Contrary to popular belief, weight loss isn’t achieved by solely revving up your workout routine and cleaning up your diet. In fact, according to celebrity nutritionist, Dana James, there’s quite a few other factors that can seriously affect weight-loss efforts, with one major influence—hormones—being frequently overlooked.
“When your weight increases unexpectedly, many of you jump to the conclusion that your thyroid hormones are off,” said James in an article on Mind Body Green. “While the thyroid hormones have a key role in regulating the metabolism, there are other hormones that affect weight gain and loss.”
James, whose clients include Margot Robbie and various Victoria’s Secret models, points out that the main hormones to be aware of are insulin, estrogen and cortisol—each connected to increases in fat in specific areas of the body. According to James, if you store fat everywhere, insulin is the dominant hormone in your body that most likely needs to be regulated. Storing fat on the upper thighs and butt indicate estrogen should be targeted, and for those who easily accumulate belly fat, cortisol levels might be to blame.
Luckily, James says there are ways to combat irregular hormone levels and ultimately reduce fat. But of all her hormone regulating tips, the one that caught our eye the most is the one targeting belly fat. “If you have belly fat, cortisol, the stress-coping hormone, is to blame,” says James. “You will benefit from a daily 20-minute meditation, as meditation helps to reset the body’s cortisol response.” And that’s not all. James also recommends taking 200 milligrams of phosphatidylserine before bed to help lower cortisol levels (we've also learned that green tea can help with this as well!).
While regular meditation and a daily supplement won’t suddenly make belly fat disappear, it is a good add-on to complement an already-healthy routine. After all, it could help accelerate results from a wholesome diet and exercise regimen, which certainly sounds like a win-win to us.