Non fatty pot belly?

This all makes sense, but it got me thinking about an old judo instructor of mine. He had a big pot belly, but it wasn’t fat, it was rock hard. What’s the deal with that?

A non-fat pot belly has a few causes. Ascites, which is excess abdominal fluid, an enlarged liver, or a combination of both come to mind (ascites is usually a sign of a failing liver).

Okay, first, whoever wrote the article you quoted was misinformed.

Abdominal fat can be stored one of two ways: viscerally or subcutaneous.

Subcutaneous fat is store under the top layers of skin. It’s actually a part of the skin. Depending on how much you weight and how much fat you’re carrying, that subcutaneous layer could be anywhere from a fraction of an inch to several inches thick. It’s usually the fat we think of when we consider jiggly thighs and cellulite. It is fat stored for long term.

Visceral fat is stored around the organs in the abdominal cavity. It is short term storage. In a healthy individual with low BMI, the areas of visceral fat are very small. In a person who has a large paunch, the areas of visceral fat can be inches thick. Men tend to store more fat viscerally than women. Visceral fat also responds quickly to changes in diet and exercise, which is one of the reasons why men tend to lose weight more quickly than women.

Either way, if you don’t have the six pack of your dreams, the answer is to lose weight, which will decrease first the visceral fat and then the subcutaneous fat.

Thanks Phouka, so was this guy likely to have had one of the conditions VunderBob mentioned? I gather visceral fat would still be soft, no?

Another reason for a distended, hard belly is because of drug use. If the guy is taking human growth hormones like a lot of body builders do, then he will get the distended belly that can be seen on a lot of body builders.

The simplest explanation is that it was just very densely packed subcutaneous fat.

I hope someone can come up with a definitive answer for this.

I am very muscular all over but I have a beer gut.

I have never taken steroids or muscle promoting hormones in my life.

My BG is very hard probably because in trying to get rid of it I started doing thousands of crunches,situps etc many years ago.

I do drink a lot of beer but even when I’ve been unable to drink alcohol for long periods for whatever reason(being in a Muslim country usually)it doesn’t go away.

Anyone who has a solution will have my eternal gratitude.

How about getting a CAT scan and seeing what is making it so big on the inside?

Haven’t recent studies shown that visceral fat is more dangerous than the rolly kind?

What about the starving children you see in third world countries who have distended bellies? What’s up with that?

I believe they have gas in the belly from not having enough to eat.

Does having out-of-shape, virtually tone-less abs contribute to the problem the OP describes, or is that just something someone who wanted to sell me a gym membership told me?

Nope. Zoggie is probably thinking of kwashiorkor, which is mostly caused by protein deficiency (though there seems to be more than that involved, at least according to Wikipedia). One of the symptoms is ascites (mentioned above), meaning their abdomens are full of fluid, not gas.

I think that’s what I was thinking of. Thanks. It’s a sad condition…

Think about these 2 things

  1. Apparently you’re doing a lot of resistance exercise, is your recovery food a correctly calculated amount of squeaky-clean protein, or are you just thinking “I just worked out a lot, so I’m going to eat whatever I wish”. When you pile on the heavy exercise, you have to think more about how you’re satisfying your appetite, not less.

  2. Stop drinking the beer. It sure as isn’t helping. I don’t know the story behind the mysterious muslim countries, but have a good long think about what else you were doing there… were you replacing the comfort of beer with sodas or extra food? Were you doing the typical rear-echelon military duty of sitting around waiting for something to happen? Think hard, be honest.

I will actually start thinking about what I eat after excercise now,I must admit thatI’ve always eaten whatever usually.

I’ve thought jolly hard and I think that I’m not actually guilty of doing the typical rear echelon thing ,I and the other chaps try very hard to keep ourselves busy when we’re not actually stacking blankets or writing out reports and things etc.

Don’t forget about high parasite loads in the intestines causing a distended abdomen.


Also, wouldn’t visceral fat, since it is behind the muscular body wall, present as a firm abdomen instead of a gushy one?

Yes, that’s true. I don’t have a cite but I have often read medical professionals saying that the hard pot belly is one of the most dangerous types of fat accumulation to have. Not only do you have the fat but you have compression of the internal organs.

Yes, I had giardiasis once and my stomach went like one of those poor starving children you see on videos of famine victims.

I farted about once every two minutes, for a week.

Wait, that’s not normal?