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3 Easy Tips To Target Stubborn Belly Fat

Written by: Chelsea Haines, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

What do constipation, high performance, and alcohol have in common? These seemingly unrelated factors all have an unexpected link to estrogen dominance. While estrogen dominance has become somewhat of a buzzword in media and diet culture recently, it actually encompasses all the symptoms related to having too much estrogen (which we will be covering). Busy and high-performing individuals are at risk of this, and no, we're not only talking about women here. We are here to clear up the confusion.

We are here to clear up the confusion with:

  • The symptoms,

  • The unexpected causes,

  • What you can do about it.

(Unisex) Symptoms of estrogen dominance:

  • GI irregularities (bloating)

  • Issues with metabolism

  • Insomnia

  • Increased belly fat

  • Hair Loss

  • Infertility

  • Low Libido

That just covers what both sexes might experience. You might also be experiencing these:


Possible Symptoms as a Woman:

  • Mood Swings & irritability

  • PMS (including aspects like chin acne)

  • Breast tenderness & cysts

  • Anxiety

  • Weight Gain

  • Heavy, short, painful, or irregular periods (including clotting)

  • Hot Flashes/Night Sweats

or these:


Possible Symptoms in Men:

  • Enlarged breasts

  • Sexual Dysfunction

3 Surprising Causes of Estrogen Dominance:


1. Constipation


If you're not pooping, you're holding onto estrogen. Yikes ‒ I know. It might surprise you to discover that a high-stress lifestyle could cause constipation. Many people don't connect the dots at first that emotions manifest physically. But once you're aware, it becomes hard to unsee how interlinked our inner world and body really are. If you are not resting and restoring sufficiently, your body is not able to switch out of "fight, flight or freeze" into "rest and digest." This is because when your cortisol (stress hormone) is raised, your body is not going to (or able to) prioritize tasks such as digestion while it falsely believes it's fighting for survival.


This might also be an insight into any struggle you might have with letting go emotionally.


Even this can manifest in our bodies. I have a flurry of surprising responses from the Poop Horoscope I created when people found out how and why these are linked. Remember, I didn't say this is one of the leading causes – but rather some of the more surprising and unexpected ones.


2. An Unsupported Liver


Your liver is vital for life. It's in the name "Live(r)," so this is not an aspect to be overlooked. Our liver is our detox superhero, and it helps release all the waste, toxins, and excess (including ‒ yep ‒ you guessed it: hormones like estrogen), that we've built up.


Most of us are keenly aware that alcohol puts stress on our liver. But so does an array of other toxins found in the environment (discussed next), smoking, and even anger. Wait, what? Yep, you read right. It might also surprise you that strong emotions like anger, especially holding onto it ‒ can be adding stress to an already overworked liver. If you think that relationship is complex (yet fascinating), then you'll love the relationship between your liver and your thyroid.


Your thyroid is another major player in helping your metabolism function effectively. A sluggish or under-active thyroid means you might hold onto excess body fat. To complete the cycle, you need to realize that your adipose cells (i.e., your fat cells) are estrogenic (meaning your fat cells are a comfy place for estrogen to nest). To bring it back, supporting your liver supports your thyroid, which helps you maintain a lower body fat percentage and thus less space for the excess estrogen to live. THAT should, however, also show you just how vicious this cycle can be if we don't support our bodies in the waste removal process.


3. External factors causing estrogen dominance


The world as it is set up today is one big estrogen-filled cake. The sponge is pre, peri, and/or post-menopausal women. The filling is our inflammation due to the overload of modern-day stressors. Excess body fat will ice that cake up real nicely. But then, then it's time to decorate - I'm talking white chocolate chips in the form of the birth control pill you've been taking since you were 17. Fondant flower petals for all the BPA we experience in our plastic. And just when you think you're done with this masterpiece ‒ we sneeze a multi-colored glitter bomb on top to represent all the endocrine-disrupting skincare products we're allowing onto our already estrogen-filled sponges (our bodies). External factors that might be influencing your estrogen dominance are then things like the birth control pill, skincare products, and the BPA found in plastic.


So, what do we do to reduce the symptoms and eliminate these causes?


If you do believe you are suffering from symptoms of estrogen dominance, the best protocol would be diving into your detailed history, going through some comprehensive testing, and creating a personalized plan as we do at the Gut Health Agency. But the good news is that there are small steps you can take TODAY to start relieving those symptoms and reducing your exposure.


Avoid:

  • Factory-farmed meats (only consume farm-raised and grass-fed)

  • Highly processed dairy and dairy alternatives (stick with organic and raw)

  • Excess alcohol

  • Plastic containing BPA

  • The birth control pill

  • Smoking

Include:

  • Exercise that feels good

  • A variety of different vegetables

  • Filtered water with added minerals

Bringing it back to estrogen dominance


I know I have given you a LOT to think about. But I want to reiterate that clear is kind, so let me be clear with you here: feeling constantly bloated, having irregular periods, excess belly fat, insomnia, low libido, or losing your hair – does NOT have to be your reality. Taking the time to read this and educate yourself shows me you are willing to do the work it takes to heal. I am always here to help along with my team at the Gut Health Agency. Take these actionable steps and implement them today, and you'll see for yourself just how much control you have over how you feel.


In gut health,

Chelsea Haines


Disclaimer: Our team at the Gut Health Agency is here to empower you into action by combining clinical testing and health coaching. We are not medical doctors that diagnose and prescribe medicine. The advice we give is to improve potential symptoms of estrogen dominance through health-promoting and non-harmful means. Any serious medical issues should always be attended to by your trusted medical practitioners.


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and visit my website for more info!

 

Chelsea Haines, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Recently featured "The Gut Health Coach" by Yahoo!, Chelsea Haines has a unique way of helping high-performers heal. She doesn't claim to know best. Her mission: to remind you that YOU are the expert on your body, only you know precisely what you need, and you are not "crazy" for feeling how you feel. Her expertise stems from personally healing autoimmune disease paired with formal degrees in psychology, gut health, and mindfulness. She’s the Founder of The Gut Health Agency, where a team of health coaches & Registered Dietitians merge health coaching with clinical testing for increased patient compliance and lasting habit change ‒ a needle-moving combination not otherwise seen in the gut health space.

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