Belly fat is a major concern for women. Not because we all want to have six-pack abs, but because we want to feel good in our clothes, and in our bodies. We don’t want to look pregnant if we aren’t and we don’t want to wear “mom jeans” to cover up the bulge.
But belly fat is persistent for many reasons. Even when we amp up the exercise routine, add more crunches, and limit our calories, it stays with us through it all.
It’s time to revise how you think about belly fat and take a look at the physiology that makes your body prone to maintaining extra padding around the middle. Because once you understand the biology of stubborn belly fat, you can make simple targeted changes in your life and watch it melt away. Since belly fat has been linked to health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes, the health benefits of losing it go way beyond having a trim waistline.
Belly fat food & drink to limit or avoid
- Fruit juice
- White bagels and bread
- White crackers
- White pasta and rice
- Sugary treats (even fat-free versions!)
What's causing your belly fat?
Let’s start by looking at the three most common physiologic causes of stubborn belly fat. All three of these imbalances result in extra padding around the belly — for good reason — and once you remove the physiologic block, the body releases the extra weight.
Insulin resistance. After a few years of eating a high-carb diet (including sugar and alcohol), your cells can reach a state where they no longer respond to insulin. This leads to elevated blood sugar and quick conversion of sugar to fat. The best place to store quickly converted fat? The belly.
Adrenal imbalance. During times of stress, the adrenal glands release cortisol and adrenaline to mobilize quick energy for a “fight or flight” situation. Yet modern stress rarely requires actual fighting or fleeing so these extra calories end up being stored as belly fat.
Sex hormone imbalance. As early as the age of 35 our estrogen and progesterone levels can begin to fluctuate. And in an effort to preserve fertility for as long as possible, the body hangs on to extra fat in the belly because this fat can make estrogen.
It really seems like your body is working against you, right? But there are solutions that functionally reverse these metabolic challenges.
Our best secrets to cutting belly fat
1. Know your carbohydrate limit. We recommend eating 16 grams of carbohydrates at every meal and 7 grams per snack. This means taking a good look at the foods (and drinks!) you consume each day. This reduced carb load will address your insulin resistance almost immediately.
Bonus step for the overachievers: exercise in a way that builds muscle. Weight training, yoga, and interval training can build muscle, which is a great way to help insulin do its job.
2. Lighten your stress load. We know you’ve heard this advice so many times it’s becoming a cliché, but reducing stress truly lowers cortisol levels and makes a big difference in how fat is deposited in your body. To make things easy for you, we’ve developed an herbal combination product including astragalus root, Siberian ginseng, rhodiola and more to minimize the stress burden on your body. Check out Adaptisol in our SHOP.
Bonus step for the overachievers: sleep more and spend more time in nature. Sleep is one of the best ways to lower stress and studies show it also helps keep your hunger levels and weight in check.
3. Balance your hormones. Hormonal fluctuation is an inevitable part of life, but you can ease the burden on your body by supplementing with hormone-supportive herbs. Try black cohosh, red clover, and kudzu for estrogen imbalances and passionflower, chasteberry, and wild yam for progesterone imbalances. We’ve formulated Herbal Equilibrium with all of these herbs and your body can use them as it needs because they are “adaptogenic.”
Bonus step for the overachievers: add healthy fats from foods like salmon, walnuts, olive oil and avocado to your diet so your body has the building blocks it needs to make hormones.
4. Build healthy gut flora. Recent studies are showing that the bacteria in our guts can play a large role in our weight. Populate your gut with healthy bacteria that can help you digest and metabolize your food by taking a high quality probiotic. We offer one with over 15 billion healthy organisms per dose!
Bonus step for the overachievers: eat more fiber. Good bacteria thrive on fiber, while the not-so-good bacteria thrive on refined carbs like sugar.
5. Add metabolic boosters. Metabolic boosters can support a healthy metabolism and increase your calorie and fat burning potential. Our new formula M-Boost contains Indian sphaeranthus and mangosteen — both are thought to regulate the accumulation of fat and increase the body’s natural fat burning process. We also include green tea extract, known to increase calorie burning, chromium to help balance insulin and blood sugar, and more.
Bonus step for the overachievers: Exercise is a great way to boost metabolism, especially if you’re doing it at least four times per week.
You now have the knowledge and the tools to begin losing your belly fat! We also offer many of the products mentioned (including M-Boost) in our SHOP. Or if you are interested in a more comprehensive holistic approach to your weight loss, our Weight Loss Resistance Package tackles your stubborn weight with a custom diet plan (including shopping lists and delicious recipes), a handy protein shake (with probiotics and green tea extract), M-Boost, and herbal support for your unique imbalance (hormonal, adrenal, neurotransmitter, or thyroid). On top of all that our experienced support team of women right here in Maine is ready to help you as you begin your weight loss journey. Let go of the extra baggage you’ve been carrying — you’re ready!