Pregnant Belly VS Fat Belly: Know The Difference

Many women have undergone this confusing phase at least once in life. Looking at their belly and wondering whether it is a pregnant belly or just some belly fat. This issue taunts those women who have an irregular period cycle and can’t understand whether they are pregnant or not by the absence of their period cycle.  That is why I have come up with this article- pregnant belly vs fat belly differences.

Through this article, you can understand what is meant by a pregnant belly and what is a fat belly. It also includes major reasons that cause a fat belly and how to tackle the issue. In going further you can also learn about some major symptoms of pregnancy and how to tell the difference between belly fat and pregnancy. The article concludes on a fine line and is followed by a detailed FAQ for further information and clarification. So dive into the reading and enjoy the informative journey! 

What Is Meant By Fat Belly?

Fat belly, also known as stomach fat, abdominal fat, or just belly fat, is when excess fat tissues accumulate around the midpart of your body. This fat is usually found around your abdomen and the associated organs. Many types of research and studies have shown that people with excess belly fat are in the high-risk group for getting affected by diabetes, heart disease, cancers, etc.

All the fat in your body is not of similar nature. In fact, fat can be classified into three types. They are listed below: 

  • Triglycerides: These are fats that are found inside your blood
  • Subcutaneous fat:  These fat are found as layers below the surface of your skin
  • Visceral fat: This is the dangerous form of fat that is commonly known as belly fat
Fat Belly

If you want to know whether you have too much belly fat, you can measure it by yourself. For this, take a measuring tape and roll it around your stomach. Check out the measurement. If you are a woman, a measure of 35 inches and more means you have unhealthy belly fat. If you are a man, 40 inches and more in the measuring tape shows that you have belly fat.

Major Causes Of Belly Fat

As an obsession over fast food and a sedentary lifestyle is becoming the norm, belly fat has become a common phenomenon. Many reasons cause belly fat. Check out some of them below:

👉Lack of a proper diet: If your diet is filled with low protein, high carb foods, chances are more for you to get affected by belly fat. Food items such as fast food and sugars have a high amount of trans fat which can be a major cause of belly fat.

👉Consuming too much alcohol: Studies have shown that people who drink too much alcohol tend to accumulate visceral fat around their bellies.  Alcoholism can also lead to inflammation and other issues such as liver diseases.

👉Sedentary lifestyle: If you are not burning more calories than you consume, then you will gain weight. A lifestyle without proper exercise or any other means to reduce fat can lead to the condition of belly fat.

👉Gut bacteria: Gut bacteria can be helpful for you in many ways. But if your gut has the wrong type of bacteria such as Firmicutes, you are more prone to developing visceral fat around your waist.

👉Stress: Too much stress can induce the production of cortisol, which is known as the stress hormone. Higher levels of cortisol in your body will tempt you to have an unusual appetite and it will also boost the fat accumulation around your waist.

Pregnant Belly

A pregnant belly is usually formed during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. It is at this stage, you start to notice a bump that is more in size than a bloated belly. This is also when your pregnancy symptoms start to emerge more. Unlike a bloated belly, a pregnant belly grows to be more round than shapeless. It is more firm while a fat belly can feel more squishy and soft. When you form a fat belly, the chances of you gaining fat on other parts of your body is more. But in the case of pregnant women, apart from their pregnant bellies, there is a minimal chance for them to gain weight on any other parts of their body.

Pregnant Belly

Major Symptoms Of Pregnancy

Some symptoms indicate if you are pregnant or not. Check out the list below:

👉Vomiting: Symptoms such as vomiting and nausea appear around 8 weeks after conception. It is also known as morning sickness.

👉Missing period: The absence of a period cycle is a usual indicator of pregnancy. Menstruation means your egg cell’s cycle gets interfered in between. When you miss your period, it means the egg cell has started to fertilize without any interruptions. 

👉Stomach bloating: Another common symptom of pregnancy is stomach bloating. During pregnancy, progesterone levels increase which can reduce the speed of digestion. This will result in stomach bloating.

👉Recurring constipation: When your digestion is slower, you start to feel constipated. Constipation is thus a recurring symptom of pregnancy.

👉Frequent urination: During pregnancy, hormones in the female body can have continuous fluctuations. This causes more thirst and a tendency to drink water often, which will lead to frequent urination.

👉Tiredness: Hormonal imbalance during pregnancy can cause fatigue and exhaustion. This will make you take naps often during the day.

How To Know If It Is Just Belly Fat Or A Pregnant Belly?

There can be occasions when you might get confused about whether it is just belly fat or if you are pregnant. Certain factors make the two of them different. Belly fat is a temporary condition where your abdomen gets filled with gas. Also, the nature of the belly differs greatly in both cases. For pregnant women, the belly is more rigid while belly fat can be more flexible and smooth. If you want to know if the bump you have is due to pregnancy, look out for any recent changes in your menstrual pattern. But for women who have irregular periods, this can be difficult. If your belly is bloated it usually comes with associated tummy pain, flatulence, and noises from your stomach. In the case of a pregnant belly, these factors won’t be there. If you are still confused it is better to consult your doctor as early as possible.

5 Tips To Reduce Your Belly Fat

According to research, when you reduce belly fat it will automatically lead to the burning of visceral fat, which is a kind of fat present inside your abdominal cavity. Losing belly fat will help you to have an overall look that makes you leaner in appearance. By making some conscious choices, you can reduce the dangerous belly fat stored around your stomach. Check out the tips below:

1️⃣ Limit your sugar intake: Studies have shown that added sugar in your diet can be the main reason behind an unnatural fat accumulation around your belly. By minimizing the extra sugar intake through sweet food and soft drinks, you can reduce your belly fat.

2️⃣ Monitor your calorie intake: To reduce your belly fat, you need to know how many calories you are consuming. Keeping track of your calorie intake can help you to avoid fat-accumulation foods and thereby help you to reduce your fat belly.

3️⃣ Keep walking: Studies have shown that walking for around 50-70 minutes thrice a week can have a considerable fat loss effect on your body. It can burn out the visceral fat around your belly and help you to lose your belly fat.

4️⃣ Track your stress levels: When you are stressed, your body produces the stress hormone, cortisol. Studies have shown that an increased level of cortisol can lead to more appetite and fat storage in the abdomen.

5️⃣ Enhance the quality of your sleep: Getting quality sleep plays a crucial role in helping you to lose weight and burn the excess fat in your body. Research has already proved the link between a lack of proper sleep and the accumulation of visceral fat.


From this article, one can understand that there is a real struggle to analyze the difference between a fat belly and a pregnant belly. Still, some differences make these two distinct. While a pregnant belly is usually round, a fat belly can be irregular in shape. In texture, a pregnant belly feels rigid and strong. But a fat belly can be curvy and smooth. Upon further notice, one can understand that when you are pregnant your belly button changes shape. But in the case of a fat belly, there won’t be any changes in the structure of belly fat. Also, belly fat is usually associated with tummy pain and flatulence. For a pregnant belly, these symptoms can be rare. By understanding these small differences one can know whether the belly is just fat or due to pregnancy. 

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