What Are The Causes Of Hormonal Belly Fat
So, what exactly is hormonal belly? A hormonal belly is lower abdominal weight gain caused by an imbalance of hormones. Hormones help regulate many bodily functions such as our metabolism, sex drive, hunger and reproductive functions.
An imbalance of your hormones resulting in certain hormone levels being too low or too high can cause excess weight gain in the lower belly. Lets go over some of the most common causes of hormonal belly fat.
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Hormonal Belly In Men
Low Testosterone Levels
Although females generate testosterone, it is the most important male sex hormone. Testosterone is a hormone that has a role in the development of typical male traits, including facial and body hair. It also encourages muscle growth in both men and women. Testosterone decreases with age, and a lack of it might stifle muscular growth and cause weight gain.
According to one study, 30% of obese men have low testosterone levels.
As well as weight gain, testosterone deficiency can cause erectile dysfunction, reduced sex drive, fatigue, hair loss, loss of muscle mass, and depression.
1. Youre eating right, but your waistline is getting bigger.
An indication of hormone belly might be the almost overnight appearance of that spare tire.
2. You feel stressed all the time.
Cortisol is another significant factor in the hormonal belly fat game. Cortisol, often known as the stress hormone, rises when your body detects youre stressed or overloaded, which can lead to obstinate weight gain.
3. Youre having a lot of mood swings.
Mood swings in men can be a symptom of andropause, a hormone imbalance in men that generally occurs between 40 and 60 years of age.
As women enter the pre-and postmenopausal years, their estrogen levels fluctuate, which can lead to mood swings and stubborn weight gain around the belly.
4. Youre craving sugar often.
5. Always tired but cant fall asleep.
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Youve Got Sugar On The Brain
Were not talking about wanting a cookie now and then. But if you cant deal without your sugar top-up each day, step back and ask yourself why. Cravings are often an early clue to hormone issues.
You may have leptin resistance. Remember, leptin is the hormone that helps regulate your appetite. It tells your brain when your belly is full. If your body starts ignoring leptins messages, thats called leptin resistance.
Researchers know that leptin resistance leads to weight gain. Talk to your doctor if you dont feel full even after big meals. Leptin resistance could be a problem, and it could be leading to overeating.
It could be an insulin issue. Another hormonal cause of belly fat? Insulin imbalance. Wild sugar cravings, sudden weight gain, and lack of focus could all indicate insulin issues. There are natural ways to lower insulin, but its also a concern you should bring up with your doctor.
Theres no magic fix for hormonal weight gain. Your game plan depends on which hormones are wonky and why. But these five tactics are a good place to start.
Consume Foods High In Nutrients
What Is Hormonal Belly Fat
Ensuring that you are getting all of the nutrients you need daily will make it much easier for you to keep your hormone levels consistent.
It is essential to consume enough protein, fruits, and vegetables in your diet while simultaneously avoiding meals rich in sugar and fat content.
Protein influences several hormones that govern your appetite and the amount of food you consume. Incorporating foods high in protein into your diet is one way to keep from overeating.
You can assist your body in returning to its normal hormone levels by avoiding fructose-sweetened foods, which cause an increase in insulin and worsen insulin resistance.
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Who Gets Belly Fat
Belly fat most often appears in women after the age of 45. It suddenly appears out of nowhere even in skinny and athletic women, and it tends to worsen after 50. That is unless you make some diet and lifestyle changes. While the timing has a lot to do with the hormone changes accompanying perimenopause and menopause, its not a given.
Women who get belly fat tend to display some level of insulin resistance , which well talk about later on in this article. You may feel like its not you but keep reading as you dont need to be a diabetic to develop insulin resistance.
Thyroid Hormone Replacement Therapy
Thyroid hormones are a common cause of hormonal imbalances that cause weight gain in the abdominal area. At Synergy Wellness Center, we offer thyroid hormone replacement therapy which includes replacing your thyroid hormone with more youthful or active levels. Thyroid hormone replacement is an excellent option to help get those hormones back on track, helping you lose that pesky lower belly fat*.
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Surgical Ways To Remove Fat
Surgical fat removal procedures are invasive methods and need to be reconsidered if you are:
- Having a higher body mass index
- Suffering a chronic heart condition
- Planning a pregnancy
- Capable of losing weight by diet and physical workout
Following are two common surgical methods to remove belly fat:
Liposuction: This procedure involves complete or local anesthesia. A small tube-like section called a cannula is inserted in the belly fat area by the plastic surgeon. Medicines are used to dissolve the fat which is then removed by suction method.
Tummy tuck: This method is also done by a plastic surgeon by complete anesthesia. In this procedure, the surgeon removed excess skin from the belly area after removing excess fat cells. This gives a more firm and slim waistline.
