Weight loss struggles circle back to a universal element: hormones. When certain hormones, like insulin, are out of balance, the normal pattern of fat storage and messages sent to the brain that signal it’s time to eat become abnormal.
Insulin and belly fat go hand in hand. “Insulin is released when you eat, but if you go long stretches of time without food, your insulin levels can drop. If you naturally produce too much insulin you’ll feel like you’re not that hungry, especially in the morning,” says Caroline J. Cederquist, weight management expert and author of The MD Factor Diet. “When there’s extra insulin, it tricks your body into thinking it’s hungry when it really isn’t, so you end up eating to get your blood sugar back up.”
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This unnecessary eating causes excess fat to be stored in the abdominal area, preventing insulin receptors from acting properly and failing to place glucose into the appropriate cells. So, instead of providing energy, the extra insulin causes glucose to be stored in the blood, weight to be gained (specifically in the stomach) and your metabolism to not function as it’s designed to.
To keep your insulin levels balanced, don’t skip meals—especially breakfast—but you should majorly cut down or cut out foods that cause a spike in blood sugar, like processed foods and refined carbs. Instead, try whole-wheat grains to get a healthy carb fix and lean proteins to help stabilize your blood sugar.
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