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  • Writer's pictureDr. Elisse Evans, ND

Get Rid of Belly Fat, Naturally

Are you doing all of the right things but having a difficult time losing that extra layer around the middle? We have some great tips to help you get rid of those pesky extra pounds, naturally! Difficulty losing weight is usually not due to a lack of hitting the gym but often comes down to metabolic processes or food choices.

Eat more protein AND don’t skip meals

Am I telling you to eat more to loose weight? YES! I see many patients who want to loose weight, and inevitably start eating less or skipping meals all together, and they gain more weight. Once they start eating regular meals and protein, the pounds start to fall off. Why does this happen? Skipping meals can actually slow down metabolism. When we skip meals our brain goes into “starvation mode” which signals cortisol to hold on and deposit fat.

Eating protein is essential for healthy brain chemistry to signal the appropriate hormones that stimulate fat metabolism, rather than go into fat storage mode. I love recommending the Metabolic Effect (no affiliation) for my patients, a book written by Keoni Teta, ND and Jade Teta, ND which gives a more in depth look at the specific hormones involved in this process.

Get your hormones checked

This is a common request Naturopathic Doctors receive. And often, it is appropriate to test hormones, especially when having difficulty losing weight. But which hormones should we be looking at?

Some of the major hormones at play are related to the thyroid gland. The thyroid affects: metabolism, menstrual cycles, muscle strength, heart rate, and many more! Most doctors only look at TSH, a hormone from the brain involved in telling your thyroid to either do more work or do less work. What most doctors don’t tell you is TSH is a snap shot of how your thyroid is actually functioning. One day it may be normal, the next it may be very elevated. When evaluating the thyroid looking at T3, T4, thyroid antibodies, free T3, free T4, and T-3 uptake. Looking at these gives you a much more complete picture of how your thyroid is communicating with the rest of the body. A person with a poorly functioning thyroid, or hypothyroid, can have symptoms of fatigue, memory loss, hair loss, weight gain, constipation, and feelings of depression.

As stated above, Cortisol, is another key player in healthy hormone functioning. Cortisol is produced by the adrenal gland. This hormone can be decreased or elevated after long periods of stress, poor sleep, or if you are skipping meals regularly. Having either high or low levels of cortisol can affect sleep, metabolism, blood sugar levels, and mood. All of these things are closely elevated with weight management, so having your cortisol levels checked can give you great insight into your health. Elevated cortisol has been linked to excessive abdominal weight gain. Cortisol can either be measured via saliva or a blood test.

Reduce stress

Who isn’t stressed these days? Stress seems to be a badge of honor in today's society, but is stress really serving us? No! Stress is a healthy, natural response in situations where you need to run from a dangerous animal or find yourself in a life or death situation. But uncompensated stress for long periods of time are not natural for our bodies. What happens when stress increases? We get long term elevated cortisol which can lead to abdominal weight gain, blood sugar irregularities, and poor sleep quality.

When we are stressed we also tend to reach for high sugar and high fat (usually unhealthy fat) snacks, to curb the cravings that the blood sugar irregularities from cortisol produce. Instead of high sugar and high unhealthy fats, try a handful of almonds, blueberries, or an apple with peanut butter.

Green tea

Camellia sinensis, or green tea, has been shown to stimulate brown fat activity which can promote weight loss. Green tea is not only great for shedding pounds, it decreases oxidative damage throughout the body often caused by elevated cholesterol. Did you know green tea is still effective when naturally decaffeinated?

Other natural supplements to help with weight loss:

  • Licorice root or Glycyrrhiza glabra - reduces stress and inflammation. Not to be taken in patients with hypertension or with history of renal failure.

  • Fiber- fiber helps with satiety, reduces cholesterol, and reduces risk for colon cancer.

  • B Vitamins- B vitamins increase metabolism, improves sleep, and reduces stress.

  • Fish Oil- works to reduce cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and improve cognition.

  • Skinny shot - at Origins Integrative Medicine, an amino acid combination that stimulates fat metabolism. Safe and effective!

  • Forever Young shot- CoQ10 stimulates human growth hormone production, reduces cholesterol, and improves energy.

This blog is not intended to provide a health diagnosis, treat a medical condition, or provide medical advice. All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes.

All posts and information provided within this blog is for informational and educational purposes only, and is not to be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action should be taken solely on the contents of this blog. Please consult your doctor or a qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health and well-being or on any opinions expressed within this blog.

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