. In order to stay hydrated, you need to drink water, but if you don’t like plain water, you can have a cup of tea or coffee every morning. Although the sole consumption of coffee won’t burn all your excess fat, it may aid the weight loss process (9, 8). However, this doesn’t mean that you can drink six cups of sweetened coffee every day – you should stick to unsweetened black coffee (11). 

Tea is also a great low-calorie beverage that can significantly improve your dieting results. It’s rich in antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory properties, and is recommended by many dietitians. The flavonoids that are found in tea promote a healthy metabolism and help the body burn fat faster (10), and thanks to its different flavors, you are unlikely to become sick of it.

Consume More Fruits And Vegetables

It is general knowledge that fruits and vegetables are filled to the brim with essential vitamins and minerals. Some of them are packed with vitamin C, which is a great antioxidant and boosts your immune system and metabolism while also improving cardiovascular health, preventing certain cancers, and playing an important role in collagen production. Collagen is the main component in connective tissue, which is found in tendons, ligaments, skin, cartilage, bones, and blood vessels. 

Fruits and vegetables are also a rich source of fiber, which is associated with the reduction of visceral fat (20) – the lower layer of fat that is located near the internal organs. The consumption of fiber can also help control blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Cut Back On Refined Carbs

Carbs that are found in sugary drinks and foods, refined grains, and white bread are high in calories and low in nutritional value. It is recommended to substitute them with complex carbs, which occur in fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain products.

Eat Lean Proteins

Including some lean proteins into your diet can help reduce your consumption of fatty meats and overall food cravings, which promotes a prolonged feeling of satiation. Protein is also highly beneficial in the weight loss process as it helps preserve lean muscle tissue while fighting fat. You can find lean proteins in legumes, nuts, white-fleshed fish, and lean meat.

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stomach sticks out  

Exercise Tips 

Exercising is the second main aspect of successful weight loss and good health in general. It may help you prevent the occurrence of different diseases, improve health, strengthen your body, reduce stress, and banish excess fat(2). Here are some exercises you can try:


A proper cardiovascular workout can increase blood flow and improve blood circulation while also melting fat and strengthening muscles. Incorporate some walking, running, cycling, or swimming into your workout routine and you will not only feel better, you’ll also notice your body gradually becoming more toned and healthier.


High-intensity interval training is a great fat-burning workout that is based on the principle of combining a more intensive exercise with a less intensive one. For example, walking for 3 minutes can be followed by 30 seconds of running. It has been proven to be effective for fat reduction and muscle strengthening. 

Strength Training

Strength training is a recommended way of improving bone and joint health and shedding excess fat. Although it aims to help muscle mass growth, it is an effective way of getting rid of a protruding belly. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you will burn. You can practice strength training twice a week, focusing on the major muscle groups (7).

Daily Activity

You don’t necessarily need to purposely work out for hours in the gym to increase the number of calories you burn and get rid of your belly. Try adding more motion or dynamics to your daily activity and you will be surprised with the result. For example, you could take the stairs rather than the elevator, walk or cycle instead of driving somewhere, or wander around the room while talking on your phone or watching TV. Even such small changes will make a significant difference.

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Tips And Recommendations To Promote Fat Burning

In addition to general dietary and training advice, there are some tips that may add to the whole fat-melting process and help you achieve your goal more quickly. The following recommendations do not require any critical lifestyle changes and will help you get rid of a protruding stomach while also significantly improving your health and wellness.

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Use Low Calorie Sweeteners Instead Of Sugar

If you want to banish your belly fat but have a huge sweet tooth, don’t worry, because there is an option for you. Studies have shown that using an artificial sweetener rather than sucrose or simple sugars may promote weight loss and help control blood sugar levels for diabetics (5). However, this doesn’t mean that you need to eat more foods with added artificial sweeteners. You should consider them a last resort and try to keep away from any additional sweeteners most of the time. 

There are some naturally sweet foods that can satisfy your cravings without ruining all your dieting efforts. These include fruits and berries, dried fruits, dark bitter chocolate, and homemade cereal bars that are based on whole-grain cereal, nuts, and dried fruits.

