As you may already know from following my blogs, is that I lost over 100 pounds after years of dieting and fighting with my weight. But, even after losing the weight I still had a really big issue…belly FAT!
Part of the problem was my posture. Standing straight, pulling back and pushing down my shoulders helped a great deal. I was taught through professional dance lessons that my posture had to be correct in order to keep my core stable and this was not natural for me, so even to this day, I have to constantly remind myself to stand erect, not to slouch, etc., but it never dawned on me that 3 key hormones were preventing me from having a flat stomach; Cortisol, Insulin and Estrogen.
Cortisol, Insulin, and Estrogen, when too high, will completely wipe out all your fat burning hormones – (You have 6 naturally accruing fat burning hormones in your body), if you don’t get these three under control.
Cortisol is created when we are stressed. I worked in an industry that had me stressed out 24/7. I had just moved to Florida and the adjustment to living in a new state and new city and finding work that fit my talents and skills and salary expectations was extremely challenging and I had cortisol pumping in my system continuously. So much so, that my sleep was disturbed and I had trouble keeping my weight under control.
Cortisol is created in the adrenal glands right above the kidneys and this is an important hormone, but not when triggered to be released all the time.
This is the hormone that kicks in when we feel under attack and really do have to move quickly to save our lives. But in modern days, our stress comes from things like our kids misbehaving, a horrible boss, marital problems, or trying to live a life where you have to balance many responsibilities. In many of us this hormone is on 24/7. When this hormone is ‘on’ losing weight can be a long hard struggle.
The second hormone is insulin. Insulin is triggered by sugar and it’s main job is to regulate sugar or glucose in the blood. But, when we are not eating properly or at inappropriate times or in quantities that do mot match our body composition requirements, then this hormone becomes out of balance and causes weight gain or it makes losing weight difficult and if not controlled, over time can cause serious health problems like diabetes.
The third hormone is estrogen. Men and women have estrogen in their bodies but having too much can cause not only weight gain, and difficulty losing weight, but it can also cause diseases such as cancer if not regulated. Estregon is also in the food supply; prepackaged diet foods and some protein powdered supplements are tainted with estrogen. Excess estrogen in men shows up as an oversized belly and man boobs! And guys, you don’t want this at all!
So how do you regulate and control these hormones so you can get rid of belly fat? I’ve learned from my celebrity trainer that it takes a system to get amazing abs and a flat belly not just doing one or two things. Here’s the system:
- You’ve got to be eating right, – this includes making sure you are eating clean food from the major food groups; protein, vegetables and healthy fats. Limit fruit intake but, make sure you supplement your diet with antioxidants so your body will still be able to get the benefits of a variety of fruit enzymes. The anti-oxidant formulations I use are Juice Plus+ and Body Balance.
- In addition to eating right, you’ve got to detox your body. Detoxing meaning eliminating sugar from your diet, drinking more water (at least 8-8oz glasses per day or ½ your body weight in ounces), taking a phytonutrient supplement to help your cells pull in nutrients that will help destroy the toxins in your fat cells.
- You’ve got to do at least 30-60 minutes of cardio (the right cardio for your body type) 5-6 days per week. Many guys like to just do strength training, but they forget that doing cardio is equally important.
- Abdominal workouts that focus on strengthening the muscles and flattening the abs are a must. But, done incorrectly can make matters worse. So, get with a trainer who is an expert at abdominal training so you will be doing the exercises correctly.
- Practicing correct posture. Most people have horrible posture. I include myself in this statement and I have to work hard on standing and sitting straight. How you stand and sit will help redirect the position of your abdominal muscles keeping them strong and supportive, thus helping to create flat abs.
- Eliminate night time eating and/or eat at least 2 hours before bed or if you do eat before bed, keep the meal small and clean such as a small piece of protein and a veggie snack or even a small serving of a protein shake.
- Get plenty of sleep. Sleep helps the body produce your anti-aging hormone HGH. HGH keeps your body get and stay strong and helps to speed up your fat burning metabolism. If you get at least 8 hours of sleep per night, you will see your abs getting flatter faster.
I’ve simplified this system for the purpose of explaining the steps and in reality each step can be explained fully and customized based on you as in individual. That’s what nutrition and fitness coaching is all about.
So, back to eating right. How do you know how much protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats you should have? I have a program called the Lean Body Principles that will help you know exactly how to create a nutrition program based on your body composition or body ‘blueprint”. The program is launching in just a few more days so stay tuned! In the mean time, please email me or place a question or comment box below.
I’m so happy to see the comments coming in and welcome them! Thank you so much!
In part 2, I will give one more secret to flat abs that has been around for centuries! Stay tuned!
From My heart to Yours,