Here are some facts:

• It is unlikely that you will lose your pot belly simply by doing crunches, leg lifts or similar kinds of abdominal exercises.

• Dieting alone will not help you lose your pot belly. The many thousands of unsuccessful attempts are proof of this.

• Without effective pot belly reduction programs to support them, the vast number of exercise contraptions you see on your television will seldom deliver what they promise.

• A pot belly is not always caused by the accumulation of fat in the body. Many people who possess pot bellies are not fat.

• Wearing special belts or wraps to get rid of a pot belly do not appear to offer any significant benefit.

The truth is, not all pot belly reduction programs and procedures are effective. Many fail to work because the approaches they utilize are ineffective. Too often, weight reduction programs are used to address the pot belly condition. This approach can be unreliable. Procedures that are normally used to lose weight are not sufficient or reliable enough to form an effective pot belly reduction program. Weight reduction and pot belly reduction programs, although they make use of similar principles and techniques, possess procedural and other differences that set them apart.

The pot belly, like obesity, affects millions of people worldwide. It is estimated that well over 70 million Americans are afflicted with the condition and exhibit some degree of deviation from what should be a firm and flat mid-section.

Possible factors contributing to a pot belly are: eating late at night, lack of exercise, poor diet, stress, overeating, the frequent ingestion of cold beverages, gas accumulation and changes resulting from pregnancy.

The pot belly as a product of belly fat accumulation is, today, quite popular. Studies conducted at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School have helped to shed light on the possibility that the pot pelly — more specifically, the fat that accumulates at the abdominal region — is caused by an overactive enzyme. According to the researchers, when the body produces too much of the stress hormone called cortisol it causes an increase in the accumulation of abdominal fat. It appears that the enzyme called 11-beta hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1, when it becomes overly active, produces higher than normal amounts of cortisol. This results in the buildup of abdominal fat that is often associated with a pot belly.

Possessing a pot belly is seldom seen as a life-threatening situation, it can form the basis for more serious health problems. For instance, a person with a pot belly is many times more likely to suffer from lower back pain. The psychological pressures and problems (negative personality changes, lack of self-confidence, low self-esteem, etc.) usually associated with deviation from an ideal bodily appearance is often quite real for the person with a pot belly.

Results of a recent study associated with the Nurses’ Health Study have concluded that women with pot bellies are twice as likely to develop gallstones that are severe enough to require their removal through surgical means.

The excessive accumulation of belly fat is being presented as a principal cause of the pot belly. Whether this concept is totally true or not, a pot belly resulting from belly fat accumulation poses a number of unique problems.

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