Some people are just blessed with a fast metabolism and slim body type. Then there’s the rest of us who have to work hard at it – despite what the scale says. Dealing with belly fat is one of the biggest challenges when it comes to weight loss. So, what actually works? Here are some tips that have helped me finally lose that stubborn belly fat for good.
Call it Middle Age Spread, Love Handles, Paunch, What Have You
Belly fat. Undeniably, it’s on the rise. Worry not, there are steps you can take to reduce it. The average person has about 30 pounds to lose. When I first started out in medicine, women would come up to me and say, “Dr. Purcell, I’m up five pounds!” or “I’m really 10 pounds heavier than I want to be.” And I rarely not hear that these days. It’s not uncommon for me to talk to men and women who have 50 plus pounds to lose. It really is an epidemic.
In this blog, we’re going to look at belly fat, how it relates to diet, lifestyle, and hormones. I often see women who changed their diet, signed up with a personal trainer and still can’t lose. That could be you. And it is frustrating as heck.
I had a woman come to see me. She’s 52. She was eating a high protein, high, fat diet. She had initially lost 10 pounds, but then she got stuck. No more weight loss. She was tired, achy, and she had trouble sleeping. Maybe that sounds familiar. Have you been on the keto diet? Is it no longer working for you? Well, stick around to the end as we uncover the underlying reasons for belly fat.
In 97% of the cases, having belly fat is not genetic. Diet has a lot to do with it. The standard American diet is otherwise known as the S-A-D. A Sad diet equals sad health. Fast food, processed food, junk foods, candy for every occasion. Check your grocery cart. Are there more things in a bag, a box or a can than there are fresh ones?
And what about this high protein, high fat craze? Eating high protein and high fat trying to lose weight works for the short term but fails in the long term. Dr. Atkins himself said it was meant to be temporary. I saw him at a conference shortly before he passed away. He himself had heart disease and was overweight.
The reason is that our liver can not sustain all that fat and protein. It wasn’t designed for it. At another time I will discuss the fatty liver epidemic that we also have.
So what is the right diet? Well, that depends on you and your individual needs. There are so many diets because there’s so many people out there. The ideal one has to be customized.
A good rule of thumb is to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Try having a smoothie with two or three servings right in there. Choose a variety of colors. I like to say, eat the rainbow.
Lifestyle and Exercise
As far as lifestyle goes, we now live in a culture where sitting is the new smoking. Hours can pass with us on our screens, sitting at our desks, in our cars, immobilized by sitting. We need to offset all that sedentary life.
So the question is, do you exercise consistently? What I mean by that is something that you do on a daily basis. We have to do something every day for at least 20 minutes. And it’s something that we do regardless of the weather and even our mood.
Working out doesn’t have to be something extreme. Just a daily activity would do. It could be walking, yoga or riding a bike. If you’re too tired to exercise, reach out to us, let’s have a chat.
Many women struggle with fatigue and belly fat, and it’s like a dog-chasing-its-tail type of situation. We need to help you get some energy so that you can move again.
The relationship between hormones, sleeping patterns, blood sugar levels and stress
You’re eating right. You’re exercising consistently. And yet, you still feel frustrated, not to mention the mood swings. The issue probably lies with your hormones. Thyroid is a big element that affects metabolism. Belly fat can come on very rapidly with a thyroid issue. Women will report plumping up with four to eight pounds in a six-week period.
The next factor is sleep. People who go to bed after midnight have a higher body mass index and higher fat stores than those who stay up late. But did you also realize how this affects their health? It’s true; there are some serious implications for our general wellness when we fail dismally in balancing sleep with other activities like work or entertainment–and as an added bonus: insufficient robustness can lead us towards obesity (which is never fun).
Then we need to monitor your blood sugar. If you’re going without food, follow the Standard American Diet or Intermittent Fasting and still put on pounds, it may be because of this bad habit with no glucose levels in place?
Then we have stress. This is about cortisol levels. Many people report to me that they feel like they’re not handling stress like they used to before. It affects them more deeply, which can be throwing you into a fight or flight situation. This increases conversion to belly fat. Stress can also weaken the thyroid gland and cause a problem.
Let’s get back to that woman who is 52 years old and whose weight was stuck. She was tired and achy. We ran lab tests. She had inflammation. She was deficient in essential vitamins necessary for proper metabolic rate. Her hormones were a mess on top of her being menopausal. Long story short, her liver is overworked.
So we cleaned up her liver. We got her on the right food plan so that she knew how to help herself. We balanced her hormones. She got her energy back. The bloating was gone and her digestive system got more lively. Most importantly, the weight started to move again. So last time I met with her, she had lost another 10 pounds.
It’s possible for you too. If you’re feeling tired, achy, and like your weight is stuck, it may be time to get your levels checked. We can help you figure out the root of the problem and put you on the path to better health. You can connect with me through my website or follow me on social media. Schedule a discovery call today and let us show you how we can help.
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If you’re looking for a more natural way to manage your health, please contact us for a discovery call to see if our approach would be appropriate for your situation.
DISCLAIMER: The information in this email is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content is for general informational purposes only and does not replace a consultation with your own doctor/health professional