Abdominal fat. A problem for many a man... Sometimes, it seems that everything you eat ends up on your abdomen. And if you do manage to lose weight, it seems as if you are losing only muscle mass while the pot belly remains firmly in place. How many men do you see around you who have no buttocks to fill their trousers, but have a huge, round, belly? And the older you get, the bigger the problem.
In this blog, you will read why this is so and what you may do against it.
If you only focus on calories, you will lose fat, but you will not change the localization of fat. To affect this localization, you have to focus on the hormone balance. To get rid of the pot belly, it is necessary to balance 4 hormones. The localisation of fat on the abdomen is caused by the stress hormone cortisol. That is why a pot belly is sometimes called a 'stress belly'. And there are three hormones that counteract the effect of cortisol. These are the growth hormone, testosterone, and DHEA. Schematic representation:
Storage of belly fat -> Cortisol
Burning of belly fat -> Growth hormone / Testosterone / DHEA
You will therefore need to inhibit the catabolic hormone cortisol, which breaks down muscle mass and raises fat storage, and boost the anabolic hormones growth hormone, testosterone, and DHEA, which promote muscle growth and fat loss. If you are young, the anabolic hormones are profusely available and will counteract the fattening effect of cortisol. As you get older, it becomes more difficult to win the fight against the pot belly. After all, growth hormone, testosterone, and DHEA will be reduced as you age.
LOSING ABDOMINAL FAT
- Reduce stress during work and private life and make sure to sleep well.
- Do not overtrain (never for longer than one hour and four times a week at most)
- Avoid stress from food: less sugar, chemical E numbers, pesticides, and allergens/intolerances (almost always from dairy products and wheat).
- Relax! Find out your own ways to relax - this will vary from one person to the next
Boost the growth hormone:
- Sleep well, because most growth hormone is produced during a good night's sleep
- Eat sufficient amounts of protein (growth hormone is produced from protein)
- Limit the consumption of sugars, because the growth hormone cannot do its job when there is too much insulin present. Therefore, avoid carbohydrates and sugars just before going to bed.
- Power exercises - no longer than one hour - focussed on the large muscle groups will boost the growth hormone.
- Reduce stress, because stress will lower the growth hormone.
Boost DHEA and testosterone levels:
- Make sure you consume sufficient amounts of saturated fats and Omega-9 fats. These two types of fat will raise DHEA and testosterone while poly-unsaturated fats (from seeds, nuts, linseed, and fish) will lower testosterone. DHEA and testosterone are produced from cholesterol.
- Power exercises that focus on the large muscle groups - no longer than one hour per session - will boost testosterone, while longer cardio sessions, on the other hand, will reduce the testosterone level.
- Reduce stress, because stress will lower testosterone and DHEA.
- Make sure you are successful! Winning will boost the testosterone level.
- As you get older, the physician may prescribe testosterone gel to counteract a shortage.
- Do not wear tight shorts or trousers, because the high temperature thus created will inhibit the production of testosterone by the testicles. Although inconvenient sometimes, there is a reason for the testicles to be on the outside of the body. They need to lose their heat that way.
- Reduce the alcohol intake. The beer belly says it all.
- Do not eat liquorice and do not drink liquorice infusions.