Up The Intensity Of Your Workout
Focus on increasing physical activity and building muscle to burn belly fat, recommends Reddy. Mild activity such as walking is poor at burning fat due to its low energy consumption whilst intense cardio training will consume energy and increase metabolic rate after exercise, he says.
When scientists from Canadas Laval University compared a 15-week HIIT programme and a 20-week endurance-training programme, they found the former was far more effective at stoking up the bodys metabolism, which resulted in greater fat loss.
What Is The 1: 8 Diet
The 16:8 diet is a version of intermittent fasting that restricts eating to an 8-hour window. During that time, youre allowed to eat and drink what you want with no calorie restrictions. During the 16-hour fasting period, you can drink plenty of water. Black coffee and tea are fine, too.
What time period works best? Keeping your eating window earliersay, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.seems to be the most beneficial. The bodys biological clock is primed to eat earlier in the day, explains Courtney Peterson, PhD, assistant professor of nutrition at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In most people, blood sugar control is best in the morning and gets worse as the day progresses. You also digest food faster in the morning. So theres a metabolic advantage to eating earlier in the daytime, she says.
But if that timeframe seems unrealistic, don’t worry. Recent findings suggest that bumping your eating window just a little bit later, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., could also be effective for weight loss.
When following the 16:8 diet, you restrict eating to an 8-hour window and then do a 16-hour fast.
What Kathleen Zelman Mph Rd Says:
Does It Work?
Research suggests that a Mediterranean diet, similar to Turner’s, can aid weight loss. You will lose weight on the plan because it is low in calories.
Eating a clean, natural, preferably organic diet, free of preservatives and processed foods is ideal, but it’s not practical or necessary for weight loss or good health. Nor are the tremendous amounts of supplements, including herbal and bowel cleansers.
Is It Good for Certain Conditions?
Following a Mediterranean-style, low-glycemic diet is a sensible approach to healthy eating and weight loss that could benefit most people. Reaching a healthy weight can improve many conditions, including diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.
The Final Word
The cocktail of supplements and the hormone theories are unfounded and not recommended. Keep in mind that many things affect your hormone levels. It’s not just about your food. To say that certain foods are “hormone hindering” is inaccurate and oversimplifies the role of nutrients in the body.
If you think you have a hormonal imbalance or would like to follow this diet, consult your doctor.
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Cutting Out Inflammatory Foods
Inflammation is a contributor to many health issues, including hormone imbalances . This means that if you have a hormonal imbalance, cutting down on foods that may increase inflammation like sugar, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, caffeine, ultra processed foods, certain refined oils, or dairy products can be helpful.
How To Get Cortisol Under Control
Tips for maintaining healthy, balanced cortisol levels include the following:
- Consider what relaxes you. Is it meditation? A walk in the park? A bubble bath? Engaging in a creative project? Find what relieves stress for you, and integrate it into your daily routine.
- Exercise regularly, and give yoga a try if its not already part of your workout regimen. The synchronized breathwork that accompanies a nice, flowing vinyasa routine calms the nervous system and reduces cortisol all while giving your body and mind a thorough workout.
- Listen to your favorite music. A 2011 study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology found that patients who listened to instrumental music during surgery had lower cortisol levels than a control group.
- Get enough sleep at night. Have you ever noticed how easily stressed and anxious you become on days when youre sleep deprived? This happens because during a night of deep, restorative sleep, your body is working to balance all hormones, including cortisol. A study published in the peer-reviewed journal Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine explored how sleep deprivation impacted helicopter pilots on a 7-day emergency medical duty. Findings suggested it was sleep deprivation not the act of emergency medical care that elevated adrenaline and cortisol levels.
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Cottage Cheese And Nuts
Sleep is the root of all goodand evil. Get enough and you’re on the right track for good health. Don’t get enough and everything is at risk for getting out of whack. “When you are sleep deprived, cortisol which should rise and fall within certain ranges, gets on a different rhythm and starts to literally ‘steal’ the building blocks of hormones like estrogen and progesterone,” explains Denzel.”Before going to bed, make sure you have a small protein rich snack such as cottage cheese and a bit of nuts the magnesium and amino acids will help you sleep deeper and wake up less throughout the night.” Nighttime is when hormones like prolactin and growth hormone peak and those are powerful immune system, metabolism and behavior modulators.
Eat This, Not That! Recommends: Have 1/2 cup of cottage cheese or 1 oz nuts once a day.
Scientific Reasons For Belly Fat
We all know that eating too much and moving too little is the foundation upon which flab is built. But theres more to the belly fat equation than calories in and calories out. Certain stressors, for example, will see you scaling your belt notches with very little effort. Heres what you should look out for.
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How Does Estrogen Impact Weight Gain
Produced within the ovaries, estrogen is responsible for optimal functioning of all female reproductive organs. Estrogen promotes the storage of fat for healthy reproductive years. When estrogen is balanced, the right amount of fat helps carry out female reproductive functions. However, when theres too little or too much estrogen, weight gain often results.
