Posted on December 16 2019
Let’s talk belly fat! Because 70% of the clients I meet just want to reduce belly fat.
Now it is important to understand that the body decides where to lose fat from once you start exercising and eat right. No, spot reduction is not possible people! So the hours you spend on working those abs will not help you with belly fat reduction, I am sorry :(. You can however spot tone muscle fibres. So, for instance of you work really hard on your upper body and not enough on your legs, you will develop more strength and muscle fibres on your upper body. We see this in the gym all the time with guys having huge biceps/ chest but with chicken legs.
So once you lose all the belly fat and want to tone up your abs, the core training workouts will marginally help. So now that we understand spot reduction will not help, how do we go about reducing belly fat.
Well first understand women tend to carry more fat around the lower abs/ hips and thighs just because its biology. A women body is designed to procreate and the extra layer of fat around the belly will help you carry a baby safe. Men tend to carry a layer of fat around the lower back instead because through the generations men were the gender working in agriculture and outdoors and an extra layer of fat around the lower back is protective and helpful to work long hours with a bent back.
A little bit tiny layer of muffin top is healthy and good for you and OKEY! With a little bit of strategic training and understanding hormones will help you however get rid of it if you do want to.
Belly fat storage has been linked with high cortisol levels. Cortisol is the stress hormone released by the body in response to external or internal stress detected by the brain. External stress factors could be things like work pressure, relationship and family pressure, long work hours etc. Internal stress could be caused by not eating for long hours, hormonal imbalance in the body, lack of sleep/ rest etc. Cortisol receptors are stored around the belly and the more the release of cortisol, the more it goes and sits around the belly. This cortisol will then hold onto any fat from the food you eat and store it instead of using it as a source of energy.
Thus, you see a lot of people with lean limbs but a lot of fat around the belly. To reduce belly fat, reduce cortisol. My top ten tips to reduce cortisol is a whole different blog post I will write about soon. But external stress is not always in our control, we can however control internal stress. Taking steps like eating enough micro nutrients so that the body can repair itself, sleeping well, and not injecting toxins such as meat/ dairy are some of the ways we can control cortisol activity. Watch out to my article of some easy to follow tips to naturally reduce cortisol also soon.
The other way to help fight belly fat is by adding strategic cardio to your fitness routine.
Watch this video to learn more
Eating less processed food and more clean natural food like fruits and vegetables also helps! The more you stay away form packaged and process food, the lesser toxins you put into your body and easier it is for the body to digest. A lot of times what you think is belly fat might really just be water retention by the body and a bloated belly instead.