When exercise and dieting are not enough to fight stubborn fat 1

You may be among the many people struggling with the inability to remove fat from around your stomach despite following an excellent diet and exercise plan. Why? Because sometimes losing weight is about more than just following a healthy meal plan. Other factors for losing weight may get in the way.

When exercise and dieting are not enough to fight stubborn fat

An apple a day (Photo: Natasia Causse/Flickr.com)

An apple a day (Photo: Natasia Causse/Flickr.com)

Hormonal imbalances

Stomach fat is not the only part of your body, which is controlled by hormones, but it is the most sensitive. If your hormones control your stomach fat, it will not matter how you exercise because the extra fat will not disappear. This usually happens because of a hormone called cortisol. According to the NCBI, cortisol that is induced by stress may cause weight gain.

The moment you are in a stressful situation this hormone is produced and creates the ‘flight or fight’ syndrome. Your body undergoes several changes to ensure it is ready to deal with the stressful situation. Unfortunately, your body cannot do this indefinitely. It is designed to produce cortisol in small amounts not to continue producing this hormone hour after hour.

The changes in your body triggered by the release of this hormone should be temporary, a brief alteration before returning to normal levels. Sadly, stress is a huge influence on many people’s lives. You can spend half your day continuously stressed at work causing your body to endlessly pump cortisol into your system.

Cortisol helps build fat deposits

When this occurs, you have a problem. Cortisol has turned off the normal body reactions and replaced them with an emergency response routine. Your body then focuses all its energy on the situation in hand. Continuous high cortisol levels will result in changes to your metabolic rate. If your metabolic rate slows, it is highly likely that you will gain stomach fat. This fat will be difficult to shift. Yale University recently carried out a survey and found that women with high cortisol levels also had more stomach fat.

“We also found that women with greater abdominal fat had more negative moods and higher levels of life stress,” said Elissa S. Epel, Ph.D., lead investigator on the Yale study.

Blueberries (Photo: Robert Benner / Creative Commons Flickr.com)

Blueberries (Photo: Robert Benner / Creative Commons Flickr.com)

Knowing whether your Cortisol levels are high

There are three easy to spot pointers, which can indicate high cortisol levels and a reason for the stubborn stomach fat not shifting.

  1. Sleep

According to recent discoveries, people who don’t get at least eight hours sleep a night are more likely to be stressed and vulnerable to a variety of infections. Adequate sleep is also essential to maximize your health and even assist with burning fat! Books can help you get to sleep and darkness is a great help in obtaining a good night’s sleep.

  1. Tiredness

Everyone has moments when they feel tired or overwhelmed. However, if you are feeling tired all the time, it is your body’s way of telling you that you don’t have enough time to recover. It is highly likely that you have been operating under stressful conditions and still have cortisol in your body. Attempting to work through this will increase your cortisol levels and make your tiredness worse.

  1. Coffee

If you have to consume a cup of coffee in the morning just to get going, it means you’re not rested enough. Caffeine is a stimulant that boosts cortisol production. It is also addictive. An excellent way of cutting down on caffeine is to switch to green tea.

All of the above-mentioned guidelines will increase your cortisol levels and help you to retain stomach fat. The answer is at least simple – rest! Rest will reduce your levels of cortisol and allow you to tackle those stubborn fat deposits.

Pumpkin seeds (Photo:  TimLewisnm / Flickr.com)

Pumpkin seeds (Photo: TimLewisnm / Creative Commons Flickr.com)

Cortisol levels can also be reduced via the food we eat. The following are excellent for this:

  • Increase your consumption of spinach since it contains magnesium it has calming properties. It is also very high in many nutrients such as potassium, vitamin A, and K.
  • Eat more citrus fruits because citrus fruits help fight weight gain and type 2 diabetes.
  • Ensure you consume enough Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Get your recommended daily amount of zinc. Seafood, wheat germ, spinach, pumpkin seeds, cocoa, chocolate, mushrooms and beans are excellent for this
  • 70% or higher dark chocolate! Dark chocolate will slow the secretion of cortisol as well as decreasing inflammation. Consumed in moderation.

From the above-mentioned lines, we deduce that exercise and food may not be enough to help you get the dream body that you’ve always wanted. It is equally important to tackle hormonal imbalances and supplement your body with missing vitamins and minerals in order to lose stubborn fat and look like a million dollars this summer.

Peter Smith

Peter Smith


Author Bio: Peter Smith writes about health and fitness related issues, which he has a deep knowledge in this field. Also, he writes for a site http://www.nuique.com, which offers vegan omega 3 supplements and other natural health products.

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Ditch coffee and soda for a cup of tea


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