How to Get Rid of Hormonal Belly Fat Fast

Do you have a little extra weight around your midsection that just won’t go away, no matter how hard you try? If so, you may be dealing with hormonal belly fat. This type of fat is caused by hormonal fluctuations and is especially common in women who are going through menopause.

Many times you could be doing everything seemingly right with your diet and exercise but the hormonal belly fat will refuse to go away. It’s frustrating and can make you feel self-conscious about your physical appearance.

But there is a reason why hormonal belly fat is so stubborn to get rid of. You might be fighting an uphill battle against the hormonal imbalances that are causing your stomach fat in the first place.

What you’re eating and the amount matter a lot but you’ll be fighting a losing battle if your hormones are out-of-whack. But once you fix them you’ll finally be able to lose hormonal belly fat.

It can be difficult to get rid of hormonal belly fat, but it is not impossible. This blog post will discuss how to lose hormonal belly fat fast using a few simple tips!

What Causes Hormonal Belly Fat?

what does a hormonal belly look like
What a hormonal belly looks like…

Your body attempts to maintain a very delicate hormonal balance to make sure everything is running optimally. But for one reason or another, your hormones can get out of sync due to your diet, lack of activity, or lifestyle factors. Plus as you age your belly fat-burning hormones will also gradually go downhill.

Middle age women notoriously suffer from hormonal belly fat. Perimenopause, menopause, birth control and PCOS can all go off hormone levels leading to excess weight gain in the stomach.

Having stomach fat might not only be physically unsightly but it could very well lead to serious health problems like heart disease, fatty liver disease, and metabolic syndrome (1,2,3). High blood pressure and diabetes are also linked to the hormone cortisol (4,5).

Abdominal visceral fat is the worse as it surrounds and places pressure on your organs. Subcutaneous belly fat isn’t that bad for your health as it lies right underneath your skin. But it’s safe to say that losing belly fat will improve your appearance and your health.

What does hormonal belly fat look like?

There are a few common characteristics that indicate you might be dealing with hormonal belly fat. If you have any of the following, then it’s time to take a closer look at your hormone levels.

Some hormonal belly symptoms include:

  • still feeling hungry after eating
  • majority of hormonal weight gain is in the belly
  • cravings for sugar, starches, and high glycemic carbohydrates
  • high hunger levels throughout the day

Your hormones control and delegate how much body fat burns and from where. Calories and carbs can drastically affect how much weight you gain. But your hormones and genetics dictate where you store this excess body weight. So it makes sense that if your hormones are out of whack then your body is going to stubbornly hold on to excess abdominal fat.

Stress Hormone Cortisol

stress cortisol stomach fat

One of the biggest and most well-known hormonal causes of belly fat is chronically elevated cortisol levels (7). Cortisol is known as the “fight or flight” hormone and can cause a survival instinct in your body (8). This forces your body to store excess fat (usually in the stomach) for future survival needs.

When you think about it your ancestors needed to have fat stores in case of future famine. But nowadays with food so readily available, it backfires by forcing your body to store unsightly abdominal fat.

If you’re living a constantly stressed-out life then there’s a good chance your cortisol levels are through the roof. Finding ways to lower your stress hormone levels is going to be of the utmost importance to lower the amount of cortisol pumping through your body.

I know saying to lower your chronic stress is easier said than done but you must start taking steps to lower your cortisol soon. Otherwise, you might never lose your hormonal belly.

Not getting enough sleep is also a cause of elevated cortisol levels (9). Lack of sleep can set off a negative hormonal reaction in the rest of your body. You’ll not only have less self-control the next day but you’ll also crave sugary high calorie foods.

Elevated cortisol from lack of sleep can also harm your thyroid hormones (10). Having an underactive thyroid can also lead to weight gain in the abdominal area (11). You need enough thyroid hormones for a strong and fast metabolism otherwise your body won’t burn off the abdominal weight gain.

