Belly Fat: How To Get Rid Of Your Muffin Top

the reasons you may be storing belly fat...and what you can do about it

belly fat

Ah, belly fat, the two most frustrating little words that create so much grief! Are you eating well and exercising and still not getting the results you want? There may be something more going on. If you’re doing all the “right things” and still not getting the results you want, your body may have one or more hormonal imbalance.  

Reasons for Belly Fat:

  1. Imbalanced blood sugar: This can happen if you wait too long to eat (and who doesn’t?) or if you consume a lot of sugary foods, drinks, or alcohol. Excess sugar that doesn’t get used up is stored as fat (often belly fat!).

  2. Stress: When we are stressed our bodies produce elevated cortisol levels, which then not only increases cravings, but also causes the body to store fat around your midline (as a way to protect your adrenal glands).

  3. Hormonal imbalance (estrogen dominance or low testosterone levels): Can cause the body to retain more fat (along with a host of other symptoms!) and make weight loss more difficult.


  1. Eat something every 3-4 hours. This will reduce cravings for sugar and will also curb over-eating!

  2. Choose whole grains whenever possible and avoid refined carbs. Also, try to combine them with healthy fats, such as avocado, nuts, or seeds, or some protein to further balance your blood sugar

  3. Exercise. Not only will exercise help you burn calories, but it will also improve your mood and reduce the effects of stress on your body, thereby lowering your cortisol levels—win!

  4. Sleep! Sounds easy, but it can be difficult to get a good night of sleep (7.5-9 hrs per night). Try to go to bed at the same time each night and practice good sleep hygiene—sleep in a dark room, avoid tv and social networking or playing games on your phone before bedtime, and go to bed at first signs of fatigue (don’t wait until the end of your show!).

  5. Practice stress-reduction techniques. This can be deep breathing, yoga, meditation, reading, journaling, getting a massage—really anything that helps you r-e-l-a-x  (and tv doesn’t count!). Learning how to manage your stress is important not only to offset belly fat, but also to improve the quality of your life!

  6. Supplement as needed. supplements can be helpful to ward off sugar cravings, rebalance hormones, and reduce the effects of stress on your body. It may be best to meet with a nutritionist, naturopath, or other natural healthcare provider to figure out which supplements are best to help rebalance your body

Remember, it’s not just eating well and exercising that will help you get the results you want, it’s a combination of all of the above.

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Marina Zelenovic is a Certified and Registered Nutritional Practitioner, Childbirth Educator and owner of Zen Beginnings, a Family Wellness Centre and Yoga Studio in Toronto.

After overcoming her own health issues, Marina dedicated herself to helping her clients regain control of their health through personalized consultations & individualized diet, supplement & lifestyle protocols. She combines Eastern & Western dietary theory with the practical realities of daily life and spends a great deal of time educating clients on quick, simple & healthy cooking & lifestyle techniques that teach and empower them to make lasting changes to their lifestyles.  Marina also creates personal supplement packages that are unique to the individual, and tweaked monthly, making complimentary therapies more accessible and effective for her clients. 

Marina is also a frequent nutrition expert on various television programs as well as at health conferences & seminars.