Estrogen: The Belly Fat Connection
Are you ready to lose your belly fat, sleep more deeply, improve your mood and increase your energy?
A hardy yes is the right answer. I am. And, since I’m approaching the “wisdom years”, and belly fat gets harder and harder to loose, I am learning all about the hormone/fat connection in maturing women. If you’re experiencing the same, come along with me. There is a great amount of new research available on the keys to success.
Loosing belly fat….it’s not as simple as calories in, calories out.
There are 7 primary hormone imbalances that can lead to belly fat, exhaustion, stress, cravings, excessive appetite, moodiness and depression in mid-aged women. Let’s review them one blog at a time, and I’ll show you some simple rules for how to begin to heal these imbalances in your daily lifestyle.
Belly Fat Reason #1 – Estrogen Dominance
Estrogen, when in proper balance with its counterpart progesterone, is the hormone that gives women curves, long eyelashes, shiny hair and all the girly things that women are admired for. And as women, when we eat red meat, especially grain-fed, hormone-injected, bug-infected red meat, it slows down our digestion making the body’s estrogen levels rise and leads to an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone called estrogen dominance.
Why reduce red meat consumption?
Conventional (corn-fed, non-organic) red meat is filled with steroid hormones, synthetic chemicals, and genetically modified corn. These toxins get hidden within the higher fat content of red meat. When toxins enter your gut they are sent to your liver. Since your liver has no use for them they are sent to your fat stores to protect your body from toxic overload. Your fat cells expand to accommodate but eventually the fat cells overload releasing more toxins into your bloodstream and starting the cycle all over again. Now you can begin to understand why loosing belly fat is not as simple as calories in, calories out?
Scientist know that estrogen dominance is a common root cause for diseases like diabetes, metabolic syndrome, certain forms of breast, ovarian and endometrial cancer, especially when a woman menstruates early, becomes obese, has never borne a child or enters menopause at a later age. I’m in this category having birthed my daughter at age 40.
The case for increased veggies (1 lb. /day)
The DNA and microbes that live in the human gut and body (microbiome) are ancestrally programmed for vegetables, nuts, seeds, occasional fruit and clean proteins. Eating high amounts of red meat requires changes in this bacteria that lead to increase hormone levels, especially estrogen.
Now I’m not talking about reducing red meat and increasing wheat and simple carbohydrates. As we’ll learn in my blog about Insulin Resistance, increasing simple carbohydrates and overloading on grain, even whole grains, can lead to other serious problems. I’m making the case here for decreasing your red meat intake and increasing your vegetable intake, especially green vegetables.
Fiber, mostly found in vegetables, is shown to help you lose weight, feel full, and stabilized your blood sugar. Meat eaters on the average consume 12 grams of fiber each day while vegetarians consume 26 grams. Vegetarians poop more volume and excrete three times the amount of estrogen as meat eaters, leading to 15 to 20 percent lower estrogen levels.
And this is important. Don’t think you’re past all this if you’re post-menopausal. An estrogen/progesterone imbalance can cause mood problems, bloating, fibroids, insomnia, anxiety and weight loss resistance at any age. Estrogen and the other metabolic hormones determine whether the food you eat is used as fuel or stored as fat throughout your lifetime.
So, how do you combat estrogen dominance?
You can reset by eliminating or cutting way down on red meat and alcohol and by increasing your daily vegetable intake substantially. According to Dr. Sara Gottfried, Board Certified OB/GYN and author of The Hormone Cure, the estrogen loop can begin to reset in your body in as little as 72-hours if you follow her guidelines. I have studied and trained to teach The Hormone Cure with Dr. Sara and I can coach you through her program.