Stress belly can be frustrating to get rid of because working out harder and extreme calorie restriction can make it worse. You have to relieve stress to get results.

Insulin Resistance Causes Visceral Fat

insulin resistance

Insulin resistance caused by chronically elevated insulin levels is another big hormonal cause of stomach fat (16). Usually, this is brought on by eating too many sugary and carb-rich foods that spike your blood sugar causing an insulinemic response in your body.

Sugar, refined carbs, fruit juices, high glycemic foods, and processed foods can all cause a bad insulin response in your body. Our bodies are programmed from thousands of years of survival instincts to store belly fat when we eat this kind of food. This helps your body store up extra energy for winter or famine. This would be imperative for your ancestor’s survival.

Insulin is produced in your pancreas and its main job is to move nutrients from the foods you eat into the cells of your fat, muscles, and liver (17). When insulin is released into your body it’s also going to slow down your fat-burning metabolism by not allowing your body to burn off fat for fuel (18).

But by eating too many of the above bad carb-heavy foods your body is gradually going to become insulin resistant. The negative impact of this will be having more trouble burning off fat for energy and instead will promote the storage of belly fat.

The best diet plan you can go on to lower your insulin resistance is one that limits sugary, high glycemic, and carb-rich foods. Eat more protein, eat low-carb and practice intermittent fasting. Adding in a C8 MCT powder to your morning coffee while you’re fasting can accelerate fat burning in your belly.

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Hunger Hormones

hunger hormones

Leptin and ghrelin are two very important hormones that control your hunger.

High insulin can negatively impact your leptin levels. Leptin is known as the “anti-starvation hormone” and is produced by your fat cells. Researchers now believe leptin resistance to be a driving force of modern-day obesity (19).

Leptin’s job is to tell your brain that you’ve already eaten enough food so it can then readily burn off fat for energy (20). When your body becomes leptin resistant it can cause you to feel hungrier. Plus it’ll decrease how much belly fat you can burn off.

Now ghrelin is known as your “hunger hormone” and you know when it’s in full effect because you’ll feel hungry (21). Then once you finish eating a full meal these ghrelin levels should go down. This will naturally reduce how hungry you feel.

One of the problems with eating more frequent meals per day is it’ll train your body to feel hungrier more often. Elevated ghrelin levels throughout the day will eventually make you feel a higher frequency of hunger too.

Intermittent Fasting in your 40s and 50s can train your body to feel less hungry more often. For a long time eating more frequent meals was known to “increase the metabolism” and this is still true to an extent. The problem in these studies is the researchers had controlled the meals and calories the participants could eat. But when you leave people up to their own devices they’re going to overeat on every one of these meals. This causes them to store more and more belly fat (22).

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know if you’re feeling hungrier more often you’re going to end up overeating. This is a sure-fire recipe to cause more belly fat for you in the long run. So by implementing an Intermittent Fasting plan, you can gradually lower your levels of hunger. It works by training your body to secrete less of this “hunger hormone” known as ghrelin (23).

Testosterone Deficiency

testosterone hormone levels

As men age, their testosterone levels go down and down (24). Now, this is considered to be a normal response to the aging process. But diet, lack of exercise, and other lifestyle factors can drive testosterone levels down into the dumps.

Studies have found men with lower testosterone levels are more likely to develop belly fat (25). Then this excess belly fat can be converted into estrogen if they’re under high-stress levels.

Then next thing you know they’re fighting belly fat caused by both low testosterone and high estrogen levels. But studies have also found belly fat to go down when testosterone was increased (26).

Many men also like to drink a lot of beer but unfortunately, the hops in beer also contain phytoestrogens (27). These phytoestrogens are similar to estrogen. This can cause men to have increases in estrogen which leads to a beer belly and man boobs. Plus drinking alcohol itself has been linked in studies to cause increases in abdominal fat as well (28).

