You have many hormones that can contribute to weight gain. Of these, cortisol imbalance is a major factor. Have you heard of the “pear-shaped” body versus the “apple” body? If you have a pear-shaped body, you can thank Estrogen. And I mean “thank”, though you may not appreciate your curves, your heart does. Hip, butt, and thigh fat is not inflammatory and does not affect your heart. If you have an apple-shaped body, you can blame Cortisol. Yes, blame, because cortisol induced fat is super inflammatory contributing to cardiovascular disease.
Remember that cortisol is part of your body’s natural stress response. It fuels the fight or flight response. When you first become stressed, you may actually lose weight. That is because cortisol is catabolic, meaning it breaks down tissues. At first, just releasing sugar stores, then fat stores which might seem good but then cortisol starts breaking down muscle and bone which is really bad.
And if the stress never lets up, your Hypothalamus perceives that you are not safe. Remember your Hypothalamus reacts to what you perceive as stress as if you’re in mortal danger like a tiger is chasing you. So it tells your body to store whatever calories you’re eating. That way, when you finally get treed by the tiger, you can last awhile. Your Hypothalamus is just trying to save you. Thank you, Hypothalamus!
Guess where all that fat gets deposited; All around your middle, from your neck down to your hips. Your legs and arms may be thinner because you have lost muscle mass. But you develop a layer of fat like a buoy right around your body. You look like an apple with limbs.
So how are you going to lose that fat? First, you must support your hypothalamus. If you don’t, you’ll develop adrenal fatigue. If you already have adrenal fatigue, even more reason to support your Hypothalamus. If you don’t know how, comment below and I’ll post a link. Second, you’ve must burn the fat and build some lean body mass. And the best way to do it is H.I.T.
Hormone Healing Tip: HIT to Pare down your Apple Figure
H.I.T. = High Intensity Training.
Wait, do not panic. I know you are pooped from all that stress. The H.I.T. routine I am suggesting is easy, doable, and it works! A few years ago I challenged a dozen of my “apple -bodied” patients to do my H.I.T. routine. I did it with them, just to be sure it was really doable. After six weeks of doing my H.I.T. routine, they all lost weight, but more to the point, they lost inches around their stomachs. Some of the women went down two sizes!
I did not expect them to lose a lot of weight. I did expect them to lose body fat. They did not lose as much weight as they looked like they lost because they had gained muscle and lean body mass weighs more than fat. Really, who cares if you’re a size five and weigh 140 pounds, when you used to be a size nine at 160 pounds? As long as you are healthier and love your body!
So here is my H.I.T. Routine, which can be done with any aerobic exercise (running, power walking, cycling, swimming, rowing) :
- Warm-up for 5-7 minutes
- Then do a 20-second burst of speed
- Followed by a 1-2 minute recovery at warm-up pace
- Repeat Speed bursts twice more
- Then cool down for 5-7 minutes
Do H.I.T. three times per week, that is all you need to do! You will be “sucking wind” the first few times. But I promise you it will get easier. And when you see results, well, you will be very happy!