How to Lose Belly Fat Without Cravings and Starving (supermarket shopping list included)
Is it really difficult to lose belly fat?
Exercise alone doesn’t work. Diet doesn’t work long term. You never achieve your goal or the result doesn’t last.
Why did you have to face starving, cravings and hair loss instead of belly fat loss?
You are wasting time and money, the result is not coming, you are more stressed and depressed than before. Start eating to comfort yourself, fast non-functional ‘cure’ from depression and anxiety.
Vicious circle, right?
You are confused, sick and tired…
And the belly fat is the worst part!
It’s not just making you hate how you look, it’s dangerous for your health too, because the abdominal fat is associated with the development of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, heart disease, and cancer!
The good news is we can do something to prevent the diseases.
Dr Shawn Talbott in his book ‘The Cortisol Connection’ explains what stress does to us, how chronic stress leads to more belly fat and why it’s dangerous to our health. He explains how to deal with it as well.
Let’s jump in.
According to Dr Shawn Talbott, you need to learn to control only 3 things if you want to lose belly fat.
#1. How to Control Stress (cortisol) Levels Mostly by EATING?
WHY? You need to control stress because stress increases cortisol and chronic stress (constant high cortisol level) INCREASES APPETITE and CRAVINGS (especially for certain foods like calorie-dense sweets and salty snacks).
The result is an ABDOMINAL FAT GAIN!
HOW? There are a lot of ways to decrease stress:
1.1. Avoid stressful situations (whenever you can) in the first place.
1.2. Reduce caffeine, too much caffeine leads to nervousness and anxiety.
1.3. Avoid alcohol, because it causes dehydration, which your body perceives as a stressor. Alcohol also increases the occurrence of nighttime awakenings.
1.4. Start using vitamins and minerals, ‘stress-formula’ multivitamins, as Dr Shawn calls them. Take at least vitamin C, calcium, magnesium and B-complex vitamins.
1.5. Drink 4-5 cups of green tea per day.
1.6. Do physical exercise, meditation, tai chi, etc.
1.7. Avoid any kind of deprivation:
-sleep deprivation – sleep 8 hours and 15 minutes every night
-water deprivation – drink at least 8 glasses of water every day
-avoid food deprivation as well – STOP DIETING.
1.8. But EAT right instead:
-eat 3 meals and 2 snacks every day. 3 Meals per day must consist of (1) tightly closed fist-sized whole carbohydrate source, like pasta, bread, cereal
(2) the palm of your hand-sized protein, like fish, eggs, low-fat yoghurt, low-fat milk, chicken, steak, etc.; (3) fat size of the OK sign made by your index finger and thumb, like olive oil, butter, cheese, nuts, etc
(4) fruits and vegetables of the size of your open hand, prefer the ones have bright orange, yellow, red colours for carotenoids and bright blue, purple and green for flavonoids
2 Snacks per day must consist of (1) fruits and vegetables of the size of your open hand and (2) fat (olive oil, butter) size of the OK sign made by your index finger and thumb.
-EAT yoghurt with probiotics – Bifidobacterium
You need to consume about 1200 – 1800 calories per day (depending on your body/hand size). This amount of calories is associated with long-term weight-loss success.
TIP: Because it’s difficult to measure calories, I suggest starting just with the above diet and losing 2-3 kilos only by eating less fat and sugar and more fruits and vegetables. Or, at least stop gaining weight.
This way you ensure the amount of food is necessary to start losing the weight. This is what I did, I was 69 kg and now I am 66.5 kg.
Experiment with new food, find out what you like and don’t like. For example, I discovered that I don’t like raw vegetables, but like boiled vegetables, especially dark green, like peas and broccoli.
HERE IS YOUR SUPERMARKET SHOPPING LIST FOR THE FOOD WHICH HELP YOU TO LOSE BELLY FAT (you can make a screenshot to keep it for your shopping time):
#2. How to Control Testosterone Levels to Lose Your Belly Fat Forever?
WHY? Because high testosterone levels cause fatigue, loss of muscle mass, reduced sex drive and BODY FAT GAIN!
There is a study conducted in the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, where the researchers found that overweight men had low levels of testosterone. And, low testosterone was actually related to increased FAT GAIN in the ABDOMINAL AREA!
HOW? Dr Talbott suggests different natural ways for controlling testosterone. Because two of them are already covered above (controlling sleep and water deprivation), you have only two things to add:
2.1. Exercise. According to Dr Shawn Talbott and scientific research he is referring to, physical exercise is more important to maintain the weight than to lose weight. The best physical activities to increase your testosterone levels are: endurance exercise works and lifting weights. For best results, you need to add fast walking and running.
I found this YouTube video (Fat Eliminator by Minna) several years ago, which helped me to lose 7 kilos. I recommend it because it’s 50 min long exercise, which will be necessary to lose a lot of belly fat. Plus, at the end they add hand weights.
TIP: Once you know that you are eating right and the correct amount of calories, add exercise to start losing more weight faster. I know it could be difficult to change the habit and start running outside suddenly, besides the rainy or cold weather could be an obstacle.
If you don’t want to go outside to run or don’t want to go to the gym. We will bring the gym to you. Well, just part of it. The best part.
2.2. Change the way you perceive and cope with stress. To control your testosterone levels, you need to learn how you perceive and cope with stress in different
A negative, unhealthy response is when you keep mentally ‘revisiting’ stressful event over and over (worrying) – your cortisol levels rises, and testosterone levels fall.
