From Belly Fat To Belly Flat!
I've been waging a losing battle against my belly bulge for the past decade or so. I always thought I was simply exercising wrong or maybe eating a poor diet.
Thanks to the eye-opening new book, from Belly Fat to Belly Flat (HCI), I know now that the culprit may be hormonal.
The book's subtitle says it all: "How Your Hormones Are Adding Inches to Your Waistline and Subtracting Years from Your Life."
NOTE: To get a copy of from Belly Fat to Belly Flat, click here or click on the book cover at left.
Co-authored by renowned hormone expert Dr. C.W. Randolph and his partner at the Natural Hormone Institute of America, Genie James, from Belly Fat to Belly Flat is a must-read for women in their 30's and 40's and men in their 40's. In a nutshell, it's the medically proven way to reshape your body!
"When people hear the term hormonal imbalance, most immediately think about the change of life, menopause," Dr. Randolph tells Diet.com. "Although it’s true that women going through menopause have significant hormonal changes, the issues associated with hormonal imbalance, such as abdominal weight gain, typically begin in a woman’s early to mid-30's and a man’s early 40's."
There it is -- abdominal weight gain! My belly is a force of nature... it's the byproduct of my body's failure to churn out enough hormones for a fellow my age!
"We found that no matter how much you do you won’t lose the last 30 pounds around your hips and abdomen if you suffer hormone imbalance," says co-author Genie James, M.M.Sc.
"Most of us don’t think of hormone problems 'til menopause, but women in their early 30s -- and men in their early 40's -- are at risk."
Dr. Randolph says you can combat your pooching belly and chunky hips by applying "bio-identical progesterone" cream twice a day. A sensible diet and a steady dose of exercise do help... but they alone won't diminish your belly fat if your hormones are unbalanced.
To learn more about your unique hormone issue, take the insightful Hormone Quiz.
I could get into the science and stumble through the three types of natural hormones, but I'll leave such information to the experts like Dr. Randolph and James.
The pair has agreed to write a regular blog for Diet.com. Future topics will include how stress and a lack of sleep can screw with our hormone balance. Their first blog, The Hidden Weight-Gain Epidemic, has been posted.
Back to your belly fat. Remember the highly tempting ads for CortiSlim and CortiStress -- products that claimed to shrink your belly fat by controlling your cortisol? Those products also grabbed the attention of the FTC (Federal Trade Commission). Warnings letters and fines followed.
Dr. Randolph says those products were on the right path, but because the creators tinkered with the natural cortisol (basically so they could trademark their products) the end result was a substance the body did not recognize and therefore could not use.
And this is why Dr. Randolph insists on bio-identical substances. The creams he supports are exact copies of the stuff your body needs to balance its hormones. The best news: you don't have to buy a cream from him. He lists a few store brands that will work just fine.
He adds that one of the best ways to control the creation of this stress hormone cortisol is lifestyle change. And that's exactly what we promote here at Diet.com. To link up with our perks-packed premium program, click here now and lose weight today!
James says the "Belly Fat to belly Flat" plan was perfected to where women apply cream between their periods, twice daily. Through trial and error, they discovered that the best places to rub the cream are the inner forearms, chest, neck and breasts.
"Some clients told us that from day one they felt like a different person. But usually you feel -- and see -- best results after two to three cycles," she notes.
"Average weight loss is 6-10 pounds the first month. We worked with thousands of volunteers and found that when you take off this weight, you keep it off."
The book includes a 30-day hormone-balancing meal plan and a slew of tasty recipes to help you stick with the eating plan.
Dr. Randolph, a board-certified gynecologist, backs his claims with a wealth of medical experience. He's a hands-on researcher who sees patients at his clinic and wellness center in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. He was a pharmacist in his "first life."
If you feel like a "fat magnet" there may be a medical reason, according to from Belly fat to Belly Flat:
Too much estrogen circulating in the body increases body fat, and fatty tissue within the body produces and stores more estrogen. Body fat contains an enzyme that converts adrenal steroids to estrogen. At a cellular level, body fat continues to produce more estrogen, and a high estrogen level, in turn, causes the body to increase its store of fatty tissue. In other words, your belly becomes a “fat magnet.”
When you’re estrogen dominant, your body is unable to effectively use fat stores for energy, which means that your body’s ability to metabolize or burn body fat for calories is compromised. The result is extra weight that won’t go away even with more exercise or less eating.
When high estrogen levels are unopposed by sufficient progesterone, the resulting condition of estrogen dominance also impacts your body fat’s distribution. In both men and women, higher estrogen levels predispose the body to store fat around the abdomen. In women, estrogen dominance causes fat to be stored around the waist, hips, and thighs, and it’s the main reason that many middle-age women have pear-shaped bodies. Estrogen dominance is also the reason for the middle-age spare tire in men.
Dr. Randolph notes, "If you are a woman in your 30's, you need to understand that estrogen dominance is not 'your mother’s problem.' For most women, estrogen dominance is a concern to be reckoned with long before middle age or menopause. As a woman approaches her mid-30's, the balance of hormones within her body begins to shift, starting with a decline in progesterone. In fact, progesterone production declines 120 times more rapidly than does estrogen production. It is this downward shift in progesterone production that causes the body to become estrogen dominant."
Contrary to the popular belief, men can also be estrogen dominant. In men, progesterone is produced in the adrenal and testicular tissue. When men reach their forties, falling progesterone levels lead to a fall in testosterone levels. As both the progesterone and testosterone levels decline, the male body becomes estrogen dominant.
