Friday, 24 February 2012
** Apple Shapes Take Note! ** Why You Have Stubborn Bellyfat And What To Do About It!
Why Your Body Stores Fat Around The Belly
Getting rid of your stubborn bellyfat has absolutely NOTHING to do with your diet or lack of exercise but much more to do with whats going on with the stress hormones in your body. The number one reason why people store fat around the belly is because of the stress hormone cortisol.
Fight and flight.
Millions of years ago our bodies were designed to cope with danger. If a sabre tooth tiger was chasing us or if we were fighting with another "early man spear thrower" then we needed to react quickly to these situations. When the brain thinks you're under danger it triggers your adrenal glands (which sit on top of your kidneys) to release adrenaline and cortisol.
Fast forward to modern day life and most of us now live under chronic stress but this will come from money worries, deadlines, relationships, just to name a few so the body can't distinguish between these and sabre tooth tiger so it will react in the exactly the same why as its always done....fight or flight.
So your body sees mental stress and physical stress as EXACTLY the same and will deal with it in EXACTLY the same way
So due to modern day stress, your body ALWAYS thinks its under attack so it will ALWAYS be realeasing adrenaline and cortisol to help cope with the perceived danger.
Adrenaline helps with mental alertness and cortisol's job is to increase levels of fat and sugar in the bloodstream to help with physical exertion. However, unless you're doing something physical then all that extra sugar and fat thats been released into your blood stream has no where to go and has no option other than to be stored as fat.
After a stressful event, your adrenaline will come down very quickly although your cortisol will remain high for quite some time after the event, usually upto 2-3 days. This is because your body thinks you should be refueling after your fighting or fleeing so your appetite will typically increase.
This is fine if you've been running for your life or scrapping with fellow spear throwers, your body will clearly need to refuel after this but if you're sat at a desk making stressful phonecalls all day then continous refueling is hardly appropriate or deserved is it!
So because your body "thinks" that you need to refuel after your stressful event then you will typically crave more carbohydrates and fats which will of course lead to increased bodyfat levels, particularly around the belly ad waist.
Why the belly and waist?
The reason why your fat targets the belly and waist is because its closer to the liver where it can quickly and more easily be converted back into energy if needed.
How To Manage Your Cortisol Better
So now that you understand alittle bit about why you have stubborn bellyfat, lets talk about how to get rid of it....permanently!
Identify Your Chief Stressors
You need to lower your cortisol if you want to remove that stubborn fat from around the middle so you need to address what's stressing you out! This is the most important step you'll EVER DO. If you don't do this then none of the points below will make a blind bit of difference.
Identify your chief stressor in your life and eliminate it or find a way of managing it better.
This Has to be a lifestyle change. It might be a relationship, problems at work, money troubles,whatever it is, either ELIMINATE it or manage it better. I think you know what your chief stressor is so address it!
What and how to eat
Your goal is to regulate your blood sugar levels so eat foods that have little affect on insulin. Stay away from bread, pasta, cakes, anything that will cause a blood sugar swing. Stick to lean proteins (like chicken, turkey, fish, lamb, beef) and plenty of fresh vegetables. Go easy on the fruit aswell! Focus on clean carbs like quinoa & sweet potatoes but go easy on 'em! Cook in coconut oil whenever possible as this will help with carb cravings.
Supplements to help with stubborn bellyfat
When you are constantly stressed then you're body will typically draw on more nutrients (and into its reserves) to help you out so it will be likely that you will be nutrient depleted.
Taking magnesium, zinc, a good quality fish oil and a multi vitamin (along with vitamin C) can help although remember that you can't out supplement a poor diet so make sure your diet is spot on if you want to see a result.
There are certain herbs that can be useful for lowering cortisol aswell. Siberian gingseng, rhodiola and tulsi tea can be taken after 3pm but NOT licorice root as this helps to elevate cortisol and should only be used if you have adrenal exhaustion (which is where you've stopped producing cortisol completely - PROPER BURNOUT!!!).
Be patient aswell! It normally takes up to 3 months for your body to start responding to changes in your diet so dont expect an immediate response! Remember, you've been out of balance for a while now so you need to give your body a chance to repair. Use this time to CHILL THE HELL OUT ASWELL! :-)
The Best Exercises For You
Keep your workouts REALLY short! 15-30 mins max! This is to stop cortisol becoming too high. Strength training and metabolic sessions are ok. Jogging or any workouts that are longer than an hour will trigger a huge cortisol response which is the exact opposite of what you want so avoid it. (By the way guys, I REALLY don't have a problem with jogging, Im personally running an ultramarathon this year so please dont think I'm saying jogging is crap, but if your goal is lose that bellyfat then this is how it's gotta be for you!)
Walking, yoga and tai chi are also great for lowering cortisol aswell.
Get To Bed By 10.00pm
If you've been in fight and flight mode for a while then your body is craving rest. This is when your body repairs itself, let me put it another way the more time you spend sleeping then the more recovery time your body will have. PERIOD!
Get to bed by 10.00pm no later. You know how the old saying goes: "The hours that you get before midnight, then every hour after midnight is worth double." Between the hours of 10pm & 2am is when your body repairs itself. Between the hours of 2 and 6am, psychogenic repairs occur so make sure your asleep during this time period!
So there you have it guys, try implementing the steps above and I guarantee you'll start to see improvements with your stubborn belly fat. Be patient and remember, fat in this area has to be addressed with lifestyle changes if you want to see long term results. Good luck and heres to a stress free life :-)
Peace out :-)