Female fat loss and estrogen is a huge, huge topic. So huge in fact that it goes beyond what I can sum up in this post. But I can scratch the surface. To begin let’s look at two different scenarios.
Female client A: middle aged, hasn’t exercised for ten years. Typical pear shaped body. Diet contains copious amounts of all the usual sweet and savoury suspects – chocolate, pastries, fizzy drinks and crisps.
Female client B: aspiring bikini competitor in her mid twenties. Exercises five times a week and eats a high protein diet. Currently five weeks out from her first show and despite losing 8lbs of fat and gaining some lean body mass, she’s struggling to lose the last bit of stubborn fat around the thighs and bum.
I’m sure you’ll agree, two very different scenarios. Both at complete opposite ends of the spectrum. So what do both of these clients have in common?
Unfavourable estrogen levels.
Estrogen refers to a group of hormones that play a key role in the growth and development of female sexual characteristics. In an ideal world, estrogen would do its job, then be detoxed out of the body. However, poor diet and lifestyle choices result in increases of estradiol, the fat storing form of estrogen. This excess estrogen circulates around the bloodstream and binds to various estrogen receptors. The thighs, hips and bum all have a high number of estrogen receptors, hence the lower body weight gain and why this area becomes a stubborn area to shift fat on in many females. Ultimately we want to alter the enzyme systems in the gut and liver, encouraging them to convert estrogen into a weaker form, meaning it can easily be detoxed out of the body. The following tips will help your body shift away from estrogen dominance.
Optimal digestion ensures all nutrients are broken down and absorbed properly. All nutrients have various functions within the body so if you’re missing some, these functions aren’t going to be taken care of. Take for example vitamin B12 and folic acid. Both needed to metabolise the excess estrogen that’s causing you to store lower body fat. Consider taking a HCL or digestive enzyme supplement.
Any fitness or fat loss nutritional plan is going to encourage you to avoid sugars and processed carbohydrates in order to help stabilise blood sugar. It’s even more important if you’re trying to lose lower body fat, as sugars increase the aromatase enzyme. It’s main role being to convert testosterone into estradiol.
Eat cruciferous vegetables
Vegetables and greenery such as broccoli, spinach, brussel sprouts, cabbage and kale contain compounds known as indoles. These compounds improve the livers estrogen detoxification abilities. It’s also worth going organic as inorganic foods contain hormones and pesticides you don’t want in your diet.
Drink green tea
Green tea is rich in catechins, a type of antioxidant that boosts liver function. A better functioning liver means it can detox estrogen more efficiently. It’s also a good general weight loss drink due to causing a mild increase in thermogenesis.
Avoid tap water
Whilst drinking more water and staying hydrated is highly encouraged, Britain’s tap water supply contains large amounts of xeno-estrogens. These “environmental hormones” can have estrogenic effects on living organisms. Filtered water or bottled mineral water is better. Just make sure your drinking bottle is BPA free, or else you might be eliminating some xeno-estrogens, only to replace them with others.
Take a dim supplement
Diindolylmethane (dim) is a naturally occurring compound found in cruciferous vegetables. It’s works through 2 mechanisms. Firstly it helps the liver to metabolise estrogen and secondly it converts strong estrogen into less potent forms. The first port of call would always be to eat an abundance of cruciferous vegetables, but for those that really struggle a dim supplement might be a good choice.