April 23, 2014

Hello, I am Angela Pifer creator of the Clean & Lean Revolution

Here is your question today: True or False: To Get Rid Of My Extra Belly Fat, I Need To Work Out A Lot More And Eat a Lot Less Calories

It doesn’t matter if you are thin or heavy; having a waist to hip ratio larger than .8 indicates that there is something shifting with you hormones. You can be thin or even underweight and still carry the unhealthy side effects of being overweight if you are carrying too much weight around the belly.

Ask any menopausal women about how their proportions have changes since menopause and they will tell you first hand the effects of declining estrogen and progesterone and increasing cortisol and the resulting insulin resistance from the chronic production or cortisol.

Having a higher waist to hip ratio can happen to any adult women or man, at any age,  who is experiencing chronic stress. Getting rid of stubborn belly fat is not as simple as losing or gaining weight. One of the main driving forces around accumulating belly fat is higher cortisol production. Dropping calories too drastically and working out too much will actually exacerbate the issue. So, the answer to the question is FALSE: To Get Rid Of My Extra Belly Fat, I Need To Work Out More And Eat Less Calories.

These are both seen as further stress on the system. Stress triggers cortisol release and increases insulin resistance. Yes, I want you to move each day. But instead of focusing on intense workouts, I want you to focus on walking and yoga (but not hot yoga – hot yoga is an adrenal stimulant and we definitely don’t want the adrenals over stimulated).

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This is such an important point to drive home. If you are making a huge effort around weight loss and you are not seeing your belly fat budge or you are even seeing it increase, your main issue is NOT whether you are eating too many carbs, or too little protein or too many calories, for that matter. Your main issue is stress management. You are likely not sleeping well, you are over thinking and overworking yourself and you are not finding enough moments each day to hit the pause button.

What we know about women specifically, is when they are in this ‘go, go, go’ hyper-vigilant state, that they become even more reactive to stress and less able to adapt to stress within their environment. This becomes a very negative feed forward cycle on their health.

If this is hitting home, I also recommend that you throw out your scale. Watching the number on the scale is going to add to the anxiety and stress state. For you, the best way to assess your progress is to monitor how your clothes are fitting and to measure your waist to hip ratio once a month. When you start to see this shift down, you will know that you are on the right track with your goals.

My best advice to you is that you start with your sleep routine. Carve out an extra hour prior to bed, to wind down and relax. Shut off all electronics and spend some time relaxing, listening to soft music and perhaps taking an Epsom salt bath.

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