#120 Belly fat
How do I lose Belly Fat?
Many of my clients moan about the fat that has found its way around their waist as they have aged. Middle-aged spread, spare tyre, muffin top, menopause belly, all the same thing, annoying I know. (I had it)
Take your waist measurement just above your hip bone. If it is over 89cms you have visceral fat sitting around your internal organs.
When we are younger we mostly store fat around our hips and thighs for pregnancy and lactation.
But as our oestrogen levels change our midriff often begins to expand.
This is partly due to a change in hormones resulting in increased blood sugar levels and insulin.
No amount of sit-ups or crunches will help. You can tone the muscles underneath but you can't spot-reduce fat.
Luckily for most women, we lose the fat from around our organs first - visceral fat - this is the dangerous stuff in terms of heart disease, diabetes and blood pressure. Then the fat from under the skin - adipose tissue- around our bellies. Hips and thighs are usually last.
Here are my top tips when it comes to losing belly fat:
- Make sure you are getting 7-9 hours of sleep. Lack of sleep increases appetite and produces the stress hormone cortisol which is known to promote central obesity.
- Keep simple refined sugars to a minimum. Focus on eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Aim for lean protein at every meal and use only low-fat dairy. These strategies help to keep your blood insulin low. Insulin is your fat storage hormone and loves to store fat around your middle.
- Portion control, you may no longer require the same volume of food especially if you are sedentary or have not been strength training.
- Learn to manage your stress. Stress produces cortisol which increases fat storage around your middle.
- Exercise. Focus on strength training and low-intensity cardio. High-intensity training may increase cortisol production.
- For some women, bioidentical hormone therapy may be useful
I hope that these tips are helpful, have a great week!