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John Berardi

Hormones and Body fat Distribution

getting back into shape, Fat Deposits and Hormone Correlations

Dude…is it true all this beer is giving me man boobs?

I keeled over and nearly spit my beer all over the table. I was 21 years old, an undergrad in kinesiology and kickin’ back a few beers on thirsty Thursday with my friend Chris.

“No, I mean, seriously. I heard beer has compounds that mimic estrogen. So drinking a lot of beer throws guys hormones off and gives us man boobs. Is this right?  At the time, I wasn’t sure. Three beers deep I was tipsy and didn’t really care. In hindsight maybe I was being a jerk. But then again, I wasn’t completely sure.

Do hormone imbalances play a role in where we store body fat? Is excess cortisol the reason some of us have stubborn belly fat that won’t go away?

Is excess cortisol the reason some of us have stubborn belly fat that won’t go away?
Taken a step further, by naturally working to improve hormone levels can we get rid of stubborn body fat to become stronger, leaner, and look better naked?

The more clients I work with, the more I believe hormones play a significant role in body fat and body fat distribution. Before going any further I must note that I am not a doctor. This is no attempt to treat any medical condition; rather, to paint a picture of a few possible reasons for stubborn body fat. That said, using well-planned resistance training, small tweaks in your diet, and avoiding environmental toxins you can potentially improve natural hormone levels for less fat and more muscle. I put together a free guide showing you what to do. Grab it here.


Here are some common issues and questions that my clients bring up when coming in for body composition testing, typically done as skinfold measurements and body circumference measurements.

“My arms and chest are toned and lean, but I just can’t seem to shake this stubborn lower belly flab, why am I lean everywhere but my stomach?”

“I can’t get rid of this stupid fat around my hips, it looks like a muffin top!”

“ Why am I developing man boobs  fat on my chest muscles?”

I’ve heard every combination of slang terminology for fatty deposits around the body. As funny as some of them may be they represent real, common problems that can wreak havoc on both physique and confidence.

Having body fat tested is a great way to get a reliable, quantifiable idea of your current body composition and is recommended for everyone. If this is not an immediate option, make it a priority. Check out this post on how to estimate your body fat percentage based on what you see in the mirror.

Skinfold measurements will provide vital information to track body composition with changes in activity level and diet. These numbers from a skinfold also provide important data that can signify correlations between important body altering hormones in the body and skinfold measures.

Here are the most common trouble spots along with necessary interventions and strategies to correct the issue:

High abdominal Skinfold

  • Physiological Correlation: High Stress, High Cortisol
  • Intervention: Cortisol Suppression, Stress Control
  • Potential Strategies: Frequent protein meals, improved sleep, BCAA’s, stress reducing techniques such as meditation.

High Suprailliac Skinfold (hip region)

  • Physiological Correlation: Large Insulin Release w/meals (Likely too much sugar)
  • Intervention: Control Carb intake and greatly reduce processed foods
  • Potential Strategies: Consider a low carb diet. Better yet, try carb cycling, as outlined in this article.

High Subscapular Skinfold

  • Physiological Correlation:Poor Insulin Sensitivity (too many carbohydrates, too little exercise)
  • Intervention:Boost Insulin Sensitivity
  • Potential Strategy: Add Fish Oils, R-ALA Supplementation, Low Carb Diet, potentially Intermittent fasting protocols

High Chest Skinfold

  • Physiological Correlation: Low Testosterone, high estrogen
  • Intervention: Support Healthy Testosterone Levels
  • Potential Strategy:Adequate caloric intake, adequate dietary fat intake, possible medical referral. Avoid alcohol, beer specifically.

High Triceps and Thigh Skinfold

  • Physiological Correlation: High Estrogen
  • Intervention:Reduce estrogen levels
  • Potential Strategy: Increase exercise volume, add cruciferous veggies (always a good idea), discuss prescription estrogens with doctor

As you can see there is a pretty consistent consensus that many hormonal issues stem from poor exercise and dietary habits. Body composition is very diet specific and using the potential strategies to attack trouble spots can help you lose fat, improve your overall health, and look better naked.

It is important to note that if body fat is high universally on all body composition measurements then correlations are relatively meaningless. You need to lose body fat to improve your overall hormone profile. Our 30-day fat loss transformation plan can help you lose 6-10 pounds in one month. Join us next month by applying here.

Other Tips

If looking to lose weight do whatever is necessary to increase your activity level, but studies show 5+ hours per week is what is needed to optimally lose weight. And if you’re looking for a workout program to maximize your fat loss, here’s a free program to get building your dream body.

Hook me up with the Free Fat Loss Program, Eric!

Sources:

Andrews, Ryan, MS,MA,RD. Berardi, John, PhD,”Chapter 12 Interpreting Client Information.” The Essentials of Sport and Exercise Nutrition. 2nd ed. N.p.: Precision Nutrition, n.d. 316-18. Print.

Precision Nutrition Certification Review

Like any certification the number one question I have received after getting my PN1 is “Was it worth the Money?”

To make it easy the answer is yes, yes it was. The Precision Nutrition Certification strikes gold for coaches looking for top-notch results with their clients. The PN system delivers what few other certifications and educational courses can: Up-to-date information and a delivery system to implement change in your clients.

The Breakdown

Precision Nutrition Certification Review
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pinksherbet/415651103/

Precision Nutrition contained two distinct portions of this certification. The first portion of the textbook and lectures was based on nutritional science. This portion covered topics such as cell structure and function, energy transfer and metabolism, energy balance, macro/micronutrients, special populations, and hydration status.

The information is up-to-date, and extremely thorough. Precision Nutrition does a phenomenal job breaking down difficult topics such as the Krebs cycle with both in-depth explanation, workbook questions, and video lectures to fit all learning styles.

The Best Part

The scientific based parts of the certification are great, but the practice, coaching, and implementation are even better. The practice portion of the certification contains extremely thorough client prep and information collecting, how to interpret this information, nutritional supplementation information, setting realistic and achievable goals, and how to provide continuing education and support for clients.

 

Advanced Strategies

Because PN does such a great job analyzing behavior and making change stick, advanced strategies are much easier to master. PN covers the following topics in-depth, providing calculations and estimations based on individual goals and body types for the following:

  • Carbohydrate cycling
  • Calorie cycling
  • Athlete sports nutrition as it relates to immune function
  • Nutrition for injury and rehabilitation
  • Supplementation to speed healing of injuries
  • Plant based diets
  • Eating disorders
  • Nutrition and cardiovascular disease
  • Nutrition and diabetes

These advanced strategies are an awesome addition to any repertoire of nutritional knowledge bombs. They might not apply to the majority of clients, but they are extremely thoroughly and helpful to the advanced clients that do dictate the strategies.

Why It’s Better

The Precision Nutrition Certification is NOT the only nutritional certification available to fitness professionals, but it does offer an entire section based on implementing change with clients. Too often certifications leave the coach with a wealth of information without the tools to successfully carry out the strategies into practice. This is where the PN system separates itself from the others. Dr. John Berardi has the hands on knowledge and experience from years of working with clients ranging from elite professional and Olympian athletes to non-athletes and average-joes.

If you are a fitness professional looking to take your business to the next step then I strongly recommend the PN1 Certification and Precision Nutrition.

For more information go check PN out at http://www.precisionnutrition.com/ and explore the wealth of information they have to offer. Specialized programs such as PN Lean Eating as well as Scrawny To Brawny programs are available to guide you towards your specific goals.

For information on how I implement the Precision Nutrition System with my clients please contact me through my newsletter and pick up your free gift here ==> Hook me up!

photo credit: Pink Sherbet Photography via photopin cc

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