We all hate having excess belly fat, but sadly, this is a common problem for millions of people around the world. Losing the excess belly fat can be a challenge – the “love handles” are pretty unattractive, and this type of fat is also seriously bad for your health. Sometimes, we can blame our diet for the excess weight, but sometimes, it’s a matter of hormonal imbalance.
Hormonal imbalance is a big health problem which can cause numerous other problems including excess belly fat. If you’ve been struggling to lose weight no matter what you do, it might be because of your hormones.
Our hormones play a big part in many bodily functions including the metabolism and the storage of fat, and any kind of imbalance in them can increase your appetite and cause cravings which will certainly make you look bigger.
Excess belly fat has been associated with numerous health problems including heart disease and diabetes. This type of fat is pretty stubborn and can only be removed with a lot of exercise, proper diet, motivation and sleep. In general, 6 hormones are responsible for the weight gain – insulin, cortisol, DHEA, growth hormone, estrogen and insulin.
Continue reading the article below to learn how to put them under control and reduce your excess belly fat.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas which has the role of controlling the amount of glucose in the blood. High insulin levels can be quite dangerous and have been related to diabetes, cardiovascular disease as well as excess belly fat.
The main cause for increased insulin levels is a diet full of sugar. Sugar is a pretty common ingredient in today’s unhealthy diet – it can be found in anything from fruits to processed food. The excess sugar in the blood can lead to insulin resistance which can in turn cause a variety of health problems. Chronically high levels of insulin are also related to metabolic syndrome, a condition which can further increase the weight gain.
The solution to insulin resistance is to eat a protein-rich diet. According to one study, eating 20-25 gr. of protein per meal and an extra 10 gr. of protein per snack is likely to reduce your cholesterol levels and the amount of belly fat as well. Protein can be found in dark leafy green vegetables, organic poultry, low-fat cheese, shellfish, scallops and omega-3 enriched eggs.
Estrogen dominance is a pretty common and serious condition which occurs due to increased estrogen levels over a prolonged period. Obesity, excess belly fat ovarian cysts, menstrual disorders, breast cancer and headaches have all been associated with estrogen dominance, which is why the problem needs to be resolved quickly.
The easiest way to put your estrogen levels under control is through the diet. Keeping your intestinal flora balanced is another factor which can help put the levels of estrogen under control, so make sure to add probiotics into your diet. On the other hand, you’ll also need to raise the levels of phytoestrogen in your diet. You can find this nutrient in soy products, legumes, nuts and seeds, as well as oats, barley, rice, alfalfa, pomegranates, rice bran, ginseng and anise.
Testosterone is a male sex hormone which can cause quite big problems if it’s levels aren’t controlled. Testosterone decline is quite a common problem nowadays, and although it normally occurs due to aging, it affects a big number of the young population as well. Low testosterone levels have been associated with excess belly fat as well as low libido, stamina and motivation. In order to increase the levels of testosterone in your body, you need to eat more eggs, Brazil nuts, garlic, bananas, broccoli and oysters.
Cortisol is also known as the stress hormone as the brain secretes it when we’re under stress. It’s not harmful to our health in small doses, but when the brain starts secreting it all the time, it can cause hormonal imbalance which will lead to excess belly fat besides other problems. In order to put your cortisol levels under control, experts recommend adding spinach, dark chocolate and citrus fruits in your diet. Furthermore, you’ll also need to eat omega-3 and zinc-rich foods more often.
DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands that is highly important for our overall health. This hormone plays a part in the body’s ability to gain muscle and lose weight, and its levels decrease over age. DHEA is also important for your memory, raises your HDL cholesterol levels, makes your skin glow, provides your body with energy, treats erectile dysfunction, promotes weight loss and blocks the action of carcinogens.
In order to make your body produce more of this hormone, you need to add salmon, olive oil, flaxseeds and omega-3 rich foods in your diet.
The growth hormone is highly important for our body and plays a role in the action of each one of our cells. The hormone is released during sleep and is vital for tissue, bone and muscle repair. Low levels of the growth hormone have been associated with obesity and excess belly fat, which is why you need to raise its levels. To boost the production of this vital hormone, you need to add pineapple, cocoa, goji berries, fava beans, algae, eggs, coconut oil and grass-fed beef in your diet.