6 Ways to Change the Way Your Body Holds Onto Fat For Good
Recent studies have proven that the biggest culprit when it comes to weight gain is actually processed sugar and refined carbohydrates, not dietary fat.
Understanding the way your body converts energy or calories to fat helps you take back control over your weight because it encourages you to make smarter dietary choices. When it comes to dietary fat, it's important to understand that not all fats are created equal. Some are good and promote optimum body function, whilst others are toxic and lead to inflammation and dis-ease, so it's important to know the difference.
There are also a handful of other common factors that typically encourage your body to gain weight and store fat, which you can manage easier once you have them in your consciousness.
Keep reading to discover our six tips for retraining the way your body holds fat, including boosting your energy and even fending off a variety of illnesses, including chronic disease and cancer.
1. Eat Healthy Fats
While it might seem counterintuitive to eat fats of any kind to change the way your body holds onto fat, it’s the truth.
The key is to ensure you're only eating healthy fats.
Healthy fats include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and these can be found in raw untreated plant oils in foods like extra virgin olive oil, avocados and avocado oil, coconut oil, flax seed oil, raw nuts, chia seeds and even dark chocolate.
Unhealthy fats are trans fats and saturated fats, and these can be found in highly processed packaged foods, including baked goods like cookies, cakes, croissants, margarine, salami, bacon, sausages and fried, fast food. These types of fats don’t just cause weight gain, obesity, high cholesterol, heart disease, and more, they also create a chaotic chemical response in the body, causing you to lay down fat.
Whilst raw organic yogurt, eggs, cheese and grass fed butter contain saturated fats, they are the healthiest forms of animal fats you can eat if you're not a strict vegan. Just be sure to consume them only in moderation.
Healthy fats provide a source of efficient fuel for your body and brain and are crucial for optimum cellular and organ function and protection.
Switch your unhealthy fats for healthy fats, and you’ll not only notice you feel lighter and have more energy, but your body will stop holding onto stubborn fat around your waist.
Learn more in Good Fats Versus Bad Fats.
2. Eat Complex Carbs, Not Refined Carbs
There are lot of misconceptions about "carbs" these days, but the truth is carbohydrates are a vital source of energy.
Unrefined, complex carbohydrates like whole grains, beans, potatoes and legumes are your friend and should not be avoided as part of a healthy diet.
On the other hand, processed and refined carbs are a big problem because they cause your body to over produce insulin and lay down fat.
Refined carbohydrates or simple sugars are typically natural foods found in nature that have been highly processed and stripped of their important nutrients and vital fibres. Examples include; white bread, white flour, white sugar, white pasta, white rice, pastries, most breakfast cereals, sports drinks, soft drinks, processed fruit juice etc.
Complex carbs do not send the body into metabolic chaos, instead causing a steady release of energy and nutrients to your body and cells and supporting healthy digestion due to their high quality fibre content.
It's important to reiterate; refined carbs cause fast spikes in blood sugar, which may give you a short term energy hit, but quickly turns into hunger, lethargy, and irritability. This typically causes you to want to eat even more refined carbs, which kicks starts a vicious cycle, leading to out of control weight gain and fat storage that becomes very difficult to shift.
By avoiding refined carbs and switching to complex carbs, you’ll no longer be eating “empty calories”. You’ll nourish your body the way nature intended and you'll help yourself to avoid obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and change the way your body holds onto fat.
3. Avoid Stress
A major discovery in the health community has been the big impact that stress and anxiety has on your body storing fat. In this day and age, too many of us are running ourselves ragged to try to “do it all”, but it’s taking a major toll on our health and waste line.
The problem is that when you're stressed or experience constant tension, your body releases the stress hormone, Cortisol, which increases appetite and tells your body to add fat to your stomach as a protection mechanism.
While stress may seem external and outside of your control, by taking simple steps to manage your stress and state of mind goes a long way to helping manage your weight.
Find any stress-relieving activity that works for you, whether it’s reading, walking in nature, practicing a few minutes meditation, yoga, hot salt baths, or uplifting social time with friends, find what has a calming effect on you and do that activity as often as you can.
Stress management is such an important self care principle which will help stop your body from releasing cortisol which is so important to avoid if you're managing your weight.
4. Exercise Daily
When you find an exercise you enjoy, it becomes an important part of your day.
To change your body shape requires moderate physical exertion that gets your blood moving but you don't need to go crazy.
If you're trying to lose weight, focus on two key areas:
- Breaking a sweat - get your heart rate up to a steady level to the point where you break a light sweat for at least 30-45 minutes;
- Add some resistance - muscle is the engine in which fat is burned, so to tone up, you need to create some moderate resistance that stimulates your muscles. Example exercises include; hiking that incorporates steady inclines, circuit training that incorporates light weights, high intensity interval training, swimming and pilates. Choose the activity that's right for you and do it consistently 3-4 times per week to reduce your body fat composition and to see best results.
Breaking a sweat also helps you to naturally release stored toxins beneath your skin's surface so it's a healthy habit to get in to. There is also something invigorating about completing a strenuous work out to boost your mood and overall wellbeing.
5. Improve Your Sleep
Sleep is a vital part of the healthy weight equation because sleep deprivation reduces the production of the hormone Leptin, which encourages the body to expend energy and is also a natural appetite suppressant.
When you sleep your body performs so many important functions, including the assimilation of nutrients, resetting and recovery, so it's important to get enough.
The optimum amount of sleep is 8 hours. Not enough sleep, or poor quality sleep, has been linked to fat storage and buildup, plus a whole host of other health issues.
If counting sheep doesn’t work for you and you’re struggling to get a quality 8 hours of sleep each night, it might be time to take a look at your pre-sleep routine and environment.
Turn off all electronic devices at least an hour before bed, use your bed for sleep and nothing else (including reading or listening to podcasts), avoid eating food close to your bedtime, and make your bedroom as soothing and relaxing as possible.
Ensure there is clean, fresh air circulating in your room when you sleep - slightly crack the window, lightly spin a ceiling fan or box fan to help you breathe electrified, moving air. Also, a few drops of pure essential oils on your skin and pillow can help, as well as dimming the lighting and remove all distractions like televisions and laptops.
6. Pay Attention to Your Circle
The people you surround yourself with are almost as important as what you put in your body when it comes to trying to change the way your body holds onto fat. You’re more likely to embrace the habits of those you hang around most, so choose your circle wisely.
If your friends and family make unhealthy lifestyle choices more often than not, then chances are you will too. If you’re trying to get rid of stubborn belly fat for good and stop your body from accumulating it, it’s worthwhile to spend more time with those who make good lifestyle and smart food choices. These days with so many people being health conscious, it shouldn't be difficult to find a willing friend to join you on your daily hike or visit to the pilates studio or gym.
Learn more in 6 Healthy Ways to Lose Weight & Keep It Off.
Genetics is often considered a factor and whilst this can play a genuine role, it's more likely that people simply follow the habits they are raised with and surrounded by, which can be confused for a genetic predisposition to weight gain.
Your mindset around taking care of yourself and your body weight is just as powerful as any other factor. If you see yourself as attractive, practice positive self talk and find stimulus that keeps you motivated, you'll go a long way to making the right choices to achieve the body shape you want to and to keep your weight and level of body fat under healthy control, whilst avoiding the risk of a host of dangerous health conditions, from diabetes, to heart disease, stroke, cancer and more.
Tolman Self Care.