Can’t Get Rid Of Your Belly Fat No Matter What You Do? Read This Before Going On Another Diet. They Don’t Work.
This is the 4th issue in my 8-part series focused on how our metabolism changes in midlife. This blog series is “a must read” if you are a woman in your late 30s or beyond and you’re realizing there are some changes happening in your body, mind, and emotions that have you second guessing whether everything is in fact “okay”. Take the next few minutes for yourself by reading this issue and grabbing my Top 10 Tips To Jumpstart Your Sluggish Metabolism.
Many of us have belly fat that just won’t budge.
We follow the so-called “expert” advice by exercising more and eating less. But the belly fat just sits there, as if it’s laughing at us and our futile efforts.
This belly fat is often accompanied by its BFFs “booty” and “boobie” fat. They like to travel in a pack, with one being the Alpha. Which one takes the lead? That is dependent upon that particular person’s genetic makeup and hormone profile.
How we fill out our jeans is greatly determined by our genes. And further fueled by our hormones.
One in particular takes center stage. That hormone is insulin.
Your body has a built-in fuel gauge* much like the one in your car. Instead of simply noting how much fuel is in the tank, the body’s fuel gauge determines whether we burn our food for energy or store it as fat.
Insulin points the needle toward (E)mpty AKA “Energy” or (F)ull AKA “Fat”.
After eating, insulin and the enzymes over which it reigns determine how the nutrients in your food are used by the body. The geek term is “fuel partitioning”.
- How much will be burned for energy?
- How much goes into storage?
- Who (which tissue) gets what and how much? What’s the muscle’s take of the loot? How about the liver? And don’t forget about body fat’s cut?
If our fuel gauge points toward (E), we burn what we eat for fuel.
When it points toward (F), we store it for later as fat.
The (F) Camp
The further your needle points toward (F), the more disproportionately your body tends to store calories as fat rather than using them as energy for the muscles. If you fall into the (F) camp, you have a tendency to fatten and you’ll have less available fuel for the muscles, so you’ll also tend to be less active if not altogether inactive.
You will accumulate more and more fat, feel more and more sluggish, and feel more and more ravenous despite the fact your body’s energy storage units (fat cells) are full to the gills. You can barely get through some days, so you couldn’t exercise even if you wanted to. And you don’t want to because you just don’t have the energy.
Your body cannot access this stored energy no matter what you do until you get the needle pointed back in the (E) direction. The further your needle tilts toward (F), the more you store as fat and the less you use for energy.
The (E) Camp
The further your needle points toward (E), the more disproportionately your body tends to burn calories for fuel rather than storing them for later. If you’re in the (E) camp, you’ll have a tendency to be lean and have plenty of energy to be active. You have the energy needed to not only “get through the day”, you can exercise, be active with kids/grandkids, tend to the garden and keep up with whatever hobbies you enjoy. The (E) setting is why some people can “eat anything they want and still not gain weight”. The further your needle tilts toward (E), the less you store as fat and the more you use for energy.
Change Out Your Wonky Fuel Gauge
Those of us who are more (F) inclined feel jilted by our lot in the genetic lottery of life and envy these (E) folk.
If you are (F) dominant I want to speak to you, heart-to-heart for a moment.
You are not broken. You are not lazy. And you are not destined to “be fat” forever.
Your body’s fuel gauge is wonky. Your insulin level is out of whack. Your body has selective hearing when it comes to insulin. And there is good news…you can fix it. The bad news is YOU have to fix it.
There is no pill (or injection) that will fix your body’s dysfunctional relationship with insulin. But Big Pharma will tell you differently.
“There’s A Pill For That”
Big Pharma wrings their hands with delight when it comes to the midlife woman. They’ve been spouting their pills-a-plenty promises our way since our first periods.
It was at that point that we became a “target market” and a rather profitable one. They’ll hurl one pill or another at us with empty promises to decrease this and increase that.
A big one on their agenda when it comes to midlife women is menopausal hormone therapy (MHT). The name implies there’s something wrong and in need of fixing.
Big Pharma and their prescription-slinging minions work night-and-day to convince us that there’s something wrong with us when we’re in perimenopause.
They put multiple 7-figures annually in marketing dollars behind their efforts. Another company line they love to add to their misrepresentation is that we are dried up after our menopause so we best try to replenish everything about ourselves, most notably your “youth”.
They market MHT as the cure-all to all that “ails” us in midlife.
And they succeed because they’ve convinced us that there is in fact “something wrong with us”.
But buyer beware if you buy into what they’re selling.
Perimenopause is a normal hormonal shift in a woman’s life and menopause is designed into our evolution with a great purpose.
The reason we have all sorts of symptoms around menopause (AKA “what ails us”) is because we’re stressing ourselves, and therefore our cells, to the max and our body is unable to deal with the fallout.
One massive way to rectify the situation is to get your body resensitized* to insulin, so it can do its job as one of your most influential hormones. (*That is not a typo. Resensitization is the name of the game.)
And after a while, their pill pushers suggest yet another pill for the newly arisen problem resulting from their pills-a-plenty approach. This is just symptom roulette… and there is no end in sight to the parade of new pills with promises of a “fix”.
I reiterate, there is no pill to truly fix your body’s dysfunctional relationship with insulin. They may be able to deflect and defer (mask the problem), but they will not “fix” it.
You can choose the pill path and embark upon a never-ending journey trying to find something that will alleviate your symptoms. But that path is a disappointing one in the end.
.It leaves you disheartened and dependent on a pill in an attempt to do what your body has had the ability to do all along.
If you have (E) dominance, you can eat pretty much what you want and not gain weight…that is until you reach midlife, then all bets are off. You start to get that little paunch in your belly. Or maybe you’re more prone to a pair of love handles, or a muffin top.
No matter what euphemism you use, these are unwanted areas of fat that increase in size insidiously until one day you have a come to Jesus moment and your clothes don’t fit.
Or you can’t bend down to tie your shoes without gasping for breath.
Or maybe you’re one of those who can’t button your pants.
Or maybe this is more familiar… you do a double take at the person in the family photo, only to realize it is you.
There comes a point when you can no longer ignore what’s been happening in the background. The midlife spread is often the first outward sign of a problem that has been bubbling to the surface for years, decades even. And it will get worse if you don’t do something about it.
I wouldn’t deliver this ‘less than stellar’ news without bringing along some good news.
Whether you are an (F) or an (E) camper, your “fix” remains the same. And it has better results than any pill Big Pharma could ever even dream of patenting.
Your One And Only True “Fix” Is Food.
What (and when) you eat is the be-all and end-all when it comes to insulin. Anything that increases insulin will make you store more than burn. Anything that decreases insulin will make your burn more than store.
You can literally transform your body, mind and life with your fork & knife. Any fork & knife will do.
In the next issue we’ll cover more of my proven 12-Step Strategy For A Body & Brain That Just Won’t Quit.
*Original fuel gauge concept from Gary Taube’s book “Why We Get Fat…And What To Do About It”. Highly recommend the read.