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3 Belly Fat Busters
If there is one thing that is the bane of a good figure and vibrant health, it is belly fat. I am talking about that stubborn extra roll around the middle that does not seem to disappear, no matter how swift your metabolism, how much you exercise or how many sit ups you do. For some people, belly weight means the dreaded “muffin top” that escapes over the top of your jeans. For others, abdominal weight gain results in a clear round, apple shape. The fat in those love handles also contribute to increased blood triglyceride levels, inflammation and insulin resistance. Carrying extra weight around the middle increases the risk of heart disease, cancers and diabetes.
So why do we gain belly weight? Why do men develop a beer belly and breasts and why do women suffer with rolls of belly fat they can’t budge? Our hormones are the short answer. Throughout life, hormones regulate everything from bone strength, to heart beat to how quickly food is utilized by the body. Insulin is the main hormone contributing to belly fat. When you eat, sugar levels increase in your blood. Insulin is produced by the pancreas to push blood sugar into your cells where it is burned up and this action decreases your blood levels of sugar. The more sugar in your blood, from eating high-carbohydrate, high-sugar, low-protein foods, the more insulin that the pancreas must produce. Eventually, however, your cells can become resistant to insulin, resulting in excess insulin in the blood and elevated blood sugar that isn’t pushed into the cells. Insulin resistance is a pre-diabetic condition which causes belly fat weight gain. Skin tags are a common early sign of pre-diabetes due to elevated insulin and blood sugar. Weight gain, obesity, type-2 diabetes and elevated cholesterol, and triglycerides ultimately result if elevated blood sugar is not controlled.
In women, when insulin levels become high, it also causes in increase in male hormones, particularly testosterone. When insulin and testosterone are elevated, women develop hormone-related conditions like acne, male-pattern facial hair growth (e.g. hair above the lip), infertility, and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
In men, elevated insulin causes testosterone to convert to estrogens (which results in a beer belly and breasts) and also the conversion of testosterone to DHT, a harmful male hormone associated with prostate cancer and hair loss.
Step 1: Normalize Blood Sugar
To normalize blood sugar and insulin we have to modify the way we eat. Start by eating protein the size of the palm of your hand at every meal. Breakfast should consist of an egg, a chicken breast (skin removed), a steak, a protein shake or protein powder in organic yogurt. By eating protein at breakfast we can boost our fat burning furnace also known as our metabolism. And this increase in metabolism will last 4 to 5 hours after eating a protein breakfast.
Get rid of the white foods in your diet. No more white rice, white pasta, white potatoes, white bread and white sugar. Replace these with brown rice, whole grain pasta and yams for example. And when you have pasta there should be a small amount of pasta on the plate and the sauce should be full of veggies and meat. If you want to lose that weight fast – eliminate consumption of white foods altogether. Clean out your cupboards and head to the grocery store for all the foods that are going to aid weight loss. Eat some protein every three hours. And remember if you have an alcoholic beverage that it is like eating a piece of cheesecake. Switch the butter and margarine in your diet to extra virgin olive oil and coconut butter – both are great fat burners.
Lunch and dinner should include a piece of protein and plenty of dark green veggies. Have no more than one serving of fruit a day and that should be dark coloured berries – these are low on the glycemic index. No fruit juices they completely disrupt blood sugar.
If you are at a party with a buffet make sure you only head to the section with the veggies and protein. Don’t even think of heading to the Nanaimo bars. Put sparkling water in your glass as soon as you arrive. It takes 10 days to change your eating patterns; so, don’t give up. Once you hit ten days the diet changes will become part of the way you want to eat.
Step 2: Bust Belly Fat Fast
To bust belly fat faster we not only need to change our diet but add some powerful nutrients to aid weight loss. Normalizing insulin and blood sugar, and thereby weight loss, just got easier. A unique, well-researched ingredient called chirositol has been involved in more than 30 published studies at Virginia Medical School over the past 25 years. Research on chirositol, (pronounced kur-au-sit-ol) has shown excellent results for weight loss, especially belly fat weight loss, and in the treatment of insulin resistant conditions like type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and PCOS. Chirositol stimulates insulin activity, helping to regulate blood sugar levels and pushes sugar into the cells where it is supposed to be (not leaving it in the blood), which in turn helps to aid weight loss. It acts like insulin in this action. Due to chirositol’s ability to improve the action of insulin, it thereby reduces the high testosterone seen in women with elevated insulin and improves conditions such as excessive weight gain around the middle and male facial hair growth in women. It does not reduce testosterone levels in men but regulates insulin to maintain healthy testosterone levels that do not convert to estrogen and DHT. But where chirositol really shines is in busting belly fat in both men and women. Combine Chirositol with other weight loss supplements like CLA and green tea extract and watch that belly fat disappear.
Step 3: Reduce Stress to Melt Fat Away
When under constant stress, the adrenal glands pump out a hormone called cortisol to help you deal with the stressors you are facing. Just as insulin resistance promotes weight gain, so does chronic stress because it triggers the adrenal glands to produce cortisol. Elevated cortisol is associated with elevating insulin, blood sugar problems, fat accumulation, poor immunity, infertility and more. Cortisol also causes our fat cells to change structure and become resistant to fat loss. In short, cortisol makes our fat cell door slam shut and not let the fat out even when we reduce calories and exercise. For these reasons, it is imperative to reduce stressors and support the adrenals too.
Walking is one of the best exercises for weight loss. Deep breathing exercises also aid weight loss. Get eight hours of sleep every night and try to sleep until 7:30 in the morning. Just say "no" when you have too much to accomplish in one day. Share the household workload with family. Smile. It is impossible to be stressed if you smile. Get help in dealing with grief. The loss of a loved one, a divorce, or the loss of a job all produce grief. Immune suppression is the result when grief is not dealt with. Adrenal support nutrients like ashwagandha, rhodiola, suma, and schizandra berries work to normalize adrenal function. Weight loss is effortless when you find the missing key. Simply eating protein and green vegetables combined with stress reduction and the addition of chirositol will have that weight falling off effortlessly.
Lorna Vanderhaeghe, is Canada’s leading women’s natural health expert and has been researching nutritional medicine for over 25 years. With degrees in nutrition and biochemistry, she is the author of eleven books including A Smart Woman’s Guide to Weight Loss and A Smart Woman’s Guide to Hormones. Visit www.hormonehelp.com and sign up for her free monthly eletter.