So you have heard many trainers or keen gym-goers say how spot reduction is a myth and you can’t target specific areas of the body to burn fat from. Well they are half right in the way that you can not do exercises to achieve spot reduction but there is a way. It is achieved through manipulation of hormones. The way that it works is that if certain hormones are either too low or too high then it makes your body hold on to fat in certain areas of the body which then become problem areas for the individual and they work themselves into the ground to remove it.
Below is a list of hormones and where that specific hormone imbalance can store body fat:
– Cortisol (High) – Umbilical. Excessive fat gain in the belly region
– Estrogen (High) – Umbilical. Excessive fat gain in the belly region
– Estrogen (High) – Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Bum. Excessive fat gain in thighs and bum
– Insulin (High) – Suprailiac, subscapular. Excessive fat gain on ‘love handles’ and upper back
– Testosterone (Low) – Pectoral, Triceps. Excessive fat stored on the chest and backs of arms
– Thyroid (Low) – Mid-axillary. Fat stored about 8 inches below the arm pit
– Growth Hormone (Low) – Knee, calf. This reflect sleep patterns and overall fat loss.
So the way to use this article to help you turbo charge your fat loss is to figure out where your storing most of your body fat. Once you have found your problem area and worked out which hormone is causing this problem you then need to look further down the article and learn how to correct this hormone imbalance.
Cortisol – If high cortisol is the problem then:
* Reduce stress! Just try to spend time relaxing and not stressing about life. Get on top of things that you worry about, be around people who make you feel good, de-clutter your house, bring a pet home, get regular massages etc.
* Following the Elimination Diet. Foods that the Elimination diet cut out are difficult for the body to digest and work with so they cause a release of cortisol. The elimination diet can be found through my web site at the bottom of this page.
* Cortisol is released in large amounts during exercise. That doesn’t mean don’t exercise but it does mean try to avoid cardio as this releases lots of cortisol. Try to do short sharp bursts of resistance exericse to keep cortisol levels down and raise your metabolism in the long run.
* Take an omega 3 supplement. Omega 3 fatty acids will help to lower cortisol levels. Everyone should supplement with omega 3. Get a high quality source as with fish oil you get what you pay for.
* Take Rhodiola Rosea. It is a Cortisol Modulator, meaning that if your cortisol is too low it will help you raise it and if too high, it will help you lower it.
* Ensure your sleep patterns are in order. You should be asleep by 10.30 and wake by around 6.30. Plus make sure your room is pitch black with few electrical items around. The few hours before you go to sleep try to dim down light, not exercise, not watch tv, not go on the computer. Winding down and avoiding unnatural light before you sleep will help you sleep and keep cortisol levels lower.
* Stop drinking alcohol. Alcohol will do all sorts of bad things to your body but with what were talking about here it will raise your cortisol levels.
Follow these points and you will not only lower your cortisol levels but also get huge benefits in your health and fitness as a whole.
Estrogen – High amounts of estrogen in the body can be lowered by:
* Eat lots of cruciferous vegetables. These are ones like broccoli, cabbage, sprouts etc.
* Not use or store water in plastic bottles. If you have to use plastic bottles try not to leave them in direct sunlight. The quality of a bottle can be seen by looking at the bottom of it. You will see a triangle of three arrows with a number in it. The lower the number the worse quality the plastic. Most bottles are 1 but if you look hard you can find some around 3. Try to drink mineral water from glass bottles.
* The supplement DIM can help to lower estrogen levels. DIM is a strong anti-estrogen that specifically targets the bad estrogens caused by phyto-estrogens in our environment.
* Also brocholi extract and green tea are used to combat estrogen “16” (the bad estrogen)
* Yohimbine can also help to lower estrogen levels. It is extracted from the bark of yohimbe trees. Yohimbine cream is definitely a better choice because oral delivery of yohimbine could result in systematically high blood levels that could have dangerous side effects on the heart and the CNS (central nervous system).
Testosterone – If you have low testosterone levels and want to boost them:
* Get a good amount of sleep. Just like the cortisol lowering tactic you need to be asleep by 10.30 and up at 6.30. A pitch black room with few electrical items near you also will help you get a good nights sleep.
* Eating foods like steak and nuts will really help to boost your testosterone.
* Weight train using big weightlifting exercises. Exercies like squat, deadlift, lunges, bench press, bent over row will boost testosterone far more than isolating smaller muscles like biceps and triceps. Also lift heavy weights that only allow you to perform 5-10 reps, rest 1 -2 minutes and complete 3 – 5 sets.
* Ensure you are resting just as hard as you train. For this you need to get your 8 hours sleep, not over train, feed your body with good nutrition.
* Stop drinking alcohol. Alcohol of any type will lower your testosterone levels significantly.
* Zinc is low in most active people so supplementing with zinc will help to boost the testosterone levels.
Insulin – Following these few points will help to lower and keep your insulin levels in check:
* Taking a good quality fish oil supplement is not only the most important supplement that you could take but it will help to keep your insulin levels down.
* Consuming fats and protein in every meal so that they are eaten with your carbohydrates will slow down the release of the carbohydrates into the blood which will help to keep your insulin levels steady.
* Eating fewer carbohydrates is the main thing that will help with insulin levels. Also make sure the carbohydrates you are eating are whole nutritious, slower release carbohydrates like brown rice, sweet
potato, pulses and try to avoid grains on the whole especially wheat.
* The best time to eat carbohydrates is after you train.
* The more insulin you produce the faster you age!
Growth Hormone – To raise your growth hormone try the following.
* Eat more protein in your diet. All foods raise growth hormone temporarily but especially protein raises it to a higher degree.
* Exercise more. Exercising releases more growth hormone than eating does and it raises it for longer as well. This effect will be far greater when your exercise program contains a high amount of resistance exercises in it.
* Getting the correct amount of sleep every night will allow your body to release more growth hormone to help it grow.
Thyroid – Thyroid problems can store body fat 8 inches below the arm pit. To combat this:
* Avoid soy products completely as they cause you to become hypothyroid.
* Some supplements that you can take to help this imbalance are gugulsterones (a compound of herb Guggul), bladerwrack, a natural source of iodine, zinc and selenium, all responsible for thyroid hormone production. Finally, Ashwaganda and Coleus root (a member of the mint family) both used frequently to stimulate the thyroid gland.
With this advice you should be able to not only improve your health by rebalancing your hormones but also change your body composition for the better. If you are having trouble fitting yourself into a category then the best thing you can do is just stick to the elimination diet and follow the other advice that can be found on my website below.