Do you eat super clean, workout regularly and still have belly fat? Frustrating, I know. It seems like there is no amount of crunches that can get rid of it. There are a few factors that may be preventing you from losing your spare tire! We all know that nutrition is the key to staying healthy and fit. But, not only does the type of food we eat impact our energy levels, when and how we consume it can also make a big difference. It all comes down to blood sugar balance. Simply put, our energy levels and mood follow our blood sugar. This means any peaks in blood sugar = peaks in energy levels and the same goes for lows. The problem being, the extreme highs and lows cause our body to release the stress hormone, cortisol which is known to encourage fat storage around your midsection. Think about when you are running late and forget to eat breakfast; it feels like you are moving through mud because the poor body is running on fumes! And then when you finally do eat around lunch time, its usually far too much which causes the blood sugar to top the charts. But, we have to be careful because what goes up must come down. Rapid spikes in blood sugar and energy levels, such as those we get from coffee or foods high in simple carbohydrates, means an equally fast drop and subsequent energy low. Like clockwork, this will have you reaching for that mid-morning cup of coffee or a mid-afternoon vending machine trip to get that boost to get you through the workday. It ends up causing an energy yo-yo effect throughout the day and can result in you holding on to that stubborn belly fat. However, reducing stress with nature, yoga and meditation and eating balanced meals, with protein, complex carbohydrates and fats, will keep your blood sugar nice and stable all day. Therefore your energy levels will be balanced, your mood will be steady and you can avoid adding to your waistline!