Did you know that your body communicates to you on a daily basis?
Some of the things it tells us, we know exactly what to do with. When we need more fuel, our body signals to us to eat by producing feelings of hunger. When we need more water, we experience the sensation of being thirsty. A hangover is also communication. It’s our body’s way of telling us it’s not happy with some of the decisions we made the day before.
Every sensation or symptom we experience is information from our body—and it’s up to us to then figure out what it’s communicating or asking us to do. Where body fat is concerned, the patterns of deposition you experience can tell you a lot about what’s going on inside and where you might need to focus to switch from fat storage to fat burning.
Let’s explore some of the key areas and what they can indicate.
Body fat deposits around the middle (including the belly and what I lovingly refer to as a back verandah) can be indicative of a wayward stress response and adrenals that are under the pump. This is because, to your body, stress is danger and so it believes it’s important to protect your vital organs. Address this kind of fat deposition by:
- Decreasing caffeine consumption.
- Exploring your perception of pressure and urgency, and save it for when you really need it — not your everyday life.
- Live life in touch with how privileged it is that all of your basic needs are met, whereas for too many people in the world, this is not the case.
- Spend more time diaphragmatically breathing to activate the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS); nothing lowers stress hormones faster than long, slow breaths.
- Remember the serenity prayer: “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.”
- Ensure your diet addresses adrenal support or includes calming nutrients and herbs, depending on the stage of stress. Nutrients and herbs that may help include magnesium, vitamin C, B vitamins, withania, skullcap, rhodiola, Siberian ginseng, licorice and rehmannia.
This pattern can also indicate insulin-resistance. This can be addressed by minimising your consumption of refined flours and sugars, caffeine, as well as reducing stress hormone production, as these can all drive blood glucose surges which require (what might become) an excessive need for insulin production and hence increased body fat storage.
Bra-line and cellulite
A roll of fat underneath the bra-line and cellulite in any area are usually connected to the liver. Address this kind of fat deposition by supporting your liver in the following ways:
- Decrease ‘liver-loaders’
- trans fats
- refined and artificial sugars
- synthetic substances, such as pesticides and non-essential medication, as well as those found in skin products.
- Increase bitter foods, such as leafy green veggies. Those in the Brassica genus are particularly excellent — broccoli and broccoli sprouts rock!
- Start the day with lemon juice in warm water.
- No (or at least minimise) processed foods — this results in a lower intake of refined flours and sugars, inflammatory fats and artificial substances, such as preservatives.
- Resolve any digestion problems, such as diarrhoea, constipation, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome-like symptoms.
- Add to your diet bitter herbs that support bile production and liver detoxification pathways, such as globe artichoke, St Mary’s thistle and turmeric.
Hips and thighs
This pattern of fat deposition is associated with excess estrogen, which can often be the result of liver congestion leading to the recycling of estrogen. Address this by:
- Focusing on the liver solutions listed above.
- Often stress management and adrenal support are required, as the excessive, relentless output of stress hormones leads to poor progesterone production, which adds to the impact you experience from excess estrogen.
- Nutrients and herbal medicines that can be beneficial include broccoli, broccoli sprouts, iodine, selenium, vitamin D, and numerous medicinal herbs including bupleurum, globe artichoke, and schisandra.