How to Lose Belly Fat & What Causes It

Get a slimmer waist, reduce inflammation, control appetite signals, and balance hormones by addressing the causes of belly fat.

Read on to discover:

  • Why belly fat is a hormonal issue (not a weight issue)
  • How stress is ruining your healthy efforts
  • Quirky belly fat hacks to incorporate every day
  • Powerful Superfoods that are proven to help
  • Testimonials from real people like you who have shifted their belly fat! 

We get asked about belly fat often. It’s a stubborn and worrying concern, affecting the entire metabolism and internal organs. It is often called hormonal belly fat, because it is as much a hormonal issue as it is about weight. This means the approach to attack belly fat is very different from a classic ‘weight loss’ plan – eating less, exercising more – yawn! 

Our Bursters often tell us how they have tried everything, but nothing has touched their stubborn layer of belly fat until they started using 1 or more of our belly fat busting Superfoods!

Why should we prioritize dealing with belly fat?

Unlike subcutaneous body fat that forms a layer under our skin, belly fat (also known as abdominal fat, fat around the middle and visceral fat) can also fill up the spaces deep in the abdomen and wrap around organs, including the liver, kidneys, stomach and intestines!

Bodies come in all shapes and sizes, but an easy way to assess whether belly fat could be a problem is to measure waist circumference. Having a larger waist circumference demonstrates the presence of belly fat and likelihood of storing the toxic visceral fat around the organs.

These tables shows the guidelines for healthy waist sizes and those with higher health risks.

Guidelines for healthy waist sizes for people of white European, black African, Middle Eastern and mixed origin.


Low risk

High risk

Very high


<94cm (37in)

94–102cm (37-40in)

>102cm (40in)


<80cm (31.5in)

80–88cm (31.5-34.6in)

>88cm (34.6in)

Guidelines for those of African Caribbean, South Asian, Chinese and Japanese origin (there is no ‘high risk’ category for this group – it simply jumps to very high risk!)


Low risk

Very high


<90cm (35.4in)

>90cm (35.4in)


<80cm (31.5in)

>80cm (31.5in)

Source British Heart Foundation (

Belly fat produces its own inflammatory molecules, contributing to inflammation throughout the body, this links it to increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, dementia, colon and pancreatic cancers, among others. Belly fat additionally interferes with our hormone levels, wreaking havoc on appetite signals, mood and brain function. 

Understanding how and why belly fat develops is the key to finding what will help.

Top Contributing Factors

1. Stress

Stress triggers our protective mechanism that causes us to store more fat – or cushioning - around our organs in case of injury. But sustained mental stress means this function goes way too far and we end up with high levels of toxic fat on our tummies.

2. High Blood Sugar

High blood sugar levels trigger more insulin to be produced – the hormone that tells our body to store excess sugar as fat. This way of ‘making’ fat causes it to accumulate in the abdomen, on top of the stomach and pancreas because this is where insulin is produced.  

3. External Hormones and Other Toxins

Xenoestrogens are external estrogens from plastics, eating crops sprayed with growth-boosters, farmed fish and hormone-treated animal products that can disrupt our hormonal balance and encourage the storage of toxic fat.

4. Poor Sleep

Poor sleep causes big disruptions to our metabolic hormones including insulin, and the appetite controlling hormones ghrelin and leptin. Disrupted sleep can also cause more of the stress hormone cortisol to be produced through the day, which triggers food cravings and signals the body to store abdominal fat.

5. Hypothyroid and Hormonal Changes

Hypothyroid issues, where the thyroid gland is not working well, is strongly associated with weight gain and specifically belly fat. The menopause causes hormone levels drop, often leading to women suffering from belly fat even when (and this is the key part) eating less and exercising more. 

How do I start and what results can I expect?

Remember belly fat is a different beast to ‘normal’ fat. The usual advice of eating well and moving your body daily are important steps but may not shift the stubborn belly! By tackling the root causes of belly fat, you can change how your body stores and uses energy (the calories we consume).

Since we are all starting at different points on the scale and some people will incorporate many changes consistently, whereas some will find it more achievable to only make a couple of changes (this is also AWESOME), it’s very difficult to give specific expectations as to what results you will see and how quickly.

You might notice your waist shrinking simply from switching coffee for Matcha for a couple of weeks, or if hormones are a problem, having Maca consistently and taking a daily walk for 4 weeks might mean your waist band gets looser. 

For real-life inspo make sure you read the testimonials at the end of the article!

Here’s our action plan on how to change things up...