Take away: Surgical methods require a long recovery time and are often limited due to certain health conditions. The desired result may be seen in a short time, but these treatments involve health risks as well.
How Do You Get Rid Of Hormonal Belly Fat
The approach to fixing hormonal belly fat in men is simple: fix the underlying hormone problem.
In most cases, this means going through the appropriate diagnostic testing with a healthcare provider to determine if a hormonal imbalance is present. For example, hypothyroidism can be diagnosed by a simple blood test.
Once the underlying hormonal imbalance is determined, it is important to fix the problem at its root with proper medical treatment. Supplements are sometimes used to help balance hormones but in most cases, hormone replacement therapy is necessary.
It is also important to address the underlying hormonal imbalance with a healthy lifestyle. This will allow for long-term weight management and a lower risk of hormone imbalances going forward.
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How Does The Stress Hormone Cortisol Sabotage Weight Loss
How is this overproduction of cortisol related to weight gain? First of all, heightened cortisol is linked to overeating. Ever notice how you eat when youre stressed? A study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology found that higher than normal cortisol levels were linked to overeating and weight gain. Another study links elevated cortisol levels to an increase in belly fat.
Your Health By The Numbers: Calculating Your Risk
Research has shown that a wider waistline can put you at increased risk for cardiovascular disease, but exactly how wide is too wide and more importantly, are you in the danger zone?
Many people gauge their body size by BMI, a calculation based on both weight and height. You’re considered overweight if your BMI is 25 to 29.9, and you meet the definition for obesity if your BMI is 30 or above.
But BMI doesn’t tell the whole story. As a recent study in the Journal of the American Heart Association shows, your waist-to-hip ratio may actually be more important in predicting your heart attack risk.
Here’s how to calculate your waist-to-hip ratio:
Measure around the widest part of your hips and the narrowest part of your waist, which is just above your navel.
Divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement. You’re safest with a waist-to-hip ratio of .85 or below.
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Engage In Regular Exercise
Creating an exercise routine and sticking with it can be a significant lifestyle change for some and can take some getting used to. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , you should aim for 150 minutes of weekly, moderate-intensity activity for optimal body function. Exercise is excellent for keeping your hormones in check. If youre searching for tips on how to lose hormonal fat, exercise is the perfect opportunity to burn belly fat and calories.
Diet Changes To Reduce The Adrenal Belly Type
Diet is not the major factor in reducing this belly type. However, the following guidelines will help.
- Do not go on a low protein diet. This will backfire
- Eat a little more protein at each meal to support the adrenals
- Eat lots of healthy veg to provide potassium which will help to recharge the adrenals
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Weight Management For Women
Weight loss research shows that the average person will add one to two pounds around their abdomen each year between the ages of 35 and 55 without changing their eating or exercise habits.
Physiologically, these are the same years when progesterone levels begin to decline in women and testosterone production begins to drop in men. Midsection weight gain those stubborn pounds stuck around your belly, butt, thighs, and hips is just one signal of an underlying hormone level imbalance.
Even worse, fat cells produce even more estrogen, placing you in a no-win cycle of increasing estrogen dominance. If left unrecognized and untreated, those pounds around your middle can increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, thyroid disorders, certain types of cancer, dementia, and early mortality.
What Is Hormonal Weight Gain
Weight gain associated with underlying hormonal imbalances. For men, hormonal weight gain can be caused by high stress or cortisol levels in the body. The heightened levels of cortisol may make the body go into survival mode and induce the production of fat cells which will cause a declining metabolism to store food for later use. For women, a specific estrogen hormone called estradiol decreases at menopause helps regulate metabolism and body weight. The lower the levels of estradiol may cause weight gain. Throughout a womans life, they may notice weight gain around their hips and thighs.
Save Sweets For A True Treat
Sadly, you cant scarf down cupcakes and chocolate shakes like you did in your 20s and expect to lose weight. But you can still enjoy your favorite foods. You just might need to save them for when you really have a hankeringand say goodbye to the treats that fall lower on your list of craveables. Instead of mindlessly dipping into that bag of chips just because its there, think about what would truly satisfy you. Is it chips or are you actually craving something else? If you decide the chips are worth the calories, then help yourself to a small serving, and savor every bite.
When Should I See An Endocrinologist For Weight Gain
There are a wide range of hormonal issues that may cause sudden, unexplained weight gain. These include thyroid deficiency, declining estrogen , and polycystic ovary syndrome . Weight gain may also be accompanied by other symptoms, such as headaches, insomnia, mood swings, and heavy or painful periods. If you find yourself gaining weight with no apparent explanation or changes in diet or exercise, you should discuss this with your doctor. An endocrinologist can help identify hormonal imbalances by reviewing your symptoms and performing laboratory tests when necessary.
