Why women are Gaining More Belly Fat
As a general rule men tend to accumulate fat in the abdominal region. Women tend to gain fat in their thighs and butt because that is where more fat receptors are found.
In recent years trends of women gaining more abdominal fat have led researchers to ask: Why are women gaining more abdominal fat than they have in the past?
We know that society as a whole is getting fatter due to a number of reasons such as too many convenience foods and a lack of physical exercise but why are women gaining more belly fat?
Common Causes of Belly Fat
This happens when Blood Sugar is high for an extended period of time. Muscle cells have insulin receptors and Insulin is like the key to those muscle cells and When insulin no longer binds with the receptor it becomes resistant.
Steps you can take to improve insulin Sensitivity
Avoid High Sugar Foods and space out meals/snacks
Keeping Blood Sugar elevated for extended periods of time appears to play a role in insulin resistance. In our environments we have constant access to food. Every time I go to a gathering, there are pastries, cookies, or some high sugar food available. Even if we are not hungry, it can be tempting to sample all the goodies available.
My guideline is that unless the food is really humming to you, then you should move on. I also advise people to avoid the constant grazing that goes on due to the availability of so much food.
Aerobic exercise and resistance training both help cells become more sensitive to insulin.
Metabolic syndrome is characterized by:
- High Blood Pressure
- High Blood Sugar
- High Triglycerides
- High Cholesterol
Steps you can take to avoid or metabolic syndrome
Eat Fresh Foods: Fresh is Best
Get at least 150 minutes of exercise per week
We know this already but is there something else?
Yes and it is called stress.
I believe that the major difference between now and 50 years ago is that women are under much more stress. We’ve been sold a bill of goods that we are supposed to be superwomen who do it all and not miss a beat. Sadly this has taken a toll on our mental health and now it is manifesting in our physical health as well.
Cortisol is a stress hormone and guess where most of the receptors are found? You guessed it: In the abdominal region.
As a Healthy Lifestyle and Wellness advocate, I believe that women need a change in mindset. We must let go of the idea of being superwoman and have more realistic expectations.
Establish Firm Boundaries
You cannot be everywhere and do everything at the same time. I loved it when Michelle Obama said leaning in did not work. If you are leaning in at work, then are you leaning in at home too? Unless you’re recreating Michael Jackson’s smooth criminal lean, then you will lean in so that much that you will fall right on your face!
Everyone needs boundaries. What works for your life? Do you need to put the phones away after 9 p.m.? Are you completely off the grid one day per week?
I make sure I have at least one day where I am not training or working. I may be doing other things but that is a boundary that I have firmly in place.
SAY NO more often
Once you have your boundaries established, then you can begin to say NO to people, places, and things that cross those boundaries.
I have a wonderful client who says NO to requests on the daily. She has her personal boundaries for what works for her health and her lifestyle. She does not allow herself to become an unnecessary martyr for other people’s causes by sacrificing her health.
Well what if people get angry?
Then they will just have to get angry. Women are groomed from young ages to people please and feel guilty when they say No. Once you start saying NO regularly, then it becomes much easier.
Learn to move on if something isn’t working
Many women are overcommitted.
Some of this is because we have a lot of interests, but I firmly believe that a lot of it is because we don’t know how to move on if something isn’t the right fit for us and our life. It’s the old guilt and people pleasing rearing it’s ugly head.
There are times when I have done my mid year review that I was honest with myself about what I needed to move on from. If someone asks why, then I say: “I decided to move in a different direction because it wasn’t the right fit for me.”
Don’t be afraid to acknowledge and move on if something isn’t working.
Let go of the idea of perfect
This is one of my coaching pillars.
Advertisements, Celebrities, and social media have all sold us a Bill of Goods that we are going to have the careers of Jeff Bezos, the homemaking skills of Martha Stewart, and look like Jennifer Lopez in the process!
There is no perfect.
Competing and curating a perfect life to show on Instagram or in a women’s group is far too stressful. It’s a game that you cannot win.
Do your best and let the chips fall where they may.
Manage your Energy
The client that I mentioned earlier has very firm boundaries about rest and sleep. This is one way that she manages her energy. Lack of sleep is the gateway into overeating, depression, anxiety, and some studies have linked lack of sleep to Alzheimer’s disease.
ASK FOR HELP
One of the best ways to manage your energy is to ask for help. Being self employed, I learned early on that I could not do everything and be productive. You must learn to ask for help when you need it. Americans love the idea of the Lone Ranger who does it all by themselves but it’s just not true. Even those who seem to “have it all” have teams that help them get the job done.
DON’T FEEL GUILTY ABOUT TAKING TIME OFF
We’ve trained ourselves to believe that if we aren’t busy every moment of the day then we are doing something wrong. Don’t feel guilty about taking time off and don’t feel guilty about doing nothing. Just like in exercise, time off for recovery and repair is critical in order to grow and becom e stronger.
Stress Management is just as important as nutrition and exercise
For years we have told people that the key to fat loss is eat less and move more. That is a simplified version of what it actually takes for permanent and sustained fat loss. My personal keys (in this order) are:
- Mindset: Address your emotional issues with food
- Stress Management
Forget the quick fix diets, products, and other crap promising a flat stomach. Begin to manage these 5 keys and see sustainable results!
Your Life depends on it!
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