Do you have dreaded bingo arms, love handles or a jelly belly? While you can lay some of the blame on genetics, as well as diet and lifestyle, there could be another culprit: hormones.
Personal trainer Sally Matterson was once a self-described “skinny/fat” fashion model, subsisting on a diet of chips, Coke and ciggies.
Fourteen years ago she began reclaiming her health and discovered Poliquin Biosignature Modulation, which addresses the link between body fat stores and possible hormonal imbalances.
“Hormonal fat gain is spot gaining and there can be a correlation between where body fat is deposited and hormonal imbalances,” she says.
Poliquin techniques form the bedrock of her book Healthy Body, which provides at-home exercise programs to strip stubborn fat, along with recipes for healthy eating.
Matterson also recommends taking supplements to help to balance the body’s chemistry.
Body+soul holistic GP Dr Cris Beer agrees that although most of us are likely deficient in some vitamins and minerals, we should avoid taking supplements without advice from a health professional.
“By and large there is a common thread of deficiency in modern Western society of nutrients that can become depleted in times of stress —
B vitamins, magnesium and zinc,” she says. “I would recommend seeing a registered integrative practitioner who can do specific testing to check for
“Moreover, hormones may play a key role in weight gain in certain areas but in my experience there are often other factors at play that should be fully explored by an integrative practitioner.”
In this extract from Healthy Body, Matterson outlines four areas where body
fat is stored due to possible hormonal imbalances:
This is that uncomfortable fat gain predominantly around the bellybutton area that doesn’t seem to affect the rest of your body, so you may still have relatively slim arms and legs.
Hormone responsible: Cortisol
The hormone released by the cortex (the outer portion) of the adrenal gland. When you are stressed, your body overproduces the hormone cortisol. As there are more cortisol receptors in the abdomen, when we are stressed, the body tends to hold on to fat in this area.
Solution: Stress less! Easier said than done sometimes but worth the effort. Focus on adopting regular sleeping patterns, taking up light activities, meditating, connecting with others and new activities, or seek professional help if required. If stress is unavoidable, try supplementing with magnesium.
Love handles and/or back fat
Cute as they may sound, love handles are unfortunately not very healthy. Those rolls of fat on your hips (muffin tops), or on your back, say much about your health.
Hormone responsible: Insulin
A major fuel-regulating hormone, insulin is secreted into the blood from the pancreas. Its function is to store and transport energy from carbohydrates (in the form of glucose) to the muscles for energy. Unfortunately, when we consume too many carbs, we produce too much insulin, which rather than being used for energy, gets stored as fat. Over time, this can cause insulin resistance, which means the body cannot tolerate carbs anymore.
Solution: Once the body becomes insulin resistant, it goes into a meltdown. This can be corrected by controlling carbohydrate intake in the diet and taking EPA-dominant, pharmaceutical-grade omega-3 fish oil.
Pear-shaped body and/or jelly legs:
Yes, a pear-shaped body is beautiful and feminine — and sometimes this is our natural shape — but sometimes we can have too much of a good thing. Same with jelly legs.
Hormone responsible: Oestrogen
Secreted from the ovaries, oestrogen is the female sex hormone. However, excess oestrogen can also be ingested from our environment, causing havoc with our bodies and body fat composition. One main cause that affects many women is the presence of xenoestrogens (or oestrogen mimickers) from our environment (found in plastics, pesticides and parabens). These mimickers can latch on to existing receptors, predominantly found in the lower half of the body, causing fat to be stored in this area.
Solution: Avoid or minimise the toxins or oestrogen-mimickers from entering your body, while getting your body efficient at detoxing through the use of supplementation. To reduce the effect of xenoestrogens from the environment, try limiting toxic load by:
• Using glass or ceramic instead of plastic to eat or drink from.
• Choosing paraben-free products (check labels of cosmetics, food products and pharmaceuticals).
• Buying organic fruit and vegies.
• Washing produce thoroughly
To speed up the detoxification process :
• Ensure you drink lots of water
• Increase your intake of cruciferous vegies containing sulforaphane and indoles (such as kale, brussels sprouts, spinach and cabbage).
Bat-wing arms and/or upper chest fat
Bat wings or bingo arms are those dreaded folds of skin that wobble when you lift your arms. Luckily, like the fat that accumulates on the chest around the heart, sometimes called man boobs, there is something that can be done.
Hormone responsible: DHEA
Produced by your adrenal glands, DHEA (or dehydroepiandrosterone) is the largest raw material your body uses to produce other vital hormones, including testosterone in men and women. Your body’s natural production of DHEA varies widely with age, with low levels before puberty, peak production in your late-20s to early-30s, and a steady decline with age. People with low DHEA have significantly lower levels of mid-arm muscle than those with normal levels.
Solution: As a long-term solution, I recommend boosting DHEA levels naturally by taking up weight-bearing exercise such as weightlifting and increasing your intake of protein. This will help the growth of lean muscle mass. Low DHEA levels can also be linked to a zinc deficiency. A blood test by your GP can check your DHEA levels.
Healthy Body, Rockpool Publishing, $24.99
Read More: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/is-balancing-your-hormones-key-to-getting-rid-of-bingo-wings-and-jelly-belly/story-fni0cx12-1227294684901