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Why Does Pcos Cause Belly Fat
PCOS causes insulin resistance
About 80 percent of women with PCOS have insulin resistance. This is a bad thing since research shows that insulin resistance causes weight gain.
Additionally, insulin resistance increases hunger and cravings.
PCOS increases male hormones
Women with PCOS have elevated levels of male hormones. The high hormone levels can make you develop male fat-gaining patterns such as excess belly fat.
You may also develop other traits such as facial hair.
PCOS may cause cortisol belly fat
According to research, high cortisol levels increase abdominal fat in women.
Chances are you have high blood sugar levels due to insulin resistance. High cortisol levels may raise your blood sugar levels higher since cortisol releases sugar into the blood to help us deal with stressful situations.
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Why Is Belly Fat Bad
Belly fat is the type of fat that hugs our organs. In these areas, an accumulation of fat increases the risk of developing metabolic syndrome, heart disease, diabetes, non-alcoholic liver disease, and obesity. Dr. Maria Anton, an Endocrinologist, notes that hormonal changes can affect a persons weight, cravings, and overall metabolism, but cautions that excess weight can increase a patients risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol that can lead to cardiovascular disease its important to address it and coming to Pritikin would be beneficial to any of those patients. Its worth investing a little time in yourself to learn about ways you can make changes in your lifestyle that you can actually keep, that can help you lose belly fat. We cant change our genetics, or whats happening at developmental stages of life but we can change our lifestyle, notes Lon.
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Swollen Belly Struggling Liver
Apart from your belly, the rest of your body may or may not be obese. But your belly resembles that of someone entering the later stages of pregnancy, whether youre a man or a woman. When you pinch, your belly fat might not feel like belly fat at all it feels more like a balloon with a thin layer of fat at the surface.
Thats because fat isnt the enemy here. When your liver is overloaded, it secretes a fluid that accumulates in the peritoneal cavity the area between your abdominal wall and your organs. The swelling is called ascites and is completely separate from fat.
Older men tend to show this body type more than women do. Once youre aware of it, youll notice a lot of middle-aged men who look like theyre at a healthy weight with the exception of a seemingly out-of-place potbelly.
They call it beer belly for a reason. A protruding abdomen indicates that your liver is working overtime to break down excess alcohol, sugar and carbs, or foods that contain a lot of chemicals and preservatives.
The 2 Key Signs That Your Hormones May Be To Blame For Belly Fat
A hormone Imbalance Cause Weight Gain. There are 2 key signs that hormones may be the problem when it comes to your waistline.
Youre not alone. Many people develop belly fat when their hormones are out of balance, and its common to witness these health and body weight changes in the middle age range as well.
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Insulin Resistance Is A Trigger For Meno Belly Weight Gain
Insulin resistance can also contribute to weight gain. If your insulin receptors have become less sensitive to insulin, you can have higher levels of blood sugar and lower energy and also increased disease risk for diabetes and cardiovascular problems. Chronic stress and abdominal fat can encourage insulin resistance. This results in higher insulin levels that can make the body more easily turn calories into fat even if you’re dieting.
The good news is you can do something about insulin resistance. Strength training to build muscle also boosts your metabolism and makes those insulin receptors more sensitive, helping you to lose weight. Ever notice how men tend to lose weight more easily than women? It’s because they have more lean muscle mass.
What You Need To Know About Exercise And Weight Loss In Your 20s 30s And 40s
Doing the same routine you did a decade ago isn’t going to work.
When it comes to fat loss, your workouts are anything but timeless. Over the decades, what you need to do get at a healthy weight changes. And, spoiler alert, it gets more challenging.
But exactly how tough it becomes depends on exactly how you decide to attack the pesky poundage.
Follow these tips for faster, easier results, whatever your age.
At this point in their lives, a lot of women gain weight for one simple reason: They’re sitting in offices. All. Freaking. Day. Research from Northwestern University shows that even women who exercise on the regular still sit way too much.
While youve undoubtedly heard the whole 10,000 steps per day recommendation, for weight loss, its more important to increase your step count from week to week than it is to hit one specific step goal. Try setting a goal you know you can reach this week. The next week, bump up that step count by 1,000. Keep up the step goal setting and slaying and you’ll be on your way to losing weight in no time.
Any great weight-loss program should include both cardio and strength training, but the younger you are, the more effective cardio is for losing weight. Thats because your levels of lean muscle and your metabolic rate are as high as they will ever be in your 20s.
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