Some natural ways to increase your testosterone are to

  • lift weights
  • lower stress
  • get enough sleep
  • take vitamin D3
  • get enough minerals such as zinc and magnesium (29,30,31,32,33).

If none of these are getting your testosterone levels up high enough then consider talking to your doctor about testosterone replacement therapy as well.

Testosterone is not only an important hormone for men but also for women. Midlife women tend to begin to have lower levels of testosterone than they did in their younger years as their estrogen declines. These hormonal imbalances can contribute to body fat distribution to the stomach.

Growth Hormone & DHEA

hormone tests

These are two hormones in your body that can naturally decrease with age but are very important for your overall body appearance.

Human growth hormone (HGH) helps both men and women build more lean muscle (34). And this muscle is important for improving both the fat-burning metabolism as well as controlling your blood sugar and insulin levels (35).

When levels of HGH are too low then your body will be more likely to store fat (36). It’ll also be more likely to become “skinny fat” which can lead to a pot belly appearance. Your body needs muscle mass to drop that extra belly fat and having higher HGH and DHEA levels can help.

DHEA is made by your adrenal glands and your body converts it to estrogen, testosterone, and other hormones. And just as importantly DHEA is responsible for having an active part in how your body burns and stores fat in your belly (37). Studies have found having adequate levels of DHEA can cause your body to burn off excess belly fat and improve insulin sensitivity (38).

Both HGH and DHEA levels naturally decrease as you age so it’s important to increase the amount you have naturally. This is one big reason why many lose muscle mass with age but increasing your HGH and DHEA should improve muscle growth.

Intermittent Fasting has been found to boost HGH levels as well as lowering the amount of sugar you consume (39,40). Optimizing your sleep and intense exercise can also lead to improvements in these two vital hormones.

Hormonal Belly Pooch and Bloat in Women

menopause women belly pooch bloat

Weight gain for many women is common with perimenopause and menopause. Women begin to make less progesterone and estrogen around their mid-30s and much more so in menopause.

Women in perimenopause will start to notice they’re gaining weight around their midsection much easier than before (43). Hormonal fluctuations of estrogen lead to these increases in this “unexplained” weight gain. Sleep deprivation, loss of muscle mass, and worsening insulin sensitivity also lead to weight gain in the abdominal during this time.

Women in menopause also have a worsening fat-burning metabolism so they won’t be burning off as much as fat they used to (44). This is why lowering your calories too much can be worse for the belly. It’ll cause women to lose more muscle plus lower fat-burning metabolism at the same time.

But this doesn’t mean all hope is lost if you’re suffering from menopausal belly fat. Studies have found postmenopausal women on hormonal replacement therapy ended up having a decrease in belly fat (45).

Eating a high protein diet, cutting sugars and carbs, lots of fiber, getting plenty of sleep, lowering stress levels, and working out with resistance training are proven ways to decrease the menopausal belly bulge.

From Birth Control

Most women do not experience increases in abdominal fat from taking birth control. Sudden weight gain due to fluid retention is a lot more common after taking birth control.

Yet it’s also not uncommon to see side effects from adding exogenous hormones into your body like estrogen and progesterone. Some birth control like progestins can increase your appetite and increasing your estrogen levels can lead to fluid retention.

If you’ve noticed an increase in belly fat due after taking birth control it’s usually advised to give it a few months. If you still aren’t happy with the weight gain then it’s best to talk to your doctor about switching birth controls.

After Hysterectomy

Having a hysterectomy involves removing the ovaries where estrogen is produced. This can cause an early onset of menopause and increases in belly fat.

Lower estrogen levels are linked to increased storage of abdominal fat. You can also experience a slower metabolism, worse sleep, and lower energy after a hysterectomy. This can make it an uphill battle to reduce belly fat.

PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome)

PCOS can cause some serious hormonal imbalances and fluctuations in women that promote stomach fat.

Those suffering from PCOS will have a harder time with insulin. Insulin resistance is a driving force of stomach fat as well as lower muscle mass. Women with PCOS can then have higher male hormones that will also cause weight gain in the abdomen.