Stay Hydrated

Proper hydration is an important aspect of healthy nutrition and life. It will improve the state of your skin and wellness while also fighting stubborn stomach fat. Although it is generally recommended that you should consume eight glasses of water each day, the main indicator on which you should focus is your thirst. As previously mentioned, if you’re not a fan of plain water, you can occasionally drink a cup of tea or coffee instead.

Quit Smoking

Smoking is an overall health-harming practice that can promote belly fat. Besides the obvious and well-known risks of smoking, such as lung cancer and an accelerated aging process, it has also been proven to cause sagging breasts in women. This is why you should stop smoking for your health and body.

Sleep More

This recommendation was mentioned before and it is quite important. Sleep plays a significant role in overall wellness. The main purposes of this process are to rest, regenerate, and recover. Proper sleep can improve your health and help with weight loss, which includes belly fat reduction. Sleep among adults is normally  7-9 hours per night. If you want to feel fresh and full of energy every day while also improving your internal functions, which includes the fat burning process, make sure you get eight hours of shut-eye.

Read more: Ultimate Abs And Butt Workout For Flat Stomach And Bigger Butt

Why Should You Pay Attention To Your Belly Fat?

Everyone is beautiful, no matter their height, weight, or body type. And there is nothing wrong with having a bit of excess weight. However, it does deserve your attention and effort when it reaches the point where it becomes a menace to your wellness. 

Having a normal weight doesn’t always mean that you are completely safe and healthy. Conditions such as abdominal or central obesity are measured not by your overall weight, but by your waist circumference or waist-to-hip ratio. As research has shown, belly fat is the worst type of fat there is (3). Here are the risks central obesity carries (15):

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Higher Mortality Rate

A study has shown that people with normal weight who suffer from abdominal obesity have a higher mortality rate than those with a body mass index that is higher than the norm (18).

Cardiovascular Disease

Research has shown that people who suffer from cardiovascular diseases or are at risk of their development often have excess abdominal fat (12).

Certain Types Of Cancer

Big amounts of visceral fat may cause the occurrence of cancer. This happens as a result of the production of certain proteins, which makes the non-cancerous cells turn into cancerous cells and causes the appearance of tumors (22, 14).

Type 2 diabetes

Another Korean study showed that visceral fat is more associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes than other obesity indicators (23).

Visceral fat can be dangerous and may lead to different health conditions. However, you shouldn’t jump to any conclusions, as a moderate amount of abdominal fat is not critical and can be reduced if you are determined enough. However, if you feel as if you are close to the point of abdominal obesity, which is defined by a waist circumference of 40 inches (101cm) or more in men or 35 inches (around 89cm) or more in women, you should consult your doctor.

stomach sticks out  


  • Why am I skinny but my stomach sticks out?

A person can have a protruding belly despite being thin due to alcohol (beer belly), genetics, poor posture,  or other medical conditions.

  • Beer belly – Consuming too much alcohol, particularly beer, can lead to a protruding belly as it contains high amounts of calories and is high in carbohydrates. This leads to the accumulation of fat in your midsection, which results in a “beer belly”.
  • Genetics – Some people are genetically predisposed to carry weight around their stomach area. This could be due to their body type or the way their body stores fat.
  • Poor posture – Slouching or leading a sedentary lifestyle can cause your stomach to stick out, even if you are not overweight. This is because it weakens the muscles in your abdomen and lower back, which leads to a protruding belly.
  • Medical conditions – Certain medical conditions such as bloating, constipation, or hormonal imbalances can also cause the stomach to stick out. It is important to consult a doctor if you experience persistent bloating or digestive issues (19).
  • Am I fat if my stomach sticks out?

No, having a protruding belly does not necessarily mean you’re overweight or fat. As previously mentioned, various factors can contribute to a stomach sticking out, including genetics, poor posture, or medical conditions.

In addition, the concept of “skinny” or “fat” is subjective and body weight should not be the sole determinant of a person’s health. It is important to focus on overall well-being and body composition rather than just weight

  • How can I get a flat stomach?

