As a woman progresses in her later years, aka her menopause years, she loses estrogen. One frustrating consequence of this lost estrogen is that the normal contours of her body change. What she now finds that instead of weight settling on her hips, it goes to straight to her belly.
In other words, fat releases hormones that vary depending on where the fat is located. You may despise the fat that clings to your thighs, but research suggests that the hormones produced there provide a health benefit. “We don’t know all the details,” says Dr. Smith, “but it is clear that the fat in the hips, and particularly in the thighs, protects against some of the health consequences of obesity, such as diabetes, by producing substances that increase insulin sensitivity.” Visceral fat, on the other hand, is known to produce inflammatory agents that can, over time, increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and breast and colorectal cancers.
Tuomas Kilpeläinen, PhD, assistant professor, The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, Copenhagen University; former epidemiologist, Institute of Metabolic Science, Medical Research Council, Cambridge, U.K.
Fermented foods like miso, tempeh and sauerkraut contain probiotics, a.k.a. friendly bacteria that help boost immunity, regulate gut function and banish bloat. Unsweetened plain Greek yogurt and skyr can provide probiotic benefits too. Choose ones that have five strains or more of bacterial cultures per 6-ounce serving.
When your body is low on calcium, it produces a hormone that signals the body to store visceral fat. Meeting your recommended daily calcium needs (that’s 1,000 milligrams for adults) can help reduce levels of this hormone. And a recent study published in Obesity Research found that calcium from dairy has a stronger effect than calcium from other sources. I recommend eating low-fat Greek yogurt as a daily snack (just six ounces contain about 20 percent of your recommended dietary allowance for calcium), though any low-fat dairy will do.
3. Get a multivitamin – When your body has all it needs to function as best as it possibly can, it burns belly fat much easier. Get a multi-mineral multivitamin to supplement whatever vitamins you are lacking or deficient in.
Kim Nunley has been screenwriting and working as an online health and fitness writer since 2005. She’s had multiple short screenplays produced and her feature scripts have placed at the Austin Film Festival. Prior to writing full-time, she worked as a strength coach, athletic coach and college instructor. She holds a master’s degree in kinesiology from California State University, Fullerton.
Why is this? Because of the fat! If a heavy woman does hundreds of crunches a day, she may develop strong abs, and they might tighten up a bit, but they’ll still be hidden by fat, and she won’t look any thinner.
Alcohol can also inhibit your body’s production of fat-burning hormones. Carbonated beverages contain gas and hence after consuming them you end up naturally with more gas in your GI tract, leading to bloating.
Stress makes your body produce cortisol, known as “the stress hormone,” which depletes lean muscle and makes your body hold on to fat in the abdominal region. It also enlarges your fat cells, allowing them to store more fat. One of the most important strategies for addressing elevated cortisol levels is to reduce stress in your life. My favorite technique for addressing day-to-day stress is the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), which is the largest and most popular version of energy psychology.
It is important to note that these recommendations appear to be useful for most that are struggling with insulin or leptin resistance (overweight, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol ratios, or diabetes). If you don’t struggle with insulin/leptin resistance, then it would be wise to have a higher percentage of carbs and lower percentage of fat.
Set a goal first, like one or two pounds per week. Eat more in the morning than in the afternoon and evening. Drink a glass of water before eating so you feel full faster. Also, try exercising before you eat in the morning.
This is what you call the rolling plank exercise. Lie down on the mat or floor sideways. Support your body on right elbow and right leg. The elbow should then be perpendicular to your shoulder and your left leg should be above your right leg, making sure they are together. Keep the knees straight. The hips should also not be touching the ground. Hold this posture for about 30 seconds. Once you are comfortable, you can hold this position for about one to two minutes.
We don’t really need science to tell us that squatting burns more energy than biceps curling, but research has confirmed that exercises that involve large muscle groups burn more energy–both during and after training–than exercises that involve smaller ones.