Pregnant Belly vs. Fat Belly: The Differences
Have you noticed that your belly is getting bigger, and you are not sure if it’s weight gain or pregnancy? Though it is really quite easy to figure it out with a simple test, you may not be quite ready to make that leap. If that’s the case, there are some signs you can look for that will be able to guide you to the right answer to your question.
But before we talk about the symptoms you can use to determine if you are pregnant or need to hit the gym, we should understand a few key pieces of information. So let’s take a look at pregnant belly vs fat belly: the differences between them.
Causes and Dangers of Stomach Fat
Pregnancy is one cause of an expanding stomach, but other causes could be behind your larger stomach. Weight gain in the midsection would be from a poor diet, which can cause bloating or even assist with water retention. Several medical conditions can cause your stomach to expand. Conditions like a hernia, constipation, or even more severe issues like tumors could be the reason behind a large belly.
Another factor could be genetics. If your family is known to gain weight in the midsection area, then you may just be experiencing a surge in your genetic code if you find yourself having a little extra padding in the stomach area.
Lastly, if you are an older woman, you may be starting menopause. When this happens, many people tend to store fat in the abdomen, along with other parts of the body.
If you have none of the symptoms that we are going to discuss later in this article, you will have to bite the bullet and take a test. Alternatively, it is crucial to understand what dangers come from having excess weight. Individuals that carry their weight around the midsection could be at risk for some very serious health implications.
They often suffer from high blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease, as well as more severe conditions like cancer. You will need to measure your stomach circumference and calculate your BMI to figure out if there is a need for concern when it comes to your weight.
Symptoms of Pregnancy
Every pregnancy is different, and so the symptoms of each are different. You may experience one or many or even none of these symptoms. Weight gain is, of course, one of the biggest signs of pregnancy, but that won’t occur until your second trimester for most.
Other signs appear early in the pregnancy that you can keep an eye on to determine if you are pregnant earlier.
Here are some of those:
One of the first signs of pregnancy is sensitivity in the breasts, and changes in their overall shape and size. This is in response to your body preparing for feeding the child once it has been born. So if you find your bra a little more full than usual and it lasts more than a couple of days, you may be pregnant.
Your body is going through a lot of changes, and these changes may lead to fatigue. If you find yourself having more naps than average or nodding off when you typically don’t, you may be pregnant. It is not a sure-fire sign of pregnancy, but coupled with a few of the other symptoms means it could be a definite clue that you are expecting.
During pregnancy, there are a lot of hormones that run rampant throughout your body. Some of these hormones increase saliva production. Scientists and doctors don’t know why, but if you start noticing excess saliva throughout the day or you wake up with a puddle on the pillow, this could be a sign of pregnancy.
Problems with Short Term Memory
Have you noticed that you seem to be losing things lately? Or forget people’s names or appointments? You have probably heard of pregnancy brain, and it is a real thing. This symptom comes from the brain getting ready to be more aware of threats to a pregnant woman and the child she is carrying.
This taxes the brain and can take energy from unnecessary things like short term memory. So if this starts happening to you, it is potentially time to start shopping for onesies.
If you find yourself eating more and more and still needing even more food, then you may be eating for two. An increase in your appetite is a definite sign that you may be looking to add another tiny human to the population of the world.
In order to have enough assistance for both you, the child, and the production of milk, you will need to take in more calories. More calories leads to more food.
If you are experiencing this, you may want to make sure you steer yourself to healthy food and try to curb your appetite just a bit. That way, you maintain a healthy weight for the duration of your pregnancy.
That maternal urge comes in a lot of different forms, including the need to set up a nest for your baby bird. No matter how much energy you have, you may find yourself cleaning and setting up everything all before you lay your head on that pillow at night. This is the need to protect and ensure that the home that you will bring your bundle of joy to is up to snuff.
Your hormones are out of whack all because your body is in the process of getting everything prepared to carry your baby. This can affect your emotions. So if you find yourself crying for no reason, or angry at absolutely nothing, you may need to pick up a pregnancy test and check to see if these mood swings are due to pregnancy or something else.
Once again, with all the hormones that are let loose during pregnancy, you may experience very graphic and almost psychedelic dreams. You may experience more dreams and be able to remember them better than usual. Don’t freak out; just enjoy the sleep while you can.
Many women experience a heightened sense of smell and taste. The culprit of this superpower is of, course, hormones. It seems like everything that is going on in your body during this amazing time has to do with those little chemicals. The improved sense of smell may be a result of your need for enhanced protection skills for the little one, and the same goes for taste.
If you are continually scratching your belly, this can be due to the skin stretching in preparation for allowing your uterus to expand as well. You may find yourself scratching every second of the day at the beginning of your pregnancy.
Another symptom may be excessive thirst. Your body is adjusting and preparing for housing your baby within it, so you may find you need more water to allow your body to function properly. This shows itself in the form of dehydration.
How to Reduce Stomach Fat
If none of the symptoms are present, then perhaps your weight gain is due to a poor diet. In order to start the journey to getting rid of that weight, you will need to consider everything from how much you eat to what you eat.
Making sure you add the right amount of fruits and veggies and taking out over-processed and sugar-rich foods will help you begin losing that belly weight. On top of these diet changes, you will need to include half an hour to an hour of daily exercise.
Some foods cause bloating. So if you have been consuming larger quantities of raw cruciferous veggies, then you may want to remove them from your diet and see if that is the cause of your weight gain.
If you are cautious with your diet and you are still gaining weight, then you may want to consider looking for food allergies or interactions. If the weight doesn’t seem to be going, you may want to visit a physician to make sure there isn’t something more serious going on.
Both weight gain and pregnancy will result in your midsection expanding. So knowing which one you are dealing with can be very challenging. By paying close attention to your body, you may be able to differentiate between pregnancy belly and fat belly.
No matter which one you are experiencing, once you notice excessive weight gain, you may want to make some lifestyle changes. Even when pregnant, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and weight so that there are fewer chances of complications.
This is best done with the help of a physician as they will be able to craft a diet and exercise routine that will be synergistic with whatever the reason is for your weight gain. Now that you have all the information, you should be able to figure out if you have just been eating the wrong things or are getting ready to be a parent.