Jillian Michaels unveils key hormone that could ramp up visceral fat – ‘get it in check’

Jillian Michaels demonstrates a full body at home workout

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Jillian Michaels is no stranger to combatting stubborn fat, having spent her career helping people to transform their bodies and reach their fitness goals. The American personal trainer, businesswoman, author, television personality, health and wellness expert and the creator of the Jillian Michaels Fitness App, spoke with Express.co.uk to share her top tips on beating visceral fat.

Though diet and exercise are two of the cornerstones of weight loss, Jillian revealed that there is also a science to shedding unwanted fat from your midsection.

She explained: “There are several reasons why visceral fat is difficult to lose, but they all tie back to hormone imbalances.

“Visceral fat gets stored – like all fat – because we are eating too much and moving too little.

“However, the body first aims to store the fat subcutaneously (just under the skin).

“When we take on too much excess body fat it then gets stored viscerally.

“The habits that created this excess fat in the first place have hormonal consequences that then beget a bit of a catch 22.”

According to the celebrity fitness expert, visceral fat is “linked to insulin resistance from too much sugar and not enough fitness, elevated cortisol levels from too much stress, and the secretion of excess inflammatory proteins called cytokines”.

While upping your fitness regime, drinking plenty of water, and getting your diet in order is crucial, it could prove futile if you don’t get your cortisol “in check”.

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Though an active lifestyle is essential for weight loss, rest and relaxation shouldn’t be forgotten about.

Jillian said: “Lack of sleep increases our hunger hormone and dampens our satiety hormone making us feel the need to eat more.

“In addition, it inhibits our HGH production, which is a key hormone for muscle maintenance and fat metabolism.

“Lack of sleep is also associated with higher cortisol levels which is a hormone notorious for belly fat storage.

“So make sure to shut off the screens and get seven to eight hours of shut-eye every night.”

Taking time away from work, whether it’s a week-long holiday or simply 10 minutes to meditate can also work wonders for cortisol levels.

Jillian explained: “Take your vacations, manage your stress levels, try meditating – anything that helps you manage stress.

“Cortisol is our fight or flight hormone and when we are constantly stressed it’s constantly surging so work to find your chill.”

Your diet can also work wonders when it comes to easing cortisol.

As well as eating plenty of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes, Jillian recommends upping your vitamin C intake.

She explained: “Early studies have shown that vitamin C can help reduce our cortisol secretion.

“So consider a supplement or just eat your citrus.”

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