Female Stubborn Fat Thighs and Hips
As a trainer, I often hear women telling me this: “I’m unhappy with my thighs”, “I don’t like the size of my hips and bums”, “I want to lose my belly”.
Those are the 4 most common body parts that female clients dislike about themself and want to get rid of.
They are also the areas where stubborn fat just build up and do not want to go away as much as you would like.
There are lots of reasons for that, and I will only write about the thighs and hips in this post.
I get it that every woman wants to get those sleeky and long toned legs.
For some women, nature has designed them to have wide hips so that when time comes to reproduce, the bearing can be easy.
When it's about to lose weight, I repeat and say it again – it is NOT possible to choose where you want to lose. Despite all those secrets busting in women fitness magazines and other online exercises targeting your thighs and hips, it’s still not possible to target your most hated areas.
If you have a body part that has a tendency to store fat, it will be the last place to get those stubborn fat to go.
You will start to get leaner and trimmer on other areas before you can see your thighs and hips to shrink.
Sadly for those who don’t like the size of their most detested body part, it’s really based on the principle of "First comes, Last to go"!
The lower-body in women has a tendency to hold onto this stubborn fat in the thighs and hips due to hormones. “Estrogen” is needed but when the level is too high or what we call “estrogen dominance”, it can be quite troublesome to shift weight on those body parts.
In women, the hips and the thighs especially have large numbers of fat cell receptors called alpha adrenergic and beta adrenergic receptors.
To keep it simple, think about alpha – as dominant or anti-burn (A), and those receptors are the ones you want to minimize. The more alpha-receptors you have in one area, the more difficult it will be to burn fat.
The beta-receptors – think of “burn” (B) – are the ones that will help you to burn fat.
The number of those receptors determines how your body is able to burn or gain fat.
I can hear you coming with “but how can I increase my beta-receptors”?
Well there’s no magic pill or potion I can give but the following:
1- Make changes in your nutrition: If you want to lose weight, everything starts from here. Cut down on sugar, alcohol and refined carbohydrates. When it comes to lose body fat, it’s important to remove the non-nutritious elements. Your body has an enzyme called aromatase found in tissues and brain. Its primary role is to convert testosterone (male hormones, but yes, you ladies have some too) into estradiol (estrogen – the fat storing hormone). By reducing your intake of sugar (also found in alcohol and carbs), you can reduce your body fat and aromatase enzyme level.
2- Eat more cruciferous vegetables: you always hear your parents and trainers like myself tell you to eat your vegs! There are good reasons for them – they are nutritious, packed with vitamins and minerals and rich in fibre. The ones that I recommend to eat the most are your green vegetables especially from the cruciferous family : broccoli, spinach, bok choy, kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, rocket, cauliflower.
They are high in phytonutrients which help for detoxification and improve the liver’s abilities to remove estrogen from the body.
3- Gastrointestinal health: your gut does lot of work and it needs some attention. This is where all the nutrients are extracted, absorbed and excreted from all the food and drinks you swallow. If your gut is unhealthy, not only you will have difficulty to get the nutrients from the food you eat but it can inhibit the excretion of unwanted and excess estrogen from your body. When estrogen is not removed from your body, it will re-circulate and this is not an ideal world if you are looking to lose body fat. Hence, the importance to eat plenty of vegetables as mentioned above, and increase your daily amount of fibre (at least 25g a day).
4- Watch your drink: Alcohol is one of the culprit to increase your estrogen level but drinks from plastic bottles are as bad. Most plastic bottles contain an industrial chemical called BPA (Bisphenol A) which disrupts your endocrine system by mimicking the hormone estrogen in the body. All drinks in plastic bottles sitting in your supermarket or local shops are releasing slowly that chemical over time.Try to choose water from glass bottle, and if using a refillable one choose glass or BPA free bottle.
5- Supplementation: Even eating whole and unprocessed food, the nutrients in them aren’t always enough. When it comes to reduce estrogen and the converstion of aromatase (testosterone to estrogen), the following essential nutrients will help: drink green tea, get enough quality omega 3 fish oil, vitamin E, complete vitamins B and DIM (Diindolymethane, found in cruciferous vegetables). As the name implies, supplements are there to complete what you don’t get from whole foods. They are not to replace food, so make sure you sort out your diet beforehand.
6- Limit Xenoestrogens: They are basically environmental hormone disruptors and cause havoc with your natural estrogen hormones function. This one is for all ladies who do not think much when they reach out and splash on all those make up, potions and lotions.
Xenoestrogens are man-made chemicals that mimic estrogens and are found in lots of cosmetic products (make-up, nail varnish, perfume, creams, shampoo..), as well as plastic containers, cleaning products etc.. When they enter into your body they attach and store in your fat cells which are difficult to remove and detoxify. The more you use products high in xenoestrogens, the more toxins you are accumulating in your cells and you will have hard time to lose bodyfat.
7- Strength training – Don’t stick only to legs curls or press but use compound movement exercises like deadlift, squats, pull-ups to target as many muscles as possible. Train at least 3-4times a week, and add some HIIT and sprints into your training to burn fat and build muscles to get that lean, strong and athletic body, especially on your legs and glutes.
Start to make some changes, keep the consistency and you will see results...
To Your Better Health Every Day,