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Abdominal Fat and Cortisol...

A friend of mine whom works out pretty diligently (probably too diligently) and eats relatively clean, can’t get rid of the last bit of fat around his stomach, thus obstructing his abs/six pack whatever. Other than that he is actually very lean and somewhat muscular.

he told me that the extra abdominal fat is due to cortisol levels. I googled this and have found lots of articles citing a correlation between the two.

my question(s) is: if that last bit of abdominal fat is actually due to excess cortisol, then what can be done within reason [i mean we all have our stressors in our lives that we can not fully eliminate (that is if i am thinking of cortisol correctly?)]?

and secondly if you disagree with the cortisol/abdominal fat link, what do you suggest he do?

thanks in advance

I asked my friend and he said it could also be because of alcohol consumption - beer belly. He also told me if he exercises and eats good but with a caloriedeficit diet he should lose the fat (lots of meat protein)… “use 3000, eat 2500” . Take 2g of vitamin C after workout(to reduce cortisol). He also told me to tell you to tell your friend to stress less.

There’s a pretty clear link between some chemical/biological functions, and hard to lose body fat.

However, things like hormone levels, in people who don’t have a special condition, and who eat “clean” will regulate themselves pretty well. So it tends to be a self-feeding cycle where someone gets fat, which throws of their body’s ability to regulate hormones, which leads to stubborn fat gain.

If you’re friend doesn’t have a real ‘condition’, then it’s either diet or sleep. He might be very sensitive with a compass that a couple beers a day (or whatever) can knock off course, or he just isn’t getting enough sleep.

He could look into fasting, I’ve read a few times about certain mechanisms that target particular types of fat storage after fasting and this type of fat storage happens in the abdominal region

The last inch or too is stubborn for pretty much everyone

[quote]RampantBadger wrote:
The last inch or too is stubborn for pretty much everyone[/quote]

Most people seriously underestimate the effort and discipline required to ‘clean-up’ the lower ab. Few can accept the reduction in bodyweight mentally; and even fewer are in their ‘optimal training’ zone while in that condition. While it may be fun to lean up some for a vacation in the summer, or a special event here and there, it is important to consider that while one is whittling away at their lower abdominal they are not advancing forward.

There’s quite a few mechanisms at play when dealing with stubborn body fat.

Cortisol is necessary. Similar to insulin, it’s gotten a bad wrap in that it’s really only a negative hormone when chronically elevated.

Keeping chronic cortisol low comes much more from managing daily stressors and ensuring adequate recovery. And yes, that includes too much gym time, which can be a potent stimulator of cortisol release in and of itself.

Secondly, stubborn fat has greatly reduced blood flow compared to other adipose sites, which slows fat loss in these areas considerably. One approach some use is to supplement with yohimbe HCl, which has been shown to improve bloodflow and expedite fat loss in these areas. It’s a fairly powerful stimulant, so do your research.

Those are a couple considerations; as mentioned by another member, dropping those last few strips of fat can be brutally hard (I’ve sure as hell never done it).

The most likely assumption is that he underestimates how much muscle he needs to carry to really look lean at a certain weight…not that his “cortisol” is out of whack. Your body isn’t quite that easy to trouble shoot with no blood tests and regular medical supervision.

I’ve been battling this for the past few years, including hormonal blood tests, salivary adrenal stress tests, caliper bodyfat testing, dieting, supplementation, etc, etc. Basically to no avail.

Yes, I do think that if I really dieted down to super-shredded (and much lower bodyweight) levels, it would probably have to go away, or at least be largely reduced. But in my early twenties, let’s say, I didn’t have it, or at least not nearly to this degree. So the placement/distribution of fat has changed, largely due to hormonal issues.

But the testing has shown some degree of adrenal insufficiency, so my cortisol levels are a bit lower than they should be, likely after years of them being higher than they should have been, thus overtaxing my adrenals to some degree.

So managing stress, diet, supplementation/experimentation, etc. to help with adrenal health should help a bit – though I haven’t cracked the puzzle yet – and other than that it might just be a question of dieting down to a lower-than-expected bodyweight.

[quote]Damici wrote:
I’ve been battling this for the past few years, including hormonal blood tests, salivary adrenal stress tests, caliper bodyfat testing, dieting, supplementation, etc, etc. Basically to no avail.

Yes, I do think that if I really dieted down to super-shredded (and much lower bodyweight) levels, it would probably have to go away, or at least be largely reduced. But in my early twenties, let’s say, I didn’t have it, or at least not nearly to this degree. So the placement/distribution of fat has changed, largely due to hormonal issues.

But the testing has shown some degree of adrenal insufficiency, so my cortisol levels are a bit lower than they should be, likely after years of them being higher than they should have been, thus overtaxing my adrenals to some degree.

So managing stress, diet, supplementation/experimentation, etc. to help with adrenal health should help a bit – though I haven’t cracked the puzzle yet – and other than that it might just be a question of dieting down to a lower-than-expected bodyweight.[/quote]

You still doing Poliquin Bio-sig ?

[quote]MaximusB wrote:

[quote]Damici wrote:
I’ve been battling this for the past few years, including hormonal blood tests, salivary adrenal stress tests, caliper bodyfat testing, dieting, supplementation, etc, etc. Basically to no avail.

Yes, I do think that if I really dieted down to super-shredded (and much lower bodyweight) levels, it would probably have to go away, or at least be largely reduced. But in my early twenties, let’s say, I didn’t have it, or at least not nearly to this degree. So the placement/distribution of fat has changed, largely due to hormonal issues.

But the testing has shown some degree of adrenal insufficiency, so my cortisol levels are a bit lower than they should be, likely after years of them being higher than they should have been, thus overtaxing my adrenals to some degree.

So managing stress, diet, supplementation/experimentation, etc. to help with adrenal health should help a bit – though I haven’t cracked the puzzle yet – and other than that it might just be a question of dieting down to a lower-than-expected bodyweight.[/quote]

You still doing Poliquin Bio-sig ?[/quote]

No no, finished experimenting with that years ago. Helped a bit to a point – but has major holes in it. And my Biosignature practitioner, who was one of the early adopters and was in fairly close contact with Charles, lost his faith in it eventually as well. (I still see him occasionally for bodyfat testing and such.) He’s just had far too many clients (including me) who it couldn’t help past a certain point, and Charles wasn’t very responsive when presented with specific cases where his prescriptions weren’t working.