A Four-Step Belly Fat Weight Loss Plan That Makes Sense
Do you find that no matter how much exercise you do, or how many calories you cut, that you actually wind up gaining rather than losing weight? Especially in the abdominal region as belly fat? There’s a reason for this says one weight loss expert who found the answer to her own weight loss attempts that she believes can work for you too—simply by eating the right foods at the right time of the day with this special diet that’s not a diet.
"Why are you not losing weight? Your own hormones could be to blame," says Dr. Oz as he introduces special guest Natasha Turner, N.D. and author of the diet book "The Supercharged Hormone Diet" who tells viewers that losing weight is not just about eating less, but about eating foods that will bring your fat-loss hormones back into balance.
Ms. Turner explains to viewers that when she first tried to lose weight by eating less, she found herself actually gaining weight - up to 25 pounds more fat in spite of the fact that she was also exercising more too.
“The harder I tried, and the harder I exercised, and the more calories I cut, the more and more weight I gained,” says Ms. Turner.
After doing some research, what she found was that when you overdo it with cutting calories and with exercising, you are actually causing release of one of the biggest fat-forming hormones in the body—cortisol. Cortisol, also known as the “stress hormone” is a big player when it comes to how fat is metabolized and where it is being stored in the body. In fact, lowering your cortisol levels through sex was one previous Dr. Oz recommended belly fat fighting technique.
“When we cut our calories too much or when we over-exercise, it raises the stress hormone cortisol. And cortisol is directly linked to more belly fat, increased cravings for comfort foods, and it actually suppresses your thyroid hormone which is the master of your metabolic rate,” says Ms. Turner who states that a hormonal imbalance with a low thyroid while she was dieting, had sabotaged her initial weight loss efforts.
By eating a diet rich in these foods, you can raise your thyroid hormone levels and remove one factor involved in belly fat.
So how do you know if you have a hormonal imbalance? According to Ms. Turner you should suspect that you may have a hormonal imbalance if you have any of these signs and symptoms:
• Difficulty in getting out of bed
• Hunger or strong cravings soon after eating
• Breast tenderness
• Feeling bloated after a meal
• Have stubborn belly fat
• Carrying excess fat in your butt, hips or thighs
In addition, this one simple mirror test could help you diagnose whether you may have a hormonal imbalance.
“These are all symptoms of hormonal imbalance…they are actually signs that your metabolism is not optimized,” says Ms. Turner who adds that only by restoring your hormonal balance by utilizing her “Supercharged Hormone Diet” will you then be able to experience weight loss with normal dieting and exercise.
Below is a summary of her 4-step Supercharged Hormone Diet plan.
“The Supercharged Hormone Diet”
Step 1: Eat 4 meals per day
“That whole deal about three square meals a day is antiquated,” says Ms. Turner. She explains that the problem with three meals a day is that it puts our body in a starvation mode because too many hours pass between meals. When that happens, our cortisol levels rise and our blood sugar levels subsequently drop, which then causes us to eat more than we should at our next meal. When that happens, higher levels of insulin are released to deal with the extra sugar from the too-heavy meal, which is then stored away as belly fat.
Dr. Oz explains that when the brain senses it is famished, it will alter the body’s metabolism and begin to store fat in fat cells because the brain is in survival mode and will begin to conserve energy―especially when cortisol levels are high. To avoid this starving-brain scenario, adding a fourth meal to each day will lessen the time between meals and prevent the brain from sensing that the body is hungry.
Ms. Turner points out that it is important to know that not only is eating 4 meals a day necessary, but that you also have to eat each meal the same time every day. Doing this will keep your insulin levels stabilized and thereby prevent blood sugar from being converted and stored away as fat. Her recommended four meal times are 8 a.m., 12 p.m., 4 p.m., and 7-8 p.m.
Step 2: Eat one starchy carb after 4 p.m.
While eating a diet filled with starchy carbs is frowned upon by most dieticians because it is an unhealthy practice, starchy foods can also be harmful by the fact that they also increase our cravings to eat more of them.
However, Ms. Turner's recommended hormone diet plan allows one starchy carb a day--but only AFTER 4 p.m. This advice is based on the idea that when we eat starchy foods it causes release of the hormone serotonin that stimulates the pleasure center of the brain. According to Dr. Oz, doing this can help us get to sleep at night while at the same time allow your balanced hormones to work away at burning fat.
“When you sleep properly and enough, you will release fat-burning hormones,” concurs Ms. Turner who adds that with your last meal of the day you should drink a glass of tomato juice with it because tomato juice will actually lower your insulin release after you have eaten.
“The tomato juice blocks the release of sugar into your bloodstream, so it lowers the glycemic impact of the meal. And that means less insulin release, which always means less fat storage,” says Ms. Turner.
Step 3: When you eat fruit—eat blueberries
To achieve the release of the same fat-burning hormones that are released during exercise, eat blueberries recommends Ms. Turner who tell viewers that studies show that blueberries cause the release of “Adiponectin”—an important hormone that regulates glucose levels and helps control fatty acid breakdown.
“I looked at studies of obese people who had a blueberry smoothie every day for six weeks, and they had a 22% improvement in their insulin metabolism, which means that they became better fat-burning machines,” says Ms. Turner.
Step 4: Do a hump day cleanse
According to Dr. Oz, studies show that taking a one-day fast once a week has been shown to cause release of growth hormone, which leads to building up extra lean muscle mass. During a fast, Ms. Turner recommends replacing all solid food that day with 4 liters of cleansing teas such as green tea, dandelion tea, ginger tea, etc. which are natural diuretics that will help cleanse the body.
However, if a total fast is out of the question for you, Ms. Turner states that you can have a hard-boiled egg in the morning and some nuts in the evening to temper your fast while you are resetting your fat loss hormones.
For more about how controlling your hormones can lead to weight loss, here is an informative article about 5 hot hormone foods for women to fight belly fat.
Image Source: Courtesy of WikiCommons Media
Reference: The Dr. Oz Show― Dr. Oz's Power Plan to Reset Your Fat-Loss Hormones