Learn how hormones can impact weight gain and belly
Does it feel like you woke up one morning and couldn’t zip up your favorite jeans? You haven’t changed your eating habits but all of a sudden, you’ve got a new roll of belly fat. Your jeans don’t fit right. Your shirts feel extra tight. And frankly, you’re not feeling super great.
First of all – it’s okay. Yes, this is okay because the great news is, the too tight jeans and annoying muffin top are not permanent. Yes – you can get rid of the extra belly fat and get back to your sexy curvy self. And no, it doesn’t matter if you’re experiencing perimenopause or menopause symptoms!
I know your hormones are doing crazy things and you’re really not sure what to do or where to start. Trust me, I’ve been there. I started perimenopause at 40 and learned the hard way how to get my curves back and get rid of my belly fat. So, I know what you’re going through. And this is exactly why I wrote this blog.
I want you to understand the connections between perimenopause, menopause, hormonal imbalances, and weight gain. I promise not to overwhelm you with science – I’ll tell you what you need to know about your hormones and how you can reset your hormones and metabolism.
What are hormones?
Hormones are specialized chemical substances in the body, controlling and regulating the activities of other cells and organs.
Your body depends on hormones and the messages they send to regulate every process in your body including appetite, heart rate, sleep cycles, reproductive cycles, sexual function, metabolism, mood, and body temperature.
The Society for Endocrinology explains how hormones are used for two types of communication. “The first is for communication between two endocrine glands, where one gland releases a hormone which stimulates another target gland to change the levels of hormones it is releasing. The second is between an endocrine gland and a target organ, for example when the pancreas releases insulin which causes muscle and fat cells to take up glucose from the bloodstream.”
In other words, everything is connected – for example, healthy liver function is critical for hormone regulation and in keeping the hormones responsible for fat burning and stress management balanced.
The good news is, your hormone health is under your control. Regardless of perimenopause or menopause symptoms, you can reset your hormones and kickstart your metabolism. Join the JJ Smith Facebook Community page to connect with other people, who like you, are taking control of their hormonal health.
What you need to know about perimenopause, menopause and your hormones?
Unfortunately, no one really prepares us for perimenopause and menopause. These very important changes in the female body are taboo topics and this is why so many women struggle with hormonal imbalances, weight gain, belly fat, and frustration.
It’s time to put an end to the lack of information about perimenopause, menopause, and your hormones. Without getting too scientific, here is what you need to know about perimenopause, menopause, and your hormones:
During perimenopause your estrogen levels begin to fluctuate, and your progesterone levels start dropping. Typically, women begin this hormonal and reproductive transition in their 40s. Perimenopause lasts on average for four years, and in the last few years of this cycle, the drop in estrogen levels accelerates.
According to Healthline, the symptoms of perimenopause can include:
- Hot flashes and heat intolerance.
- Sleep disturbances.
- Menstrual cycle changes.
- Mood changes, such as irritability.
- Weight gain.
Menopause happens when your menstrual cycle ends. When you’ve had 12 months without a period, you are in menopause. This happens anytime in your 40s and 50s but occurs for most women in their early 50s.
The hot flashes, weight gain, sleep disturbances, headaches, and mood changes associated with perimenopause are linked to the natural changes in your hormone levels and are often referred to as menopause symptoms.
Estrogen, Progesterone, and Testosterone
Estrogen and progesterone are the two main female sex hormones. During perimenopause the production of these hormones fluctuates and ultimately when you reach menopause, your body no longer produces estrogen and progesterone.
These hormones are also critical in developing strong bone health, regulating cholesterol levels, and in helping you maintain a healthy weight.
Testosterone is the male sex hormone, though women also have testosterone. Testosterone is key to building strong bones and maintaining muscle mass. During menopause your testosterone level also drops.
As your estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone levels change during perimenopause and menopause, your body’s ability to maintain muscle and to regulate your metabolism changes. This is why so many women gain weight throughout perimenopause and menopause.
The five key hormones linked to weight gain and belly fat
Typically, when we talk about losing weight, building muscle, and getting rid of extra belly fat, we focus on diet, exercise, and detoxing the liver.
But the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation emphasizes how hormone changes also cause weight gain, accumulation of belly fat, and a loss in muscle mass.
And this why I want you to know how these five key hormones are linked to weight gain, belly fat, and a sluggish metabolism:
- Thyroid hormones control your ability to burn calories and convert food into energy. When your thyroid hormones are low, your metabolism slows down, causing weight gain and low energy levels.
- Leptin is your hunger signal or appetite hormone. This hormone tells you when you’re full and should stop eating. When you consume too many high sugar or high carbohydrate foods, your body stores the extra sugar and carbohydrate as fat. This extra fat creates additional leptin, causing your brain to get confused, ignoring signals to stop eating.
- Insulin is responsible for converting sugar and glucose from food into energy. Consuming processed foods and those high in sugar or carbohydrates causes your blood sugar levels to spike, and overtime this results in high blood sugar levels and insulin resistance. Insulin resistance causes a range of health problems including fatty liver disease and increased accumulation of belly fat.
- Cortisol is secreted by your adrenal glands when you’re under stress, injured, nervous, or depressed. Too much cortisol can cause insulin resistance, an increase in appetite, and trigger cravings for sugary, salty, and high-fat foods. All of this adds up to weight gain particularly around your belly.
- Estrogen levels, as I noted above are directly connected to your weight, metabolism, and insulin levels. Remember during perimenopause and menopause, you produce less estrogen. Because your body is used to having estrogen, it looks for it from other sources and one popular source is fat. This kick starts a cycle ultimately resulting in weight gain around the belly and lower body.
How to reset your hormones and metabolism
Do not trust people who tell you weight gain and losing your sexy curves are simply part of aging.
This is simply not true!The truth is this – you can take control of your hormones and metabolism so you can get your curves back, fit into your skinny jeans, and feel fantastic.
If you follow my five tips on how to reset your hormone and metabolism, you will keep turning heads – regardless of your age.
- Move and sweat. Exercise kick starts your metabolism, helps you build muscles, lowers your stress levels, and gets you off the couch. Sweating is critical to naturally eliminating toxins and chemicals.
- Eat the rainbow. Look at your plate and try to fill it with as many bright colors as possible. Make sure you’re getting plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables with every meal (even breakfast). Try to add these top liver superfoods to your diet and do not overlook the connection between food and your health.
- Sleep and rest. I know you’re busy and have a lot going on. But your body needs you to slow down and rest. You need to sleep for at least eight hours a night, so your body has a chance to repair cell damage, strengthen your immune system, and rebuild your energy levels.
- Take care of your liver. Your liver is responsible for metabolizing carbohydrates and fat, regulating your hormones, and creating protein so you can build muscle mass. When your liver is overloaded, it cannot function properly, resulting in weight gain, a sluggish metabolism, and excess belly fat. A natural liver supplement like Liver Focus gives your liver the support it needs to function properly and to naturally improve your fat-burning capabilities.
- Manage your stress. When your stress level is high your cortisol hormone level increases. This makes it hard to get adequate sleep, changes your mood, and causes you to overeat. Pay attention to signs of fatigue, low moods, and feeling overwhelmed – these are all signs you’re stressed. Take a step back from activities and hit the reset button on your commitments.
Now, remember you cannot kickstart your metabolism and get your hormones balanced overnight. It takes time and patience. Focus on making small changes on a daily basis and soon enough, you’ll be feeling and looking like yourself again.
And I know you have lots of questions about your hormones, belly fat, weight gain, and liver health. Get your questions answered with the insider tips I send out to my mailing list subscribers and remember to join the JJ Smith Facebook Community page.