Many people work out really hard to lose belly fat and weight. As such, they try every possible means — from rigorous exercises to diets. But sometimes, despite doing all this and much more, some find it difficult to lose fat, especially from the belly region. This, experts said, indicates that the hormones — that regulate regulate various functions in the body along with metabolism, stress, hunger, and sex drive — may be creating havoc.
“Due to fluctuation in the hormonal levels, there could be a deficiency in certain hormones which could lead to belly bulge becoming more prominent. This, in turn, can be called a hormonal belly,” said Dr Sushruta Mokadam, senior consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital, Kharadi, Pune.
As per the expert, there are several hormone-associated conditions that can make you pack pounds around the belly region, like underactive thyroid, Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and menopause. Hormonal imbalances can also occur because of obesity, stress, or medications.
Here are a few vital signs that you need to watch out for
Not feeling satisfied even after having a meal
If this happens frequently then it means the sex hormones are indirectly impacting those hormones that help regulate metabolism — estrogen and testosterone. Low estrogen levels make you feel hungry even after having a meal owing to the impact of estrogen on leptin. Notably, high leptin levels are problematic.
Being stressed all the time
Every time you’re stressed, your adrenal glands release cortisol to help your body respond promptly. In case you are stressed all the time, your adrenal gland will not even realise that it’s producing more cortisol than your body needs. Furthermore, high levels of cortisol raise heart rate, blood pressure, and even blood sugar. Not only this, too much cortisol tends to increase abdominal fat.
Weight gain in the abdominal area
“Low estrogen levels can be seen owing to excessive exercise, not eating properly, or pituitary gland problems. When estrogen levels dramatically go down then one may gain more weight around the belly,” said Dr Mokadam.
What can be done?
“Speak to an expert who will guide you regarding this,” said Dr Mokadam.