If you dream of 6-pack abs but instead suffer from an abdominal “spare tire” that won’t go away, it may be due to hormonal imbalances more than anything else, according to new research.
Extra abdominal “belly fat” can indicate a number of hormonal imbalances including high estrogen levels, low testosterone, low DHEA (a hormone from the adrenal glands), high insulin and high cortisol. All of which are bad for men and their virility.
According to a study conducted by The New England Research Institute (NERI), researchers were able to confirmed that a man’s waist circumference is the single strongest predictor of low testosterone levels. It is even more accurate than age or overall health.
Researchers have also determined abdominal “belly fat” as the strongest predictor for a condition called “symptomatic androgen deficiency” or also known as AD.
What is AD? It is a close relative to ED, marked by low libido, erectile dysfunction, osteoporosis, depressed mood, lethargy and poor performance.
6-Pack Abs = Hormonal Balance
Below are 3 tips to naturally help reduce abdominal fat and improve overall health by helping to balance male hormones:
Eat more Meat:
High protein intake helps to keep blood sugar balanced and insulin levels low. According to a study published in Diabetes Care (March 2002) researchers found a high-protein diet resulted in significantly greater reduction in total abdominal fat and reduction in LDL cholesterol.
When considering sources of protein, excellent sources include free range or organic eggs, low-fat cheeses such as cottage cheese and ricotta and high protein fish such as salmon.
We live in a sleep deprived society. Not only does sleep deprivation result in higher cortisol (stress hormone) levels, but can also result in lower testosterone levels.
A good nights sleep can actually help to loose abdominal weight by influencing hormones that control (suppress) appetite and increase metabolism.
According to a 2004 study at the University of Chicago, sleep (or lack of it) is one of the major regulators of appetite controlling hormones including leptin (the hormone which tells the body it is full).
Next time you head to bed early, consider it your “new diet”.
Adequate sleep is also important to Growth Hormone (GH) levels. Growth hormone is released during deep sleep and while we exercise. It is essential for tissue repair, muscle building, bone density and overall body composition.
Ensuring adequate levels of growth hormone are released are not only necessary for overall health but also very important to male virility.
The deepest sleeps are achieved in cool and completely dark environments and on an empty stomach.
If we sleep with the lights on or eat too close to bedtime, the body’s natural cool-down process will not take place putting at risk decreased levels of both growth hormone melatonin and testosterone.
Naturally Boost Testosterone Levels:
There are a number of ways to naturally boost testosterone levels. There are specialty supplements such as tribulus which works to reduce the binding of testosterone to the sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG).
There are also run of the mill, corner store supplements such as zinc which have shown to be incredible beneficial in naturally boosting testosterone levels in specific groups of men.
There are even specific exercises such as the Tabata Protocol (only 4 minutes long) that have been shown to naturally boost testosterone levels and will even cut your workout time down to…well 4 minutes.