You're too Stressed
If you tend to stuff your face when you're nervous, no wonder you have a spare tire. But stress also affects belly fat on a sneaky cellular level. "Chronic anxiety tells your system to pump out stress hormones like cortisol, which in turn signal that you need a replenishment of calories, particularly from foods high in fat and sugar," says Moon.
Cortisol also prompts your system to create new fat cells, which tend to show up on the stomach as visceral fat, the dangerous kind that lines the internal organs in your abdomen and is linked to chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, says Moon.