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You exercise regularly and eat as many nutritious meals as possible. Yet, the scale says you’re gaining weight, not reducing it. And that stubborn excess weight around your waistline just won’t budge. So what’s up?

Even a minor change in our hormone levels can cause extra belly fat in some cases.

Hormones play a role in a variety of biological functions, including stress, metabolism, sexual desire, and hunger. If a person lacks specific hormones, it can lead to abdominal weight gain, which is referred to as a hormonal belly.

So, how can you tell if those love handles are just a few extra pounds from a pizza and wine binge or if they’re a sign of anything more serious? Here are five symptoms that your hormones are at fault for and what to do about them.

RELATED: Step by Step Guide on How to Track Your Macros

What is a Hormonal Belly?

Hormonal belly is weight gain around the abdomen and waistline due to hormone fluctuations. Hormones monitor and maintain normal bodily functions.

Menopause, low T, an underactive thyroid, and PCOs can cause hormone inconsistenies. Obesity, environmental triggers including excessive stress, chemicals, and even some drugs can cause hormonal abnormalities.

Causes of Hormonal Belly

1. 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.

2. Estrogen Levels

There are three types of estrogen in the body:

  • estradiol
  • estrone
  • estriol

Estradiol is vital in modifying libido, sperm production, and erectile function in males.

Low estrogen levels might lead to a lack of sexual desire and an increase in abdominal fat. High estrogen levels, on the other hand, can trigger weight gain in men under 60.

RELATED: Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)

4 Signs of Hormone Belly

  • Larger waistline despite eating well
  • Constant stress
  • Mood swings
  • Sugar cravings
  • Can’t fall asleep

1. Large waistline despite eating well.

An indication of hormone belly might be the almost overnight appearance of that spare tire.

2. Stress.

anxious middle aged man | 5 Signs Of Hormonal Belly & How To Get Rid of It

Cortisol is another significant factor in the hormonal belly fat game. Cortisol, often known as the stress hormone, rises when your body detects you’re stressed or overloaded, which can lead to obstinate weight gain.

3. 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. Sugar cravings.

Insulin resistance can not only lead to diabetes, but it can also have side effects on other critical hormones. Insulin resistance can lead to a rise in leptin levels. Leptin is the hormone that tells your body when you’re full, but high insulin levels cause Leptin to rise.

This can lead to a dysfunction of leptin receptors that stop sending signals to the brain to stop eating. As a result, you perform the polar opposite of what Leptin is supposed to do: you keep eating while never receiving the signal to stop.

5. Can’t fall asleep.

Insomnia and weariness can be telltale symptoms that your weight increase is due to hormones. Sleep deprivation leads to exhaustion, which in turn leads to stress and insomnia. All of this will cause havoc with your hormones, particularly your cortisol levels. Low thyroid levels can be caused by high cortisol, which can contribute to central weight gain. Growth hormones, which are crucial for tissue formation, muscle growth, and overall health, can be reduced.

How to Get Rid of Hormonal Belly

For men, a doctor may prescribe testosterone supplements.

Get a full consultation and blood test from a hormone specialist who will work with you to develop a customized treatment plan.

Hormonal belly in women can be targeted with hormone replacement therapy, including estrogen therapy or estrogen-progesterone/progestin hormone therapy (EPT. Research indicates that postmenopausal women on HRT have reduced levels of belly fat than those that aren’t.

Treatment for men or women can be either:

  • patches
  • tablets
  • gels
  • injections
  • implants

A doctor may also propose dietary and lifestyle adjustments, including more exercise and a lower-calorie diet, in addition to medications.

Concentrate on things you have control over, such as your food and exercise regimen. Make a point of including plenty of veggies, complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats in your meals. These foods will not only keep you full and satisfy your hunger, but they will also provide you with the nutrients you need to avoid age-related insulin resistance and muscle loss.

If you have questions about hormonal belly or any of the conditions discussed here, connecting with a doctor in a discrete setting has never been easier.

Opt Health is a telehealth platform that reconnects men with wellness, fitness, strength, and sexual vitality through scientific preventive medicine. From your own home, you can schedule with a physician, meet one-on-one via video conference, receive test results, and have medications delivered to your door.

For questions, inquiries, or appointments, don’t hesitate to contact us. Get personalized support and insight from top-tier physicians available 24/7.

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