Wednesday

This exercise reduces your "bellyfat hormone"

Everything comes down to hormonal balance... you don't get fat because you simply eat too much on your own... you eat too much because hormonal imbalances CAUSE you to eat too much.  It's called "hormonal hunger" and it's quite different than ACTUAL hunger.

Exercise plays a HUGE role in balancing your hormones too!  My post yesterday showed you my amazingly fun workout routines I've been using in recent weeks, and these are also strategic in optimizing hormones.

FYI -- There are no "bad" hormones per se.  Every hormone has an important purpose in your body.  Even hormones like insulin and cortisol have good purposes too, but only become "bad" when they're out of balance.

When hormones get unbalanced, bad things can indeed happen in your body...

There's one particular hormone that's particularly responsible for adding unwanted fat around your bellybutton. I'm referring to cortisol.

Your body releases cortisol when you're under stress. It’s part of the whole “fight or flight” response. It worked great for our paleolithic ancestors when they were being chased by a lion. But it isn't so great for us now...


You see, many of us are walking around with high cortisol levels all the time. It happens thanks to everyday stressors, like a fight with your spouse or feeling overwhelmed at work.

Even certain forms of exercise like jogging can raise your cortisol to sky-high levels. (This is why I advocate shorter, more intense workouts rather than long duration things like jogging)

And these increased cortisol levels could be making you store more fat.

The kind of fat you’re most likely to store from elevated cortisol is called visceral fat — the dangerous belly fat that’s linked to diabetes, high blood pressure and higher heart disease deaths.

So what can you do about it?

Well, it’s almost impossible to totally erase stress from our lives. But there are a few simple steps you can take to lower your stress, decrease your cortisol, and accelerate the reduction of your abdominal fat stores:


1. Get 7-9 hours of sleep every night

Normally, cortisol concentrations rapidly decline in the evening. But one study showed that people who had undergone 6 days of sleep deprivation had approximately 6-fold slower cortisol reduction versus subjects who were fully rested. In cases of chronic sleep loss, this is likely to promote the development of insulin resistance, a risk factor for obesity and diabetes.


2. Practice quiet time or meditation daily

A new study published in the journal Health Psychology shows an association between increased mindfulness and decreased levels of cortisol. The study involved 57 people who were taught mindful breathing, observation skills, and cultivation of "positive" mental states like compassion. They found an association between increases in mindfulness and decreases in cortisol levels in the saliva.


3. Keep a "gratitude journal"

A study published in Integrative Physiological & Behavioral Science looked at 45 adults who were taught to cultivate appreciation and other positive emotions. There was a 23% reduction in cortisol in the group who developed their "gratitude" habits. An easy way to cultivate your own feelings of gratitude is to keep a simple journal on your bedside table, and jot down 3-5 things you are grateful for in your day before you go to bed.


4. Research points to a certain kind of exercise as perhaps the most powerful solution...

By using this method, you can get the same powerful fat-blasting effects of vigorous cardio exercise AND reduce your cortisol levels at the same time.

And THAT can help you lose stubborn flab and bellyfat… and keep it off! 

Forget about the boring monotony of jogging, running on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike.  Do this instead:

=> Exercise method PROVEN to reduce cortisol & reduce belly fat (equally effective for BOTH men and women)


I've been incorporating this style of exercise into my routines this year and I love it.  It will never be the only form of exercise I do, but it's just one tool to help improve my results from other exercise techniques too!
Enjoy the results!

Mike Geary
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

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