Fat storage is directly linked to two hormones; insulin and cortisol. Insulin is controlled by the food you eat, and cortisol is controlled by the amount of stress in your life. Increases in either or both of these hormones causes your body to store fat. Unfortunately, poor food choices and stress often occur together, and like the chicken and the egg story, which one comes first is debatable….
Eating the wrong carbohydrates (sugar, bread, pasta, cereal, crackers, processed snacks etc) causes increases of insulin in your body. Eating good carbohydrates (quinoa, fruit, vegetables, bread with sprouted grains) controls your blood sugar and insulin levels.
To help keep your insulin level in check and keep your body in a fat burning zone, follow these simple steps:
Read labels: avoid -processed and packaged foods like cereals, muffins, chips, crackers, genetically modified corn, soy and wheat, hydrogenated oils, canola oil, corn syrup, margarine, sugar and artificial sweeteners.
These products not only increase your blood sugar and insulin levels, they are treated as foreign toxins in your body, causing inflammation in many organs. Avoiding these products will not only make you lose weight, but other health issues such as eczema, asthma, arthritis, will improve too.
Stick to the outer aisles in the grocery stores; they contain the fresh produce, meat, dairy etc, while the inner aisles typically hold the bad stuff.
Clean out your kitchen pantry, getting rid of any of the above items.
To control cortisol levels, try to reduce the stresses in your life by following these steps:
–Get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation stresses your body. If you cannot get enough at night, try to sneak in a nap during the day, since even a short 30 minute nap is beneficial for you.
–Get some, but not too much exercise. An exercise regime that is too strenuous will temporarily stress your body, causing a spike in your cortisol level. Your exercise regime does not have to be complicated or expensive. Go for a brisk walk every day, or at least every second day.
–Surround yourself with positive people. Negative people are stressors you do not need.
–Spend more time doing the things you like to do. Take up a new hobby or rediscover an old one.
Other points to remember:
Good fats burn body fat: Avoid margarine, canola and hydrogenated oils. Choose eggs, olive oil, avocado, almonds, coconut oil and cold water fish.
Stay hydrated: Drink lots of water. Carry a water bottle around with you while running errands, chauffeuring your kids, and especially while exercising. Add a splash of lemon juice to your water to liven up the taste.