Getting a flat stomach requires you to sustain a calorie deficit long enough to lose weight all over your body, including the stomach. This can be achieved through a combination of healthy, calorie-controlled eating and regular exercise (16).

Some tips to help you get a flat stomach include:

  • Eat a balanced diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.
  • Limit your intake of processed foods, sugary drinks, and alcohol.
  • Incorporate strength training exercises to build muscle mass and boost metabolism.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and aid digestion.
  • Practice good posture and avoid prolonged periods of sitting.
  • Are flat stomachs healthy?

While having a flat stomach may seem a desirable aesthetic, it is not always an indicator of good health. In fact, extremely low body fat levels can be harmful and increase the risk of health issues such as hormone imbalances, decreased immunity, and reproductive problems.

Rather than focusing solely on achieving a flat stomach, you should strive for a healthy overall body composition and balanced lifestyle. This includes maintaining a healthy weight, eating nutritious foods, and staying active.

Remember that everyone’s body is unique and different and some people may be genetically predisposed to have a flatter stomach while others may not. What matters the most is taking care of your body and prioritizing your health

  • Can I get a flat tummy in 2 days?

Yes, you can get a visibly flatter tummy in two days if it is sticking out due to bloating. When you’re bloated, your stomach can appear larger than usual due to excess gas or water retention. However, this is generally temporary and can be relieved by making dietary and lifestyle changes.

If your stomach is sticking out due to excess fat, it may not be possible to achieve a flat tummy in just two days. Losing weight and reducing body fat takes time and consistent effort.

The Bottom Line

Being within a normal weight range doesn’t always mean that you don’t have excess fat on your body. If your stomach sticks out even though you are skinny, you may need to change certain habits to get rid of it. 

In order to do this, you must first figure out what causes your protruding belly. It may be the regular consumption of alcohol, stress, hormones, bad posture, recent pregnancy, or bloating. 

If you are determined to flatten your belly, you should exercise more and stick to a healthy diet. Following the tips in this article will significantly improve the entire process and make it even more effective. 

A growing amount of belly fat may be harmful to your health as it increases the risk of different diseases. If the amount of your abdominal fat reaches a critical point, such as causing central obesity, please seek help from a health specialist.


This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. 11 natural ways to get rid of belly fat (2020,
  2. Abdominal obesity and metabolic syndrome: exercise as medicine? (2018,
  3. Abdominal obesity and your health (2017,
  4. Abdominal Separation (Diastasis Recti) (2018,
  5. Artificial Sweeteners: Implications for Weight Loss in Obesity (2019,
  6. Association Between Alcohol Intake and Abdominal Obesity Among the Korean Population (2010,
  7. Belly fat linked with higher heart disease risk (2018,
  8. Coffee Intake and obesity (2019,
  9. Could Coffee Be A Help in Weight Loss? (2019,
  10. Could Tea Help You Lose Weight? (2018,
  11. Does caffeine help with weight loss? (2020,
  12. Excess belly fat common in those with high heart risk (2018,
  13. Genetics of Central Obesity and Body Fat (2019,
  14. High visceral fat percentage is associated with poor outcome in endometrial cancer (2017,
  15. How do you lose belly fat? (2020,
  16. How to Lose Fat in the Upper Pubic Area (2023,
  17. Minireview: Glucocorticoids–Food Intake, Abdominal Obesity, and Wealthy Nations in 2004 (2004,
  18. Normal-Weight Central Obesity: Implications for Total and Cardiovascular Mortality (2015,
  19. Stomach Bloating: Causes, Symptoms and Relief Techniques (2023,
  20. The Effects of Fiber on Visceral Fat (2019,
  21. The Positive Effects of Olive Oil Toward Lipotoxicity and Obesity (2019,
  22. This is how belly fat could increase your cancer risk (2017,
  23. Visceral Fat Mass Has Stronger Associations with Diabetes and Prediabetes than Other Anthropometric Obesity Indicators among Korean Adults (2016,
  24. Which foods cause gas and bloating? (2018,
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