- 4 Jul 2011
Stubborn Fat Causes and Prevention
From The Warrior Diet
by Ori Hofmekler
What is Stubborn Fat?
Stubborn fat is a slow-metabolized adipose (fat) tissue. To burn fat, a natural hormonal process has to take place. When a fat-burning process is activated, the adrenal hormones (adrenaline and noradrenaline) bind to special receptors in the fat tissues. There are two major groups of receptors in the fat tissues, alpha and beta. The beta-receptors are the more active ones, which respond to the adrenal hormones. Fat burning occurs when the adrenal hormones activate the beta-receptors in the fat cells. If these receptors are not activated, no fat will burn off.
Stubborn fat has a lower ratio of beta-receptors to alpha-receptors. As a result, it's metabolized slowly and does not respond to the adrenal hormones. To make matters worse, stubborn fat has more estrogen receptors in the tissues. Estrogen (the female hormone), once bound to the receptors, causes even more fat gain.
There's much more to it, but I don't want to make this too complicated and scientific. So for now, let's just say that stubborn fat presents three major problems:
- It doesn't have a high enough ratio of beta-receptors to alpha-receptors, so doesn't respond to adrenal fat-burning stimulation.
- It has more estrogen receptors, which accelerates fat gain.
- On top of all this, stubborn fat doesn't have a healthy blood circulation. These slowly metabolized fat tissues have fewer blood vessels than a normal fat tissue, and consequently this fat is slower to metabolize, and therefore more stubborn or difficult to remove.
There are many reasons for having stubborn fat. Both men and women may suffer from it as a result of maintaining an unhealthy diet, from the liver's inability to break down and detoxify estrogenic derivatives, or due to sensitivity to certain foods or chemicals in foods.
Fat gain has also been associated with insulin insensitivity and over-consumption of carbohydrates. Consuming too many carbohydrates -- especially sugar and overly-processed, refined carbs -- places pressure on the pancreas to overproduce insulin in order to lower the blood sugar level. Hyperinsulinemia then causes insulin insensitivity. When this happens, the body converts these extra carbohydrates into triglycerides and fat.
Deficiencies in certain nutrients, vitamins, and minerals -- such as B vitamins, chromium, magnesium, zinc, and Omega 3 essential fatty acid (alpha-linolenic acid) -- may also cause insulin insensitivity. This compromises the fat metabolism in the cellular mitochondria (compounds in the cells that are responsible for energy production and fat-burning).
Stubborn fat can be linked to protein deficiencies as well. Vegetarians and vegans are more likely to suffer from protein deficiencies, and especially to the essential amino acid lysine. Lysine, abundant in animal proteins but less so in grains, converts in our bodies to L-carnitine. L-carnitine is an amino acid essential for the fat-burning process, and it appears only in animal foods, especially red meat. Without enough L-carnitine and carnitine-related enzymes in your system, the ability to burn fat is severely compromised.
Stubborn fat can be an age-related problem for men. The older a man gets, the more of his testosterone is converted into estrogen – through a process called aromatazing. Thus, the older he gets, the more the aromataze enzyme is active. Fat tissues produce aromataze enzymes and therefore accelerate the aromatazing action, which converts testosterone into estrogen. There are natural ways to block this aromatazing process, which we'll discuss later.
Women usually suffer from age-related stubborn fat around their hips, thighs, and buttocks. Some women also have stubborn-fat tissues around their upper arms or entire legs. Age-related stubborn fat for women may be the result of hormonal fluctuations or an increase in estrogen receptors in the tissues.
Moreover, age-related insulin insensitivity, chronic stress, liver congestion, low thyroid, vascular permeability, and exhausted adrenals may all make the stubborn-fat syndrome even worse for both men and women.
How to Prevent Stubborn Fat
There are several things you can do to avoid stubborn fat:
- Stay away from crash diets or diets that cause you to lose fat and gain it back again. Second-generation fat is more stubborn than the first. The more you fluctuate with your weight, the more stubborn fat you may gain.
- Avoid consuming foods to which you may be sensitive or allergic. Some people react to certain foods, such as wheat, dairy, or soy. If you suspect this may be the case, get yourself checked for food sensitivities.
- Eat organic food as much as possible, thereby avoiding many estrogenic substances that are in our food supply, such as petroleum and other chemically based fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides (which are found in nonorganic produce), and hormones (which are found in nonorganic meats, poultry, dairy, and eggs).
- Drink pure, filtered water. Don't drink or cook with tap water that is unfiltered.
- Try to minimize the purchase, consumption, and storage of food, water, and other beverages or liquids that are wrapped or bottled in plastic (particularly soft plastic bottles and containers). If the food or liquid smells like plastic, stay away from it.
- Minimize your alcohol consumption. Excessive alcohol may compromise your liver's ability to break down and detoxify estrogenic derivatives. When not broken down and detoxified, these estrogenic toxins penetrate the blood and cause unpleasant symptoms like bloating, water retention, and stubborn-fat gain. If these toxins remain unchecked, they may cause chronic diseases and even cancer.
- Control your insulin. Naturally minimize the amount of carbohydrates you ingest by eating carbohydrates as the last component of your meal. If needed, supplement yourself with all essential nutrients necessary for stabilizing your insulin, such as essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.
- Follow a steady exercise routine. A comprehensive diet and exercise routine is the first defense against stubborn fat. Exercising boosts the metabolic rate, reduces stress-related symptoms, and thus accelerates the diet's effects. However, avoid overtraining. Chronically overstressing your body may cause the opposite effect and slow down your metabolic rate.
Udo Erasmus says that many plastic fibers contain toxic estrogenic chemicals that are dangerous to our health. In my opinion, avoiding plastic altogether would be very impractical and almost impossible, given how widespread it is today. Therefore, I recommend that everyone do their best to check what type of plastic packaging is used before buying and consuming products wrapped or bottled in them. And, as noted above, you can use your senses. If anything edible smells like plastic, stay away from it. Moreover, acid-based foods such as lemon juice, vinegar, tomato sauce, and wine should not be packed or stored in plastic containers, since acid is more reactive with certain plastic materials.
Safety measures to protect from toxic plastics:
- Cut away a small amount of the outer edge of foods that are wrapped in plastic, such as cheese.
- Store food and beverages in glass or ceramic containers.
- Any plastic wrap to save food should cover the container, but not touch the food.
- Minimize the microwave, especially with foods wrapped in plastic
- Avoid weight fluctuations.
- Avoid foods to which you are sensitive or allergic.
- Minimize your consumption of nonorganic foods, especially ones that are high on the food chain.
- Drink clean, pure water.
- Be conscious of plastic packaging. The soft smelly kinds are the worst.
- Avoid excessive alcohol consumption or constant, daily alcohol.
- Control your insulin and minimize carbohydrates.
- Follow a steady exercise routine.