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Toxic Weight, Belly Fat, and Stress
By Susan Merenstein, RPh

Most toxins find their way to and set up camp in our fat tissue.

Although a most “livable city”, Pittsburgh also holds the unfortunate status of “number 10 in The 10 Most Air-Polluted Cities in the U.S.” as ranked by the World Health Organization.*

As they age, women can change from having a pear shape to an apple shape where the fat redistributes to the abdomen. It is this dangerous fat under the abdominal muscle wall that is linked to diabetes, heart disease, stroke, hypertension, and cancer.

The primary factor involved in toxic weight is stress which generates excess cortisol in addition to decreased activity and increased eating. When stress and cortisol levels increase, we become fatigued and less focused and we reach for the wrong foods because cortisol stimulates the appetite for carbohydrates and fat. Ahhh, Snickers bars!

Women bloat from starches, men don’t. That’s because our kidneys are efficient at water storage to maintain a blood volume for one or more when we are pregnant. Prior to the age of 30, a woman’s estrogen couples with cortisol and fat is distributed to thighs and hips to provide long term slowly released nutrition for a baby to develop.

Fat cells deep in the abdomen are different from other parts of the body. They have the most cortisol (our stress hormone) receptors (the lock for the hormone key) and so are sensitive to cortisol levels in the body. They respond to stress (cortisol) by causing the cells to store fat.

Also involved are hormonal changes of the sex steroids, adrenals, and thyroid.

After 30, cortisol takes over decreasing estrogen and progesterone levels and deposits fat in our middles. This fat can be immediately converted by the body to glucose (our body’s main fuel) to provide readily available energy.

Follow the simple guidelines below to start your Toxic Weight loss:

  1. Try to meet your own needs as well as those around you.
  2. Move regularly and exercise, at least 30 minutes 3-5 days a week in addition to two 30-45 minutes of weight bearing exercise a week. Exercise causes the body to secrete endorphins that neutralize cortisol-this can lift depression and maintain a stress resilient mindset.
  3. De-Stress your eating-recent data published in the America Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women on classic deprivation diets had chronically elevated cortisol levels.
  4. Avoid low-quality, high stress foods such as refined sugar either as white sugar or white flour products stress us physically by causing insulin levels to skyrocket. This puts stress on the pancreas because it has to over produce insulin to cover these high sugar levels and creates a vicious cycle of metabolic havoc and poor blood sugar control in our bodies.
  5. Limit or eliminate wheat and gluten and read “Wheat Belly” by Dr. William Davis, Integrative Cardiologist. The “new” wheat plants grown after 1962 contain genetically modified gluten proteins and have correlated with an explosion of obesity and diabetes! Did you know that 2 slices of whole wheat bread raise your blood sugar (glycemic index) faster than 2 tablespoons of table sugar!!!
  6. Eat high quality (organic if possible and grass not grain fed) protein, carbohydrate and fat combinations. A good rule of thumb: after lunch your meals should become lighter and increasingly lower in carbohydrates.

We provide the tools and education to help people detoxify, balance their hormones, and in the process lose this toxic weight and keep it off.

In Part II, I will write about the Murray Avenue Apothecary Detoxification and safe skin care with LabNaturals-Affordable Non-Toxic Skin Care.

Susan Merenstein, Pharmacist, Murray Avenue Apothecary, can be reached at (412) 421-4996 or visit MAAPgh.com

* The World Health Organization has ranked cities around the world on their amount of particulate pollution in the air. Read more.

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