Often people think an expanding waistline and goes with an increased age. How many times have you heard someone say – that’s what happens when you get older? – referring to anything from having belly fat to having less energy, from being more achy to digestive trouble, from a poor memory to muscle loss and so on.
Are we just expected to accept a decline in everything as we age?
NO! Ageless vitality is not fiction.
Time takes a toll but as the great Indiana Jones said, It’s not the years, it’s the mileage. I’d like to add, it’s not the mileage but how well your vehicle has been cared for, serviced and driven.
If you take a look under the hood of your body… Wait! Don’t call a surgeon! Nope, no CAT scan, MRI, X-ray, biopsy or scope needed. Let’s uncover what goes on as time passes and we live our lives. It’s not the time but what we expose ourselves to, time and time again, that really “ages” us.
Firstly, if you are having trouble with middle age belly fat and shrug it off as a slow metabolism, let me tell you there are plenty of people in their twenties and even teens who are struggling for the same reason as you.
Secondly, if you think having belly fat is just an aesthetic thing and you are not that superficial, there’s more to be concerned about than just your physical appearance when you carry excessive weight around your midsection.
Thirdly, I’m using the word belly fat because it is one of those words (like slippery, coarse, whisper, etc.) that are almost onomatopoeias and give us a feeling just because of how they sound. When you say it, you likely are more conscious of your belly and any extra fat that’s there. Listen to your gut, you know it’s better to get rid of that boiler.
So, let’s get down to it.
Why is it so hard to get lean?
Yes, eating too many calories and not burning enough has an impact but you could remain in a neutral pattern with calories in and calories out and STILL gain belly fat.
10 Ways To Get Rid Of Belly Fat
- Sleep between 7 to 9 hours at night
- Lift weights
- Stop snacking regularly
- Drink less alcohol
- Drink less coffee
- Eat slower
- Eat less simple carbohydrates and sugar
- Stay hydrated
- Break up long periods of sitting
- Identify and avoid your food sensitivities
Relax. You might be thinking, “forget about it, I can’t do that!”
OR… You might be saying, “tell me something I don’t know!”
Maybe, you’re thinking I’m wrong. But wait…there’s something underneath all these strategies that is a powerful obstacle to getting lean and a major cause of belly fat.
It’s a sign of the times. It’s a factor that transcends age, gender, race, color and creed. It’s a complicated mix of our biology, the modern environment, and our lifestyle. If it were personified it would take the form of Jabba the Hutt. This guy does not have his lifestyle dialed.
It’s the belly fat perfect storm: the combination of hormonal imbalances and toxic overload!
You see, hormones like insulin, ghrelin, leptin, triiodothyronine (T3), epinephrine, norepinephrine, testosterone, growth hormone, cortisol, and melatonin are released, or suppressed, by certain feedback. These hormones play a significant role in the retention of adipose tissue (fat). Simply put, they regulate blood sugar, hunger, satiety, metabolic rate, blood pressure, liver function and circadian rhythms and more.
When they are out of whack a cascade of issues arise. It can be like driving a car with two bald, spare tires on one side, the parking brake on, no mirrors, a stiff wheel, the horn stuck going off, your seat sliding around, with no headlights, needing an oil change while being low on gas and the radio stuck between stations at full volume…Well, maybe not, but you get the point.
Now, without getting into anatomy and physiology any deeper, that’s the power of hormones. Combine that with the toxins that we knowingly and unknowingly are exposed to natural, or otherwise, and it becomes a belly fat builder.
What do toxins have to do with gaining fat?
First off, before you say, “I live well, I have no toxins in my system”, let’s be clear – it’s no longer debatable, chemicals and toxins ARE flooding into our system more than ever before. Furthermore, our bodies are highly intelligent. Often “experts” behave like this isn’t the case and try to override the body mechanisms. However, there’s almost always an underlying cause for the body to respond the way it does.
When we have toxins in our body, they cause the least harm stored in fat. The compensatory mechanisms in the body tuck toxins away in fat cells where they can’t run around freely damaging other vital organs as much. The problem is they still have a negative effect on things, and we start gaining more fat, especially belly fat.
Our body’s natural detoxification pathways also get overwhelmed when the flow of toxins continues beyond their capacity which then leads to far greater health issues. That’s why having belly fat should be a wake-up call to change your lifestyle and aid the detoxification processes of your amazing body.
Let’s go back to the 10 Ways To Get Rid Of Belly Fat and flip it around so you can see why doing, or not doing, these things interfere with hormonal balance and can magnify the toxic impact on your body.