Overweight women typically have high amounts of estrogen, as do women in the first half of pregnancy. Then theres perimenopause and menopause, which are characterized by a notable decrease in estrogen. Its during this time that some women opt for hormone replacement therapy to replace declining estrogen levels.
Add Purslane To Your Salad
Most people have no idea what purslane is. I didnt either until I discovered my problem with eating excess fructose and how it contributes to fatty liver, among other problems.
So I decided to up my omega-3s, particularly since an omega-3 fatty acid known as docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, seems to reverse the harmful changes to belly fat produced by fructose. In fact, DHA doesnt just change one or two genes, it pushes an entire block of genes back to normal.
Purslane offers the richest of omega-3s and melatonin that you can obtain from a green vegetablemostly alpha linolenic acid , which can be converted into DHA. One chef calls it a miniature jade plant. I call it a super food, a weed worth eating, because its nutrient density strengthens synapses, or connections in your brain, and enhances memory and learning.
I grow it in my garden, then chop it in salads or add it to soups at the very end. You can grow it too, or buy it at your local farmers market, next to the sorrel and nettles.
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How Long Does It Take To See Results
Within 6 weeks of starting to include some exercises that increase lean muscle mass, you might see some shifting and definition, but youll already notice your strength has increased. Its so empowering it feels great! says Carol. Youll get faster results than youll get on your own. Its a kick start that involves all sorts of changes , including a shift in upper body posture, and more defined muscles.
Why Can Hormones Affect Weight Loss
Hormones play an important role in how the systems in our bodies work. Several hormones affect body fat and even where it is stored. Hormones control how our body gains muscle, burns, fat, and even how we respond to stress all of which are factors in our weight. When you have a hormonal imbalance your body does not work as efficiently as it was designed leading to weight gain and a struggle to lose weight.
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Ghrelin Your Hunger Hormone
Ghrelin is a peptide hormone produced by cells in your GI tract. It regulates appetite.
When your stomach is empty, ghrelin hits your bloodstream and tells your brain: Hey, lets eat!
Because of its influence in regulating appetite, ghrelin is often called the hunger hormone.
Normally, ghrelin levels are at their highest just before you eat and lowest an hour or two after youve finished eating.
But studies have shown that ghrelin behaves differently in overweight and obese people.
In overweight and obese people, ghrelin levels dont decrease much after eating a meal. Because of this, the brain constantly receives the Hey, lets eat! message, which can lead to overeating.
Here are two ways to help normalize ghrelin levels:
- Skip the soda: High fructose corn syrup and sugar added drinks like soda can derail your ghrelin response after meals and leave you feeling hungry.
- Power up with protein: Eating quality protein at every meal helps you feel full and reduces ghrelin levels.
You Feel Less Satiated After Eating
If a meal that used to fill you up now suddenly leaves you wanting more, it could be a signal that your sex hormones are indirectly impacting your main metabolism-regulating hormones. Estrogen and testosterone are the two main players here.
If you have lower than normal levels of estrogen circulating, you might find yourself not feeling as satisfied after a meal. This is because of the impact estrogen has on leptin, your satiety hormone. Leptin is released by circulating fat tissue and tells your brain that youve had enough to eat. The more leptin you have circulating in your system, the more satiated youll feel
In one study, the presence of estrogen was correlated to an increased concentration of leptin and therefore a . Thats one reason why most postmenopausal women, whose estrogen levels are lower, typically gain fat mass and lose lean mass, says Ruvini Wijetilaka, MD, a physician at Parsley Health New York.
Testosterone, the main sex hormone found in men, has also been shown to have an inverse effect on leptin concentration. This means that as testosterone levels increase, leptin decreases. Elevated testosterone, due to everything from regularly missed periods, PCOS, or chronic stress, can cause a steep uptick in hunger and subsequent weight gain.
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Which Vitamins Help Lose Cortisol Belly Fat
The cortisol belly fat myth is that specific vitamins such as B, C, and D can help you lose belly fat. Unfortunately, there are no direct links as to how these vitamins will help you lose fat. Supplements as well are unreliable as they mostly arent regulated by the FDA.
Many companies advertise their products, claiming they can aid with losing weight or control of cortisol in the body. You should know that they were warned by theFederal Trade Commission against such claims .
A good example is CortiSlim which was offered a warning letter by the U.S Food and Drug Administration . The manufacturer was warned against selling and advertising products without substantiated evidence/ proof of their benefits .
The letter indicated that if the supplement worked, it ought to be regulated as a drug. Since the drug didnt work, the manufacturers had to restructure their products, eventually pushing them off the market.
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Chronic Stress Feeds Belly Fat
Some underlying triggers for this weight shift may be out of our control, but other aspects are very much within our control. One factor that we can influence is stress. Belly fat contains receptors for cortisol, our bodys main stress hormone. When we’re stressed our adrenals release cortisol and this stimulates these belly fat receptors resulting in the formation of even more belly fat.
