Difference between fat belly and pregnant belly

Last updated on December 8, 2021

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Have you noticed your belly getting rounder and larger than usual? You might be wondering whether it is due to overeating food or being pregnant.

The surest way to know the difference is by doing a pregnancy test to know whether you are pregnant or not.

But sometimes, for whatever reasons, you might not be wanting to do a pregnancy test. In this case, you can use other methods to determine whether the bulginess around your belly is fat or pregnancy. 

Here is how to differentiate a fat belly from a pregnant belly.

What is a fat belly?

Happens To Existing Belly Fat When Pregnant

A fat belly usually protrudes just like a pregnant belly. When you have lots of belly fat, some people might think you are pregnant, which is not the case.

You will not experience pregnancy symptoms like a heightened sense of smell or missed periods when you have a fat belly. You will feel that you are getting heavier, no longer fitting in clothes that used to fit before, and sometimes you become conscious of how you look.

A fat belly is usually caused by overeating. When you consume more calories than your body can burn, the excess fats will be stored in the abdominal area.

Another major cause of belly fat is bloating. Foods like beans, lentils, carbonated drinks, and dairy products can cause bloating, and your belly will protrude than usual.

If you continuously eat foods that make your stomach bloat, your belly will always appear to be big. But if you treat the bloating, your stomach will go back to its usual size.

A fat belly can also be hereditary. If your parents or family members tend to gain fat around the stomach, you are likely to have a similar experience.

Age can also lead to a fat belly. Older women who are in their menopause tend to accumulate fats around the belly area, particularly if they lead a sedentary life and consume unhealthy foods

How to reduce fat belly

Unlike a pregnant belly, a fat belly can be reduced. Besides having a toned midsection, getting rid of belly fat will help you avoid adverse health outcomes like diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases. 

The most effective way to get rid of the fat belly is by reducing the food you eat. To know the correct number of calories to consume daily, you can consult your nutritionist.

You can also use apps like the Calorie Calculator to know and control your calorie intake. 

Increasing your metabolism through exercising can also help tone your stomach. Cardio, high-intensity interval training, and strength training will come in handy to help burn the excess fats around your stomach.

What is a pregnant belly?

pregnant belly

One sign of being pregnant has a big belly. However, your stomach does not grow big all of a sudden. It starts showing after about three to four months.

To confirm that you have a pregnant belly, you can also examine your menstrual cycle. If you have missed your menstrual period and are sexually active, that could be a clear sign that you are pregnant.

Other signs of a pregnant belly include a heightened sense of smell, exhaustion, unusual food cravings, tender breasts, and nausea. Some women do not experience these symptoms.

 I would recommend that you do a pregnancy test to confirm whether or not you are pregnant.

Notice that with a pregnant belly, your belly area will keep on growing as the baby inside you grows. If you have existing belly fat before pregnancy, it would be wise to prevent further accumulation of belly fat by watching what you eat. 

You should also consult with your doctor, who will examine whether you are at risk of having gestational diabetes.  

Unlike a fat belly, you cannot reduce a pregnant belly. Attempting to lose weight while pregnant can be detrimental to your pregnancy.

While it is good to exercise, you should consult with your doctor first if you are fit to engage in physical activities. 

By eating healthy foods, you can prevent the excessive accumulation of fats around your belly. You can start exercising regularly to reduce belly fat when you finally give birth. 


The main similarity between a fat belly and a pregnant belly is that they both make your stomach more prominent than usual.

You can get rid of a fat belly, but you cannot do away with a pregnant belly until you give birth. Knowing the type of belly, you have is a great starting point for handling your protruding belly.  

About the author

Nikita Clark

As a personal trainer that specializes in weight loss and body transformation, I know how it feels to be overweight. Just 10 years ago, I could barely walk for two minutes without needing a rest. But I turned my life around and I want to help you do the same.  

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