5 Red Flags You May Have Hormonal Belly. How to get rid of it.
Ok so you have been working out like crazy, eating clean, and listening to your personal trainer, but your waistline is getting bigger!!
So, what the heck is going on ??? Ugg!
Fat around the mid section can be most challenging to battle. However, do not be too hard on yourself for not working hard enough in your fitness classes. As the body ages, even a slight interference in your hormone levels can cause belly fat to get sticky and linger much easier than before. It is called hormonal belly and can affect both women and men.
For women, there is research that may suggest postmenopausal women on hormonal replacement therapy have lower levels of belly fat than women who are not. For men low testosterone could be the culprit. Estrogen will affect both men and women in different ways too. There are other hormones that cause problems too. I will break down the 5 red flags to watch out for in a moment.
Also, before you run to your doctor for possible hormonal belly problems, I will also give you lots of natural ways to balance out your levels. Here are few things you can do first.
Try decreasing your intake of sugar and get rid of all processed foods from your diet. Stay away from dairy, beer, wine, and caffeine to reset your insulin and blood sugar levels.
You may be asking yourself is this extra muffin top just a couple extra pounds from too many cheat meals like ice cream, beer and hotdogs, or is there something else going on? Here are the five red flags that could mean your hormones are causing the weight gain problems:
1.Sudden Weight Gain.
If you had a reasonably fat belly for most of you life, but all of a sudden huge loves handle appear over night, it may be a signal you have started to get hormonal belly.
Sara Gottfried, MD, and doctor who wrote The Hormone Cure explains that as you age, belly fat can actually get stored more often than burned like before.
She also goes on to say, as women move into perimenopause they have a tendency to become more estrogen dominant. This causes more insulin resistance, which in turn causes that extra belly fat build up. I will get to men in few minutes. Here is the next Red Flag…
RELATED: Lose Hormonal Belly With A 30-Second “Snack” That Eliminates Food Cravings.
#2. Second Red Flag of Hormonal Belly; You are craving lots of sugar!
Lets talk about insulin resistance. It can lead to diabetes, extra fat storage, and has an effect on certain hormones. It can have a very strong affect on the hormone Leptin. Leptin is the hormone that tells your body and your brain you feel full. As insulin levels rise, there is an eventually rise to leptin, as well,” MD Sara Gottfried explains.
You would think that high levels of leptin would make it easier to stop eating. If there are high levels of leptin over a long period of time the Leptin receptors will start to break down. So, your brain never gets signal to stop eating and you end up eating more because of it. So, you can see how the extra calories would naturally lead to more weight gain if you never felt full.
The leptin levels in the body correlate to fat stored on the body. People who are overweight tend to have lots of body fat in the cells and high levels of leptin.
Some studies suggests that inflammation may cause leptin resistance. So health professionals may recommend lifestyle interventions to reduce inflammation, such as a fitness plan or eating an anti-inflammatory diet. More what to eat further down.
#3. Red flag you may have hormonal belly; You are getting a lot of mood swings.
As women start the pre- and post-menopausal years, their estrogen levels will rise and fall often, in turn causing mood swings and stubborn belly fat around the love handles and stomach. Doctor Gottfried advises not be hard on yourself for excess fat gain. It is not because of lack of will power or being lazy. It is probably because the hormones are causing the problems.
The best course of action is pay attention to what you can control like you diet and fitness routine. Make sure to add a ton of extra vegetables, protein, and slow release carbs to your meal plans. These types of foods will keep you full longer and curb cravings. They will also have a positive effect in fighting insulin resistance and lean muscle loss.
RELATED: You might like my other blog post 20 foods to eat to lose weight.
#4. Red flag for hormonal belly: You are super stressed out all the time.
Another big cause for problems is a hormone called cortisol. It is related to stress. When your body feels distraught, or anxiety it’s cortisol levels will increase. For example, in the class fight or flight scenario. This can cause unwanted weight gain when levels are heightened for long periods.
The body will tend to store more fat if it senses stress. It has also been called getting in survival mode. The best thing you can do is spend time on activities you can control to reduce stress. For example, increase your fitness bootcamp workouts, add in weight lifting a few times a week, do not miss sleep, and or do not stay up past 11pm.
Avoid alcohol, negative people or events, and or media. Maybe hire a coach or counsellor to get your negative thoughts out. Apparently, motivational speaker and author Anthony Robbins says his day journal has been an incredible tool to help himself and his clients with stress release.
Relavant Help: Stuff your face and lose weight! Learn How To Lose Weight Fast, Without Giving Up Any Of Your Favorite Foods
#5. Another hormonal belly red flag: You are exhausted constantly have trouble sleeping.
Terrible sleeping problems can be a big signal that hormones are the cause of the weight gain problem.
There are 5 or 6 negative things that happen when you are sleep deprived .Firstly, less sleep will cause more stress, which in turn affects your cortisol levels. As cortical levels go up, your thyroid levels may go down which will cause weight gain.
This is called Hypothyroidism which means underactive thyroid. This occurs when the thyroid gland does make the needed thyroid hormones for the body. As a result, many of the body’s functions get slower. A common result is unwanted weight around the belly.
Your appetite may also go up because of the extra cortisol raging through body. Remember what I said about cortisol earlier. When you are stressed, the adrenal glands in the body responds by producing more cortisol. This leads to the body storing more fat . The body often redistributes this fat to the stomach, chest, and face. If this continues for long periods it will lead to high blood pressure and cholesterol.
Your metabolism will also slow down because of a decrease in growth hormones which help the body build muscle while you sleep.
Your feeling of satiety which are affected by leptin can be disturbed too. All these factors combined makes for a really nasty hormone cocktail, which is not ideal when you are trying to lose weight!