Here’s a happy slimming secret: It’s surprisingly easy to triple weekly weight loss just by correcting hormonal imbalances. Your "trouble spots" reveal which hormones to target, and by doing so, you can eliminate body fat from anywhere on your body! All you have to do is eat right to support those hormones. So if you're feeling a little down about a particular problem area, check out the list below of areas where you're holding onto fat, and exactly how to get rid of it.
Heavy hips? It could be estrogen.
Blame extra curves on estrogen dominance, a problem that affects up to 66% of women largely because estrogen-mimicking compounds lurk in processed food and farm pesticides and hormones.
Easy Fix: Sprinkle your salads with two tablespoons of flaxseeds (which contain a fiber that blocks the absorption of estrogen) daily, and British researchers say you could lose weight 56 percent faster.
Round belly? It could be cortisol.
When you’re under pressure, your body releases cortisol, a stress hormone that fuels the formation of belly fat, says obesity researcher Andrew Steptoe, PhD.
Easy Fix: Set aside five minutes twice daily to visualize yourself tackling problems calmly and successfully, and researchers at Logan’s Utah State University say you’ll cut stress levels in half, lower cortisol production by 33 percent and easily shed up to 14 pounds of stubborn abdominal fat!
Flabby arms? It could be testosterone.
By your mid-40s, your ovaries slow the production of the fat-burning hormone testosterone. The first sign? Loose upper arms.
Easy Fix: A four tablespoons of whey protein powder to your daily smoothie. Say researchers at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital: The amino acids will prod your adrenal glands to make testosterone, speeding fat loss by as much as 68 percent!
Muffin top? It could be insulin.
Side fat is a sign your body isn’t using insulin properly — the hormone is depositing blood sugars into tissues at your waist, where they are turned into fat.
Easy Fix: Pick up the pace for 20-second “bursts” during walks, and metabolic researcher Tom Fritz, MD, explains you’ll switch on insulin-sensitizing genes, helping tissues burn 50 percent more blood sugar before it’s converted into fat.
Women who successfully shed over 100 pounds (and kept it off) reveal that getting lots of sleep was essential for their slimming. Indeed, research proves that logging at least seven hours of shut-eye nightly revs metabolism, speeds fat burn and quashes cravings.
What's more, writing down what you eat daily could help you slim 45 percent faster, Australian researchers say, because it reminds you of your positive changes and helps you focus on improving health.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.