Sometimes, no matter the effort put into losing weight, we can not seem to drop the fat. There are multiple reasons as to why our bodies may be holding on to those extra pounds. When it comes to weight loss, we should be more concerned with one's body fat and less concerned about the number on the scale. A woman can hold a higher fat percent to ensure enough fuel for pregnancy and nursing. A woman's body fat can be as high as 25% and still be considered healthy. A man, however, should stay below 17%. You can determine your fat percent in multiple ways, some more accurate than others.
Hydrodensitometry test (underwater)
Talk with your doctor on the best way to keep track of your fat. Now let's now discuss some reasons you may be holding on to that belly fat!
Some people tend to hold on to fat in different areas than others. We all hold genetic variants that determine our hair color, eye color, and sex. Where we store our fat genetically says a lot about our health risk. It is determined by our waist to hip ratio. The higher your waist size is relative to your hips, the higher the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Holding belly fat in our abdomen can interfere with our organ function. Keep track of your waist measurement. For your best health, your waist should be less than 40 inches around for men and less than 35 inches for women. Weight on our hips may not be great for our pant size, but it is much better for our health. Good news, our lifestyle habits hold the key to turning your genetics on and off. Just because your grandmother had diabetes does not necessarily mean you are going to develop the same.
Insulin is essential to living, but detrimental when produced in excess. Refined foods and simple carbohydrates (sugar, white bread, flour, etc.) can be the culprit. The body turns all carbs turn into glucose (blood sugar), but simple carbs rise quickly in blood sugar and trigger the pancreas to release insulin rapidly. The liver can only store a certain amount of carbohydrates as energy; the excess is stored in fat. Our bodies need to hold on to fat to store the excess glycogen! When you eat a high carbohydrate/calorie-restricted diet, the pounds lost will pull from muscle and water in the body. This means when you skip dinner to eat ice cream, you may be saving calories, however, your weight loss is from water and muscle, not fat. The best way to avoid this chronic insulin surge it's best to:
Avoid or minimize sugar
Eat complex carbohydrates (whole grains, beans, veggies, fruits)
Eat fiber with your carbohydrate (1 gram of fiber to every 10 grams of carbs)
Eat plenty of healthy fats
There is a common misconception that these products are great for weight loss; unfortunately, they can put on fat! When you ingest aspartame or toxins, it is absorbed from the intestines and passed immediately to the liver for filtering. The liver metabolizes the toxic components phenylalanine, aspartic acid, and methanol. This bogs down the liver, having less energy for fat burning and your metabolism. Have you ever heard of a fatty liver? This overload of fat and toxins on the liver will cause fluid retention, increased cellulite, and bloating. So drop the diet sodas and diet foods and read your labels. If you must have something sweet, eat the real thing, sugar. At least your body knows what to do with it! Just eat it in moderation!!
Allergies to foods will cause digestive issues and overall health problems. Food allergies are caused by partially digested food compounds that pass through the intestinal lining and enter the bloodstream. This is called leaky gut. This leads to chronic inflammation in the body. The body tries to reduce the irritation by retaining water and swelling fat cells to act as buffers between the toxic chemicals and the organs. The body holds onto the fat to ward off self-poisoning. Wanting to know if you have food allergies? You can discuss it with your doctor or try an elimination diet. Start by eliminating sugar, gluten, corn, soy, and dairy. After a few weeks, add 1 item in at a time and see how your body reacts. Chances are, the foods you crave are the foods that have the worst effects on your inflammatory levels!
We all know that eating meat can have adverse effects on your overall health and wellness. Did you know, on top of penicillin, tetracycline, and other antibiotics, your meat is pumped full of fattening agents to beef up the animals at fast rates! All those fattening agents have the same effects on the people who eat their flesh. So limit your meat consumption and buy organic when possible.
Our bodies can not utilize, digest, or eliminate toxic chemical compounds. These toxic compounds are foreign to the body. Our bodies absorb them for indefinite amounts of time. It is shown that sodium nitrate and BHY butylated hydroxytoluene are stored in our fat cells. You can find these in processed meats, food colorings agents, additives, and preservatives. The more processed food you eat, the more your body produces fat to store the toxins in. It is essential to limit your amount of processed foods, clean your fruits, and veggies. You can eat organic fruits and vegetables when possible. Want to know which items to buy organic? Check out the dirty dozen list.
Losing fat can be difficult for anyone. It is essential to lose weight slowly. Remember, fat is where a lot of our toxins are stored. Quick weight loss can cause toxic overload in our bodies. Cutting calories alone is not going to produce lasting weight loss. We need to make lifestyle changes, so we drop the fat and keep the muscle. So eat your veggies, organic when possible, cut the artificial sweeteners, and hydrate to flush your system! Check out our past blogs at www.wellness360fitness.com for some of our past blogs or information!