Wouldn’t it be awesome if you never had to count calories again? Or if you didn’t feel obligated to spend endless hours on the elliptical? All in the name of weight loss? Let’s face it – diets don’t work (at least not long term). And I can’t promise you that my way of managing weight will be perfect but I can tell you that my secrets to fat loss may totally blow your mind. AND make dieting and endless hours in the gym a thing of the past.
First of all, how skeptical do you feel right now???
I guess probably a lot and that’s okay. You’ve tried a lot of different diet programs and exercise routines with minimal results that actually stick. Right? And you’re just wary of yet another blog telling you how to lose weight the right way. I get it – I still feel skeptical reading most blog articles!
Well, before you completely close out of here, let me try to explain why my approach is different.
Weight Loss vs. Fat Loss
Notice that I’m talking about the secrets to fat loss, not necessarily weight loss. This is the first major difference in what I’m about to tell you.
The number on the scale DOES matter – it matters to you. We all have a weight in mind each time we step on the scale. Let’s call this our ‘ideal’ weight. If the scale pops back a number above our ‘ideal’ weight, we get sad, frustrated, bummed, discouraged…you name it, a whole whack of negative emotions happen.
If the number on the scale is lower than our ‘ideal’ weight, we celebrate! Right?
Looking at weight is one way to measure how healthy we are, for sure.
But, fat is really the problem here. We feel ‘fat’, we ask our spouses if we look ‘fat’, and we know if we eat that brownie we’ll get ‘fat’.
Losing weight is one thing but it might not equate to a healthier body. You might weigh less but still hold onto stubborn, dangerous abdominal fat. And THIS is the best indicator of health!
Abdominal Fat Problems
Besides not being the most attractive and making us feel a little ashamed to be seen in a bikini, abdominal fat is actually quite dangerous.
Abdominal fat produces hormones that increase our chances of health risk. It often comes with high levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and low levels of HDL cholesterol. This impacts that critical cholesterol ratio that is one of the better indicators of health.
We also have two types of abdominal fat – visceral fat and subcutaneous fat. The latter sits below the skin and is really only a cosmetic issue. It’s the visceral fat that is a problem because it sits around vital organs and is very metabolically active. This means it impacts stress hormones, blood pressure, blood sugar levels and heart attack risk.
So, to keep things simple – abdominal fat surrounding your organs is bad. Subcutaneous fat under the skin is simply the most frustrating thing in the world (nope? Just me?)!!
3 Secrets to Fat Loss
Healthy is where we should focus, because healthy will keep us living the lives we want well into our old age. I know it’s tough to stop focusing on the physical aspects of weight and fat, but it’s health that’s really important.
But…I have 3 secrets to fat loss that can actually address both – the physical AND the health! How cool is that?
Okay, let’s go. This is what you’re waiting for, right?
Secret #1 – Reduce Your Inflammation
You probably don’t even realize just how inflamed your body is because inflammation can persist for weeks with minimal symptoms.
However, once you do reduce or eliminate it, you’ll definitely notice when it comes back!
What’s wrong with inflammation? Well, first, there are 2 types of inflammation – acute and chronic. Acute inflammation is what happens when you injure yourself – redness, heat, etc. This is good!
Chronic inflammation is typically a low-grade level of inflammation that you don’t necessarily see or feel. You might notice it in chronic joint pain or stuff like that, but it can also manifest as feeling or looking puffy, chronic fatigue, brain fog, digestive issues, phlegmy throat, or, yes, stubborn fat.
This is why controlling low-grade inflammation is one of the secrets to fat loss.
When your body is under duress, it’s not capable of managing your fat levels appropriately. It’s working hard to keep your system operating so turning on those fat-burning properties are second or third fiddle.
Secret #2 – Balance Your Blood Sugar
Another one of my secrets to fat loss is to balance your blood sugar. There is SO much riding on balanced blood sugar that I just can’t emphasize enough how important this is.
With respect to fat loss, though, balanced blood sugar helps prevent insulin spikes that shunt excess energy to fat cells. When you eat a lot of food, especially carbs, in one meal, your body has to move the excess energy (aka glucose) out of your blood. Only so much can fit into muscles and the liver, so the rest is placed neatly away for a rainy day in fat cells. Unfortunately, we rarely allow our bodies to reset after this excessive energy intake, so more and more fat cells get produced.
When you balance your blood sugar, you balance insulin and prevent its spikes. You also balance your leptin hormone, the one that makes you feel full. AND, you stop craving those very foods that contribute to weight gain.
Plus, when insulin is high, another hormone, glucagon, is low. The kicker here is that glucagon is known as your ‘fat-burning’ hormone, while insulin is known as your ‘fat-storing’ hormone.
Easy stuff, right? Yeah, not so much…but we’ll get there!
Secret #3 – Minimize Stress and Manage Cortisol
I’ve said it again and again – stress impacts weight. And stress is related to so many other problematic health concerns!
Chronic stress is pretty much the way of life these days. We often can’t avoid certain stressors, like icy roads, irritating co-workers, or urgent deadlines. Every single real or perceived stressor impacts our cortisol levels. And when cortisol rises, it tells the muscles and liver to release stored energy and turn it into blood sugar.
Insulin is released to move that blood sugar into cells but muscles and liver don’t want it back, so it gets shunted to the fat cells.
In addition, excessive cortisol ‘steals’ the resources needed to make progesterone, which is an important fat-burning hormone. So, increased cortisol causes fat storage AND prevents fat burning. Yikes!
Okay, now you know the 3 secrets to fat loss, but what can you do with them?
Well, it IS pretty complicated and could take months to fully balance and regulate these three systems. However, I do have one very simple tip that you can start working on today to help all 3 areas.
Eat More Fat
Seems counterintuitive, right? Eat fat to lose fat?!?! Am I crazy?
I am not, at least not about this stuff. I’ve seen it time and again – when women start to eat more fat and reduce their carbohydrates (namely sugar), their bodies start to regulate and fat becomes a thing of the past.
Increase your intake of healthy fats like virgin coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, olives, raw nuts and seeds, avocados, avocado oil, cold-pressed flaxseed oil, grass-fed beef, chicken thighs and full-fat coconut milk to get started. Aim for 2-6 servings of healthy fat each day. An easy way to judge what 1 serving is is to look at your thumb – the length and diameter of your thumb approximates 1 serving. Or 1 tablespoon if it’s liquid!
To make this most effective, remove some of the worst offenders from your diet. Things like pop, juice, donuts, cookies, muffins, pastries, packaged granola bars and cereals, and even wheat-based breads or pastas contribute to spikes in blood sugar.
Removing as much sugar as possible is kind of the real key behind the 3 secrets to fat loss.
- Sugar is pro-inflammatory.
- Sugar spikes blood sugar and thus spikes insulin.
- Sugar causes a stress response – high cortisol.
You’ve got this!