What’s your body fat telling you?

The placement of your body fat can reveal hidden truths about your health. So what are your spare tyre, muffin top or love handles trying to tell you?

Flabby tummy, bingo wings or too much junk in the trunk
Fat on the stomach, backs of the arms or backside is usually caused by the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is the hormone which stores fat, and reducing the stress in your life could be the first step towards losing weight. Many of us have become used to shallow breathing, which keeps the body in a state of ‘stress alert’. Try a daily deep breathing exercise on its own, or incorporate some deep breathing with yoga, tai chi or pilates. This will help to lower your cortisol levels, which in turn could be your first steps towards losing weight.

Below the pecs or breasts
A roll of fat under the bra line or beneath your pectoral muscles could be a sign that it’s time to give your liver a rest. Think carefully (and honestly) about how much alcohol you have been drinking, and how much processed food you have been eating recently. Your liver works on the most toxic substances in your body, so if you have been drinking quite a bit it will be busy processing the alcohol, rather than stripping harmful fats out of your food.

Hips and thighs
Weight in typically ‘feminine’ areas can be a sign of low levels of progesterone in the body. Progesterone is also important as an antidepressant and a diuretic, plus it provides us with energy. The body makes progesterone on its own when it feels safe and settled, as it associates progesterone with fertility. Again, think about the stresses in your life and how you might be able to reduce them. Getting exercise  is also important to ensure you are producing enough progesterone. The lymphatic system makes your hormones, of which progesterone is one, and it can become sluggish if you are too sedentary. Get out for a walk every day – this will help to both relax your mind and wake up your lymphatic system, both of which can improve your progesterone levels.

So what is the best way to lose weight?
Most experts will cite a mixture of diet and exercise as the key to losing weight and keeping it off. Doing gentle exercise every day and ensuring you include enough vegetables in your diet are two easy ways to kick-start the process.

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