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For many women, the signs of pregnancy are unmistakable. After all, who can forget that iconic image of a pregnant woman with a large baby bump?
But what about when you’re not pregnant? Is it possible to tell the difference between an expanding belly due to weight gain and one due to pregnancy?
Let’s explore the differences between a pregnant belly and a fat belly.
Shape and Size of the Belly
One of the most obvious differences between a pregnant belly and a fat belly is the shape and size. While both bellies will expand in size, they will do so in different ways.
A pregnant belly will usually be rounder than someone’s regular stomach because of the presence of their growing baby.
Conversely, someone’s stomach will become larger if they are eating more food than they should be, but it won’t have that rounded shape that comes with carrying a baby around.
Location of Weight Gain
Another way to tell whether you’re carrying extra weight or have an expanding waistline due to pregnancy is to look at where your weight gain is occurring. For most women, pregnancy-related weight gain occurs mainly in their abdomen as well as their breasts, hips, and thighs—areas known as “problem areas”.
On the other hand, if someone has put on too much weight due to overeating or lack of exercise, then this additional weight can appear anywhere on their body, not just in those areas associated with pregnancy.
Changes in Your Skin Tone
Lastly, another way to differentiate between a pregnant belly and one caused by excess weight is by looking at changes in your skin tone.
During pregnancy (especially during the third trimester), women often experience stretch marks or discoloration on their stomach region or elsewhere on their body due to rapid changes in hormones and increased blood flow to certain areas.
This isn’t something that usually happens when people are putting on excessive pounds from bad eating habits or lack of exercise—this only occurs during pregnancy!
The Health Risks Associated With Being Overweight
Being overweight or obese can increase the risk of several serious health problems, including:
- Heart disease: Excess body fat can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
- Type 2 diabetes: Overweight and obesity are major risk factors for the development of type 2 diabetes, a chronic condition characterized by high levels of sugar in the blood.
- Certain cancers: Being overweight and obesity have been linked to an increased risk of certain types of cancer, such as breast cancer, colon cancer, and endometrial cancer.
- Sleep apnea: Excess body fat can increase the risk of sleep apnea, a disorder that causes interrupted breathing during sleep.
- Osteoarthritis: Being overweight can put extra strain on joints, leading to the development of osteoarthritis, a painful condition that affects the joints.
- Gallbladder disease: Being overweight and obesity are associated with an increased risk of gallbladder disease, which can cause pain and inflammation in the gallbladder.
- Kidney disease: Excess body fat can increase the risk of kidney disease, a condition that can lead to kidney failure if left untreated.
In addition to these health risks, being overweight or obese can also affect mental health, leading to feelings of low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety. It can also have a negative impact on the overall quality of life, making it difficult to participate in physical activities and enjoy social interactions.
The differences between having a growing baby bump versus one caused by too many burgers and fries can seem subtle at first glance. However, there are several key elements that separate them apart such as the shape & size of your stomach area; the location of where your body stores excess fat; changes in skin tone; etc.