If like me, you’ve put in an amazing effort into achieving the perfect body, then you might be curious to know how I said goodbye to my stubborn body fat. The frustration of being the first person at the door of the gym, when it opened at 7 o’clock in the morning, dieting and training like a crazy person – yet not getting the results I wanted, was really getting on top of me.
The truth is that my stubborn body fat was really getting me down. I would look at myself in the mirror and detest those alien pockets of body fat that were sabotaging my almost perfect body. That was until I found out what I was doing wrong.
A personal trainer saved my life
After months, well almost a year, of switching from one diet to another, a friend of mine dragged me along to his personal trainer. In under five minutes, this personal trainer explained three ridiculously simple steps that meant I could change my life and say goodbye to my stubborn body fat.
1. Stop traditional dieting
2. Keep your metabolism guessing
3. Target the area in three intelligent ways
However what really helped me, as well is these three points, was understanding the underlying explanation of what is the difference between stubborn fat and normal fat. So let’s look at how quickly first.
The difference between stubborn fat and normal fat
What makes some fat stubborn is the combination of poor blood flow, increased alpha receptors activity and more insulin sensitivity. Essentially what you need to do is match your intake of food with your output of exercise. Also forget the idea of targeting a particular area with exercise, because your body will burn fat from all over it.
The difference between stubborn fat and normal fat is that stubborn fat just burns far more slowly. To burn fat it has to be released firstly from a fat cell. Then it needs to move to another cell in order to be burned. Of course this means the blood supply to and from your tissues is vital. In the case of stubborn fat its slowness is related to fat cell receptors.
It may help you to understand that there are hormone bind receptors in your fat tissues that are responsible for sending out the signals that will result in either slow or fast fat release. These are called alpha receptors and beta receptors. It’s the beta receptors which speed up fat release, whereas the alpha receptors result in slow fat release. So basically the aim of your targeted behaviour is to produce a higher activity of beta receptors, while at the same time decreasing alpha receptors.
Did you know the being on a diet will actually make your stubborn fat even more stubborn? This is because what actually happens is your body experiences thyroid and insulin changes, that increase alpha receptor activity and reduce beta receptor efficiency. When you diet and exercise more that you previously did, what happens to your body and the metabolism is that your body feels hungrier and then it gives less energy. It starts to prepare itself for further losses in your body fat, not to mention the crazy cravings that you will be getting.
Part of this preparation is holding on to the stubborn fat to counteract further loss of body fat. So actually dieting can make you fatter and it’s definitely makes stubborn fat far more stubborn. The two main things happen as part of this process are decreased thyroid output and increased incidence sensitivity. These processes result in heightened receptor activity and reduced beta receptor activity.
The solution is a combination of cycles of ELEL and EMEM. ELEL is a combination of less exercise and eating less. EMEM is when you exercise more and eat more.
Keep your metabolism guessing
This brings me onto the next point, which is how to keep your metabolism guessing. Firstly your metabolism will compensate less when you adopt a EMEM or ELEL approach. However as your metabolism will definitely compensate to some extent, the best thing is to cycle these approaches so that you can keep your metabolism guessing.
The solution is to do one or two weeks using the ELEL approach. Then follow this with another 1 to 2 weeks on the EMEM approach.
As a woman I also tweaked this to tune into my menstrual cycle. As other women will appreciate, this is a time when you feel hungrier and have more cravings. This happens because of the hormonal changes which alter our brain chemistry. So this is the time of the month to change from one cycle to the other. Personally for me I found the EMEM approach worked best of this time, because at least I could eat more and get rid of some of the PMT through increased exercise.
Traditionally when we hear the phrase targeting the area in terms of fitness, we assume this means exercise only. However in order to say goodbye to your stubborn body fat, you need to target the area in these 3 intelligent ways. These take into account that actually fat loss is all about balancing hormones as well as reducing calories. To achieve this you need to strike a balance between timing your exercise, diet plus supplementation correctly.
So when it comes to striking a balance between your diet, supplementation and exercise, you need to switch cycles between starving the fat and feeding the lean. This will protect against hormonal changes and metabolic compensation.
There are some supplements that work well, particularly when you’re in a lower incidence state. These are:
1. Coleus forskohlii – forskolin
2. Green tea extract
Additionally there are a few supplements can help block the activation of alpha receptors, these are:
3. Yohimbine HCL
The one I found worked best for me is Yohimbine HCL, which I found had the best results when I used it under fasting exercise conditions. However after a while I noticed I developed a bit of a tolerance to it, and also I found it rather stimulating.