Hormonal Imbalances and metabolic issues may be the cause of excessive weight gain, particularly at the waist. This hormonal imbalance causes more inflammation and oxidative stress, and promotes even more fat storage.
There are two types of fat: fat under your skin (subcutaneous) and a deeper more dangerous fat (visceral) coating your inner organs (fatty liver). This visceral fat has been linked to a higher risk of diseases including cardiac disease. Here is what you need to know to flip the switch and restore your hormonal imbalances.
Facts to Know:
- Sugar is converted & stored as fat in the belly – this includes wine
- Calories matter but hormones matter MORE
- Hormones that lead to belly fat:
Lower your INSULIN
-high glycemic foods spike insulin which leads to belly fat production for hours after. So cut out the candy, cereals, crackers, juices, coffee drinks, desserts, alcohol and flour and look for hidden sugars in sauces and yogurts. Insulin also increases hunger and carb craving leading to vicious cycle of fat creation.
Drive down CORTISOL
-driven up by chronic stress, your elevated cortisol causes fat storage, weight gain and muscle breakdown. Lower your cortisol with stress reduction by meditation, good sleep hygiene, massage, pet therapy, music, laughter, love, breath work. Next time you have a conflict with your spouse, friend or co-worker, resolve it because you are creating belly fat, and influencing hormonal imbalances 🙂
Fight LEPTIN resistance
– leptin is an appetite-suppressant hormone made by fat cells that allows fat cells to talk to the brain. It signals the brain that you are full and to put the fork down. Controlling hunger is a major way that leptin controls energy storage.
If you eat a diet that is high in sugar (particularly fructose), grains, and processed foods – the same type of diet that will also increase inflammation in your body – as the sugar gets metabolized in your fat cells, the fat cells release leptin.
Over time, if your body is exposed to too much leptin, it will become resistant, just as your body can become resistant to insulin.
Fructose is the most metabolically hurtful sugar. Check your labels for High Fructose Corn Syrup and higher-fructose fruit such as bananas, dates, and dried apricots! It goes straight to your liver, where it makes fat and triggers insulin and leptin resistance. Fructose makes the brain think you are still hungry and you keep eating. The net result is inflammation, a stressed-out liver, and more visceral fat. Tip: switch out your fruits to lemons, limes, avocados, and olives to really help with hormonal imbalances.
Elevate GROWTH HORMONE (GH)
Growth hormone made in the pituitary gland in the brain helps to burn fat by signaling fat cells to break down fat. It also blocks insulin and keep the fat cells thin. Without GH to inhibit the effect of insulin the fat cells are free to expand.
The amount of body fat you carry is directly related to your GH production. Individuals with 3 times the amount of belly fat had less than half the amount of GH as lean individuals. Weight loss and exercise, intermittent fasting (16 hour fast) can elevate GH. Lowering your insulin levels helps too because non-diabetics have 3-4x higher GH levels than diabetics. GH levels rise at night, avoid late night eating as insulin lowers GH and get a good night sleep to raise your growth hormone.
-Adiponectin tells your brain to burn fat! The more adiponectin you have in your blood, the more fat you burn. A lack of adequate adiponectin is a significant factor in your inability to fight the flab and stay slim. Keep in mind, the more fat you have, the lower your levels of adiponectin are.
To raise adiponectin, exercise regularly, get proper sleep, add monounsaturated fats, fish oil, olive oil, peanuts, sesame oil, avocados and lean beef. Eat pistachios and pumpkin seeds, get 35 to 50 grams of fiber per day, dark chocolate coffee and consider taking a magnesium supplement.
Bottom Line work towards a balanced mind, body and spirit. A metabolic flip may be a tough journey for most of us but it will have the most profound effects on your health, hormones and mental well being.