Constantly feeling stressed out may seem like the norm in today’s fast-paced society but that does not mean that it’s healthy. To tame your cortisol levels, do whatever works for you to slow down and de-stress: unplug, delegate, meditate, stretch and relax. Taking a high quality adrenal supplement also helps to support balanced cortisol levels.
Keep in mind that stress can also be physical, mostly due to inflammation. Chronic inflammation alone can make it hard to lose added weight because it inhibits some enzymes that normally break down fats in the body. So, get some help to optimize your health and tackle inflammation. Take care of gut imbalances and other inflammatory conditions, like thyroid disease or hashimotos. Slowing of your metabolism, weight gain and trouble losing it commonly go along with low thyroid function.
These issues may not produce symptoms until you hit menopause, so it’s a good idea for any woman hitting menopause to get her thyroid function checked, including thyroid antibodies, especially if there’s a family history of thyroid problems.
Leptin Your Fullness Hormone
If ghrelin is the hunger hormone, then leptin is the satiety hormone because of the role it plays in regulating fullness.
Leptin is produced by your fat cells.
Under normal circumstances, leptin travels through your bloodstream to your brain, where it basically says: Put down the fork. Youre full!
People who are overweight or obese may have as much as four times the amount of leptin in their blood versus their normal weight peers.
You might be wondering:
Leptin is responsible for reducing appetite. Overweight and obese people tend to have far higher levels of leptin in their blood.
Doesnt that mean it should be easier for them to avoid overeating?
Anytime you have too much of a hormone circulating in your system, your brain tends to tune it out.
So even though obese people have a relatively high amount of leptin in their bloodstream, their brain doesnt recognize it. This is known as leptin resistance.
When your brain doesnt receive a signal from leptin, it immediately thinks youre starving.
And as a result your brain quite literally COMMANDS you to eat and eat and eat and eat.
Leptin resistance helps to explain why it can be so difficult to lose weight.
Its NOT because you dont have the willpower to control your eating habits.
Its NOT because you dont exercise.
Its NOT because you have bad genes.
If you struggle to lose weight its very likely because leptin resistance has caused your brain to believe youre starving to death.
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Understand How Insulin Impacts Weight
Insulin is one of the most important hormones when it comes to weight loss and weight gain. Made by the pancreas, insulin is responsible for storing blood sugar, or utilizing it, depending upon your bodys needs of the moment. After you eat a large meal, a substantial amount of insulin releases itself into the bloodstream. It also enters the bloodstream as needed throughout the day, ensuring that blood sugar levels remain stable.
Another key function of this essential hormone is fat storage. Insulin decides how much fat to store, and how much to convert for energy expenditure. Chronically high levels of insulin can lead to a condition known as insulin resistance, which is linked to an uptick in blood sugar as well as continued elevated insulin levels.
Preventing this insulin imbalance is crucial, as it leads to weight gain, and eventually type 2 diabetes. When insulin levels remain high over an extended period of time, obesity and metabolic syndrome are often the unfortunate outcome.
How Do I Know If I Have A Hormonal Imbalance
If you suspect a hormonal changes, the only way to fully confirm a hormonal imbalance is to have your hormones tested with a simple and easy blood test.
An easy way to test at home is with a reputable home health test company such as Lets Get Checked. Ive used them personally for several tests and have found them to be very easy, accurate as well as convenient. You simply order online and receive a kit in a few days. Simple instructions are included with a convenient return envelope. Youll get notified within a few days to go online to view your test results. Easier and often cheaper than going to the doctor. No doctor referral or approval is needed. Use this link and FITFOUNDME code for a 15% discount!
Getting a diagnosis on what hormones are imbalanced is the first step to fixing a hormone imbalance and feeling better than ever.
How To Balance Hormones Naturally
1. Swap Carbs for Healthy Fats
Foods that balance hormones include a variety of fat-containing foods that provide short, medium and long-chain fatty acids. Your body needs various types of fats to create hormones, including saturated fat and cholesterol.
Not only are these essential fats fundamental building blocks for hormone production, but they keep inflammation levels low, boost your metabolism and promote weight loss.
Healthy fats have the opposite effect of refined carbohydrates, which lead to inflammation and can mess with the balance of your hormones.
My four favorite sources of anti-inflammatory, healthy fats include:
- coconut oil, avocados, grass-fed butter and wild-caught salmon.
- Coconut oil uses are plentiful for example, coconut oil has natural anti-bacterial and fat-burning effects.
- Avocado benefits include improving heart health, lowering inflammation, controlling your appetite and contributing to your daily intake of fiber and nutrients such as potassium.
- Salmon nutrition is also impressive: its one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to lower inflammation and help with cognitive functions. Omega-3 fatty acids are a large component of brain-cell membranes and are important for cell-to-cell communication in the brain. Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids help protect against hippocampal neuronal loss and reduce pro-inflammatory responses.
2. Supplement to Fill Nutritional Voids
3. Address Emotional Imbalances
6. Get More Sleep