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Belly Blast

By New You Editorial
Posted On Mar 06, 2014

New You Health Tip:  Adjust your diet to balance hormones and blast belly fat.

You make an effort to exercise and watch what you eat for the most part, but as you get older you find that you may be holding excess pounds in your core region. Your hormones may be at play. Hormones are the body’s chemical messengers that regulate everything from metabolism and sexual function to reproduction and mood. They even regulate where you store your fat. Carrying extra pounds around your abdomen is not simply unattractive; it can indicate a hormone imbalance. Here we break down three common imbalances and how to create a hormone diet that focuses on correcting the problem.

1. Leptin:  Acts on the brain to regulate food intake and body weight. A Leptin hormone imbalance can mislead your body into thinking it is hungry, which may lead to overeating.

Solution: Eat more vegetables containing antioxidants and vitamins to reduce inflammation that interferes with Leptin production.

2. Cortisol: A Cortisol hormone imbalance can increase your appetite and cravings—particularly for sugar and carb related treats under times of stress.

Solution: Try eating a high protein breakfast and committing to eight hours of sleep each night. Load up on lentils, asparagus and spinach so your brain will use the B vitamins in these foods to make serotonin (an appetite suppressant).

3. Insulin:  Regulates the amount of glucose in the blood and carries it to cells to be used as fuel or stored as fat.

Solution: Balance by increasing protein intake and limiting processed sugars intake. Stock up on lean meats like chicken or turkey breast, low-fat cheese like cottage cheese, omega-3s, eggs, and shellfish such as scallops.