Lower belly fat also reveals poor sleep habits. Researchers from Wake Forest University School of Medicine examined five years of sleep habits and visceral fat accumulation in adults younger than 40; they found that those who slept less than six hours per night or more than nine hours, on average, had higher amounts of belly fat. Their results, published in Sleep in 2010, suggest that getting a good night's sleep helps deter the development of lower belly fat.
The stress hormone cortisol can really screw with your belly. The problem with cortisol is two-fold: First, the chemical makeup of cortisol causes the body to store visceral fat. Visceral fat is stored between your main organs and in the midsection and is the most dangerous type of fat. Experts state that visceral fat increases the risk of diabetes and heart disease.