The muffin top…. the spare tire…. love handles… camel back… saddlebags… all of these conjure up images that we don’t really want to think about. Perhaps it’s because they are a bit of a reminder of what we see in the mirror. Sure, they may not be pretty to look at, but they may also be an indicator of the state of your health.
In fact, fat that accumulates around your mid-section or abdomen may be a prime indicator of a hormonal imbalance.
“Do These Stress Hormones Make My Butt Look Big?”
We all want to look smokin’ hot in a pair of jeans. However, that gut that hangs over the top or the saddlebags that extend your rear end all the way to your thighs probably leave you sighing when you look in the mirror. Did you just inherit bad genes? Possibly, but it’s more likely that a hormonal imbalance is at work.
When stress hormones such as cortisol rise, it signals an increase in insulin – the main job of which is to manage sugar. Insulin decides if sugar will be stored as fat or used as fuel. When under duress, your body needs such fast fuel to energize itself. However, overproduction of cortisol leads to cravings for fast sugar. Enter “junk food.” We might also call it “comfort food.” Perhaps it’s potato chips, chocolate, or a soda. It’s that go-to snack when we feel an emotional need to eat.
The problem with this is that your body doesn’t actually need to outrun a tiger at the moment, so the quick energy never gets used. Where does it go? Yep, straight to your midsection. Insulin decides that the junk food will be stored as fat. “We’ll just put that right here for safe keeping.” In addition, the junk food puts a drain on your insulin, leading to type II diabetes or metabolic syndrome.
Some new research has even suggested that fat actually releases a hormone to make you crave even more junk food! It’s as if your fat is speaking for your whole body when the menu is being planned. What can you do?
Don’t feed your fat, feed your body! Starve the fat by increasing your intake of protein. In this way you encourage the growth of muscles, which burn more energy than fat and aid you in weight loss. The cravings for junk food will likely be very strong at first, but remember the more you make a habit of eating lean proteins the less your body will crave innutritious food.
The bonus is that eating lean proteins and plenty of green vegetables (think kale, spinach, broccoli, chard) will put less stress on your body. Less stress means lowered production of cortisol and fewer cravings. Then the really big bonus is fitting into those skinny jeans without fear of injuring someone when the top button shoots off into the crowd.
So are your hormones making you fat? They could be! However, you’re not doomed to be at their mercy. Take control of those cravings and show them who’s boss! That belly fat and those saddlebags will be a thing of the past.
Could you use a cheering squad in your journey to wellness? We’re with you all the way! Check out our latest ebook Sick and Tired? Maybe it’s Adrenal Fatigue. We’ll help you to understand the role of cortisol in your overall health as well as how to know if you have adrenal fatigue.