FIRSTTTTT OF ALL, low body fat does NOT necessarily equate to health. “Healthy” body composition is higher than you think for males and females, and I’m sorry media has made you think the opposite. Personally, I have found that the absolute BEST I’ve felt in my life equals some chub around my tum tum. However, there CAN be nefarious causes for abdominal fat, and if you’re someone who consistently struggles with this despite “doing everything right” read on!
TYPES OF BELLY FAT
- Subcutaneous = More external, you can grab it (not necessarily bad)
- Visceral = More internal, stored around/inside organs (not good)
In times of excess, our bodies are wired to store fat (#winteriscoming). But our environment has changed while biology has not. With easy access to food, our hardwiring does what it’s supposed to – becomes really good at storage.
THE HORMONE ELEMENT
It sucks, but our bodies don’t know the difference between stress at work & running from a tiger. The more cortisol stress hormone we call on, the more fat we store (“Recent studies have shown an association between uncontrollable stress and abdominal fat distribution”). This is a biggie these days.
- EXERCISE = AVOID excessive exercise. Walk, balance HIIT with low-intensity, feel good sessions & incorporate resistance training
- LOW GLYCOGEN LEVELS = Chronic dieters & low-carb’ers it you. Find maintenance intake & keep carb above 100-120g minimum.
- SLEEP = Improve the quality or duration – check out my Bedtime Routine post for tons of suggestions.
- STRESS #tamethetiger = TIME BLOCK RECOVERY EVERY DAY #NOTtv. Stare at a tree, meditate, or whatever baby step ya like. Stop suffering, start recovering.
- PROCESSED FOOD = Grains & dairy often inflammatory; include higher-quality meats, vegetables & fats. If restriction is a trigger for you, get your food relationship sorted.
- ALCOHOL = 1-2x/week is unlikely an issue. If you’re a binger, address the mental/emotional department.
- ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS = Water filtration system, air purifiers & get sunshine on skin.
Something to ponder: when have you felt the BEST in your life and what were you doing differently if it’s not now?