Updated: Dec 28, 2020
Excess weight around your waistline is not just undesirable but also associated with many health issues such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. It can also be challenging to lose. You may have been eating right and working out consistently but instead of losing some pounds, you even gain more.
Before you beat yourself up in frustration, do you know that hormonal changes might be causing this problem?
How Hormones Cause Belly Fat?
It’s not just eating too much and moving too little that causes your belly fat. Truth is, your hormones are a major factor in its formation.
Your hormones regulate body functions and control activities throughout the body. A small imbalance from excessive or underproduction of hormones can significantly affect your body.
Belly fat can be a sign of hormonal changes in your body. These hormonal imbalances directly impact your body’s metabolism, hunger, energy, and fullness.
Signs That Your Hormones Are Causing Your Belly Fat
Lifestyle and age may influence levels of abdominal fat, along with smoking, alcohol, and lack of exercise. As belly fat starts to build up, hormone levels change and affect your appetite and food intake.
Here are some signs that your hormones are responsible for your abdominal fat:
You are under constant stress
Chronic stress is a health issue that can affect your weight. With constant stress, the adrenal glands produce way more cortisol than needed. High levels of the stress hormone cortisol are associated with overeating and increased belly fat.
You hardly feel full after eating
Normally, ghrelin or “hunger hormone” levels are highest before eating and lowest about an hour after eating. When your stomach is empty, it secretes ghrelin, which sends a message to the brain telling you to eat. For overweight and obese people, ghrelin levels are often lower before eating. This prevents the brain from receiving the strong signal to stop consuming food which then results in overeating.
You’re frequently feeling hungry
Leptin hormone reduces appetite and makes you feel like you’re full. People who are obese have very high levels of leptin. This leads to leptin resistance that impairs leptin signaling to the brain. The brain doesn’t realize you have enough stored energy but instead, thinks you’re starving, which then leads to overeating and belly fat.
You’re constantly craving sweets
This is a sign that you are experiencing insulin resistance that prevents your cells from absorbing sugar from the bloodstream, leaving them starved for carbs. This condition makes you crave for more sugar, increasing your abdominal fat.
How to Lose Belly Fat?
Getting rid of your belly fat may not be that simple but totally doable. It involves significant lifestyle changes like eating more protein-rich food, better stress management, reducing intake of trans fat and heavily processed food, regular exercise, and getting adequate sleep (7 to 9 hours).
Dr. Rita Oganwu can guide you with her programs that address hormone imbalance and weight loss. Schedule your free 15-minute discovery call to get started!
 "Stress May Cause Excess Abdominal Fat In Otherwise ...." 23 Nov. 2000, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/11/001120072314.htm. Accessed 4 Dec. 2020.  "9 Proven Ways to Fix The Hormones That Control Your Weight." 7 Mar. 2016, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/9-fixes-for-weight-hormones. Accessed 4 Dec. 2020.