Let’s all agree that stubborn body fat is one of the most annoying things known to man. Cool? Cool. Because stubborn body fat is the bane of my very existence, and I know I’m not alone here.
It seems like you can diet for months on end, making sure every meal is on point. Train your ass off, make sure your recovery is cared for, and there’s still certain spots on the body that act like they’re preparing for winter when everywhere else is ready for summer.
If you catch my drift, you might find this interesting. Charles Poliquin, who catches a ton of shit on the Internet but is also one of the most successful and experienced strength coaches in history, posited a theory about stubborn body fat, and what it might mean as far as hormones are concerned.
For those who aren’t aware, hormones are pretty important, especially testosterone, insulin, and cortisol. These hormones govern almost all aspects of muscle building, fat loss, sex drive, and your desire to kick life in the balls. If they’re screwed up, all of that is screwed up as well.
So yeah, hormones. They’re kind of a big fucking deal.
If you’re holding stubborn body fat in 3 specific places, here’s what it might mean about certain hormone levels.
Excessive belly fat:
This can be related to excessive cortisol levels. For those who don’t know, cortisol is a stress hormone that is naturally occurring. When training hard, cortisol is bound to rise to a point. But when stress is too high and sleep is poor then cortisol levels tend to skyrocket. This can show by an excessive amount of belly fat accumulating compared to anywhere else on the body.
How to bring cortisol levels down? Sleep, bro. Seriously. If cortisol levels are too high, then you probably need to start putting sleep at a premium, and try to keep your training sessions under an hour or so.
Love handles and upper back fat:
Love handles are a particularly troublesome spot for me personally. It has been my whole life. Not ironically, diabetes happens to run in my family. This leads me to believe that no matter how active I am keeping insulin control in check may be something to watch out for.
If you’ve got crazy love handles or upper back fat, then getting your insulin levels in check is your big priority.
How to get insulin levels in check? I prefer spending 4-6 weeks in a very low carb diet. Eat as many non-starchy vegetables as you want, but keep starches to an absolute minimum. Shoot for only about 2 servings per day, and ideally eat them right around your workout.
Man boobs and tricep fat?
I work with a few clients who see this as a big issue. It should be noted that man boobs don’t just mean someone is large. If someone is losing weight, but can’t seem to get rid of their man boobs, then chances are they’re struggling with testosterone levels.
How do you fix this? Testosterone is one of the most important hormones for us bros. If T levels start to dip, it can impact every single aspect of our life.
I like recommending bros to start placing a premium on sleep, get a bit more saturated fat than normal, and remove all refined carbs for at least 4-6 weeks.
*I have to note that Poliquin has caught a ton of shit from the evidence based fitness and health community for his Biosignature program. However from my anecdotal experience, that of my clients, and Poliquins extensive anecdotal experience this shit seems to work pretty damn well. It won’t hurt to give it a try.