Hormones that cause Belly Fat

Weight loss effort and research is focused mostly on eating right or exercising more. There is actually another factor that can influence weight significantly. There are people who have been exercising and dieting and have not been succeeding losing belly fat or overall body fat sufficiently. In such cases, it is most likely that the reason behind failure to combat belly fat is about hormone.

Functions of Hormone

Hormones control the working of the organs. Growth, development and reproduction of organs get regulated by hormones. Hormones regulate fat gain as they affect the way body utilizes and stores calories. They also regulate the volume of sugar and salt in bloodstream. Hormones flow throughout the body. Each of the hormones affects specific organs and tissues. Both men and women have all hormones. Gender, however, affects levels, placement and working of the hormones. Increase or decrease in levels of any hormone can result in major changes in body like fat gain. Following are the hormones that can be responsible for fat or belly fat gain.


Estrogen is a female sex hormone. A decrease in estrogen level can often cause weight gain in menopausal women. Decrease in estrogen happens rapidly during menopause, which slows down metabolism. High levels of estrogen in men can result in low levels of testosterone which is a hormone that helps build lean muscle mass. Fat cells in body can generate estrogen and body tries to convert calories into fat to increase estrogen levels. Fat cells, unfortunately, burn calories much less than muscle cells do and it can facilitate weight gain.


Testosterone levels decrease as people age, as pointed out in a research done by the Mayo Clinic. For people who are above 30, testosterone levels are lowered by one percent every year. Testosterone helps build lean muscle using calories that we consume. Muscle cells burn calories far more than fat cells do. It helps enhance metabolism and maintain a healthy weight. With decrease in levels of testosterone, loss of muscle and decrease in metabolic rate happens.


Progesterone is often linked with women as it helps stimulate bleeding during menstruation. With age, levels of progesterone go down, particularly in menopausal women. Menopause slows down metabolism. Progesterone functions like testosterone does. Decreased level of progesterone is linked with weight gain. Progesterone gets converted to testosterone in men. As progesterone levels go down with age, testosterone levels also go down, leading to weight gain.


Androgen hormone and testosterone are responsible for the changes of puberty that takes place in boy’s bodies. They influence male pattern baldness, sexual interest and sperm-cell formation. Women also produce some androgen in the ovaries and adrenal glands. Increase in levels of androgen in women is linked with abdominal fat. Increase in androgen in men due to increased age is also linked with abdominal fat. Such weight gain is known as “middle age spread.”


Insulin gets released in pancreas and controls protein metabolism, glucose and fat. If body is insulin resistant, it will convert all the calories consumed into fat, leading to weight gain.

Stress Hormone Cortisol

Cortisol is a stress hormone. When people stress, they produce excess cortisol. Cortisol stimulates fat-storage enzymes in cells. There is direct link between belly fat in lean women and high cortisol levels, as found by researchers from Yale University. Cortisol is the alpha hormone. It has lot of influence on how other hormones function. It affects estrogen and thyroid function in women. It also affects testosterone and thyroid function in men. High levels of cortisol is linked with lousy sleep, sugar cravings and hard-to-lose belly fat. Proper diet, supplement and exercise can be useful in reducing stress.

Low Thyroid

Low level of thyroid is linked with depression, brain fog, fatigue and weight gain. Stress and high cortisol can cause to lower level of thyroid hormone. Other causes of low level of thyroid hormone include vitamin D deficiency, endocrine disruptions found in the environment and gluten sensitivity.

In addition to exercising and dieting, focusing on hormones can help significantly in losing belly fat. Consulting a doctor is a good way to begin balancing levels of hormones that can favor loss of belly fat and overall body weight.

Last update: July 30, 2017 05:49:49 pm

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