Feeling like you’re doing all the right things at the gym, but can’t seem to get rid of your belly fat? More workouts are not the answer.
Stress is all around us, but if your body is overloaded with it from all areas of your life, then your body may be signaling you to pay attention with a little extra around your midsection.
These 4 common culprits could be why you’re not seeing the results you want. Are you ready to listen?
# – Inflammatory Foods
The majority of people have no idea what foods are causing inflammation in their body. As a society, we have become used to living below optimal. Indigestion, stomach upset, bloating, skin rashes, joint pain, are just part of our normal state. Sometimes we don’t even recognize symptoms as symptoms at all!
The absolute best way to find out what foods you are intolerant is to eliminate common inflammatory foods. There is certainly a place for allergy tests, but one of the best thing we can do to achieve better long-term health is to begin getting to know own body. There is a wonderful freedom in knowing what works for your own body; what foods give you energy, which foods take them away, what foods make you hold on to weight, and what foods allow you to feel light.
Common inflammatory foods and a great place to begin are gluten, soy, dairy.
#2 – When you Eat
For the most part, we tend to eat in a very backward way. Backward in terms of our bodies natural rhythms. If we look at our bodies circadian rhythm, which are based on nature, we see that in the morning our metabolism begins to wake up, and it peaks at around 12 pm, it then begins to slowly decline as the day goes on.
Yet, for most of us our first few meals of the day are quite small, and lacking in nutrition, whereas our dinner is our largest meal of the day.
How many of you take the time to sit down and eat breakfast?
How many of you feel that dinner becomes the biggest meal of the day because it is the only time of the day that you actually sit down and enjoy your food?
So, it’s important to become aware of when we eat our biggest meal of the day. Listening to our bodies innate wisdom could have a significant impact on the way we feel, our digestion, and being able to get rid of excess fat stores.
#3 – Macronutrients
I think that we can all agree that what we eat plays a huge role in our bodies metabolism.
Now, I’m not going to chat about eating organic and choosing better quality foods because I think most of you have heard all of this information before.
However, our ratios of macronutrients are incredibly important in order to get the most of a healthy diet, not only in terms of weight loss but also in terms of balancing our hormones and blood sugar throughout the day.
Lack of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates at any given meal, can translate to grogginess, inability to focus, anxiety, binging, cravings and cold hands and feet.
Here are some examples of what I mean: If you eat a salad for lunch, but skip the protein (chicken, beef, legumes) you may be hungry in an hour and feel like sleeping at your desk come 2 pm. If you have an apple for a snack, rather than an apple along with some protein and fat (nut butter), you may actually feel hungrier afterward or experience a crash in your energy levels shortly thereafter.
#4 – Sleep Better
Just as our bodies are generally pre-programed to be more active during the hours of sunlight, we are also programmed to feel low key and tired as the sun begins to set.
At sunset, our cortisol levels begin to drop naturally and our body begins to wind down and get ready for sleep.
If we constantly ignore this inner guide, we may have a really hard time winding down and getting a good night’s rest.
Ideally, you want to start winding down about an hour before bedtime, so that you avoid the dreaded tossing and turning when you hit the sack no later than 10 pm.
So what does all of this have to do with weight loss and a flatter belly? Everything! Cortisol is a stress hormone that is secreted in excess when we are constantly in stress mode. Cortisol makes us hold on to excess fat stores, plays a big role in thyroid health.
Now, it’s certainly easier said than done to make all these changes at once, so don’t! Commit to making one small change at a time, so that it feels sustainable in your life. Some examples: start your bedtime routine just 30min earlier this week, and set an alarm to remind you. Replace bread in your morning breakfast with a veggie omelet. Pack a Ziploc bag of nuts and seeds that you can store in your desk. Pack a bigger lunch with some healthy carbs, and cut your dinner portion to 1 handful of protein and two large handfuls of greens.
Have a fabulous day!