Pop Belly: Key Causes + How to Get Rid of it

a woman shows off her pop belly

Written by Megan Ayala. Last Updated: October 29, 2021

Dealing with a pop belly is one of those experiences people of all ages go through. It is difficult, frustrating, and ultimately embarrassing as it continues to grow.

This will lead you to wonder what’s going on and whether or not it can be resolved. The good news is, your pop belly can be fixed as long as you are willing to put in the hard work.

Here is a look at what a pop belly is all about and what to do about it moving forward.

What’s a Pop Belly?

A pop belly or “potbelly” refers to the stomach sticking out due to excess fat. This occurs when a person has been consuming extra calories regularly and has stopped eating the right way.

The reason it is called a pop belly has to do with the consumption of soda pop. Individuals that consume a lot of liquid calories through pop and other similar beverages end up with these types of bellies.

It’s the body’s way of saying you are consuming too many calories and it is starting to show in the form of fat. These calories also cause bloating, which targets the stomach in a lot of people.

What Are the Main Causes?

1. Excess Calories

It all starts with the number of calories you are consuming per day.

Each person has a set number when it comes to maintenance calories. This is the number of calories you are supposed to consume to maintain your weight. If you go over this number during the 24 hours, you will start to see a small increase in weight.

When you continue to go over this number every day, it is common to see an uptick in fat gain. This includes developing a noticeable pop belly.

The excess calories can come in a wide array of ways including eating too many healthy foods. Yes, even healthy foods can become an enemy if you are not tracking your calories. It’s important to pay attention to this just as much as your liquid calories.

2. Too Much Sugar And Carbs

The main issue has to do with how you are consuming your calories.

A person that eats too much sugar is going to end up increasing their carb intake. This leads to bloating and lethargy, which is something that is often associated with individuals that have pop bellies.

The reasons include:

  • Increases Caloric Intake Rapidly
  • Full Of Unnecessary Ingredients and Chemicals

If you are someone that is eating poorly, take a look at how many grams of sugar are consumed in your diet. This will shed light on what the issue is and how important it is for you to fix it.

If you let things continue, it is possible to develop a long list of health conditions and other unwanted issues.

3. Limited Exercise

A person that is not working out is also going to develop a pop belly.

This is not due to missing out on workouts but how your food intake impacts the body. When you are not moving around, the body is going to start accumulating fat in the worst places including your belly.

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It will have no reason to burn the fat and is instead going to let it accumulate on the body.

This is why working out is a must for those who are worried about how their belly looks in its current state.

How to Get Rid of a Pot Belly

1. Reduce Calories

The first thing you are going to want to do is to take a look at your diet.

This means getting a real assessment of your “maintenance calories” number. This is going to let you know how many calories you can consume and how far down you have to go when cutting fat.

Let’s assume your maintenance number is set at 2,500 calories per day.

You will want to cut this down to 2,000 calories per day. The drop can occur through your diet or by working out and burning 500 calories. It is up to you.

The goal is to make sure you are staying below that maintenance number in a bid to get rid of the excess fat. This is a must.

2. Toss Out The Junk Food

You are going to have to take all of the junk food in your house and toss it into the garbage. It should not be anywhere near you in the beginning.

Junk food is bad and it is something you should not be consuming with a pop belly.

The reasons include:

  • Full of Empty Calories
  • Make You Hungrier

There are far better foods to consume and those are the ones you should be focusing on. The more junk food you eat, the worse it is going to get during the journey.

A lot of the hard work you are going to do will go out the window due to this type of food.

3. Track Your Diet

You should be taking the time to track your calories and what you’re eating during the day.

The reason for doing this is to know what your actual caloric intake is. A lot of people underestimate how much they are eating because they don’t know what each serving has to offer in terms of calories.

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Always record these numbers and then see where you have to cut down. In some cases, it won’t be as hard as you think especially when you know the high-calorie foods in your diet.

4. Workout More

Burning calories can happen in a few ways.

Most people will know the brunt of the work is going to be done in the kitchen and that is indeed true. You will have to put in most of your effort in fine-tuning the diet to cut weight.

However, you can also work out to make things easier and eat a little more.

The reasons include:

  • Helps Burn Extra Calories
  • Improves Your Quality Of Life

Let’s assume you need to cut approximately 500 calories per day.

You can cut 250 calories by eating less and 250 calories by running on a treadmill. This is a good way to increase your metabolic rate and feel better because you can eat more.

Can You Still Drink Soda in Moderation?

You can drink soda as long as it is done in moderation.

Soda is not bad but overconsumption is a real issue. This is when you end up increasing your sugar intake and seeing a natural rise in your caloric consumption.

It is better to leave the soda pop for special occasions as a little treat. You can reward yourself with a can of soda pop every few weeks.

This is a good way to boost your mental health and continue on your journey as time goes on.

Our Favorite Alternatives to Soda Pop

If you are passionate about soda pop, it is still possible to find alternatives that are delicious and will keep you honest.

These can include:

  • Sugarfree Softdrinks
  • Kombucha
  • Sparkling Water
  • Coconut Water
  • Fresh Lemonade

These are all low calories options that are easy to drink and will work in line with your diet plan.


A pop belly is the last thing you are going to want and it all comes down to planning.

If you have a good diet plan and workout program, the pop belly will go away over time. It is about putting in the hard work right now to see good results in the coming months.

Focus on this and you will see results.