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good article on female lower body fat loss

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gymbabeliz
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2003/09/02 11:50:54 (permalink)

good article on female lower body fat loss

Understanding the Difficulty Women Have in Losing Lower Body Fat
By Bryan Haycock MS

Having worked with many different female clients, I can attest to the difficulty of getting their lower body as lean as their upper body. Over the years I have tried many different strategies to get them to lose lower body fat like men. One thing I have learned is that patience and commitment make all the difference. If you have those two with you, science can help with the rest.

Some of the things I we have tried are manipulating the ratio of macronutrients in the diet. At best, a low fat diet works for weight loss in the obese, whereas lowering carbs has a tremendous advantage in women who are relatively lean already (by lean I mean 18% or so). Even so, stubborn lower body fat will still plague the female low-carb dieter. Yohimbine, an alpha-2 antagonist, has also failed to produce the desired results. Think of alpha-2 receptors as a "brake" for fat cells. Women have a greater proportion of alpha-2 receptors on their lower body fat than men. This, in large part, gives rise to the typical gynoid, or "pear shaped", fat patterning common in women. It was thought that if you could block the brake with yohimbine you could increase lower body fat loss during a diet. In the end, yohimbine has fallen far short of expectations. Even yohimbine creams have not worked.

So why is it that the fat on a woman’s hips and thighs is so slow to respond to tried and true fat loss techniques? Well, research has demonstrated measurable differences in the lower body fat of men women. For ease in reading I’ll put this in bullet point format:

1. Fat release at rest and before eating (called basal lipolysis) is greater from upper body subcutaneous fat than from lower body fat. This is true for both men and women. Though this does not explain the differences between men and women it does help to know that lower body fat is simply less active.

2. Beta-agonists (e.g. adrenalin, ephedrine, caffeine) do not increase lower body fat breakdown in women, but they do in men. Ouch! This effect may be due to the prevalence of alpha-2 receptors in women’s lower body fat. Once again, we see that what works for the goose will not always work for the gander.

3. There is no gender difference in lower body fat breakdown between men and women during exercise.

4. Estrogen plays a significant role in protecting and ensuring the accumulation of lower body fat in women.

I have tried to use this information with my clients to help them as best I can to get rid of stubborn lower body fat. For example, using ephedrine and caffeine will not necessarily get rid of lower body fat faster than without it. However, insulin seems to make alpha-2 receptors more sensitive so lowering carbs in a strategic fashion can greatly improve results in the lower body. Birth control pills may also be a factor due to their estrogen content. If a female client is trying to get ready for a show and is using birth control pills, I may suggest she use an alternate form of birth control until after the show. This of course is said only by way of suggestion.

In the end, what ultimately must happen, is that the upper body fat stores must be depleted before the lower body really becomes active. Unfortunately, most women compete just as there upper bodies are ripped but their lower bodies have only begun to lean up. If they would go on an additional 6 weeks, their lower bodies would be ready.

Also, beware of trainers/coaches who have only trained men. There are a lot of things they may not know about or take into consideration when training a women. Some of these things could really make a difference in a woman’s success at getting the body she wants.

There are a few other tricks of the trade, but if I told you all of them nobody would need me anymore…can’t have that now can we.

About the Author

Bryan Haycock M.Sc. is an exercise physiologist and NPC judge. Bryan has been bodybuilding for over 20 years and holds certifications with the NSCA, ACE, and is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine. Bryan is currently the Editor in Chief of ThinkMuscle.com and is the founder and CEO of LifeStyleMgmt.com. Bryan is a highly sought after authority on the physiology of muscle growth and fat loss. Bryan also specializes in the management of type-II diabetes through diet and exercise.

