What is Hormonal Belly fat?

Last updated on November 13, 2022

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Belly fat is often associated with excess fats and weight gain.

In some cases, however, a protruding and big belly could result from hormones in what is known as hormonal belly fat. 

Causes of hormonal belly 

1) Cortisol and stress

stressed woman

One of the ways through which a hormonal belly forms is due to high levels of stress. When you are overly stressed, the adrenal glands release a hormone known as cortisol.

Cortisol is necessary for managing stress, and if your anxiety is short-lived, you don’t have to worry about gain weight

But when you are always stressed, a lot of cortisol will be produced.

Too much of it triggers the body to store more fat than usual. This kind of fat is usually distributed in the stomach and chest. 

Additionally, too much stress can make you give in to your cravings, which might not be necessarily healthy. Too many calories in the body will be stored as fats in your stomach.

You may not avoid stress altogether, but activities like meditating, getting enough sleep, and seeking counseling can help you manage and cope with stress.

2) Estrogen and menopause 


The other factor that contributes to the hormonal belly is menopause. During menopause, a lot of women go through hormonal imbalances.

Estrogen levels may fluctuate, and this leads to more fat being stored around the abdomen.

Most menopausal women also suffer from insulin resistance. Insulin is a fat hormone that instructs the body to store fat.

When your body cells become insulin resistant, a lot of insulin is released. This is detrimental to your health as more fats will be stored in your mid-section, and you can also suffer from obesity. 

Along with hormonal imbalances, women lose muscle mass as they age. As a result, they embrace a sedentary lifestyle as their physical activity levels decrease.

Consequently, most of them end up adding too much weight and are not able to lose it. 

To address this issue, ensure that you are eating healthy; reduce sugar and carbohydrate consumption.

3) Leptin resistance 

Leptin is a weight regulating hormone that informs the brain whether you are hungry, when you should eat and when the body should make more fat.

Some people, however, develop leptin resistance. When this happens, the brain does not usually register the presence of leptin.

Instead, your brain starts to think that you are hungry. As a result, your appetite increases, and you end up consuming lots of calories that are stored in your belly as fat.

The best way to address leptin resistance is by seeking medical advice. 


If your belly fat does not go away even after exercising and maintain a healthy diet, it probably could be caused by hormones.

In such cases, you would need to visit a doctor so that they can address this issue.

Other ways to deal with hormonal belly include exercising, reducing the consumption of sugar, filling up your diet with lots of proteins and fiber, and coping with stress. 

About the author

Nikita Clark

As a personal trainer that specializes in weight loss and body transformation, I know how it feels to be overweight. Just 10 years ago, I could barely walk for two minutes without needing a rest. But I turned my life around and I want to help you do the same.  

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