Fat around our midsection has a different metabolic predisposition for hormones. It responds and stores cortisol when we are under stress. (As women pass the age of menopause and as men pass testeropause there are very dynamic changes that take place in our body chemistry. This results in belly fat EXCEPT for those who remain physically active all their life.)
Our bodies are created by our creator to handle stress, but not continual stress. We must have time to recover. (As stress becomes continual, the body begins to produce cortisol in its efforts to try and repair some of the damage and injury being done. Slowly the body begins to store cortisol because it cannot convert it to a usable source while the stress is going on. Guess where this cortisol is stored? It is stored as belly fat.)
A 1995 study showed that people who run high levels of cortisol in their saliva tests tend to have belly fat (even if they are otherwise thin people). (A study in 2003 Journal of Scandinavia revealed that alcohol also raised the response of cortisol. Alcohol is a liver toxin and inhibits the body from using and metabolizing fat.) (A high carbohydrate diet –not good carbs like fruit and vegetables but processed carbs like cookies, bread, pastry, pasta – also causes cortisol levels to climb. On the other hand, high protein and complex carbohydrate vegetables are benefits causing cortisol to be used up.)
Our body converts stored cortisol into a healing nutrient in deep sleep. The problem arises when we don’t get that deep sleep to allow the body to convert it and heal the injuries of the day.(Cutting-edge sleep researchers are learning that our round-the-clock schedules may deteriorate our health in surprising ways. While scientists don’t yet know why, studies continue to show that those who don’t get enough deep restful sleep tend to gain weight.)
Belly fat is cruel fat because it forms not only on the outside (called subcutaneous fat which lies directly beneath the skin and on top of the abdominal muscles), but also on the inside of the abdomen putting pressure on internal organs. (This is called visceral fat, and that lies deeper in the abdomen beneath your muscle and surrounding your organs.) Visceral fat also plays a role in giving certain men that “beer belly” appearance where their abdomen protrudes excessively but at the same time, also feels sort of hard if you push on it.
“Both areas of fat greatly increase the risk your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, sleep apnea, various forms of cancer, and other degenerative diseases. Excess belly fat has been associated in studies with higher levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), an indicator of inflammation within the body that can lead to heart disease.” ~ Mike Geary
“Part of the reason
Visceral Fat is particularly dangerous
is that it apparently releases more inflammatory molecules into your system on a consistent basis.” ~ Mike Geary, Certified Nutrition Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer
Belly Fat Loss Tips
An article I read by Jon Benson gave 5 excellent tips on preventing and overcoming belly fat.
Flip The Food Pyramid Upside-down
Jon believes the USDA’s Food Pyramid is an utter joke.
Just think about this for a moment, he says, “The USDA wants you to eat (gasp) MORE starch than vegetables? More bread than fruits, lean meats, and healthy fats?”
Can The Sodas (yes, even “diet” sodas)
… yes, DIET-sodas. Need I say “real” sodas too? They are loaded with sugar. Why diet-sodas? A recent study revealed that people who drank diet sodas actually increased body fat when compared to those who drank sugar sodas.
God says our bodies are fearfully and wonderfully made, and it appears by research that they don’t seem to be fooled by aspartame and chemicals.
We need to choose water as our beverage of choice. Jon Benson recommends a quart of pure water per 50 lbs of body weight a day. I have always recommended taking your body weight and dividing that by two and drinking that number of ounces of water.
Benson says he mixes his water with lemon and a bit of Stevia (an herbal sweetener) and makes lemonade. He says it’s wonderful!
Ditch The Starch
Starches, such as rice, potatoes, cereals, oats, etc. are often considered “health foods.”
These can be healthy in some cases, but they can also pack on some belly fat quickly if you overdo them. Benson suggests taking a “weekly” approach to foods rather than a daily approach. This keeps your metabolism guessing.
(Whole grain bread is better than white flour bread by far, but it should be limited too. Ezekiel Bread is one of the best. And mothers, please watch what you feed your children as you are developing their habits right now. A child left to his own choices will make some very bad ones. Sadly, the more bad choices he makes or is given, the more the child is training his body to call for those bad foods. ~ Dani)
It is okay to be hungry. In fact, Benson says it is good to stay hungry. “I want you to stay hungry in two ways: In how you workout and literally… stay a bit hungry before you go to bed. Not “starving”… just a bit hungry.
“As far as staying hungry at night? Check with your doctor and if he/she okays it take 500mg of potassium and 1000mg of magnesium/calcium a few hours prior to bed. This helps with the hunger pangs. Also, keep hard-boiled eggs in the fridge for a healthy source of protein and healthy fats. If you get really hungry, eat one at night. It keeps me full for an hour at least.” ~ Jon Benson, author of Fit Over 40. Here is a link to find out more about a great and inexpensive Potassium, Magnesium product called Chewable Cal Mag
Veggies at Night
“Raw veggies with your last meal and as a snack will really help your fat burning along. I started with red peppers because they’re sweet. Now I eat virtually every veggie raw at night without thinking about it. Give this a shot. The fat loss is well worth it.” ~ Benson article from Jon Benson
Will Belly Fat Make You Dumb?
Taken from an article by Dr. Stephen Chaney
We know of course that abdominal obesity increases our risk of dying from both heart disease and cancer.
Dr. Chaney tells about a recent study that breaks new ground and should jolt us in our tracks. This study showed that abdominal obesity dramatically increases your risk of developing dementia as you age. (RA Whitmer et al, Neurology, 71: 1057-1064, 2008).
Dr. Chaney says: “This study involved 6,583 members of Kaiser Permanente of Northern California, ages 40 to 45, who had their abdominal obesity measured between 1964 and 1973.
The investigators then pulled their medical records between 1994 and 2006 when they were between 73 and 87 years old and asked how many of them had dementia.
The Results May Shock You
The participants were divided into five groups based on their abdominal circumference. Those with the largest abdominal circumference were nearly 3 times more likely to have developed dementia than those with the smallest abdominal circumference.
And that was after the data were adjusted for age, sex, race, education, diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, stroke and heart disease – all factors that are known to affect the risk of dementia.
Abdominal Circumference Was a Better
Predictor of Dementia Risk
Interestingly enough abdominal circumference was a better predictor of dementia risk than was BMI, the most frequently used measure of obesity.
Those subjects who had high abdominal obesity and normal BMI had a 2-fold increased risk of developing dementia, while those subjects who were obese but had normal abdominal circumference had only an 80% increased risk of developing dementia.
Of course, those people who were both obese and had a large belly were the worst off – they had almost a 4-fold increased risk of developing dementia.
Benson says, “Now let’s get to the question that I’m sure that many of you are dying to ask me: “If I don’t like what I see when I look into the mirror, am I doomed to develop dementia when I get older?”
The answer is no. Most experts feel that the effects of abdominal obesity are reversible.
But the time to act is now!
If you wait until you get older, you might just forget that you ever read this article.
Wishing you a life long and strong,
P.S. The link to the Feature Photo giving credit to the author and sharing the excellent artice is: https://www.kolorshealthcare.com/blog/how-to-burn-belly-fat-and-get-a-flat-tummy/