Belly fat is a major concern for women. It’s distressing
not because we want to have six-pack abs, but because we want to feel good in our
clothes, and in our bodies. And we don’t want to have to wear “mom jeans” to cover
up the bulge.
Belly fat is persistent for many reasons. Even when we amp up the exercise routine
and limit our calories, it won’t budge. That’s why it’s time to revise the way you
think about belly fat and take a look at the physiology that makes you prone to
maintaining extra padding around the middle.
Once you understand the biology of stubborn belly fat, simple targeted changes can
help 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 belly
fat go way beyond having a trim waistline.
What's causing your belly fat?
There are four common physiologic causes of stubborn belly fat. All are imbalances
that result in extra padding around the belly — though for good reason. Once your
specific physiologic block is removed your body will able to release the extra weight.
Insulin resistance. If you’ve been eating a high-carb
diet, including moderate-to-high amounts of sugar and alcohol for months — or even
years — 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 most common
place your body stores quickly-converted fat? The belly.
Adrenal imbalance. During times of stress, your adrenal
glands release excess cortisol and adrenaline that can lead to elevated blood sugar
followed by weight gain. Living in a chronic “fight or flight” state wreaks havoc
on hormone balance, increases hunger, and causes intense cravings for the high sugar
foods that cause fat accumulation, especially around your belly.
Perimenopause/menopause hormone imbalance. As early as
the age of 35, estrogen and progesterone levels can begin to fluctuate and then
drop. During these years of hormonal ups and downs, your body naturally tries to
preserve fertility for as long as possible and turns to stored belly fat because
it makes estrogen.
Estrogen dominance. Too much estrogen in relation to your
other sex hormones can have a deep impact on weight gain. Estrogen levels can be
strongly influenced by hormones and antibiotics in conventionally-raised meats,
dairy products and toxic chemicals in the environment. These effects create a perfect
storm for disrupting metabolism. Substances such as bisphenonal A (BPA) are known
hormone disruptors that contribute to weight gain.
It really seems like your body is working against you, right? Good to know that
there are solutions that functionally reverse these metabolic challenges.
Five steps to lose belly fat
1. Limit your carbohydrate intake. Evaluate the quality
of the nutrition in the foods you consume every day so you get the most out of everything
you eat. Since “white” foods break down into sugar quickly and lead to belly fat
gain, eat fewer processed carbohydrates (food in a box) and look for whole foods
instead. Building meals around colorful vegetables and lean proteins can improve
insulin sensitivity almost immediately.
Bonus step: exercise in a way that builds muscle tissue. Weight
training, yoga and interval training can build muscle, which helps insulin do its
2. Lighten your stress load. We know you’ve heard
this advice so many times it’s becoming a cliché. But here’s why it matters for
getting rid of your belly fat: managing stress through meditation and yoga lowers
cortisol levels and changes how fat is deposited. You can also provide herbal support
for stress symptoms. Our herbal combination formula includes astragalus root, Siberian
ginseng and rhodiola to enhance your body’s resilience against stress. Check out
Adaptisol in our SHOP.
Bonus step: enjoy more time sleeping and getting outside. Studies
show that just getting 8 hours of sleep lowers stress and helps keep your hunger
levels and weight in check. Spending more time in nature has proven calming and
Limit or avoid these belly fat foods and drinks
- Fruit juice
- White bagels and bread
- White crackers
- White pasta and rice
- Sugary treats (even fat-free versions!)
3. Balance your hormones. Ease the burden of hormonal
fluctuation 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 taps into the ingredients
only as necessary because they are “adaptogenic.”
Bonus step: add healthy fats from foods like wild salmon, walnuts,
extra virgin olive oil and avocado so your body has the building blocks it needs
to make hormones.
4. Build healthy gut flora. Recent studies show that
the bacteria in your gut can play a large role in your weight. Take a high quality
probiotic to populate your gut with healthy bacteria that helps you digest and metabolize
food. It’s also a great idea to consume 1-2 cups of fermented foods daily.
Bonus step: increase your intake of fiber. Foods like asparagus,
garlic, onions, lentils and squash provide the “prebiotics” that feed the good bacteria.
“Bad” 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 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. It also includes green tea extract, known to increase calorie-burning,
and chromium to help balance insulin and blood sugar.
Bonus step: Strength-training is a powerful way to boost metabolism,
especially if you do it 3-4 times per week.
These are the tools you need to begin losing your belly fat. Look in our
SHOP if you are interested in following a more comprehensive approach to
your weight loss. Our Weight Loss Resistance
Program helps clear 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,
And our experienced support team right here in Maine is ready to help as you begin
your weight loss journey. It’s time to let go of the extra baggage you’re carrying
— you’re ready!
Lose weight and
find balance naturally