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Can You Spot-Reduce?

The reason women tend to put on weight in the area of their glutes and thighs is two-fold. One, genetic and two, hormonal. The reason men tend to put weight on around their belly is also two-fold. One, genetic and two, dietary.

There is only so much that can be done for either gender, with the genetic issue. We are going to look like our parents in many ways and therefore there is only so much you can do to alter your body shape as Mother Nature is a powerful predictor of how you will look.

Men can do a lot to reduce their belly fat by cutting out fried foods, beer and the like. Due to their ability to burn body fat and put on more muscle than women, they tend to lose body fat easier than their counterparts - much to the displeasure of their mates.

Let's take a closer, and more in depth, look at women and their hormonal weight gain issues.
Achieving hormonal balance is such an important aspect of any weight/fat loss program, but it is often overlooked. When hormonal instability exists, it is nearly impossible to lose weight effectively, healthfully and permanently. Insulin, cortisol, estrogen, testosterone and thyroid hormones all control blood sugar levels, body fat storage, metabolic rate, and energy levels. These hormones act in concert with one another - if one is out of balance it will affect the entire system.

Cortisol is one of the most important hormones to concern ourselves with, when considering fat/weight loss success. It is produced by the adrenal glands, secreted during times of stress, to increase blood sugar levels. The adrenal gland influence is responsible for physical, emotional and psychological effects: from the level of your sex drive, to your tendency to gain weight. Although cortisol is beneficial in acute stressful situations, chronically elevated cortisol levels are detrimental in many ways. Too much of it and you'll be overweight.

Chronically elevated cortisol levels result in elevated insulin secretion, poor thyroid hormone function and imbalanced production of estrogen and progesterone. This combination favors increased body fat storage - making your diet and exercise efforts seem wasteful, frustrating and insufficient.

Any weight loss plan that overlooks hormonal imbalance is incomplete. The good news is that hormone balance can be restored naturally through dietary changes, nutritional supplementation and lifestyle modifications - including exercise, stress management and energetic healing.

There is no evidence that shows the theory of "spot reduction" as having any success. The reason being: the area you are attempting to slim down does not have immediate access to burn/use the fat nearby. You can do a great job of firming and toning the muscles surrounding the area, but the effort of building muscle in any particular area will not reduce the fat in that particular area.

Some areas seem to be more stubborn than others at reducing their fat contents. The fat surrounding a woman's thighs in particular was deposited there for the long term and will not be reduced or eliminated until other areas of the overall body fat have been reduced.
Keep on your healthy diet, keep exercising and focus on being healthy.


Barbara Bates is a Registered Nutritional Consulting Practitioner, Registered Orthomolecular Health Practitioner, Certified Personal Trainer, Reiki Practitioner and CancerGuide. She holds a Masters Degree of Applied Science in Holistic Nutrition and runs a wellness practice in Canada. Barbara is specifically trained in diagnosing and correcting the underlying root cause of health concerns rather than treating the symptoms and her nutrition services are offered over the internet to assist those in all areas of the world. To contact Barbara, please visit innerbalancewellness.com. You can email her at innerbalance@sympatico.ca. She can be reached via email at innerbalance@sympatico.ca.

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