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 itâ€™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 womanâ€™s early to mid-30's and a manâ€™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 wonâ€™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 donâ€™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 â€śfat magnet.â€ť
When youâ€™re estrogen dominant, your body is unable to effectively use fat stores for energy, which means that your bodyâ€™s ability to metabolize or burn body fat for calories is compromised. The result is extra weight that wonâ€™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 fatâ€™s distribution. In both men and women, higher estrogen levels Âpredispose the body to store fat around the abdomen. In women, estrogen dominance causes fat to be stored around the waist, hips, and thighs, and itâ€™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 motherâ€™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 ... Continue
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