The most common question I hear from people today is "what can I do to get rid of my belly.’’ I can’t even go on to say how many women ask me this. Why on earth does it sit there right around the mid section? I know how embarrassing and frustrating carrying belly fat can be someone once asked me when my baby was due, I wasn’t even pregnant...very embarrassing moment.
I don’t know about you but I wanted to know why’s and how’s? Today people tend to think that sit ups are the answer to loosing the mid section. Well let me tell you it’s not the answer. Belly fat or as we ladies say the spare tyre around the mid section is caused by a variety of factors which all kind of go along with one another this includes:
- Hormone changes
- Energy imbalances
Figuring out what gets rid of our belly fat ‘the spare tyre’ is so frustrating. Stress is actually one of the biggest causes of belly fat it affects our hormones and causes big problems with the storage of fat & that tyre around the mid section. It can leave us feeling cold, tired, fatigued even constipated. All of these things work alongside one another and knock others out along the way, ever heard of the domino effect? Yep that’s right stress and hormones change how our body distributes the fat.
Did you know that sleep affects our hormones too, how many of us get so stressed out when we’re tired? Have you ever heard of the phrase “sleep is for the mind and not the rest of the body” Do you believe this? If we don’t get enough sleep this can affect out stress levels and our hormones it affects the regulation of the hormones, let me tell you how, listed below are few of the hormones that are affected this is what these hormones are for:
- Leptin – regulates our appetite and out metabolism, this hormone tells us when we are full & if we were to lose the ability to sense this our appetite control is lost
- Ghrelin – tells us when we are hungry or need more energy now if this hormone is knocked off track it can increase our sense of hunger
- Melatonin – is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain, it helps regulate other hormones & the body’s internal 24hr clock. We produce more of this when its dark, when its light production of this drops. This hormone also controls the timing & release of female reproductive hormones. Melatonin counteracts stress too.
When we are tired we then put ourselves under stress, we all know stress happens for all reasons, being stuck in traffic on the way to work, not having enough time to complete your chores, an argument, am I right?
When we are stressed we also release the cortisol hormone now this hormone plays a big part in the belly fat storage!
- Cortisol – is your body’s stress hormone it is a hormone that helps fight stress & is produced by the adrenal glands, we do need small doses of cortisol as it has anti-inflammatory effects, plays a part in glucose metabolism, regulation of blood pressure, it supports the immune system and stores macronutrients, but too much of this one makes us store that extra on the belly, but how?
Well because cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands during the bodies ‘fight or flight’ response to stress it’s important that our relaxation responses are activated so the body functions can return to normal following a stressful event. Because of todays high-stress society means we put our body’s under so much stress so often that we actually don’t really give our body a chance to return to normal, am I making sense here?
So where does this leave us?
- Imbalanced blood sugar
- Higher blood pressure
- Low Immunity
- Lower inflammatory responses
- Increased abdominal fat
- High levels of cholesterol
- Suppressed thyroid function
So now this leads me onto the Thyroid gland – these hormones act as the body’s internal thermostat they also play a part in regulating your metabolism and energy levels.
High levels of cortisol then leads me into insulin levels when cortisol is released in high amounts it set off insulin secretion.
- Insulin – is a hormone that causes the body to take glucose from the blood storing it as glycogen in the muscles & the liver so what happens is this stops us using fat as energy.
Do you get it you certainly can’t burn fat with high level of this hormone!
You know I could go on and on, now do you understand when I said earlier ever heard of the domino effect?
Can you see what I’m getting at? The fact is that stress along with a poor diet throws our hormones right out of balance leaving us with high and low levels of the different hormones we can see how important it is to keep good health we need to regulate our hormone balance.
SO what the hell can I do?
Well here is my Top Tips of the day
- Notice something you do or someone else does that’s nice & grateful for, this way it will help you feel the positives and not the negative happenings
- Take deep breaths in a stressful situation, this will promote increased oxygen flow and promote relaxation
- Have a massage even if it’s from partner a friend or at a beauty salon it’s a great way to release stress
- I know I say this one all the time but write a journal write whatever is in your mind, letting the thoughts flow, resolve that confusion, frustration or anger.
- Meditate; give your mind a break from the chatter.
- Clear up unresolved fall outs, anything you have resolved with family, friends or work colleagues resentment festers in our body and emotions including the hormones make them amends for your own health benefit!
- Laugh and smile you’ll be amazed if your happy the people around you are and come on to be honest how much better do you feel when everyone is happy and relaxed.
- Get good night’s sleep; make sure your room is completely blacked out the darker it is the better you’ll sleep remember the melatonin!
Yep the main aim is to basically relax as much as possible. There are small things we can do to make the change to our lifestyle & implement in order to keep our bodies relaxed. So to sum all of this up poor diet & everyday living causes stress on us and our bodies which in return knocks out our hormone balance which in turn gives us stubborn fat and that frustrating ‘spare tyre’ on the mid section.
Phew hope I’ve not gone on too much tried my best to shorten it down I just wanted to answer the question you’ve all been asking me. Hope this helps you.
Any questions I’m happy to help, Love Tanya Oliver-grievesFind a fitness class near you