Summer is fast approaching, and with it comes the two most dreaded words in the English language.
There’s nothing like a bathing suit to perfectly accentuate the amount of belly fat you have accumulated.
But it doesn’t have to be that way for you!
Because there are ways to help melt away that belly blubber and get the nice, flat stomach you’ve always wanted.
Let’s look at what’s causing that spare tire or muffin top of yours and how you can get rid of it for good!
Common blubber builders
Belly fat is most commonly the result of these two things:
- Eating too many refined carbs and sugars, especially anything with high fructose corn syrup (soda is the #1 offender here). Unlike other sugars, HFCS cannot be used for energy and turns to pure fat.
- Lack of exercise. Specifically, cardio activities like brisk walking, jogging, running, kickboxing, cycling and swimming—activities that raise your heart rate.
The answers here are obvious—stick to proteins and fresh vegetables for your meals, avoid the refined carbs as much as possible, and work up a sweat at least four days a week.
But unfortunately, there are two other sneaky blubber builders that may be at work behind the scenes adding to your waistline, and unless you address them, sadly your pooch will continue to be a part of you…
Sneaky blubber builders
If you’ve consistently been avoiding sugary, starchy carbs, are diligent about exercise and STILL can’t lose your belly fat, you may be looking at one or both of the sneaky blubber builders.
A sluggish thyroid and elevated cortisol.
Here’s the scoop on both of those:
Pooped out thyroid
If your thyroid is in the tanker, you can eat healthy and exercise until the cows come home but you will still be watching your waistline expand!
And your energy will probably be non-existent too.
If you suspect thyroid issues, start by seeing a doctor and getting a complete thyroid workup—not just a TSH test. The TSH is a snapshot test that is more of a measure of pituitary function than thyroid function.
Ask for these thyroid tests as well:
- Free T4 and Free T3
- Thyroid Antibody Testing
- TRH Stimulation Test (aka TRH Challenge test)
- Reverse T3
If thyroid hormone replacement is recommended to you, there two options:
Synthetic hormones (such as Synthroid)—which contains only one thyroid hormone (T4).
Bioidentical thyroid hormones (such as Nature-Throid)—these are made from desiccated pig thyroid glands and contain the complete range of thyroid hormones (T1, T2, T3 and T4). These are BY FAR the best choice.
If your doctor is unfamiliar with bioidentical hormones, ask him to research them, or find a doctor who is familiar with them.
Now let’s talk about…
Elevated cortisol levels
Cortisol is one of your stress hormones—it’s behind the scenes when your brain senses stress, your sympathetic nervous system gets triggered and your body prepares for a fight-or-flight reaction.
Cortisol’s job is to ensure your body has enough energy to cope with the danger it perceives.
This is important because in a REAL situation, you would want to have the energy you need to be able to run for help or fight to escape danger.
But the problem arises when stress is an everyday occurrence for you—then cortisol levels are elevated and remain high.
When this happens, in addition to weight gain you may also be looking at suppressed immune function, type 2 diabetes, insomnia, depression and heart disease!
If stress is your constant companion, chances are good you may be dealing with elevated cortisol. Here are some ways you can fight back:
Avoid refined carbs
Just like I mentioned above, avoiding refined carbs is essential. They stir up inflammation and can contribute to high cortisol levels and other hormonal imbalances, as well as open the door for type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
Do whatever it takes to reduce your stress load.
Regular exercise is a great natural stress reducer, but you can also try deep breathing, meditation, therapy, acupuncture (my go-to during stressful times), prayer and essential oils (especially lavender).
You can also consider adopting a pet! Research has repeatedly shown that pets are very comforting and can help ease stress.
And if it’s a job or a relationship that is causing your stress, well, it may be time to make a change.
Support a healthy gut microbiome
Your gut microbiome plays a huge role in the amount of blubber you carry, and unfortunately, it takes a harmful hit when you’re under stress and cortisol levels are high.
When your gut microbiome is out of balance, your immune function is weakened; your digestion is hampered (which can also help pack the pounds on you); nutrient absorption is reduced (which makes you overeat since you’re not properly nourished); and harmful yeasts can proliferate (which will make you crave carbs and gain even more weight!).
The smartest way to support a healthier gut environment is to help repopulate your “army” of protective bacteria with a full-spectrum multi-strain probiotic formula like Super Shield.
Super Shield’s effective blend of 13 strains of helpful bacteria contains both Bifidobacterium (which colonize in the large intestine) and Lactobacillus (which colonize in the small intestine), so your entire system is covered!
Plus each strain has its own “specialty” in how it supports your health from head to toe.
Try ashwagandha supplements
Ashwagandha has been used for centuries in natural medicine to help the body deal with stress. It has been shown to not only help reduce cortisol, but also heart rate, C-reactive protein and blood pressure too!
Now you are on the road to that nice flat belly you’ve always wanted, as well as a stronger overall state of health!
To your health,