The Hormones Involved In Female Belly Fat

Most people are familiar with calories for losing weight. Eat fewer calories than your body burns and you will lose weight. Eat more calories than your body needs and you will gain weight but, how do hormones come into play?

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Hormones will determine what kind of weight you will lose (you may lose body fat (ideal), you may lose muscle mass). You may store weight if you're in a calorie deficit and hormones will determine if that weight will be fat, muscle, or something else.

female belly fat

Hormones are also extremely influential in where a woman will store her fat. We know that menopause is generally a time where a woman’s body shape will change, largely driven by insulin and cortisol due to the reduction in estrogen and progesterone. A woman will start to gain more weight around her mid-section rather than hips, bum, and thighs.

Insulin

Insulin is the hormone responsible for regulating your blood sugar levels. Whenever you have a hard carbohydrate meal, your blood sugar levels will rise, causing your body to release insulin to bring your blood sugar levels back down to normal.

Insulin is a storage (anabolic) hormone meaning if your life isn't set up as 'healthy', you're not exercising regularly, you're not watching what you eat, it's very likely that insulin will help you gain weight, especially fat around your mid-section. 

Insulin levels are largely driven by your diet.

Cortisol

Cortisol is a stress hormone that is released in times of, stress, obviously. Cortisol pulls nutrients (sugar) out of your body's cells and into the bloodstream for energy, if you do not use that energy, which we never do because there isn't a tiger we need to run away from, your liver will then dump a lot of that energy into fat cells, especially around the mid-section. 

Cortisol levels are driven by your stress levels, both physical and emotional.


Estrogen

Estrogen is the hormone largely responsible for the female body shape. Estrogen (E2), causes women to store their weight around their hips, breasts, bum, and thighs. This is why, through menopause, when estrogen levels drop women will start to store more weight around their mid-section because estrogen isn't there to store it in female predominant areas.

Estrogen levels are largely driven by your menstrual cycle.

Progesterone

Progesterone is a hormone that is produced by the corpus luteum in the last two weeks of the menstrual cycle. Interesting, in the first two weeks of your cycle, known as the follicular phase, a woman's levels of progesterone are the same as a mans. Progesterone, along with estrogen helps to mitigate the effects of cortisol and stress.

Progesterone levels are largely driven by your menstrual cycle.

Testosterone

Women naturally produce small amounts of testosterone, If you look at the average female body shape compared to a male. Youll notice the men generally store their weight around their mid-section as opposed to their hips, bum, and thigh. 

Testosterone levels are largely driven by your menstrual cycle.

 

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About Drew Baird:

Drew Baird is the founder and owner of Drew Baird Fitness and Healthy PCOS. He has coached over 23,200 women on his online weight programs and helped his clients lose over 256,000kgs.

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