Belly Fat Attack Action Plan

1. Bring Down Stress Levels

Top hacks to help:

  • Meditate or practice mindful deep breathing for 15mins a day. If you can’t manage this, simply try stopping and taking 5 deep breaths when feeling stressed and overwhelmed.
  • Take a walk in nature daily – there are no end to the benefits of this practice, but reducing stress, fighting depression and boosting mood are a few!
  • Massage the Heaven’s Pillar acupressure points to feel instantly more relaxed: the points are just below the base of your skull, on the muscles either side of your spine where we hold a lot of tension.
  • Skip the coffee. High caffeine drinks (especially on an empty stomach) shoot up our stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. That’s why they can give you the jitters. 

Superfood magic: 

  • Maca is proven to reduce cortisol levels (our stress hormone). It is a highly effective adaptogenic plant that gives strength in the face of outside pressures. Ours grows high in the Peruvian Andes where very little else survives – the reason why it promotes resilience in people! Maca nourishes the pituitary gland, helping to balance out the hormonal system perfectly.
  • Use adaptogens for strength and to support your body in coping with the negative effects of stress. Reishi, Chaga, Lion’s Mane, Shitake and Turkey Tail in our 10 Mushroom Extract are all effective adaptogens, helping our bodies deal with stress.
  • Melt stress with Cacao, which contains ‘the bliss molecule’ (the neurotransmitter anandamide) that our brains release when we are joyful. Drinking polyphenol-rich Cacao daily was found to significantly increase calmness and contentedness relative to a placebo after 1 month (Journal of Psychopharmacology, 2013).⁠
  • Try our Instant De-Stressing Chaga Cacao drink: 2 tsp Cacao, 1/2 tsp Chaga Extract, 1/4 tsp True Ceylon Cinnamon whisked in a cup of hot almond milk. Feel the worry melt away!
  • Switch your coffee for catechin-rich Matcha in times of stress. It gives an instant energy boost, helping you to push through tricky situations when needed, but its powerful antioxidants help avoid taxing the body with cortisol and insulin spikes like coffee. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Obesity (2009) found that consuming 2x cups of catechin-rich green tea a day led to a decrease in abdominal fat and waist circumference.

2. Reset Blood Sugar and Insulin Levels 

Top hacks to help:

  • Drink 1tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar in water before eating a carby meal or sweet food.
  • Add protein and fiber to every meal and snack (it goes without saying to go easy on the sweet stuff, especially anything processed).
  • Take a walk before or after eating to increase the uptake of glucose into the muscles.
  • Eat kimchi – an amazing spicy probiotic-rich fermented food – regularly. It has a positive effect on blood sugar and can promote reduction in body fat and waist size (Journal of Nutritional Research, 2011).

Superfood magic:

  • Have Cinnamon with meals. It is proven to reduce sugar levels in the blood after eating (Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, 2009). Add 1tsp to your porridge, soups, even roasted veggies, or go for x4 handy capsules with water just before eating.
  • Ginger powder was shown to significantly improve sensitivity to insulin (Journal of Diabetes & Metabolic Disorders 2019), which means it can help to keep blood sugar balanced, avoiding insulin spikes.
  • Add in Spirulina when feeling ‘snacky’ – have x8 handy tablets or 1-2tsp Spirulina powder in lemon water, juice or a smoothie.
  • Try our metabolism boosting Matcha Latte: 1tsp Ceremonial Grade Matcha, 1tsp 10 Mushroom Extract, ½ tsp True Cinnamon, ¼ tsp Ginger, 1tsp Coconut Oil, 1 cup warm almond mylk. Whisk or blend all ingredients together. 

3. Combat Xenoestrogens

Top hacks to help:

  • Reduce your exposure to food stored or cooked in plastic containers or wrap – the more flexible the plastic the more toxins will leach into food.
  • Switch to clean cosmetics, hair and body care products that are free from parabens.
  • Commercially farmed meat and dairy should be avoided, choose organic, free-range options if possible, or go plant-based.
  • Eat avocados that are rich in beta-sitosterol that can help prevent the absorption in our bodies of toxic external estrogens.

Superfood magic:

  • Chlorella can help the body detox sources of xenoestrogens. Mash 1tsp with an avocado & seasoning, or swallow x4 pure tablets with water before bed.
  • Turmeric is packed with antioxidants that can support the liver in clearing excess estrogens. Have 1tsp in foods such as soups, curries, stews, or oats, yoghurt, or drinks such as a Golden Moon Mylk Latte. Mix 1tsp Turmeric and 1tsp Maca with a cup of warm plant milk and a dash of maple syrup or your preferred sweetener.

