Body shape and where we store fat is generally down to genes but sometimes stubborn pockets of fat can be due to an underlying health issues and could be caused by stress, hormones or something more serious.
What is really causing your body fat?
Problem area: Stomach
If you always seem to end up with a paunch after a particularly unhealthy week it could be down to your stressful lifestyle.
When we're stressed our bodies produce too much of the hormone cortisol which causes the body to store fat. Couple that reaction with too much comfort eating and you've got a recipe for fast weight gain.
To help your body relax and deal with stress in healthier ways, try meditation and exercises like Yoga. Simply taking a five minute break from your desk when things feel like they're spiralling out of control can also help you gain some perspective and stop you heading to the vending machine.
Problem area: Knees and calves
Chunky knees and unsightly 'cankles' are not only bad news for your wardrobe, they're also a key indicator that you don't have enough growth hormone and that you are not getting enough sleep.
Another reason for puffy legs could be water retention so drink plenty of water and cut down on wheat to beat the bloat.
You should also try getting a couple of early nights every week or if you're finding it hard to switch off, drink some valerian tea which is so effective it's known as nature's Valium.
Problem area: Hips and back
Back fat poking out from underneath your bra? Fun times.
Fat build-up in these areas is a sign that you are producing too much insulin and is also a warning sign of diabetes. Switch to low-GI carbohydrates such as wholemeal bread and pasta and cut out sugar to lose weight in these areas.
Problem area: Thighs, chest and upper arms
Bingo wings, bigger boobs and wobbly thighs are all signs that you are producing too much oestrogen.
This can come from the type of contraceptive pill you are taking and from some chemicals in plastics which mimic oestrogen causing fat build-up. Speak to your doctor about switching pills and if you're always refilling your plastic bottle of water then switch to a glass one.
Problem area: Sides
Hate those spongy bits when your ribs finish? Thyroid hormones can cause fat to gather in this area and can be caused by heavy metal poisoning from tap water, metal fillings and fluorides in toothpaste.
Invest in a water filter and keep it topped up in the fridge and make sure you're consuming plenty of fibre and flaxseed to ensure you're getting rid of metals from your body.
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