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Female Fat Loss, Estrogen & Stubborn Lower Body Fat

Today’s post is written by London Personal Trainer Rich Phillips. You can read the article in its original format at this link.

Female fat loss can be a frustrating business.  You’ve been attending the gym regularly, maybe even working with a personal trainer (Editor’s note – warning, not all personal trainers are created equally!) sticking to a strict fat loss meal plan and avoiding those nights out with the girls. Your tummy feels tighter, clothes feel looser but there is one problem, you’re not losing lower body fat.

If this sounds all too familiar then don’t fear as there is an explanation for the vagaries of female fat loss and several ways to tackle this problem often referred to as estrogen dominance.

How is Estrogen related to lower body fat?

The legs, mainly the thighs, have a large number of estrogen receptors which bind with high affinity to estrogens. When too many poor food and lifestyle choices occur over a period of time there is an increase in the fat storing form of Estrogen known as Estradiol. This hormonal imbalance can create a large amount of fat storage around the thighs, hips and bum.  The best way to really determine whether you have this issue and to then ascertain the ideal ways to shift your hormonal profile away from an estrogen dominance would be to visit an experienced and high level BioSignature Modulation practitioner.

Following are five top tips to help budge estrogen induced stubborn lower body fat:

1.    Refined carbohydrates/sugar – although this should be the first steps in any fat loss diet plan, it is especially important when it comes to losing lower body fat, as sugars increase the aromatase enzyme which role is to convert testosterone (yes ladies you do have some) into estradiol (the fat storing estrogen) thereby increasing lower body fat. As well as allowing you to balance your blood sugar levels and control cravings, refined carbohydrates must be the first thing you eliminate if fat loss is your priority.

2.    Digestive support – before I continue with the nutritional support required, it’s imperative that optimal digestion is present in order to ensure nutrients in the diet are allowed to be absorbed properly and perform their various functions. 95% of people we test show very low levels of Hydrochloric acid (HCL) which in short, means the greatest organic foods and fancy supplements are going to be almost pointless, as the main role of HCL is to breakdown and prepare foods to be assimilated in to the body.

3.    Methylation – This is a process which affects nearly every metabolic process in the body from DNA expression, protein regulation, liver detoxification, estrogen metabolism and so on. In order for the methylation cycle to function optimally various nutrients such as B6, B12, Trimethlyglycine, Folic acid, Magnesium and Zinc are just a few of the nutrients needed. Now for the twist…it’s estimated that nearly 40% of the population have a genetic fault in one of the pathways of the methylation cycle called Methyltetrahydrofolate (MTHFR). This is a very complex process to explain and beyond the scope of this article, but extremely important to be aware of in order for optimal estrogen metabolism to occur. So how do I know if I have it? This is the easy part…include some Asparagus in your next meal and the next time you go to pee… your know it! I’m sure many of you will already be aware of the smell that takes place after eating asparagus, well now you know why. One of the simplest ways to manage this is by supplementing with some of the nutrients mentioned above. A high quality B complex, zinc, magnesium and a diet high in cruciferous vegetables is the way forward. For those of you that don’t have this gene, these nutrients are still going to be of benefit to support proper methylation.  Methylation may sound complicated but if you remember that you need a full spectrum of B vitamins to properly metabolise the estrogen that causes you to store a preponderance of your fat in your lower body then you won’t go too far wrong.

4.    Cruciferous Vegetables – without doubt these have the greatest potential to help rid the body of bad estrogens. Examples would be Broccoli, spinach, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. Broccoli especially contains compounds known as indoles which have very potent anti (breast) cancer fighting properties as well as improving the liver’s estrogen detoxification abilities.  So eat your greens for better and faster female fat loss.

5.    Dim – Diidolymethane (Dim) is the active form of indole 3 carbinol found in cruciferous vegetables…Ok so I can hear the supplement sceptics already… well can’t I just eat vegetables then? In the ideal world the answer would be yes, but in today’s society how many of you have the time or inclination to sit through 4-5 feedings of green vegetables a day. Also our foods our so nutritionally depleted from poor soil and chemicals, not to mention the fact that they’ve sat around for at least 5 days from the time they were pulled out the ground to the time you purchased them, it would be wise to supplement to ensure adequate levels of this potent nutrient are consumed. Dim also helps to prevent aromatase (conversion of testosterone to fat storing estrogens) and helps to improve E2 (anti cancer) to E16 (cancer promoting) ratios.

