Although you can’t remember the last time a diet actually worked for you it doesn’t seem like there are many other alternatives to help take the weight off and lose the unhealthy belly fat.
There are now hundreds of ways to lose weight and most diets work in the short term when they are followed. The problem is the weight always seems to creep back on and land exactly where you don’t want it to…your tummy.
As a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Certified Cancer Coach and fat loss expert I teach my clients two simple methods for weight loss. Yes, as we move through their journey together things can get a bit more complicated but if you follow the 5 fundamentals below you will be able to
- Regulate your blood sugar levels
- Decrease cortisol (stress hormone)
- Improve digestion
- Have more energy
- Wake up feeling refreshed and ready to start the day
- Choose better quality foods because your food cravings are gone
We’ve all heard before that balancing hormones is a sure fire way to achieve weight loss. It’s true. Hormones like cortisol, insulin, leptin and ghrelin are responsible for regulating your stress response, blood sugar levels and feelings of hunger and satiety (fullness).
When the 4 hormones are unbalanced due to high stress, food cravings, eating processed foods, belly fat, yo-yo dieting and a sedentary lifestyle weight loss proves to be a challenge. Cortisol and insulin love to help us store our left over calories as belly fat for later use.
A rough day, one too many cups of coffee and a bagel all add up to a muffin top hanging over your pants. This is something we seriously want to avoid.
When we have a couple rolls of fat hanging over our pants we tend not to feel as confident or as attractive. Also, belly fat is unhealthy and is one of the major risk factors that can lead to Type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease and increase your risk of certain cancers.
So how do we lose weight and beat the battle of the bulge once and for all?
Before I outline the 5 weight loss fundamentals to shrink belly fat it’s important for us to understand our daily energy needs. This is part one of the 2-part strategy I teach my clients.
Your daily energy needs are the number of calories you need to happily live out each day. This includes adding extra calories for exercise or if you have a physically demanding job. A quick calculation is to add a 0 to your weight.
For example if you weight 150 pounds then you require approximately 1500 calories per day. So whatever weight you are right now, add a zero to it.
Part two of the equation is to evaluate the quality of the calories you eat. Meaning that you avoid high fat, high sugar processed foods and opt for whole foods instead. I believe this is more important then the amount of calories consumed. Still it’s important to know the range of calories you need daily. After all the goal is to lose weight and that isn’t achievable by eating twice the amount your body needs.
Listen, there will always be controversy and conflict regarding the right and wrong way to eat, to lose weight and to reduce belly fat. I’ve learned from working with thousands of people that there are 5 fundamentals that help to balance hormones and promote healthy weight loss.
Fundamental # 1 Eat breakfast within 1 hour of waking up
When you skip breakfast or delay it because there is no time your blood sugar levels drop and you become starving. At that point saying ‘no thank you’ to the cookies or bagels in the workplace kitchen is too hard so make sure you fuel your body within 1 hour of waking.
Fundamental # 2 Add protein and a healthy fat to breakfast
Protein and fat help to balance your blood sugar levels, keep you feeling full and regulate your hormones.
1 cup Greek yogurt (plain) 8-10 nuts (raw)
2 eggs 1-2 tablespoons hemp seeds (protein and fat)
1 scoop protein powder 1 tablespoon coconut oil
Fundamental # 3 Eat every 4 hours
Your meals should be large enough that they fill you up for about 3.5 to 4 hours. When you snack (eating every 2 hours) or nibble throughout the day you don’t allow your body to digest well or utilize the food as energy.
Fundamental # 4 Include a protein source at every meal
Protein is the building block for your immune system and lean muscle mass. Without protein at your meal you are more likely to overeat carbohydrates.
A protein size for females is about 4 ounces and a portion size for males is about 6 ounces.
Fundamental # 5 Choose high fiber carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are not something to be afraid of when you choose the right ones. Stay away from the white processed carbs. Instead opt for carbs that digest slowly because they have at least 5 grams of fiber or more per serving.
Make 5 grams of fiber or more per serving a rule when choosing your carbs.
One last tip: please be patient with your body while losing weight. Losing weight and shrinking belly fat does not happen overnight regardless of what any quick fix diet scheme says. Follow the 5 weight loss fundamentals and you will see your muffin top disappear while you lose weight, reduce your risk of disease and feel healthy and happy.
In good health,
Cheryl Wahl, RHN, CPCC