Food for Thought
Certain foods can help to decrease the body’s estrogen load. You need to develop a diet, moderately high in calories, that allows for protein and healthy fats at every meal. It includes ample portions of “belly-blaster” foods that will reduce or eliminate your extra estrogen load.
The stars of the nutritional component of the plan are cruciferous vegetables, citrus fruits, insoluble fiber, and lignans, because these foods function within your body to reduce an unhealthy estrogen load.
Cruciferous vegetables are a critical part of your success on this plan. Eating large amounts of broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, spinach, Brussels sprouts, celery, beet root, kale, cabbage, parsley root, radish, turnip, collard greens, and mustard greens have been shown to improve the production of “good” estrogen. Although not considered cruciferous, asparagus and spinach are also “belly blasters” because they also improve “good” estrogen levels.
March 31, 2008
Supplements for the 50+ Crowd: Live Longer, Health
by John McGran
Diet.com VP of Content
Echinacea, St. John's wort, valerian… worried aging Americans are turning to supplements as a way to ward off diseases like Alzheimer's and fight prostate cancer.
Dr. Jeffrey Blumberg, professor of nutrition at Tufts University, says dietary supplements fall into two distinct categories.
Nutritional supplements: These represent the traditional vitamins, minerals, proteins and fiber found in the major food groups. By definition, supplements are meant to do just that -- they supplement the substances normally found in foods.
Botanicals or herbal products: These are also considered "dietary supplements," but although named "dietary" supplements, they are not normally found as a natural part of our diets.
“The traditional medical community is finding many of these have considerable healing powers. Clinical studies have shown that St. John's wort is helpful in treating cases of mild depression. Ginkgo appears to slow the progression of Alzheimer's in patients with the disease,” Dr. Blumberg says.
“Anti-aging and alternative health products are extremely popular among senior citizens. One in 10 seniors uses some type of dietary supplement on a daily basis, such as ginkgo biloba, St. John’s wort, glucosamine, melatonin, and other herbal and botanical preparations.”
Dietary supplements come in many forms, including tablets, capsules, powders, softgels, gelcaps, and liquids. You can find a large variety right here at the Diet.com store.
The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine provides recommendations on the appropriate intake of vitamins and minerals. Over the years, the recommended levels have changed as research improves. Recommended dietary intake levels vary by sex and age group.
Recommended Dietary Intakes for Adults 50+
Vitamin A: 900 units (men) 700 units (women) (maximum upper level of 900 units for men and 700 units for women)
B1: 1.2 mg/d (men) 1.1 mg/d (women) (no maximum upper limit set)
B2: 1.3 mg/d (men) 1.1 mg/d (women) (no maximum upper limit set)
B6: 1.7 mg/d (men) 1.5 mg/d (women) (maximum upper level of 100 mg/d men and women)
B12: 2.4 units (men and women) (no maximum upper level limit set)
C: 90 mg/d (men) 75 mg/d (women) (maximum upper level of 2,000 mg/d men and women)
D: 10-15 units (men and women) (maximum upper level of 50 units men and women)
E: 15 mg/d (men and women) (maximum upper level limit of 1,000 mg/d for men and women)
K: 120 units (men) 90 units (women) (no maximum upper level limit set)
Experts strongly recommend seniors pursue a healthy lifestyle that includes intelligent supplementation. Nutritional supplements are one piece of a lifestyle that includes avoiding excessive drinking, cigarette smoking and other self-destructive activities, while getting regular and frequent exercise, and eating a healthy diet.
Vitamin E is a naturally occurring vitamin that is essential for human life. It is studied commonly used as a skin conditioner, antioxidant, heart protector, and memory enhancer.
Coenzyme Q10 is a naturally occurring antioxidant that exists in all human cells. Ongoing research has shown that the use of coenzyme Q10 may slow the functional decline of patients with Parkinson’s, a neurological disorder. The use of the supplement to improve heart and blood vessel is ongoing and inconclusive.
Calcium is a mineral found in bones and teeth. In older women, reduced absorption of calcium can lead to osteoporosis. Calcium supplements should be taken in small doses throughout the day along with food to ensure proper absorption.
DHEA is a hormone produced by the human adrenal glands. The body uses DHEA to produce other steroidal hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone. DHEA supplements are often touted as a way to reverse the effects of aging by boosting immunity, improving memory, and increasing muscle mass.
Saw Palmetto is the oily extract of the berries from the saw palmetto, a type of palm tree. It is primarily used to improve urinary flow associated with an enlarged prostate.
Garlic is a pungent bulb used as a flavor enhancer. Use of garlic can help prevent hardening of the arteries since it appears to cause moderate, short-term reductions in cholesterol. There is evidence that regular use of garlic may help prevent colds and preliminary evidence that garlic as a food may help prevent cancer.
Melatonin is an amino acid produced by the pineal gland in the brain. It is promoted as a sleep aid, a remedy for jet lag and an anti-aging supplement. The hormone is known to play a role in regulating the body clock's natural wake-sleep cycle, triggering sleep.
Glucosamine is a natural component of joint cartilage.
Ginkgo Biloba is the powdered extract of the leaves of the Ginkgo tree. It is under heavy study as a possible memory enhancer and treatment for Alzheimer’s.
St. John’s Wort has increasingly been touted as “herbal Prozac.” Some believe that it can help elevate mood and act as an anti-depressant.
Echinacea may enhance the immune system by stimulating the production of white blood cells.
Kava is commonly used to relieve anxiety and has also been used as an anticonvulsant.
Taking dietary supplements empowers you to take control of your health. Supplements will have a positive impact on your health… provided you handle them with care.
January 1, 2008