We all like to think that we’re in complete control of our body. But when it comes to uncontrollable weight gain, our bodies can feel like a train that's run off the tracks. Hormonal weight gain is something that can happen to anyone - men or women - at various times in their life. This isn't a 'menopause only' phenomenon.
But there is a lot you can do to get your hormones to cooperate with you, creating a body that's healthy and happy.
In this article, I'm going to go through:
- How hormonal weight gain happens (and what you can do about it)
- Where our body's tend to store hormone-related fat
- Hormonal belly fat and how easy it is to actually lose
- Your body type and fat storage
How Hormonal Weight Gain Happens
Hormones are woven into the very fabric of who we are, what we look like, when we feel hot, cold, hungry and tired. Their purpose is to help regulate the many functions of our body so it works in harmony.
I like to think of hormones as Minions. If you’ve never seen the movie Despicable Me, you may not get the reference. Just envision countless little “helpers” in your body that try to do their best, but sometimes get it wrong and cause more harm than good.
When hormones get things wrong, it usually has more to do with us than them. In other words, wonky hormones are very often due to the foods we eat, the environment in which we live and the stress we put ourselves under, among other reasons.
When our Minion-like hormones are in perfect harmony, our body sings along with them. We’re not as bothered by mood swings, our body temperature is perfect round the clock, we have good energy, we eat when we’re hungry and (usually) we have a pretty good shot at maintaining an optimal weight.
When our hormones are less-than-cooperative, all hell breaks loose. We get moody, suffer from hot flashes, lack energy, feel hungry too often and have a tendency to experience hormonal weight again in certain parts of our body fairly easily.
Hormones Store Fat in Different Parts of the Body
Because each of us has a unique biochemistry – part of which includes our hormones – we don’t necessarily gain weight in the same part of our body as someone else.
Our bodies have dozens of hormones that need to sit in balance with one another. Just imagine you had to balance 50 or so balls on a long wooden plank that rested on top of something unstable. If one balls shifts it place, it affects the rest of the balls. That's how delicate our hormones are, and how easy it is to throw some of them off.
The hormones in my body might need to be in a different balance than your body. And when my hormones are out of balance in one way, your hormones could fall out of balance in another way.
This is a roundabout way of explaining how hormonal weight gain happens.
No two people eat the same types of foods, sleep the exact same way, or get the same type of activity. Yet all of these things - food, sleep and activity - have a tremendous impact on hormonal fat storage or fat loss.
Hormonal Belly Fat
So you've got some belly fat and want to get rid of it. Great! If you're reading this, then you're probably motivated enough to make some changes to get rid of the extra flab.
When we gain weight through our midsection, our body is taking signals from several hormones saying, "put that fat right here." The Apple Shape Body Type (those who gain weight in their belly) are usually ruled by the hormones cortisol, insulin and human growth hormone (or lack thereof).
Food and lifestyle directly affects belly fat.
Mistake #1: When I work with clients, I find one of the biggest problems in their diet is that they are not eating enough good fat. It can sometimes take weeks of work to put them on the right path just to eat the right foods.
If you consume unhealthy fats, like corn, canola and soybean oil (all processed vegetable oils), you will trigger inflammation in your body that will force fat storage.
I'm absolutely NOT a fan of the keto diet, but fat is actually healthy - if you eat the right kind. If you have belly fat, start eating more healthy fats, including:
- avocado / avocado oil
- nuts and seeds
- coconut oil
- whole fat plain yogurt*
*if you can tolerate dairy
Mistake #2: People still eat too many refined carbohydrates. Refined carbohydrates include:
All of these foods, even if they're fat free, trigger unruly blood sugar levels, higher cortisol levels and play a hand in rolling out the welcome wagon for belly fat.
Mistake #3: If you have belly fat, you need to curb or cut out the caffeine. Caffeine has a direct effect on weight gain, especially belly fat. Even if you're drinking black coffee with nothing in it, it can cause fat storage through the belly.
Those are just a few things for you to look at if you have belly fat and want to get rid of it. I know some of the changes might not make sense, but your body doesn't lie. You're gaining weight for a reason.
Please correct these 3 mistakes if you think you're making them. Better yet, pick up The Belly Burn Plan so you can start making changes asap!
If you're gaining weight in other parts of your body, it could be hormones, too! Read on.
Your Diet and Hormonal Fat Storage
The reason why most people continue gaining weight to very specific parts of their body is because they're eating the wrong foods for their body type.
This is a very simplified way of saying you should eat right for your hormone type.
Food plays a vital role in making sure hormones send the right messages. If one group of hormones out numbers the rest, weight gain can happen – and quickly. What’s more, unless that “gang” of hormones gets balanced out with the others, losing weight will be an uphill battle.
One of the big messages I try to get across to people is that your hormones do NOT care if what you're eating or drinking has calories. You can gain weight despite that because certain things, including unhealthy artificial sweeteners and caffeine can trigger your body to store fat.
Take a look at this screen shot from a fellow Belly Burner.
The 4 General Body Types of Hormonal Fat Storage
- Apple Shape: You’ve noticed you’ve gained weight through your belly - almost exclusively. Your diet hasn't really changed a lot, and you can't understand where the weight is coming from.
- Pear Shape: No matter how hard you try, you can’t seem to get rid of any body fat in your bottom, hips, thighs and just below your belly button (a little pooch).
- Inverted Pyramid: You’re legs are lean, but a growing bit of fat keeps edging its way in around your bra line, upper arms and possibly your chest, too.
- Hourglass: You’re gaining weight, but it’s noticeable in your face, belly, hips…well, everywhere! You still have great curves, but need to reel things in a little bit.
The shape of your body is the shape of your body. Let's get that straight. Some were born with broad hips, others were born with narrow hips. Don't try to fight your body in those areas.
But the extra fat that gets whacked on to parts of your body as opposed to another is a very different things. Your diet and your lifestyle are the primary culprits of why this happened. The input you're giving your body through the foods you're eating, for example, send signals to hormones that deliver the information.
What Can You Do To Stop Hormonal Fat Storage?
As far as our diet, there is a lot we can do to give our body a helping hand in an effort to regulate weight gain related to hormonal imbalance. You’re a lot more familiar with hormones than you realize. Insulin, estrogen, cortisol, adrenaline, progesterone and growth hormone are just a few that might sound familiar.
The first thing you should do is start eating right for your body type.
Don't diet. Don't count calories. Chances are, that's what got your in this situation in the first place.
Read through a few of the articles I've written about your body type:
- Read this if you're an Apple Shape Body Type
- Read this if you're a Pear Shape Body Type
- Read this if you're an Inverted Pyramid Shape Body Type
- Read this if you're an Hourglass Shape Body Type
Again, the knee-jerk reaction for most people who are frustrated by unwanted weight gain is to diet, usually by dramatically cutting calories, counting points or eliminating whole macronutrients (like carbohydrates) altogether. Big mistake. Trust me. If you want longterm results, eat right for your body type.
Fortunately, I wrote an entire book about this called The Belly Burn Plan. You should order this today, Results are pretty fantastic! And inspiring. Even for me.
Read this review and leave a comment below if you feel inspired, too!
So go ahead and order my book. You won't regret it. Keep in touch with me. I love hearing from you. And let me know how you're doing.
Just so you know what you get with the book...
The Belly Burn Plan includes:
- A 6-week meal plan for your body type
- 65 delicious and healthy recipes
- 22 body changing workouts that you can scale to your level of fitness
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