The most common goal of a diet is weight loss. But is all weight loss the same? Why does each person store fat in different places in the body? Have you noticed some women struggling to lose belly fat, while others struggle to lose fat on their hips and upper thighs? How about fat in the upper arm that jiggles? The region you store your fat can tell a lot about the differences in body biochemistry and physiology.
Fat is actually adipose tissue that can have a combination of fat cells, hormones inflammation and toxins. Toxins tend to store in fatty areas of our body, and weight loss resistance can actually be a sign of toxic overload. What is really interesting is that the area you store the fat, can tell you a lot about the underlying hormonal imbalance and help you to understand really how to attack that fat.
Fat in the upper thighs and hips
If you are quite lean all over your body, but have very heavy thighs and hips, don’t push yourself with hundred squats, as it’s probably going to make it worse.
Truth: Fat in this area of your body shows a drastic estrogen dominance and insulin resistance. Estrogen dominance is a phenomenon where the balance between estrogen and progesterone in your body is skewed due to multiple reasons. It could be imbalanced because you are being exposed to estrogen from the environment or food through xenoestrogens from plastics and phytoestrogens from foods like soy.
It could also be imbalanced because you are so stressed that you are not producing enough progesterone to balance that estrogen. Or it could be imbalanced because you are not able to detoxify estrogen metabolites due to problems like chronic constipation. Either way, your estrogen overpowers your progesterone, making you estrogen dominant, causing fat to accumulate in your thighs and hips.
You could also have insulin resistance, when your cells are no longer listening to insulin release when blood sugar rises. This is usually due to long term high starch and sugar and low fibre, fat or protein, where your body gets tired of releasing insulin all the time, and just gives up. This is very common today, and this also causes you to accumulate fat in your thighs and hips.
Think of the fat in your thighs and hips telling you something about your hormones within! Instead of hating yourself when you look in the mirror, or struggling with hundred squats every day, try to instead explore a healthier diet, one that is rich in healthy fats, clean proteins, lots of fibre and tons of colorful vegetables.
Don’t over exercise, for overtraining shunts cholesterol to be used in the production of cortisol instead of progesterone. Finally, another thing to note, is that you need healthy levels of progesterone even if you do not want babies, as progesterone makes you feel anxiety free and gives you great sleep, both of which support weight loss as well.
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If you are someone who has the muffin tops, or jiggly belly, it must drive you nuts! I feel your pain. Don’t push yourself with hundreds of crunches, for you’ll only end up with a terrible back. Don’t starve yourself either!
Truth: Fat in the belly shows excess cortisol, microbial dysbiosis and even thyroid dysfunction. Cortisol is your stress hormone, which is produced in the adrenal gland, in times of stress. It should be released only in real stress and then return to normal. In today’s life, when you are bombarded with stress every minute, cortisol is perpetuating.
Excess cortisol keeps you in a state of fight or flight, where digestion is impacted, so is liver health, immune function, thyroid function, progesterone production and sleep. It prevents you from moving into a state of rest, digest and heal, a parasympathetic nervous system response, where you can stay healthy and happy. Excess cortisol causes you to store fat in the belly.
You could also have microbial dysbiosis, which really means that the balance between beneficial bacteria and pathogenic bacteria is missing in your gut. You probably have excessive pathogenic bacteria like yeast overgrowth, from a high use of antibiotics. This causes you to also become very sensitive to eating starch and sugars, where each time you eat sugar, you feed the yeast, causing yourself bloating. High stress can also make you predisposed to dysbiosis.
Think of fat in the belly telling you something about cortisol and dysbiosis. Instead of struggling with hundreds of crunches which hurt your back, look towards eating a well-rounded diet that is rich in plant fibre to feed the good bugs in your gut, and colourful foods that are high in antioxidants that combat high stress in your body, and support you in improving your resilience to stress. Cut your starches and sugars for a while, to starve any pathogenic bacteria, instead eating fats, fibre and protein. Find ways to stay away from sources of high stress and meditate to improve your resilience to stress.
Fat in the upper arms
You could be really thin, but have very fat and jiggly upper arms. This means that even if you can wear clothes that are flattering to the rest of your body, your upper arms make you feel cautious about wearing clothes without sleeves.
Truth: Fat in the upper arms can show very poor lymphatic movement and sluggish metabolism overall. If your blood and your cardiovascular system is active, your lymphatic system is your passive drainage system. Your lymphatic system drains waste which leaks out of blood vessels and tissues and drains this excess fluid, called the lymph.
If you did not have your lymphatic system, you would have constant edema. If you do have issues with edema, then now you know that you need to give your lymphatic system some love and care.
If you are wondering what edema would feel like, imagine pressing your finger into your flesh and a pit forms and takes time to come back up, that’s a sign that you have poor lymphatic movement, as the fluid outside the cell takes time to return to that area. Without your lymphatic system, all your cells would constantly sit in their own waste and bacterial debris, without oxygen and circulation. Lymph is collected from your lower body into lymphatic vessels, and your muscles transport lymph through a one-way system leading up to your torso. There are many pit stops throughout your body, which are called lymph nodes. These are in your arm pits, groin, breasts for women and throat. Poor circulation can cause you to pile up fat in your arms.
Instead of struggling with pushups, try to get movement overall. Yoga works wonders, as well as strength training which is accompanied by deep breathing to get the lymph moving. Rebounding is fantastic! Have fun just waving your arms up and down while jumping on a trampoline. You could also have poor lymphatic movement if you bathe in very hot water. Ice cold water baths are wonderful for lymphatic movement.
No diet exists that will work for all weight problems. The underlying reasons vary, as also the approach should. This should give you a great starting point for understanding the fat in your body. Stay tuned for more!