We have to understand that the accumulation of adipose tissue at the waistline is usually caused by a hormonal imbalance. Usually overeating leads to weight gain, and the weight is distributed more or less evenly. We usually see men gain belly weight more frequently than women. This phenomenon is due to the fact that men do not have a lot of estrogen. Estrogen stimulates the alpha receptors located in the lower body. Therefore, since women have higher estrogen levels, a woman who gains weight due to overeating will gain it in her lower body.
One of the primary causes of waistline weight-gain is insulin resistance. Generally, people begin to gain intraabdominal weight. This is followed by fat accumulation at the subcutaneous level (between the skin and the abdominal muscles). The infamous “beer belly” is therefore a sign of insulin resistance and inflammation. These two go hand-in-hand: Insulin resistance produces an inflammatory environment, inflammation increases the insulin resistance, and it becomes a vicious cycle.
Furthermore, cortisol increases intra-abdominal fat and the accumulation of subcutaneous fat tissue in the belly. Certain receptors are more sensitive to cortisol than others. Their distribution is found more at the abdominal level. Intra-abdominal fat (brown tissue) is the most susceptible to insulin management and inflammation.
The first step to losing abdominal fat is to limit carbohydrates. Cutting down on carbs does not mean cutting them out entirely. A daily balanced diet should be made up of 10‒20% percent carbohydrates. This is far from what is normally advised. (It should be noted, though, that this percentage is meant for people who have developed insulin resistance, and not for the general population.)
The second thing to do is a sleep habit assessment. People who are stressed and don’t sleep well will have a much harder time reversing weight gain no matter what lifestyle changes they make. Even with a structured food and training regime, if sleep is not part of the program, nothing will work! “Sleep better and you’ll slim down quicker.” That’s the advice we ought to give that has been scientifically proven by tests on people suffering from obesity. Participants only lost weight when they improved the quality of their sleep. Amazing, right? This is the reason why sleep is an extremely important factor in losing weight.
When choosing which supplements to recommend, I consider stress and sleep management to be secondary, but it is something I assess for each client. The first thing that holds us back is the management of insulin resistance. Generally, with my clients, I limit their carbohydrate intake to 20% each day and I always see an improvement. Next, we have to determine which types of fats they are taking in. It should be clear that the remaining 80% of the diet should not be comprised solely of protein. There have to be lipids as well and these have got to be good fats (omega-3s, coconut oil and olive oil, for example). Without them, the entire process is useless. Even though it contains saturated fat, coconut oil is still good because it stays very stable through processing. Because they are made up of middle-chain fatty acids, the lipids found in coconut oil stimulate the metabolism. In any case, industrially processed fats should be avoided as much as possible.
Once dietary adjustments have been made, we can consider supplements for insulin management: Chrome, L-Carnitine and even certain salts, for example. And what a great coincidence: ATP has a new product containing vanadium salts! The effect of berberine is also useful, as is cinnamon. Fiber consumption, too, can reduce weight gain since fat concentrates around the fiber, partially preventing fat absorption. For example, by taking 10g of fat with 20g of fiber, fat absorption will probably be limited to 5g.
The oldest among us may recall chitosan, which was very popular in the 2000s. It was an artificially created fat-soluble fiber for people who wished to lose weight. People would eat fat and then take a chitosan supplement to block its absorption. All said and done, the product caused more long-term digestive issues than positive results on the body, but what won’t the industry do to find us new “solutions”?
That said, people with a diet rich in fiber often will lose weight more easily.
So, diet is a key to successful weight-loss! But, when it comes to choosing a supplement, we’ve first got to take a look at blood sugar. Next comes managing cortisol and sleep quality. Many people try to manage their cortisol levels after working out, which can be good. But you can avoid the problem altogether by working on getting better sleep. One sign your sleep quality may need to be assessed is a reduced capacity to recover from workouts. It is not the workout itself that is the problem; it’s your ability to recover and the quality of your sleep!
In conclusion, to reduce your waist-line, you have to break the cycle of insulin resistance. Remember the importance of eating good fats, managing stress and paying attention to sleep quality. Finally, don’t overlook the cornerstone of good weight management: The contents of your plate!
The Factors for Waistline Reduction