Psychology study conducted by Alicia Salvador at the University of Valencia has shown that when humans cope even with social competition, ‘psychobiological coping response’(fight or flight) is activated.
Studies on mammalian species have shown that the hormonal changes (increase in testosterone levels and a decrease in cortisol levels) depend on the outcome of the competition (winning or losing).
Alicia Salvador showed that in humans hormonal changes (decrease in cortisol and increase in testosterone) depend less on the outcome of the competition and more on the copying strategy before the competition.
Winners show active copying patterns in stress situations. Active coping is when you perceive your stress as a challenge. As a result, you have a better mood, high levels of testosterone and SNS (sympathetic nervous system) activation.
#3. Control Your Body’s ‘Fat-Storing’ Enzyme (HSD) by EATING
WHY? The scientist in Mayo Clinic found that stress management techniques can control only about a third of the total cortisol.
Another third is controlled by HSD.
Some people don’t have high cortisol in their blood, but they still gain weight because of the high cortisol inside the cells, which is increased only by the enzyme called HSD (11 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase-1).
In abdominal areas, a high HSD activity leads to a bigger waistline.
Researchers from the USA National Institute of Diabetes had conducted long-term (5 years) study and found: a direct relationship between HSD and abdominal fat gain.
Not only this, the researchers found that HSD high activity has ‘a causative role in promoting obesity’.
It’s complicated. But, fortunately, it’s super easy for us (once scientists discover this) to reduce the HSD activity
HOW? One more natural and crucial step to take if you want to
Yes, you heard that right.
So, I have already added to your NEW SUPERMARKET SHOPPING LIST :
Wait, is it really important to lose the belly fat?
Let me tell you a story.
I had an aunt, we loved each other very much, and I was trying to copy her in everything. I was pleased when I found something we had in common. But, she was very anxious and had a big belly.
‘This was the one thing I didn’t take from her’, I thought then. As a teenager, I had the flattest belly among the girls at school, and I was very proud of it!
But, later after I turned 30, I started to notice that I am very anxious like my aunt. My belly started growing too. Then I first read an article saying that belly fat is a consequence of stress and anxiety!
True, my belly started growing when I began to work as a cashier in a very busy greek restaurant. There I was literally alone taking orders for eat-in customers plus answering delivery phone calls.
I used a computer for taking orders, had taken a fast typing course already then, but still, I barely managed to take all food orders and had a lot of stress, of course.
My belly started growing for the first time.
So, I was like my aunt after all!
Ok, what’s so wrong with this?
The problem is she had a very high pressure.
She had three strikes caused by cardiovascular disease, which is a consicuence of stress.
And she died…at the age of 60…
Can the belly fat really kill you? Well, it’s not the belly fat itself, but the belly fat is a sign of your poor health. The sign that you need to do something about your health. This is quite helpful, I would say.
Four years ago I reached my maximum weight of 67 kilos (I am short, so it’s a lot for me). I wanted to lose 7 kilos. I started little exercise, fast walking, eating apples, starving. It was tough.
But, it worked!
I lost 7 kilos in about three months. Good news, right? Not really. Because I gained 3 kilos very fast after.
Two weeks ago I was 69 kilos and my belly/waist reached 101 cm!
Dieting and worrying about my weight causes me additional stress, so sometimes I just give up, stop dieting, stop measuring myself. But, after a while, when I check my weight…OMG, here we go again.
And until now I did not know how to lose 7-9 kilos again, because I did so many things, I didn’t know what exactly worked.
And I have heard different bits of advice like ‘exercise with hand weights’ or ‘you need to eat wholegrain bread’. I was asking why I should do it? I wanted to know the deeper reason.
In his book ‘The Cortisol Connection’ Dr Shawn Talbott explains in depth why do we need to exercise and eat wholegrain bread.
I had another obstacle while trying to lose the belly fat. As I found out from the book, it’s called by nutritionists metabolic adaptation. Here is the thing – when I started to eat less, I lost several kilos from the begging, but after several weeks this process stopped.
Dr Tabbot explains: ’Weight loss continues for a few days or weeks, and then it stops. The wight may even start to creep back on to your hips and belly.
This is an example of your body’s adapting its metabolism (by burning fewer calories) to its new environment (fewer calories being consumed, higher cortisol levels, lower testosterone level, etc.).’
TIP FROM DR TALBOTT: you need to ‘outsmart’ the metabolic adaptation if you want to lose belly fat. He suggests the 3S approach: first S is for small, meaning doing little changes in diet (not starving), so we don’t provoke the metabolic adaptation process (start burning fewer calories).
Second S is for simultaneous, meaning to control three things at the same time, the three things I have described in this article above: #1 controlling cortisol, #2 controlling testosterone, and #3 controlling HSD.
Third S is for sustained, meaning that you need to keep at it for life!
I don’t want to go back never again! I lost my 2 first kilos only by step #1, just to make sure I am consuming the correct amount of calories. Now I am adding step #2 – exercise, and step #3 – controlling Fat-Storing’ Enzyme (HSD) by eating apples, onions and soybeans.
You can do the same. You will feel so good and proud of yourself. People will keep noticing and saying that you lost weight and look very beautiful and slim.
The most important thing is you will know how easily you did it. You can keep your desired weight without starving and without struggling. Your biggest desire to just eat and don’t ever worry about fat belly will come true.
The goal is to stop worrying and just be happy.
You will start enjoying your meals and your beautiful life.
It’s possible, you will get there!
If you would like to learn more, find Dr Talbott’s book here.
Talbott, Sh. M. (2007). The Cortisol Connection. Alameda: Hunter House.
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