It’s the one area us women always worry about! Belly fat!
There are contributing factors to gaining belly fat and even though you’re doing everything right to lose weight overall, there are a few more things to consider that might be stopping you getting that flat tummy you’re dreaming of.
Problem: Not getting enough beauty sleep
Believe it or not, a lack of sleep can do more than just make you grumpy in the mornings. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces a more grehlin, (the hormone that triggers hunger) and less leptin (the hormone that makes us feel full). This means that you may feel more hungry and not full enough even after you’ve eaten. Do your friends often call you “hangry”? That’s where that comes from – tiredness and hunger all in one!
Solution: Aim to get around 8 hours sleep each night. Try to get into a nighttime routine and stay away from caffeine. If you like a hot drink before bed, try a cup of herbal tea. Switch off, put down your phone, tablet or laptop. Technology is known to have a negative impact on sleep.
If you feel like you’re losing weight but still have belly fat, then stress could be the issue. It’s ok to be stressed from time to time, but constant stress can make it difficult to lose weight. When you’re stressed, your body releases a hormone called cortisol, constant stress leads to high cortisol levels, meaning your body is constantly in fight or flight mode and may not have a chance to relax making it difficult to digest food.
Stress also leads to binge eating and over indulging on highly processed foods.
Solution: Sometimes it’s hard to avoid stress but learning to manage it is a start. If you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed, find things that calm you down. These can be things like a taking a long walk, meditating, catching up with friends or reading a book. Instead of reaching for comfort foods, try to deal with stress in a more positive way.
Problem: You’re not doing the right type of training
A lot of people associate cardio with weight loss and fat burning. Walking, running and cycling can certainly burn calories and lead to fat loss. But cardio done on it’s own may not be the best solution to losing belly fat.
HIIT and resistance training can provide you with an afterburn effect, meaning you body may continue to burn fat in the hours after your workout. So don’t be afraid of lifting weights!
Try to incorporate a mixture of HIIT, resistance or weight training AND cardio into your workout routine. Not only will mixing up your routine give you better results, it makes working out more fun too.
Problem: Too much processed food
Sure, they taste good, but fatty foods such as chocolate, crisps and deep fried foods are high in saturated and trans (bad) fats. When you compare these fats to carbohydrates and protein, they have a far weaker effect on keeping you feeling full after you’ve eaten. This means it’s very easy to overeat these fatty foods. Snacking on these types of foods every so often may not seem like a bad thing, but if you’re serious about flattening your tummy, then it’s time to look at how often you eat them.
Solution: Where possible, stay away from fatty, highly processed foods. Instead, get your fats from good sources such as nuts, avocado and fish in healthy, balanced amounts.
You CAN do it. Don’t give up, be patient with yourself and your body. As I always say, no two people are the same, so don’t compare your progress to someone else. Instead, focus on YOU and how far YOU have come.
Ruthie H x
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