10 Factors That Make You More Likely to Store Belly Fat

10 Factors That Make You More Likely to Store Belly Fat

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A little bit of belly fat isn’t such a bad thing. It helps to protect your vital organs, after all!

It’s a fine balancing act though as storing too much belly fat around your abdomen can be dangerous and has been linked to some pretty nasty health problems. We’re talking heart disease, diabetes and even cancer, to name just a few of the things that it may set the scene for.

Some of the culprits are fairly obvious, especially if you’re eating a lot of processed foods and not doing much exercise. There can be some surprising reasons behind belly fat though and these can come into play even if you think you’re living a healthy lifestyle. Here are some of the factors that can make you more likely to store fat in your abdominal area.

You’re Eating Too Much Sugar and Trans Fats

If you eat a diet that contains a lot of processed sugar, you’ll probably be struggling to shift belly fat. According to studies, there is a definite link between the two. This can be largely to do with the fructose content in processed sugars.

Trans fats are another big no-no if you want to avoid belly fat. These are pretty much the worst type of fat you can eat as they promote inflammation and according to studies on animals, they also encourage more fat to be stored on and around your abdomen.

Your Alcohol Intake

You’ve no doubt heard of a “beer belly” and this is something that can affect women too. Depending on how much you drink, it could be the culprit for stubborn belly fat. Some studies have shown that alcohol can make it harder to burn fat and makes it more likely that the extra calories it brings to the party are stored on and around the abdomen. 

You’re On a Low Protein Diet

If you want to stay trim, it’s really important to get enough protein in your diet. Protein helps you to feel more sated and can mean that you consume fewer calories. Low protein diets are also more likely to result in belly fat, people who eat a lot of protein tend to have very little in the way of belly fat.

You Don’t Eat Enough Fibre

If your diet is low in fibre, you can be more likely to store belly fat. Getting plenty of soluble fibre reduces the chances of this. In one particular study that involved over 1,100 men and women, every extra 10g of soluble fibre led to a 32% decrease in how much belly fat was stored. This has a lot to do with the fact that low fibre increases your appetite and belly fat.

You’re Scared of Eating Fat

Fat has had a bad rep and this can put you off eating it. While it’s true that you don’t need a lot of the unhealthier fats, good fats can help you to lose weight and keep belly fat to a minimum.

Monounsaturated fats are one of the good fats and are important for satiety. They’ll help you to feel fuller for longer so you’re less likely to make unhealthy food choices that increase your potential for storing belly fat.

You Have Too Much “Bad” Bacteria in Your Gut

An imbalance of gut bacteria can have an effect on your weight and how much fat you store on your abdomen. If you’re overweight, you’re more likely to have a type of bacteria that can mean that more calories are absorbed from your food.

You’re Stressed

Under a lot of stress? It could be one of the reasons why you’re storing belly fat. The stress hormone, cortisol, can lead to weight gain, especially in the abdominal area. Cortisol often encourages extra calories to be stored as abdominal fat.

You Don’t Sleep Well

If you spend a lot of time tossing and turning in the average night, there’s a much higher chance that you’ll store belly fat. Poor sleep is linked to weight gain in general, it also predisposes you to abdominal weight gain in particular.

You Don’t Get Enough Magnesium

Getting enough magnesium in your diet can lower your blood sugar and insulin levels. That’s not too surprising when you consider that this mighty mineral is involved in over 300 chemical reactions in your body! Some of these reactions have an effect on your body’s ability to burn fat so it can have an indirect impact on your weight.

Your Exercise Isn’t Intense Enough

Not all exercise is equal when it comes to busting belly fat and keeping it off, especially if your workouts aren’t intense enough. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a good option but anything that involves reasonably intense exercise several times per week should help.

As a nutrition coach, I have helped lots of people implement a healthy balanced diet and lifestyle to help shed fat, increase energy and improve their overall well-being. If you have tried to go it alone and haven’t seen the results you had hoped for then maybe I could help you dig a little bit deeper. I can help get to the root cause of the problem while keeping you focused and motivated. When making changes to your diet it’s important that you find a nutrition plan that works for you. I am familiar with many dietary theories so I am best placed to help you find a solution to heal your body.

Like everything in life, it helps to be accountable to someone. So, when the going gets tough, my clients use me to guide and motivate them to push through difficult times. It is important to realise that big changes won’t happen overnight, but investing in your health and well-being now can save you a lot of health issues and complications in the future.

