So you've got some extra weight through your belly area and you want to know how to lose it? That sounds about right. Of all four body types from The Belly Burn Plan, half fall into the apple shape body type. It's very common. And fortunately for you, this is the body type that sees the results fastest!
Your body type probably stores unnecessary fat through the belly area. Your legs, hips, arms and back are probably lean. If this doesn't sound like you, the read more about your body type to follow the correct meal plan.
Despite your leaner legs, it seems like every bit of extra fat gets stored right through your belly. For you to lose weight, you need to focus on your diet - plain and simple.
When I say "diet", I don't mean counting calories or worrying about how much you weigh. If you eat the right foods, and follow this apple shape meal plan, weight will naturally come off.
It's not magic. It's hormones. You've got a couple pretty unruly hormones that are sending signals to your body to store more fat right through your belly area.
Unfortunately, belly fat is the most dangerous type.
Why You Gain Weight In Your Belly
If you think you gain weight in your belly because of your diet - you're right...sort of. The thing is, people who tend to gain weight in their midsection are more sensitive to specific hormones that tell our body, "Hey! Put that fat right here."
I'll get to those hormones in just a second, but before I do, it's important to understand that food is constantly communicating with those hormones, saying things like "store fat", "lose fat", and "I'm full".
Clearly, I'm simplifying things a lot. But if we can adjust our diet to get hormones communicating in a way that balances everything out, keeps us energized and boosts our fat metabolism, the all of our waistlines would be a whole lot healthier.
And now to the hormones.
The big two for people who store belly fat are insulin and cortisol. Hunger hormones called leptin and ghrelin also play a role but let's focus on insulin and cortisol right now.
When you eat foods that throw off either of these hormones, belly fat is not far behind. Think of these two chemical messengers as your "fat storage" hormones.
Insulin and Cortisol
Think of insulin as the master fat storage hormone. Its job is to help control the amount of sugar in our blood. When we eat any type or any amount of foods, our blood sugar levels natural increase. Imagine your blood sugar levels rising like a balloon after you eat. Of course, the more sugar or refined the foods, the high the balloon (or blood sugar levels) will float.
This is where insulin comes to the rescue. Our pancreas releases insulin to catch the balloon and pull it back down. When we eat foods that are good for us, the balloon doesn't float that high, so insulin simply reaches up and grabs it.
When we eat foods that are either super sugary, create too much stress in our body, such as a caffeinated drink, or are simply too refined, like a plate full of crackers, the balloon becomes very big and floats sky high. Insulin knows this is happening so it shoots like a rocket up to the sky to catch it, and drags it back down as fast as it can.
When this happens, insulin crashes, dragging blood sugar levels too low. When blood sugar levels are too low, you get hungry for something sugary, so you repeat everything all over again.
Eventually, insulin becomes immune to this and you become less sensitive to sugar, so you eat it all the time. Finally, insulin says, "I quit," and stops working.
When Insulin "Gives Up"
It may quit after a year. It may quit after 5, 10 or 20 years. But eventually, insulin and gives up.
As soon as insulin quits, you develop diabetes. There is no way to get insulin back so a doctor prescribes insulin to you.
All the while, you've been eating more and more sugary foods and all that food, thanks to insulin, have packed itself through your belly area.
What's more, all the work that insulin had to do created a fireball of stress. The only way to put out a stressful fire is to call on insulin's good friend, cortisol. Cortisol is famous for storing belly fat. Now you've only compounded the problem.
The solution - whether you're dealing with belly fat or high blood sugar levels - is to follow the apple shape meal plan.
The Apple Shape Body Type Meal Plan
There are two quick ways you can lose weight through your belly by eating right for your apple shape body type:
- Start with the 2-Day Apple Shape Meal Plan below. It's a great launch pad for balancing your hormones that are making you gain weight.
- Download the 6-Week Apple Shape Meal Plan to get lasting results
Are You Really An Apple Shape?
I know this may be an obvious question to you, but a lot of people confuse the Pear-Shaped Body with an Apple Shaped Body, so just to clarify, here are a few important body shape characteristics of an apple.
If You’re an Apple-Shaped Body
- You tend to gain weight through the midsection, above the belly button.
- Your legs and bottom typically remained lean.
- You might crave sugar (cookies, chocolate), caffeine and wine/beer.
The most obvious distinguishing factor in your body type is the storage of belly fat - also known as visceral fat. Visceral fat is especially harmful because it's stored all around our vital organs, including our liver, stomach, pancreas and intestines. This not only places unwanted stress on those all-important organs, but also predisposes us to a number of chronic conditions, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
You know that pinchable fat that you can grab with your finger tips right around your belt?
That's not the dangerous visceral fat I'm talking about.
You know the rounded belly you may or may not have, or the notches you continually add to your belt without very much flub hanging over?
That's most likely dangerous visceral fat, and related to the belly fat I'm talking about.
If you're thinking to yourself, hey, I'm don't have an apple shape body type. What the heck am I?
Well then you could one of the following:
But if you areas apple shape body type, keep reading.
Foods an Apple Shape Body Type Should Avoid
Sugar, artificial sweeteners, caffeinated beverages and foods that are too low in fat - can trigger these hormones to store fat. I go into lengthy detail on these hormones and belly fat in my book, The Belly Burn Plan, but give you a sample of what you should eat below.
Fortunately, you can do something about fat storage through your midsection - and with a few dietary changes - it's not that hard. Of all body types, people who gain weight their midsection run the risk of storing the most visceral fat. Visceral fat is the more dangerous form of body fat as it tends to get packed through the middle of the body, around our vital organs. Needless to say, it's important to do something about all that unwanted belly fat!
Foods to Avoid
Apples need to avoid the following foods:
- Coffee, black tea, colas: it makes no difference if they’re unsweetened or not. Avoid them.
- Refined, high-sugar carbohydrates. Keep in mind, this applies to many foods labeled as low fat/low sugar.
- Fruit and fruit juices: A little bit of fresh fruit is ok, but this type should not eat fruit throughout the day.
- Chocolate: It’s ok to have a square of dark chocolate a day, but not much more for your type
A word about caffeine. I know this is absolutely the worst thing in the world for most of you. It might even make you mad. I get it. But caffeine can cause belly fat. Until you have it under control, eliminate it or cut back significantly.
Apple Shape Meal Sizes
Apples should eat about the same size meals every day. Think 3 square meals. They don’t have to be huge. You can snack if hungry, but follow the snacks in the meal plan below.
It's really important that you keep insulin and cortisol in check, so focus on what you put on your plate.
You’re probably wondering how many calories you should eat, or how much food you should put on your plate. The answer is different depending on gender, activity level, natural metabolism, age, stress level, etc. Instead of focusing on calories, focus on portion size.
Two Day Apple Shape Meal Plan
Breakfast: 2 eggs, 1/4 avocado + 1 cup berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries)
Snack: Handful of walnuts
Lunch: Leafy green salad topped with salmon or chicken, with fresh or grilled veggies. Drizzled with olive oil.
Dinner: Spaghetti Squash Turkey Bolognese Casserole (recipe in download)
Breakfast: 1/2 c. oatmeal made with whole milk, cinnamon and walnuts
Snack: Fresh veggies with guacamole
Lunch: Bowl of chili (no bread) with side salad
Dinner: Cashew Chicken Stir Fry (recipe in download)
The Focus of Your Diet
You'll notice the meal plan above is lower in sugar, moderate in fat and higher in protein. Most of the carbohydrates are a great source of fiber, which is excellent for your body, too!