BY TRISHA ENRIQUEZ
After having a baby, our bodies naturally change. I’m a big believer in embracing our new and beautiful mom bods, but of course, we still want to be fit and feel our absolute best! But it’s not only our bodies that change, our hormones do too! If you’ve been fighting to reduce some belly fat, but have been unsuccessful, there is a good chance that your hormones are a big part of the equation. And sadly, hormone imbalances can get the best of us!
Without taking a deep dive into the science, let’s try and keep it light and touch on a few of the hormonal culprits, while also providing you with some helpful tips to reset your hormones to support your weight-loss goals.
When your cells don’t respond properly to insulin, your pancreas produces and releases even more insulin. High insulin levels can cause the storage of glucose as fat and furthermore blocks the use of stored fat as an energy source. Result: one unhappy mama!
What Should You Do? There are a few things you can do to improve your insulin sensitivity and it starts with increasing your activity. Cleaning up your diet and adding more protein to your meals also does the trick. Supplements? Vitamin D and zinc has also been shown to help improve insulin sensitivity!
Cortisol is otherwise known as the stress hormone. We all know stress is not good for your overall health, but it also has an impact on your body composition. Study after study continue to prove that stress is linked to abdominal fat.
What Should You Do? Aside from taking a ‘chill pill’, getting some beauty sleep can help reduce cortisol levels. In other words, stress less and sleep more!
Excess estrogen has been found to be a risk factor for obesity for both moms and dads! Researchers have found that estrogen receptors in the brains of animals are responsible for controlling food intake, energy expenditure, and body fat distribution.
What Should You Do? If tests come back saying your estrogen is high, some natural options include upping your green tea, adding turmeric to your foods or adding flax and chia seeds to your diet.
Low testosterone has been linked to extra cushion in the midsection. Sadly, testosterone does decrease as we age, so do what you can to raise those levels while you’re young.
What Should You Do? Incorporating weight training and increasing your protein intake should help maintain healthy testosterone levels. A zinc supplement is also another great option!
These are only a few of the common hormones that could be hindering you from battling that belly bulge. My advice is to speak to your doctor or naturopath and ask questions to better understand any metabolic imbalances you might have. Your hormones could be one of the reasons you’re in a rut, so try not to get angry or sad if you are trying to lose weight and doing all the right things, but nothing is happening. Your practitioner will help you get to know your own unique physiology and help design a personalized plan that can get your hormones back to balanced! Once that is all done, you will be well on your way to being a happier and healthier mama … and perhaps 10 lbs. lighter!
Trisha is a mother to mother fitness and nutrition coach from Toronto, Canada. Visit her site NO TUMMY MOMMY and Instagram @notummymommy for coaching, motivation, programs and the cutest mama and mini workout pics.