We’ve all read countless magazines about our different body types. Some people store fat around the middle. Some store in around the butt, belly and thighs. Some store it all over. Fashion mags tell us how to dress for our body, but is it possible to create a body type diet?
Everyone is unique. From your finger prints right down to your metabolic and hormonal tendencies and how you store and burn fat. It is all chiefly determined by your unique genetic blueprint and it’s heavily determined by our hormones which are directly influenced by our genetics, diet, lifestyle and environment.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
With this in mind, it’s important to understand that there is no ‘one size fits all’ magic formula to burn fat from specific areas. But there are things you can do to exert influence over how and where your body stores and burns fat.
There are different techniques to approach your problem areas and you can tailor them to suit your specific hormonal, metabolic tendencies and problem areas. Nobody will fit specifically into one type. Despite there being categories of types you might find you sit somewhere in the middle. For simplicity I have categorised two types in this article.
Why doesn’t cutting calories or simply ‘dieting’ burn fat from your problem areas? Simply reducing calories does not mean you will reduce your problem areas. In fact often times weight can reduce from other areas and make your problem areas look even worse.
Reducing calories does NOT balance metabolic hormones. In fact it can further upset metabolic hormones resulting in muscle loss and further weight gain to the problem areas in the future. Ultimately in order to tackle the problem areas you must first achieve hormonal balance. Cutting calories alone will upset hormonal balance.
So what are the different problem areas and how do you tackle them?
Lower Body Fat – Pear shapes
Lower body fat on women tends to be very stubborn. Increased Estrogen levels can encourage fat storage on the lower body. We have two types of fat receptors Alpha and Beta. Women have more of the Alpha receptors in the lower body and these are the ones more resistance to fat loss.
Because the hormone insulin promotes alpha receptor activity you should aim to lower starchy carbohydrates in your meals (100g or less per day). Another trick is to cycle the diet. When you exercise you should eat more to fuel and build lean body.
When you exercise less you want to eat less to enable to body to burn fat. This keeps the metabolism happy and guessing. Exercise on an empty stomach where possible as this will encourage fat burning in stubborn areas.
Use a mix or resistance training, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) such as sprinting to increase Beta receptor activity and fat burning. Follow with slow, long duration low intensity activity of a minimum of 30 minutes.
Another technique is to increase blood flow to those areas via massage or foam rolling prior to exercise since these have poor blood flow and therefore resistant to burning fat. Up your intake of green tea (green tea extract is highly beneficial), phytoestrogens, insoluble fibre, lignans, cruciferous vegetables and probiotics.
Reduce your alcohol intake and exposure to environmental chemical estrogens such as those found in plastics and non-organic animal products. Use Lemon in warm water to aid the liver in detoxifying excess estrogenic compounds. The best phytoestrogens to include in the diet are flax, sesame, leafy greens, alfalfa, clover, licorice root, and legumes.
The Lower Body Fat Diet:
Always include plenty of filtered water throughout the day. Exercise before eating such as a long walk. Take a greens drink that contains alfalfa, spinach, broccoli, watercress etc.
– Breakfast: Protein based such as eggs and plenty of greens such as watercress and a cup of warm water and lemon.
– Snack: Protein smoothie with flaxseed
– Lunch: A large salad with chickpea houmous, chicken with balsamic vinegar and lemon with a licorice tea.
– Snack: Nuts and dark chocolate
– Dinner: Fish, with masses of steamed broccoli and kale and a small serving of sweet potato and a chamomile tea.
Belly Fat – Apple
Apple shapes tend to secret more insulin after meals, so they should avoid foods that promote this, such as starchy carbohydrates and sweet fruits for example. Belly fat can be exacerbated by high insulin, stress and/or hormonal imbalance. The trick is to tackle all of them.
Stress and lack of sleep directly effect hormonal balance, reduced testosterone and can lead to excess and resistant belly fat. Stress and alcohol and starchy carbohydrates impact blood sugar levels and insulin levels making belly fat even more resistant. So consider addressing each one for maximum results.
Aim to get a minimum of 8 hours sleep at night and find ways to tackle stress levels such as taking up a hobby, yoga, meditation or walking. Another great technique to lower insulin and balance other disrupted hormones is to fast overnight for a minimum of 12-14 hours. If you eat your last meal at 7pm, aim not to eat before 7am.
For tackling belly fat you are best using a mix of intense interval training such as sprints and resistance training that uses all the big compound movements such as squats, dead lifts and press-ups.
Use vinegar at meals to help slow the release of insulin and use Curcumin from the spice Turmeric as it is said to be a belly fat reducing aid. Eating your starches, such as potato and rice, can also reduce the release of insulin during meals.
The Belly Fat Diet:
Always include plenty of filtered water throughout the day. Black coffee and exercise before eating such a heavy weights or interval session.
– Breakfast: Porridge with added whey protein and berries. A green tea.
– Snack: Protein shake with chia seeds
– Lunch: A large salad with cold new potatoes, salmon with balsamic vinegar and lemon with a green tea.
– Snack: Almonds, walnuts and an apple
– Dinner: Spicy homemade chicken curry with cauliflower rice and a tulsi tea.