If you are struggling or would like to have a chat with me please book a Free Consultation Call for a time that suits you best.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes,

Christy xx

Better Gut Health & Well-Being

Better Gut Health & Well-Being

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Learning to support your gut and the beneficial bacteria that live there is the best thing you can do for your health.

The good news is that feeding the gut with foods can be fun. Good bacteria love so many delicious fruits, grains, legumes, vegetables, herbs, and spices. Beneficial fats found in butter, olive oil, chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, avocado oil, and coconut oil provide nutrients that nourish the gut and, of course, protein is always needed to build a healthy home for the bacteria.

Maybe you react to certain foods. That is a sign you do not have the needed good bacteria to digest the food properly. Working on your gut health may help you to stop reacting. So, what do you have to lose? Feed your gut and feel the rewards.

In a perfect world, we would all have known more about the beneficial microbes in and on our body and how to look after them. We would know how to feed them, and we would be reaping the amazing health they help us achieve.

Unfortunately, that is not the world we live in, and many of us live with results of poor gut management and the symptoms that go with it – gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, and inflammation.

This is a complex issue, and what we know is that poor gut health is being linked as a factor to every other health condition. No matter what health condition you may have, being nice to your gut microbes should be part of any plan for repair and recovery.

Refined and processed foods:  They do not feed the microbes properly so that they can thrive and protect us.

Antibiotics: They deplete both good and bad bacteria and for some reason, the bad recover faster from antibiotic use than the good.

Other Medications: Corticosteroids, birth control pills, aspirin, ibuprofen, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) interfere with the mucus lining – the home of the good bacteria where they reproduce.

Stress: In today’s world, we run around like crazy with too many activities and responsibilities and it’s taking its toll. Amongst many other things, excess stress depletes good bacteria levels. In return, too much bad bacteria stimulates cortisol production, our main stress hormone.

Poor Sleeping Habits: Our gut bacteria sleep when we sleep, and just one night of no sleep can lower the quality and quantity of our gut microbes. Think about what it must mean when poor- quality sleep occurs night after night for many years.

Bad Digestive Habits: Chewing food properly is key to digesting good food properly. Forty-five per cent of the bacteria in the gut is seeded by the bacteria in the mouth. And to make sure the bacteria is primarily beneficial, we need to secrete lots of antimicrobial saliva to keep the bad bacteria levels low. Chewing stimulates saliva production and we need to chew more.

Exercise: Too little or too much doesn’t help us maintain our good bacteria levels. Moderate exercise on a regular basis is the best option.

What you need to know:

There are two types of beneficial bacteria:

Residential bacteria are native to you, and this is what you need to build and maintain long-term health.

Transient bacteria are found in probiotic supplements and fermented foods – they help while they are there, but they’re just passing through.

Do you suffer from foods sensitivities or allergies?

Food sensitivities are not caused by the food. They are a digestive issue due to lack of enzymes and/or lack of good bacteria. We do not know what strains any one person is missing, but we do know that different strains help us digest different foods. For example, lactose intolerance is due to lack of the good bacteria that helps break down lactose. Improving the quantity and quality of the strains will improve the ability to digest all types of foods.

What is dysbiosis?

It’s the name given to the condition in the gut when there is no longer the right ratio of good bacteria to bad bacteria. The gut should have 85 per cent beneficial microbes. Anything less than this can result in symptoms, and as the ratio gets further out of balance, more symptoms occur. Dysbiosis has been linked to all major health conditions.

It’s residential bacteria that need to be re-established. Probiotic supplements can help in the short term, but the permanent solution is finding the right balance of foods and lifestyle that the gut requires to function at it best on its own.

What do residential bacteria like to eat?

They like fibre like FOS (fructo-oligosaccharides), polyphenols, and resistant starch. Dairy products contain two types of food for bacteria – lactose and GOS (galacto-oligosaccharides) They also function best with lots of vitamins and minerals. So, load up on the fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and dairy products.

The key to a healthy gut is increasing the number and diversity of strains. Different foods feed different strains so variety is the key.

 Instructions: Take a look at the suggestions in each section. Pick the ones that are easiest for you to add to your daily life. Add one at a time if that is what works best for you. The goal is to add more suggestions as you go until you find the right combination for you. Look for your digestive, elimination and energy functions to improve. To view the above table click on this link 3 Best Steps To Better Gut Health and Well.

If you need further help and support please get in touch with me.

Wishing you health and happiness,

Christy x