Did you magically wake up with a larger belly than you bargained for?
I’ve struggled with weight loss most of my life. I know what it’s like to suddenly wake up and finally take notice that something has gone wrong. Initially, I just can’t put my finger on the cause — even though I know all too well that I’m at fault here. You would think that all those years of training, competing and getting leaner would make a difference. But, when it comes to being honest with ourselves — that can sometimes be highly confronting. No one wants to know what they have failed at dieting. This is always the diets fault. Due to our lack of self-reflection regularly, our bodies can seem like they take on a life of their own. First, our legs start to get a bit more cellulite, as do our arms and backside. Then comes the belly that seems to be hanging on either side of our jeans.
It’s all in your genes
Unfortunately, a lot of our body fat accumulation issues stems from good old genetics. As you develop from adolescence to adult, you will notice the different places on your body that are more susceptible to body fat. For instance, if you have a larger waist, you will tend to carry more weight around your abdomen.
It’s also got to do with stress
You can’t escape stress, but it can take control of your entire life if you let it. Most people react to stress by not eating, while others overeat and eat the wrong things. When the fight or flight release of cortisol is high for too long and in excess, it may increase abdominal fat storage. This is your inherent natural genetics making sure there is enough fat around those vital organs to help you if you need the energy to make a run for it. Our bodies are only doing their inner programing in case of an emergency.
You are sneaking in too much sugar
This can backfire on you big time. With cortisol high, we have another problem with craving sugar constantly. This can easily lead to poor food choices and then weight gain. What I do find very challenging to do (but not impossible) is to eliminate specific cravings during particular phases in your life. Perhaps those tiny things you may be consuming seem insignificant due to their size. But unfortunately, it’s those little things that keep us stuck in the weight gain cycle — for example, eating candy, constantly chewing gum or snacking on salted and processed nuts. You’re best bet is to cortisol your stress by another means besides food. Exercise, yoga, walking, lifting weights and talking to someone you trust will serve your mental and physical health in the long run.
The dreaded hormonal changes of menopause
It’s so easy to start developing a belly from hormonal changes alone. Drops in estrogen as we age our metabolism down slowly, every single year. If you make it a priority to start building muscle, that will boost your metabolism and help eliminate excess body fat.
Food sensitivities can increase weight gain
You may not always know what particular foods are the culprit, but they can increase the likelihood of inflammation, bloating, lethargy and constipation. That constant inflammation can cause an increase in cortisol. It may not be easy to find out the actual source, but starting with a straightforward, bland diet throughout a couple of weeks, then slowly adding in foods every day can help. Alternatively, speaking to a specialist will help you identify the problem a lot sooner.
Although it’s not easy to determine the cause of belly fat gain, you can be sure the main culprit is food. On top of stress, hormonal changes and lack of sleep can undoubtedly magnify the problem. My advice would be to sit down with this list and determine what category you fit under. Be brutally honest with your current lifestyle, and if you are, moving towards finding a solution will soon see you overcome this obstacle. f you would like to read more articles like this, or start writing your own, please sign up via my link here. I’d love to see you on the other side.Sign up here for your medium subscription