So who hasn't overindulged these past festive weeks? Wherever I look, 'big bellies' seem even bigger than usual! What can be done? Especially as both Dean and I point out, zillions of sit ups and the conventional low fat diet will make little difference.
To blast belly fat permanently, you need to understand the Real underlying causes.
Key Belly Fat Causes
In essence, belly fat signifies hormonal and metabolic imbalances characterised by inflammation, estrogen dominance and insulin resistance. Let's start with inflammation.
You saw in an earlier blog how inflammation results from toxins, oxidative stress, free radicals, injury, infections, lack of exercise, heredity and especially diet.
Regarding diet, it’s mainly the imbalance of fatty acids and oils, with focus on Omega 6 rather than Omega 3 which leads to the metabolization of chemicals causing chronic inflammation. This imbalance is starkly seen when we compare our prehistoric ancestors’ omega-6 to omega-3 ratio with ours. Theirs was 1:1, our ratio is anywhere between 10:1 and 25:1.
If you are at a plateau with your weight loss or stuck in a body that just seems to ignore diets, fix your Omega 3and essential fatty acid levels first with our pure Omega 3QH Ultra fish oil and our ‘whole food’ Green Lipped Mussel Powder respectively.
Additionally, to boost key anti-inflammatory nutrients like alpha lipoic acid, carnosine, tumeic, glutathione and resveratrol and more, please select the right Total Balance product for you.
Next comes estrogen dominance
For both sexes, balanced hormonal levels enable estrogen to provide anti-inflammatory properties. However, an imbalance or excess of estrogen and xenoestrogens (chemicals in the environment that mimic the effects of estrogen) prompts the conversion of estrogen to "Estrone". This leads to both hormonal and antioxidant imbalances and to estrogen dominance.
Estrogen dominance has many symptoms, but the most typical are increased weight and belly fat.
Fortunately this can be addressed naturally with a combination of Bio-identical hormones, the right supplements and diet. This diet needs to be focused on building your antioxidant defence. So a ‘rainbow diet’ with lots of fruits and veggies, and especially Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, brocolini, cauliflower, kale etc) is best.
Cruciferous vegetables are especially good at promoting healthy estrogen metabolism because they contain Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C). When I3C combines with stomach acid it creates 3-Diindolylmethane, or DIM. The metabolism of DIM promotes healthy estrogen metabolism leading to a favorable ratio of 2-hydroxy to 16-hydroxy. 16-hydroxy is known to be carcinogenic, while 2-hydroxy has beneficial effects. Research shows that levels of the 16-hydroxy metabolite are high in cases of breast, ovarian, cervix, uterine and other hormone-sensitive cancers.
Hormonal balance can also be optimised with our Male Rejuvenators and Female Rejuvenators. Both formulations use potent doses of high active ingredients believed to help hormonal balance, libido and sexual arousal.
Another advantage of the Rejuvenators, especially when used with our Total Balance and Diabet-Eze ranges, is that they help to regulate key belly fat storing hormones: cortisol and insulin, and to reduce insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance results when a prolonged excess of processed, and especially sugary foods, causes the body to over-produce insulin which disables the fat burning hormone, glucagon. This results in more belly fat, and more sugary cravings, even though one isn’t really hungry.
You now know how hormonal and metabolic imbalances characterized by inflammation, estrogen dominance and insulin resistance are the key causes of belly fat.
But there’s more. There's more to belly fat than your size.
Location Location Location
Not all fat is the same. As Carol Shively PhD says “It behaves differently in different places, and its behaviour is the key to what your fat is doing to you”. People store most of their fat in two ways:
- Subcutaneous fat is visible just under the skin in the thighs, hips, buttocks, and abdomen.
- Visceral fat is invisible because it’s deeper inside, around the vital organs (heart, lungs, digestive tract, liver, etc.) in the chest, pelvis, and especially the abdomen
Research by the Mayo clinic and Harvard Medical School shows that it’s the hidden visceral fat in people of any size, even ‘skinny’ people, that may pose the bigger threat.
This is largely because as endocrinologist Dr Kristen Hairston says, “Fat doesn't just sit idle. It acts like an organ that secretes lots of nasty substances which can be absorbed by neighbouring organs”. For instance, visceral fat cells release inflammatory compounds that can lead to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, dementia, and breast, colon, and endometrium cancer.
So for the ‘apples’ and ‘pears’ amongst us (!) be assured that you can blast belly fat IF you address all of the underlying and inter-related causes.