Kathy From Montana Writes:
I have been following your anti-inflammatory diet for over 6 months with exercise and I have already lost 47 pounds. However, I still have some fat around my belly. Is there anything else that I can do?
First off…Great work on losing 47 pounds! That is really great! I know it can be frustrating when it comes to losing that extra fat that is hanging around the mid-section. The fact that you are eating following the anti-inflammatory way is great. That is the foundation. Exercise at some level is a must as well. It seems that you have that in order. The number 1 reason people can’t lose the belly fat is their hormones are imbalanced. The key hormones for belly fat are found primarily in cortisol and estrogen. Cortsiol is a stress hormone that is produced by our adrenal glands. When we don’t sleep, have wrong eating habits, and are under constant emotional or physical stress, our cortisol levels can skyrocket. Also, estrogen can be a culprit. Estrogen comes in three types and they all focus depositing fat in specific areas. Estriol, estrone, and estradiol are the primary estrogens that we typically see. It is always a good idea to have all three checked if you are concerned about excessive fat deposits and getting a lean, toned body. Estrogen is the primary female hormone but men have it as well. Any overabundance of this hormone can lead to excessive fat gain.
So what do you do? Here are some basic tips that can help support healthy cortisol levels and estrogen metabolism.
1. Eat more fat
Eating about 30% of your daily calories in monounsaturated fats has been proven to stabilize cortisol and support healthy hormone function
2. Drink Green Tea
Green tea helps cortisol stabilize and has been shown to help in a reduction of belly fat.
3. Add Cruciferous Vegetables
Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc all have iodole-3-carbinol which help regulate estrogen metabolism.
4. Exercise at Higher Intensity
HIIT style training at higher level of intensity can reduce cortisol long-term, and increase healthy hormones.
5.Get Better Sleep
Getting to bed before midnight increases our sleep cycles. The better we sleep, the better our hormone levels and cortisol is reduced.