So those are some things that will hopefully help you to break through those estrogen specific lower body fat loss plateaus that have been bothering you for so long. Below are a few other things for you to consider if you’re determined to lose fat from typical female problem areas:

  • Avoid Spin classes (increase intra cellular fat stores in the thighs)
  • Omega 3 Fish oils (increase E2 decrease E16)
  • Avoid tap water (Britain’s water supply contains large amounts of estrogen, and no that Brita filter just won’t cut it I’m afraid)
  • Avoid birth control pills (increase estrogen levels)
  • Go organic (most nonorganic meats contain hormones you don’t want in your diet)
  • Drink green tea!

By Rich PhillippsRich is a Level 2 BioSignature Modulation Practitioner and one of Ultimate Performance’s key personal training experts in helping female clients lose body fat from all the right places!

For more great articles and tips on fat loss visit www.nickmitchellblog.com

 

Don’t forget –

Life is Now. Press Play.

Kat x

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15 Comments

  1. Catherine says:

    Birth control pills? That’s a little extreme!

  2. Kat Eden says:

    I know what you’re saying, obviously women take them for an important reason, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a negative effect on the hormonal system! Think about the effects of all that synthetic estrogen day after day after day after day after day …. it just has to come down to what’s more important to the individual but I definitely get why people would prefer to stay on them regardless!

  3. Catherine says:

    Whoops. Obviously I missed the whole point, as I thought he was saying we should start taking them to increase the estrogen levels! lol It should read ‘AVOID birth control pills’, to ensure dorks like me don’t get the wrong end of the stick. 🙂

  4. Kat Eden says:

    ahhahaha .. you’re right; I didn’t really notice! Will edit it now 🙂

  5. Catherine says:

    Blush. Thanks Kat. Oh, and I will quite happily avoid spin classes!

  6. Kat says:

    Excellent 🙂 thanks for pointing the confusion out!

  7. Pat Rae says:

    Kat, as always, great content. Interesting to note that in point 3, MTHFR is mentioned. This is just 1 of the 15 genes that the Excel Gene test tests for. See the May edition of the Fitness First magazine. Do if you really want to know your genes, get them tested. Relates only to body fat metabolism, lean muscle development, recovery, detoxification & nutrition.

    1. Kat says:

      That’s very interesting Pat. I must admit I don’t know much about gene testing but have really started to think it might be worth my while finding out, especially since yourself and Daine both speak highly of it! Is there anyone testing in Melb?

  8. Sheridan says:

    Hey Kat, just reading the article for the first time and had to have a laugh about the asparagus thing. SOOOO many people talk about its affects, but everytime I went to pee after eating it… nothing! That explains the reason, which is good for me! 🙂

    Regarding the birth control pills, I totally agree. I used them for about 12 months about 7-8 years ago, and had many noticable changes in my body and my emotions. The most amazing thing was once I was off the pill, it took 5+ years before my cycle came off the “28 day typical pill cycle” and started reverting back to the wonderful 32-35 day cycle I once had. Powerful stuff in that little pill!!

    🙂

    1. Kat says:

      Powerful indeed … and scary! Lucky you re the asparagus, unfortunately I am genetically a very poor methylator!

  9. Jenny says:

    Hi Kat. Sorry I’m confused can you please clarify? Do you mean I should be increasing my Omega 3 intake and this should help stop the fat forming oestrogens from maintaining the stores of fat on my hips and butt? This is my problem area and I’ve been at a 68kgs plateau for 2 months now doing cardio, walking, hiking, and HIIT sprints/stair running/hill running, and I cant seem to budge any weight whatsoever. And I’m at my wits end trying to get rid of this fat in those problem areas.
    Also I was considering moving to weight training to see if that would help but wouldnt working my butt and thigh muscles just be like doing spin class which you say should be avoided?
    Thanks heaps. Jen

    1. Kat says:

      Omega 3 will help Jenny, but definitely eat cruciferous veg and take plenty of fiber. It sounds like you might be doing too much stressful cardio. I would definitely suggest switching to weight and circuit training; that’s a completely different thing to the repetitive movements of spin! Kat 🙂

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