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Insulin Management

Even with good insulin management many people still have stubborn belly fat. This stubbornness can be caused by a multitude of reasons, thus can be a complex site to address.

Implementing lifestyle changes will be beneficial but can be challenging. We get used to living our life at 100mph these days, and letting go of that even for 15mins can sometimes be a challenge, for me it is something I always have to work on.

Here are my top tips (in no specific order) to help you lower cortisol and also help you get the bottom of why you have a stubborn belly fat site.

1. Adapt your evening routine to a more relaxed one. Aim to avoid computer use after 8pm, avoid bright lights and don’t watch stressful TV. Instead include points 2,3,4,5,10.

2. Include diaphragmatic breathing into your routine. You may notice that when we are stress we adopt shallow breathing. On assessments with clients often this is the only way they breathe. When you look at a baby you can see how we are meant to breathe in a relaxed state. The diaphragm moves down and thus the belly will move out as we breathe in.

3. Read something you love reading about and avoid stressful situations/TV/news.

4. Meditate – meditation can be hard to master, but the ability of being able to empty the mind is a powerful tool. There are some good apps and guided meditation techniques out there to help with this that are worth investigating.

5. Perform some static stretching – Static stretching has been shown to help lower cortisol levels and is also good practice in the prevention of injuries. My favourite stretch book is Stretch to Win.

6. Optimise gut function – Dealing with symptoms in the gut is as simple as removing what should not be in there (infections, toxins and food sensitivities) and adding in what is missing (nutrients/good nutrition, digestive enzymes/acids). If you suffer with gut dysfunction such as constipation (not going at least once every 24hrs), loose stools, bloating, gas, or low energy after meals, see first whether food changes have a positive impact.

6. Remove toxin exposure – Heavy metal exposure like mercury and can all play havoc in our body. They can be a common cause of chronic inflammation, which in turn can stress cortisol production and lead to fat gain.

7. Train smart – Getting your training load right to suit your ability to recover is incredibly important. If you don’t recover between training sessions not only will you not progress your training, you will also drive stress hormones such as cortisol up and this can become catabolic, reducing muscle mass and increase fat gain. Some people can train twice a day 4 times per week and other can only train 2-3 times per week for optimal recovery. Respect your biochemical individuality and design programmes that fit in with your lifestyle and recovery.

8. Question very low carbohydrate diets and fasting methods. People often feel great when they first start a low carbohydrate diet or intermittent fasting, this is often because the body has to increase cortisol production to help stabilise blood glucose levels. In the short term as a fat loss strategy this may be applicable; however long term use of this will often lead to lowered metabolic function and in time may lead to dysfunctional adrenal function and a lowering of sex hormones.

9. Sleep – we sleep for a large proportion of our life, or at least we should. The truth is so many people have poor sleep health; they wake in the night on a regular basis, have trouble falling asleep or sleep very lightly. We need to hit deep undisturbed sleep for optimal hormone production and recovery. Use the evening routine steps above to help lower cortisol levels in the evening. This will encourage a better night’s sleep. You should also add some form of quality carbohydrate in your evening meal such as root vegetables and eat light protein sources such as fish and seafood. This approach can help increase serotonin levels which in turn can not only make you feel good but also feed into the production of melatonin (sleep hormone).

I would recommend implementing no more than two at any given time. Once you have become consistent with implementing two of these tips add another, gradually adding another one after the other building consistency.


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