oestrogen dominance & leg shape

by Kate Shapland

You’ve been properly active, sticking to a low carbohydrate meal plan and cutting down on alcohol; your tummy feels tighter and your clothes a little looser, but there’s one problem: you’re not losing weight around your thighs, hips and bottom. Sound familiar? If so, I may have some welcome tips for you for there is an explanation for the vagaries of female fat loss and ways to tackle what is often known as oestrogen dominance.

HOW IS OESTROGEN RELATED TO LOWER BODY FAT?

Our legs, and mainly thighs, have a large number of oestrogen receptors which bind with high affinity to oestrogens. When too many poor food and lifestyle choices occur over a period of time there is an increase in the fat storing form of oestrogen known as estradiol. This hormonal imbalance can create a greater amount of fat storage around the thighs, hips and bum.

BELOW ARE FIVE TOP TIPS TO HELP BUDGE OESTROGEN INDUCED STUBBORN LOWER BODY FAT:

1. Cutting out refined carbohydrates/sugar: although this should be the first step in any fat loss diet plan, it’s especially important when it comes to losing lower body fat, as sugars increase the aromatase enzyme whose role is to convert testosterone (yes ladies you do have some) into estradiol (the fat storing estrogen) thereby increasing lower body fat. As well as allowing you to balance your blood sugar levels and control cravings, refined carbohydrates must be the first thing you eliminate if fat loss is your priority.

2. Ensuring good digestive support: it’s imperative that optimal digestion is present to ensure nutrients in the diet are allowed to be absorbed properly and perform their various functions. 95% of people we test show very low levels of Hydrochloric acid (HCL) which in short, means the greatest organic foods and fancy supplements are going to be almost pointless, as the main role of HCL is to breakdown and prepare foods to be assimilated in to the body.

3. Efficient methylation: this is a process which affects nearly every metabolic process in the body from DNA expression and protein regulation to liver detoxification, estrogen metabolism and more. In order for the methylation cycle to function optimally various nutrients such as B6, B12, trimethlyglycine, folic acid, magnesium and zinc are just a few of the nutrients needed. Now for the twist: it’s estimated that nearly 40% of the population have a slow methylation cycle. How do you know if you do? Just include some asparagus in your next meal and next time you go for a pee, and can smell asparagus, you’ll know you have. One of the simplest ways to manage this is by supplementing with some of the nutrients mentioned above. A high quality B complex, zinc, magnesium and a diet high in cruciferous vegetables is the way forward – especially during menopause and if you are taking HRT – as these nutrients will support proper methylation.  Basically, good methylation requires you to have a full spectrum of B vitamins to properly metabolise the oestrogen that causes you to store a preponderance of your fat in your lower body. I’ll write more about methylation in another issue – it’s a fascinating subject for anyone who is struggling to manage lower body weight around the menopause.

4. Plenty of cruciferous vegetables: without doubt these have the greatest potential to help rid the body of bad oestrogens. Make way in your diet for lots of broccoli, spinach, cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. Broccoli especially contains compounds known as indoles which have very potent anti (breast) cancer fighting properties as well as improving the liver’s oestrogen detox abilities.  So eat your greens for better and faster female fat loss.

5. Supplementary Dim: Diidolymethane (Dim) is the active form of indole 3 carbinol found in cruciferous vegetables, another reason to eat plenty of them, but not necessarily rely on them alone to get your input as food is often nutritionally depleted from poor soil and chemicals, not to mention the fact that vegetables have often sat around for at least 5 days from the time they were pulled out of the ground to the time you purchased them. Dim also helps to prevent aromatase (conversion of testosterone to fat storing oestrogens) and helps to improve E2 (anti cancer) to E16 (cancer promoting) ratios.

These are a few key pointers that can help break through oestrogen specific lower body fat loss plateaus. Below are a few other things for you to consider if you’re looking to streamline typical female problem areas:

    • Avoid Spin classes (they tend to increase intra cellular fat stores in the thighs
    • Eat more omega 3 fish oils (increase E2 decrease E16)
    • Avoid tap water (Britain’s water supply contains large amounts of oestrogen, and no that Brita filter just won’t cut it I’m afraid)
    • Birth control pills (increase oestrogen levels)
    • Go organic (most nonorganic meats contain hormones you don’t want in your diet)
    • Drink green tea!