4. Sort Your Sleep Cycle

Top hacks to help:

  • Get up and outside each morning exposing your eyes (and skin, if temperature/sun appropriate!)  to the morning light. This helps your circadian rhythm by encouraging the production of melatonin at the end of the day.
  • Aim to go to bed by 10 or 11pm
  • Switch off screens an hour or more before bed, and if this isn’t possible use the night time settings or yellow glasses in the evenings to reduce blue light from screens.
  • No caffeine after 12pm ideally, or 3pm latest – you know your own sensitivity to caffeine, but bear in mind it can stay in your system for around 8 hours.
  • Have an evening bath with Epsom Salts or Magnesium Flakes to top up your levels of magnesium and other minerals – known as nature’s tranquilizers - before sleep.

Superfood magic:

  • The stress hormone cortisol needs to be at a low level in the evenings to help bring sleep. Maca is proven to reduce cortisol so it’s perfect for the evening. Have a grounding Maca latte before bed: Mix 1tsp Organic Burst Maca with a cup of warm plant milk and a dash of maple syrup or your preferred sweetener.
  • If you’re having trouble sleeping because you’re worried, anxious, stressed or overwhelmed, Turmeric can help. There are many studies that have shown curcumin to help reduce these feelings and give you the strength to face challenges with a positive mindset. Mix 1tsp Organic Burst Turmeric with plant milk or stir into your Maca Latte (see above).
  • Organic Burst 10 Mushroom Extract contains Lion’s Mane, which was shown in a 2019 study to decrease sleep disorders and improve quality of sleep (Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine). Have a grounding cup of Mushroom Extract before bed – 1scoop in hot water, or in your Maca latte (see point above). Aternatively, swallow x4 veggie capsules with water.

5. Support the Thyroid and Slay Menopause

Top hacks to help:

  • Practice the yoga pose Sarganvasana or shoulder stand daily, to reinvigorate the thyroid and boost metabolism.
  • Ensure you’re following the guidance in points 1 and 2 of this plan above – since stress hormones and insulin spikes are triggers for thyroid problems and worsen all hormonal imbalances.
  • Eat nori – this yummy seaweed contains iodine to support the thyroid and our metabolism. Snack on strips, use to wrap rice, snip over salads or miso soups. (3-4 sheets of nori per day would achieve the iodine RDA.)
  • Inhale clary sage essential oil. A fascinating study found that breathing clary sage essential oil significantly decreased the stress hormone cortisol in the studied menopausal women, while significantly increasing serotonin - our “feel good” or “happy chemical” by up to 828%. It also improved the levels of their thyroid hormones (Journal of Phytotherapy Research, 2014). 

Superfood magic:

  • Turmeric can help to switch off the over-reaction of the immune system that can cause menstrual and thyroid issues. Its powerful compound, curcumin, has been shown to modulate the body’s immune reaction, helping it to function normally again (Nutrients, 2019). Have 1-2tsp in food or drinks daily – it’s perfect in curries, soups, stews, but also works beautifully in your oatmeal and smoothies! Alternatively go for 4-8 veggie capsules - simply swallow with water.
  • Maca works to optimize your natural hormone levels, balancing the fluctuations that cause menopausal symptoms. So many of our Bursters tell us of the disappearance of their hot flashes and return of their libido once taking our Maca! Have 1 serving daily, building to 2-3 servings if you are still experiencing hormonal symptoms and need added support. Try 1tsp Maca in warm plant mylk, add to porridge, smoothies or granola or have x4 capsules swallowed with water (per serving).

Still wondering whether you can make the changes and start attacking your belly fat? Get inspiration from our wonderful Bursters who are already celebrating the fantastic results of their health journey…

Hear From Our Bursters

Matcha has helped me have a more calm and focused energy and has helped me burn unwanted belly fat!!”

Carrie Ann @carebear_scare

Matcha has definitely helped to melt away belly fat and increase metabolism”

Zakiya @dharsi_wellness

Been taking Organic Burst cinnamon. I struggled with extra belly fat but lost weight everywhere else while I’m breastfeeding, and supplementing with their cinnamon has helped trim that pesky fat off! Will never stop taking these, honestly”

Channah @the.holistic.postpartum.nurse

Cinnamon, I lost a great amount of belly fat since consuming this every morning in my coffee”


It’s [Cinnamon] helped me lose belly fat. My tummy/waistline is shrinking!! Also great for cramps during my cycle”

Jo @spunkyjo

[Spirulina] helped me with my weight loss. belly fat is almost gone, I don’t crave a ton of food anymore and I generaly feel a lot better”


Taking Organic Burst Ginger has helped me on my weight loss journey. Happy to report -17kg in year. I’ll take it morning and night without failing.”


I am finally starting to see a difference in my belly fat caused from extreme stress and I believe hormonal imbalance. I swear by my Maca!”

Heidi @heidilfranks

Subscribe & Stay Ahead of the Crowd

Always awesome. Never spammy. Delivered weekly. Don't miss a thing!