It’s critical to lower your sugar and carb intake if suffering from PCOS. The difficulty for your body to use insulin will only make things worse when you eat those foods.

How to Reset Your Hormones to Lose Weight

how to reset your hormones to lose belly fat

Re-bouncing and resetting your hormones is necessary if you wanna lose that stubborn belly fat caused by hormonal and balances.

The biggest key will be to lower your intake of sugar, starches, and high glycemic carbohydrates that spike up your blood sugar and insulin. Eliminating processed, junk, and refined foods are of the utmost importance. These are usually the worst offenders when it comes to high carb and high calorie foods.

Eat an anti-inflammatory diet that consists of real whole foods is ideal. Higher protein, vegetables, and good fats should make up the bulk of your diet.

Getting enough sleep will also help to improve your hormone imbalances. Adequate sleep will naturally lower your cortisol levels. Then your hunger hormones leptin and ghrelin will also improve which will make it easier to stop eating too much food.

Finally adding in a workout plan with belly fat burning exercises is the last piece of the puzzle.

Hormonal Belly Fat Exercises and Workout Plan

high intensity interval training workout

Now I know it might seem logical to think exercise will only make you more stressed out and tired. But this couldn’t be any further from the truth. Intense exercise will help to raise belly fat burning hormones such as growth hormone and improve insulin sensitivity (14,15).

Try to also add some High Intensity Interval Training aka HIIT workouts into your exercise regimen. You’ll not only burn calories with these types of workouts but you’ll also improve muscle mass making it easier to shed that belly.

The best exercises for burning the hormonal belly are:

  • compound multi-joint movements
  • increase your heart rate
  • challenging resistance/weight
  • low rest periods

For a complete diet and workout plan to optimize your hormones check out The Flat Belly Formula.

Supplements for Hormonal Belly Fat

Since most hormonal belly fat issues are caused by insulin issues then taking a supplement that helps with this issue is vital.

Intermittent fasting is a great method for naturally lowering your insulin. Combined with a low-carb diet it’ll produce the best results for resetting your hormones to drop the belly fat.

I recommend taking a C8 MCT powder while you’re fasting. It’ll boost your results by enhancing your body’s ability to switch over to using ketones for energy. Ketones are made when quick-burning sugars and stored carbs aren’t available in your body for energy. So your body has to start using your fat stores for fuel and it produces ketones as a result. I like and recommend Keto Elevate.

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  • 3X Better Than Coconut Oil, Butter or MCTs
  • Heightened energy levels
  • Reduced cravings & appetite
  • Graceful aging
  • Healthy metabolism
  • Increased mental clarity & focus
  • Heightened physical performance and recovery

If you’re having trouble eating enough high protein and low carb meals then it’s easiest to add in a protein shake. Just make sure your protein shake is low carb and isn’t filled with a bunch of additives or junk.

The Last Word

Does hormonal belly go away?

Focus on doing the things that help to reverse the damage caused by out-of-whack hormones. This includes focusing on your diet, intense workouts, optimizing sleep, and lowering high-stress levels.

I know it can seem impossible to fight off the causes of a hormonal belly but you can lose it when you focus on what works. Getting to the root cause of your hormonal belly can be difficult to pinpoint but focusing on all of the above will optimize your hormones to burn more belly fat.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how much you cut your calories if your hormones are out of whack. This is why the calories you eat aren’t everything when it comes to weight loss especially as you age. There are more underlying reasons such as your hormones that can cause unexplained weight gain and increases in belly fat. You’ll also improve your liver health as well as fight off diabetes.

But just because your hormones are causing you to pack on more belly fat there is still hope. By correcting your out-of-whack hormones your body will soon respond by melting off that stubborn belly fat. Now that you know how to get rid of hormonal belly fat it’s time to finally drop that stubborn excess weight and burn belly fat now.