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7 Reasons You Are Storing Belly Fat

And what you can do about it

Are you storing more fat around your belly than you are comfortable with?

Do you find it stubbornly refuses to shift, no matter what you do?

So what can you do about it?

First, you need to know what's triggering your body to store excess fat here.

Especially as belly fat produces inflammatory mediators and increases your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. When you reduce your belly fat, you are also protecting your health for the future.

Here are seven reasons you may be storing belly fat, along with an action you can take to start to address each one..


The stress hormone cortisol tells your body to store belly fat. This fat is close to your liver, which can quickly convert it to energy to fuel a fight-or-flight response.

Action: Prioritise time to relax. Walking in nature, spending time with friends or family, meditating, yoga or enjoying a hobby can all help. What do you do to relax? Make some time for relaxation each day. If you are super-busy, it may help to schedule it in your diary.

Other benefits: Reducing stress has numerous benefits for your mental and physical wellbeing, from reducing risk of anxiety and depression to lowering your risk of heart disease and strokes.


If you are on the rollercoaster of blood sugar highs and lows, you release more insulin, which tells your body to store fat. When your blood sugar dips you release cortisol which tells your body to store this fat around your belly.

Action: A good place to start is by including protein with each meal. This slows down the release of sugar from your carbs, so it helps stabilise your blood sugar levels.

Other benefits: Balancing your blood sugar levels can also increase your energy levels and stabilse your mood.


As we approach menopause our oestrogen levels drop. Belly fat can produce oestrogen to boost your declining levels.

Action: A good place to start is by including phytoestrogens in your diet. These plant substances help bring your oestrogen levels back into balance whether they are high or low. Some of the best forms of phytoestrogen include femented soy (eg tempeh, miso) and legumes (lentils, chickpeas and cooked dried beans).

Other benefits: Balancing your female hormones can reduce hot flashes, mood swings and anxiety.


Saturated fats in meat and dairy can increase belly fat, whereas omega 3 fats are associated with reduced belly fat.

Action: Instead of having a meat steak, try having a salmon steak. If you are vegetarian or vegan, sprinkle milled chia seed on your cereal. (Oily fish and chia seed contain omega 3.)

Other benefits: Increasing omega 3 fats and reducing saturated fats helps reduce inflammation, which can decrease pain.


Getting enough calcium and vitamin D may reduce belly fat.

Action: At this time of year we can make vitamin D from sunshine on our skin. Get out in the sun, but be careful not to burn. Vitamin D helps you absorb calcium.

Other benefits: Calcium and vitamin D protect our bones. (This is important throughout our lives, not just as we age.)


Obesogens are chemicals that make us gain weight. Some of them such as BPA and phtalates can increase belly fat.

Action: A good place to start is to stop wrapping or storing food in plastic, especially oily or fatty foods. Use glass or stainless steel containers instead.

Other benefits: Obseogens disrupt your hormones, so reducing exposure can help hormonal issues.


Alcohol suppresses your ability to burn fat. The fat that is not burned is more likely to be stored around your belly.

Action: Decide one step you can take to reduce your alcohol. This may be only drinking at the weekend. Or having less when you do drink. It might help to just buy a small bottle of wine or to alternate with a non-alcoholic drink.

Other benefits: Alcohol disrupts your sleep. You might go to sleep quickly, but it disrupts your sleep cycle and you are more likely to wake in the night. This can leave you tired, sluggish and not on top form.

Do you want to reduce belly fat, boost your energy and feel great?

I help women reduce cravings and belly fat and create their unique path to lasting weight loss with an anti-diet method that increases your energy and helps you feel great. Book a Discovery Call to explore whether this programme would be a good fit for you and to get your next step towards your goals.


Hatch, E.E. et al., 2008, ‘Association of urinary phthalate metabolite concentrations with body mass index and waist circumference: a cross-sectional study of NHANES data, 1999–2002’, Environ Health, 7, 27.

Ribeiro, C.M. et al., 2020, ‘Exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals and anthropometric measures of obesity: a systematic review and meta-analysis’, BMJ Open, 10, 6, e033509.

Rosenblum, J.L. et al., 2012, ‘Calcium and vitamin D supplementation is associated with decreased abdominal visceral adipose tissue in overweight and obese adults’, Am J Clin Nutr, 95, 1, 101–08.

Summers, L.K. et al., 2002, ‘Substituting dietary saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat changes abdominal fat distribution and improves insulin sensitivity’, Diabetologia, 45, 3, 369–77.

Suter, P.M., 2005, ‘Is alcohol consumption a risk factor for weight gain and obesity?’, Crit Rev Clin Lab Sci, 42, 3, 197–227.

Zemel, M.B. et al., 2000, ‘Regulation of adiposity by dietary calcium’, FASEB J, 14, 1132–38.

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