Selected references:

1. Jensen MD. Lipolysis: contribution from regional fat. Annu Rev Nutr. 1997;17:127-39

2. Elbers JM, de Jong S, Teerlink T, Asscheman H, Seidell JC, Gooren LJ. Changes in fat cell size and in vitro lipolytic activity of abdominal and gluteal adipocytes after a one-year cross-sex hormone administration in transsexuals. Metabolism. 1999 Nov;48(11):1371-7.
#1

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    Philia2
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    RE: good article on female lower body fat loss 2003/09/02 12:18:13 (permalink)
    Great article Gymbabeliz.
    Now so the only solution is patience and low carb diets.......
    #2
    gymbabeliz
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    RE: good article on female lower body fat loss 2003/09/02 12:53:57 (permalink)
    Yeah, I never heard before that eph and caffeine don't really touch the lower body areas..I wonder if that is really true...
    #3
    levi
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    RE: good article on female lower body fat loss 2003/09/02 14:10:48 (permalink)
    since my periods stopped, i assume i'm producing less estrogen, my lower body is more in proportion to upper. so the answer is wait for the menopause.

    has coming of the pill helped you liz?
    #4
    gymbabeliz
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    RE: good article on female lower body fat loss 2003/09/02 15:05:47 (permalink)
    No I am still just as fat!!! But now I have no boobs LOL!

    However the trace of cellulite I had seems to have virtually gone...so maybe I just have to be patient.

    I dont think I'm making much oestrogen either ;)
    #5
    kitty
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    RE: good article on female lower body fat loss 2003/09/02 15:53:54 (permalink)
    Gymbabeliz, how on earth can you say you are fat. Your photos are stunning!! I bet you aren't much heavier out of season. I noticed you are a little taller than me by 4.5". I weigh 131 lbs......if you're heavier (taking into account the extra height) than that then I will make some allowances!!

    Good article by the way
    #6
    gymbabeliz
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    RE: good article on female lower body fat loss 2003/09/02 17:10:35 (permalink)
    ok ok ok..not REALLY fat..I know! But I have been struggling for years to lower my body fat, and while I get more muscular, my bodyfat hasnt really changed at all it seems (sometimes!)

    I'm 121 pounds....up 23 pounds since I started training 4 years ago!


    #7
    gymbabeliz
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    RE: good article on female lower body fat loss 2003/09/02 17:15:15 (permalink)
    ps I just noticed you said out of season..LOL I dont have an in or out season! I havent competed therefore am not seasonal!But thanks!!
    #8
    James
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    RE: good article on female lower body fat loss 2003/09/03 12:36:32 (permalink)
    some good info but read with scepticism girls!
    #9
    Steel Girl
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    RE: good article on female lower body fat loss 2003/09/04 17:09:04 (permalink)
    I notice that he doesnt mention that the female contraceptive pill or injection increases your appetite and if you dont control it and eat the wrong foods then of course fat loss is going to be little or nil.

    I have noticed an increase in my appetite over the last 6 months whilst on the depot injection - luckily enough I dont need it any more and things are getting back to normal.

    Thats just a personal observation.
    #10
    gymbabeliz
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    RE: good article on female lower body fat loss 2003/09/04 19:23:26 (permalink)
    Hmm, I've been just as hungry since coming off the Pill....still hungry, and now getting spotty too - URRKKKK I might have to go back on it...
    #11
    Philia2
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    RE: good article on female lower body fat loss 2003/09/05 07:13:26 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by James

    some good info but read with scepticism girls!



    James, I'd like to hear your ideas. No I don't want to get into the same cellulite discussion [xx(] but what do you know about eph and caffeine not working on hormonal fat etc?
    Now what can we do to touch the alpha-2 receptors?

    Girls, I stopped taking the pills in November last year and yes I definitely see a difference in the cut of my legs today (buuut you still need to diet thou!! )
    #12
    pres440
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    RE: good article on female lower body fat loss 2003/09/05 19:38:23 (permalink)
    Can anavar cause women to lose their sex drive and become moody and irritable like men do on steroids? If so, how long will anavar stay in a womans system or how long should it take before their hormones level out? And is there anything to take to help them level out or get the sex drive back?
    Any help would be great!!!
    #13
    gymbabeliz
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    RE: good article on female lower body fat loss 2003/09/05 23:45:47 (permalink)
    umm Press, what has that to do with this thread? You already started one I believe...we try to stay on-topic in each thread

    (note- try!!)
    #14
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