How To Get Rid Of Belly Fat
Excess belly fat is a common problem for many women. Some would notice they still have belly fat, despite their efforts to change their diet and doing exercise. Some women are healthy & not overweight but they notice they are developing belly fat.
Belly fat is clinically known as visceral fat. For women it may cause ‘appearance problem’, but excess belly fat also increases the risks of developing chronic diseases such as heart diseases & diabetes.
There are several factors that contribute to the causes of belly fat in women, include :
- Unhealthy Gut
- High Sugar & Calorie Intake
- Adrenal Stress
- Impaired Liver Detoxification
- Hormonal Imbalances
- Physical inactivity
And these factors never working in isolation, as we all know that the body is a highly complex biochemical machine.
- Signs of Unhealthy Gut
HIGH SUGAR & CALORIE INTAKE
We all know, eating too many calories and burning too few, is a common recipe for weight gain. Excess calories in the context of sugar have great impact on insulin. High sugar food will cause a rapid rise in insulin. The overproduction of insulin will drive blood sugar below the normal, resulting in a short low blood sugar event, which triggers the stress response system in the brain and cortisol production. Eventually this will lead to insulin resistance, making a person more prone to elevated blood sugar and insulin when consuming future meals.
Both insulin and cortisol promote storage of sugar in the form of fat. When the insulin are decreased, the fat storage is slowed while fat release and burning is sped up.
Foods that combine fat and sugar have the most calories and the most negative impact on the fat storing hormones. High fat and sugar food supporting each other in activating enzymes & hormones that causes fat accumulation around organs; and cause loses of the brain’s ability to regulate and suppress hunger.
When stress is added on this situation, it is a bad combination and the most problematic hormonal combination for belly fat. Sleep deprivation and chronic stress will impact whether the calories are burned or stored as fat. They also dramatically affect the hunger, cravings and motivation to work out.
The term “stress” is not limited to emotional upset, worry & depressions. Some common stressors are sleep deprivation, poor diet, chronic inflammation (allergies, obesity, toxic burden), over exercising.
Read more : Common Stress Triggers (Infographic)
Women who are more prone to stress release more cortisol, and although they are healthy and not overweight, they are more likely to have excess belly fat.
When stress becomes chronic or extreme, the hypothalamus & pituitary system (the brain area that regulate the hormones) becomes imbalance, and this will lead to dysfunctions of adrenal (cortisol), thyroid and ovarian hormones production.
Imbalance of cortisol will cause insulin resistance. Both insulin and cortisol promote storage of sugar in the form of fat and the development of excessive amounts of abdominal fat.
Chronic stress in women also leads to decreased estrogen and progesterone level, increased hunger, constant cravings, and a physiology that is more likely to lose muscle.
Read more : Signs of Imbalance Stress-Response System (Infographic).
IMPAIRED LIVER DETOXIFICATION
A well-functioning liver is essential for overall health and quality of life, because the liver plays a critical role in all aspects of metabolism. The external environment contributes most of the toxins that the liver has to detoxify. Additionally, unhealthy eating habits causes lack of optimal nutrition & imbalances, then there are alcohol and prescription drugs consumption. These things add to the production of toxins and further increasing stress on the liver, hence the liver requiring a strong detoxification capacity. When the liver's detoxification system is overloaded, the liver does not function properly, and the toxins are accumulated in our body. These toxins affect us in numerous ways and causing main organs & system dysfunction.
Hormonal situation determines where fat is stored. In women those hormones are insulin, cortisol, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and the major fat burning hormones, the catecholamine.
Hormones never work in isolation. Hormones working in different way depending on the other hormones. For example, increased cortisol and insulin level in women with high testosterone and low estrogen and/or progesterone, will make these women more likely to store belly fat.
Hormonal changes associated with menopause are another common cause of excess belly fat. The decrease in the production of estrogen & progesterone leading to the development of belly fat, as estrogen & progesterone both oppose the fat storing action cortisol has on the belly. Also, estrogen is insulin sensitizing making it less likely for excess calories to be stored as belly fat and more likely a calorie deficit results in fat loss rather than muscle loss.
There are a lot of benefits we gain from physical activity; burning calories, hormonal balancing, reducing stress, improve brain functions, lower risk of chronic diseases, improve immune function, mitochondria renewal, enhance detoxification, etc.
The intensity of the physical exercise will determine how much benefits we gain. For example, during intense exercise the body will release adrenaline and noradrenaline, which has a strong fat burning impact on belly fat.
Aging is not the result of any one single factor, but is the cumulative result of a number of factors, including aging of cell, excess sugar activity, accumulated toxic build-up in organ tissue, changes in hormone levels and hormone balance, excessive body weight, stress, the results of cumulative poor nutrition, etc.
As you age, your body's production of the hormones begins to decline & your metabolism begins to slow down, causing age-related excess belly fat.
HOW TO GET RID OF BELLY FAT
1. 4-STEPS GUIDE FOR GUT HEALTH : Read more
2. DIETARY CHANGES & REDUCE CALORIE INTAKE
- Healthy & balanced diet.
- Avoid / eliminate high sugar, refined & processed food.
- Avoid / eliminate unhealthy fat (hydrogenated oils, refined oils, manufactured polyunsaturated oils).
- Moderate use of natural & healthy fats (coconut oil, organic butter, olive oil).
- Avoid consuming simple sugar & unhealthy fat together, when combined they are far worse than eating them alone.
3. ADRENAL STRESS MANAGEMENT
- A Guide for Adrenal Stress Management
4. LIVER DETOXIFICATION SUPPORT
Read more: Why Do You Need Detox Program (Infographic)
Liver detoxification process is done by taking herbs that optimize & support each of the processes of liver functions, including herbs that support the kidney, gallbladder & blood detoxification. This program can be done without raw food/juice fasting, or for optimum result is incorporated with raw food/juice 5-10 days-fasting. The decision will depend on personal choice & individual state of health.
5. HORMONES BALANCING
6. PHYSICAL EXERCISE
- Targeted strengthening abdominal exercises.
- For overall health benefits: Do all types of exercise : endurance (aerobic), strength (resistance), balance, & flexibility.
- Exercise at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week (minimum 30 minutes, 5 days a week).
- Spend at least 30% of the workout on high-intensity exercises.
7. SYSTEMIC APPROACH TO MAXIMIZE HEALTH & LIFESPAN
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