Sleeping between 7 and 9 hours plays a big role in restoring the body, lowering cortisol, increasing testosterone and growth hormone, as well as improving mood and focus. Melatonin production increases as natural light dims and is key for the natural detoxification process.
If you regularly stay up late, don’t sleep enough (or too much), toxins compound and your hormones become imbalanced = FAT GAIN.
2. Resistance Exercise
Resistance training boosts the metabolism for up to 48 hours post workout, increases insulin sensitivity, bone density and builds lean muscle which burns more fat while at rest. It aids in liver health, testosterone production, and GH.
If you never lift anything heavy, your lean muscle mass deteriorates negatively affecting your hormone balance while not supporting your lymphatic system to detoxify your body = FAT GAIN.
Snacking here and there can be okay but sticking to nutrient dense meals that are well stocked with healthy fats, clean protein and lots of vegetables with keep you blood sugar stable. By snacking, you are more likely to consume more calories than you burn as well.
If you are constantly snacking, it doesn’t allow your blood sugar levels to drop resulting in greater production of insulin and other hormonal imbalances = FAT GAIN.
Alcohol makes your liver work harder taking away from its efforts to detoxify the body resulting. Alcohol also contains a significant amount of sugar and/or calories that add up fairly quickly. Beyond that, it lowers testosterone which makes it harder to lose weight.
Too much alcohol and too much strain on the liver = FAT GAIN.
While quality coffee can have health benefits for some people, lower quality coffee, too much coffee and coffee with sugar, artificial sweeteners, synthetic creamers or too many additives become high calorie, toxin-filled brews. Some people don’t do well with coffee and too many cups for anyone exasperates adrenal fatigue.
Interruptions in natural cortisol and melatonin production plus overworked adrenal glands, (yup, you guessed it) = FAT GAIN.
6. Digestion and Visceral Fat
Having fat around the belly can indicate too much visceral fat which interferes with how your liver functions and interrupts normal hormonal communications between your vital organs. This can lead to insulin resistance, pre-diabetes, increased blood pressure and risk for developing heart disease. Counterintuitively, you can still have visceral fat and be “skinny”.
Surprise! If your organs, (like your liver, pancreas, gall bladder, etc.) are compromised by visceral fat, your digestion will be further disrupted and you just get more = FAT GAIN.
While it’s good to feel hunger from time to time, constant nagging hunger in between meals can indicate that your blood sugar is on a roller coaster ride. This could be a sign that your insulin production is imbalanced and your diet might rely too heavily on simple carbohydrates.
If you are constantly hungry, you probably are not getting the nutrients you need regardless of how much you’ve eaten. If you continue to eat the same quality food (hint: it’s not quality food), you will consume excessive quantities of food = FAT GAIN.
Dry lips can be a sign of dehydration. By the time your lips are dry, you are already dehydrated. Staying hydrated assists in weight loss as well as all bodily functions from cognition to strength to mood to blood pressure and healthy organs. It also keeps you looking younger. Often drinking water will reduce hunger and make it easier to not snack.
Lack of fluids can confuse you into thinking your hungry when you’re actually thirsty. Being dehydrated results in poor digestion = FAT GAIN.
“Sitting is the new smoking” – prolonged sitting has been clearly shown to have detrimental effects on organ health, posture, the cardiovascular system and be a significant risk factor in metabolic disorders and heart disease. Sedentary lifestyles reduce immune function and leave the lymphatic system stagnant. Get up and move beyond exercise.
Without movement your lymphatic system becomes congested, resulting in toxin build up, poor immune defense and… = FAT GAIN.
Allergies can be a sign of a compromised immune system. Often allergies or sensitivities occur when the body is under prolonged stress from multiple factors including lifestyle, environment, an imbalance in intestinal bacteria, undetected disease, viruses, parasites and a build up of chemicals in the body.
When your are constantly dealing with allergies and sensitivities, it takes a toll on your hormones and hampers your body’s ability to regenerate healthy cells = FAT GAIN.
What do you think of these clues? What about the 10 Ways To Getting Rid Of Body Fat? Agree? Disagree? Have others?
Be sure to visit the author here: Brad Rudner
Brad Rudner was a wilderness guide, adventure athlete, and a teacher before he became a clinical trainer with anti-aging and diagnostic medical devices. However, shortly after he became a father, Brad found himself 50lbs overweight and was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. Rejecting the notion that he was “over the hill” and a bystander to his condition, he dedicated himself to a holistic lifestyle. He learned how to thrive without medication and lost all the weight he had put on. Brad now consults wellness clinics, strives empowers to educate by writings about health and is a certified Transformational Nutrition Coach. Find him here: http://bradrudner.com