This article is made up from a variety of publications but it is still current, especially with Christmas coming up!

For years now, exercise and diet ‘experts’ had been telling us that ‘No matter how much you exercise a particular area you can not lose body fat directly from one specific area.” While this is quite true of exercise- (Nope, sorry no amount of sit ups and crunches will give you a flat stomach), is it necessarily true of diet? Can you lose body fat from ‘problem’ areas by making changes to your diet? The answer is YES!

Research has been done by world renowned strength coach Charles Poliquin, from over 20 years of performing blood, urine and saliva tests while working with world record holders, professional athletes in all the major sports and Olympic medallists in 16 different events. His entire professional life has been devoted to finding ways to improve athletic performance among the elite, and along the way, he has found innovative and amazingly effective ways to help the non-athletic population in the area of fat loss. Based on his testing, the reason so many people have stubborn problem areas is due to imbalances in their body biochemistry, especially with hormones.

Let’s start with the dreaded Muffin Top. Just what is Muffin Top? A muffin top is that layer of fat that spills over the top of the wearers waistband. More visible when wearing Jeans and a shorter top. We see see them all the time, alarmingly more so on teenage girls than anyone else.

So how does this happen? Quite Simple. TOO MANY CARBS. You see, the supra-iliac or ‘LOVE HANDLE’ area is DIRECTLY LINKED to your carbohydrate intake. It may not be fair but the fact is that your friend may be able to eat all the carbs he/she wants because she doesn’t have a problem with insulin but if you have love handles- you do. It really is as simple as that. Some people have the genetic gift of being able to tolerate more carbs. The Asians and Chinese are a good example.

Let’s take a closer look at how this works: The hormone in question is INSULIN. Contrary to popular belief, the body actually WANTS to use fat as energy. However doing anything that causes insulin levels to rise rapidly, causes the body to shuttle blood sugar to the liver, muscle tissue and most importantly, to the adipose tissue (body fat!). Insulin, in essence is a STORAGE hormone. Guess where it loves to be stored?? Around that waist! I must clarify however that it’s REFINED carbs we need to avoid AT ALL COSTS and anything with a High Glycaemic Index reading. Things like pasta, bread, rice…. YES wholemeal versions count too if you want to get REALLY lean. Obvious things like cakes and biscuits too. However alcohol is the biggest cause of this muffin top syndrome. This may explain why so many teenagers of both sexes suddenly find that they pile on weight and it sits around their middle. Alcohol is, quite simply, liquid sugar; a useless nutrient that the body struggles to deal with: Here comes the science bit, as explained by Nick Mitchell of Ultimate Performance http://www.upfitness.co.uk/ ; “The body absorbs all carbohydrates as quickly as it would a tablespoon of sugar, which means that the body is forced to release waves of insulin to dispose of the large influx of carbohydrates. These surges of insulin, repeated over and over again, lead to a condition called insulin resistance. The cells that normally respond to insulin get desensitized. The pancreas — which produces insulin has to “shout” louder and louder for the cells that handle insulin to hear. The pancreas has to produce more and more insulin to metabolize all that rapidly assimilated carbohydrate. To make matters worse, these large surges of insulin tend to overshoot the mark, and more is released than is needed. As such, it then causes temporary low blood sugar (insulin takes sugar out of the blood and puts it in storage, remember), which sends your brain a signal that it’s time to eat again. One biscuit is never enough is it?”

Ready to lose the love handles then?? Let’s get one thing straight- you will not die if you don’t have carbs and this is not the Atkins diet. We just need to choose our fruit and vegetables carefully. If you want to lose that muffin top quickly then here’s my advice for maximum results!

  1. Eat ONLY green vegetables. Eat them 4 times a day. Eat them steamed or raw. (Micro waving destroys 97% of the flavanoids, boiling 66%, steaming only minimal).
  1. Try to stick to berries for your fruit intake- they have a pretty low GI but have lots of anti-oxidants due to their thin skin. The thinner the skin, the higher the anti oxidants.
  1. Never eat fruit on its own. Have a handful of organic nuts with the fruit- this can help slow down the insulin ‘spike – protein in the nuts slows down the absorption of sugar.
  1. If it comes in a packet or tin- Don’t eat it. FULL STOP.
  1. If it’s ever been alive- you can eat it!

6) Supplement with a good quality fish oil. Be wary of supermarket options. You get what you pay for. Cheaper brands contain alarmingly high quantities of heavy metals, most notably mercury. A highly recommended choice is www.alimentnutrition.co.uk

Always remember, the more colour on your plate, the healthier the meal. You get energy from all sorts of sources and need to lose the myth that a high carb. diet is the only way to prepare for exercise.

Drink water – boring but true – a minimum of 2 litres a day. Flush out your system and rehydrate your body.

The Holford 9 day Liver Detox diet by Holford and Macdonald Joyce and Lean and Clean by James Guigan (both available on Amazon) are very interesting reads with some great recipes and simple explanations on diet and how to improve your energy, health and body shape.

Bye for now and I hope you enjoy your regular mailshots!

Juliet

References by Paul Mort, Charles Poliquin, James Duigan and Nick Mitchell.

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