Hopefully this helps give you a clear picture. Basically, there are 2 sites you’ll gain fat. Primary sites and secondary sites. Primary sites are usually stomach, hips, waist. Primary site location depends largely on hormones, and being male or female. Secondary sites are places like arms, legs, face, etc. When weight loss begins, you start to lose fat from the secondary sites first. That is why it takes longer to lose fat from places like the stomach. You lose fat from the primary sites last, in the reverse order the fat was gained.
Source: master’s in exercise physiology
Basically, fat stores around the primary sites first because this protects internal organs and core temperature. Having fat around the secondary sites doesn’t really provide any benefits, so that is why it’s last to come on and first to come off.
Our body likes to store fat (primary and secondary) out of the way on unimportant sites,belly, inner thigh, under upper arms, below neck waddle, though I suspect for pregnant women some belly fat would certainly protect the womb during severe weather, and may be a genetic advantage for the species. There is evidence that long term storage of a constant fat source may contribute to increase insulin supplies in the body, making it harder to burn off those fat supplies nad actually gain more weight . Source: Retired PT, biology & kinesiology background! Degreed in 1974, masters in PT in 2002.
Your body starts storing fat around your middle (stomach, lower back) because it’s the best place to store extra weight on the human frame for a few reasons:
- It keeps your major organs warm and provides some additional protection to them.
- It is a low spot in your body’s center of gravity, relatively speaking. If you had to run to outrun a lion, your stomach or lower back don’t need to move as much as your legs or arms. If you stored fat in your legs, you would have to move a lot of extra weight (think running while wearing ankle weights) and you would be very clumsy running.
- Women, (pre-menopause at least,) tend to store more fat in the buttocks and thighs, and females are predisposed to store more fat than men. Childbirth is thought to be the reason behind both of these. To support reproduction, that extra fat is needed to nourish the baby growing inside. Likewise, the female storage of fat in buttocks and thighs might also be to “balance” out the pregnant female physique during pregnancy, where the fetus is adding massive weight to the abdomen, having the fat someplace else makes sense to keep the female’s physique balanced. Post menopause, when estrogen drops off, females start accumulating fat more like males.
Since this is the “preferred neighborhood” for storing fat by the human body means it’s the first place to get fat and the last place to lose it.