T Nation

Hormonal Causes of Low Back Fat


I am extremely lean in most of my upper body--good definition, vascularity, six-pack, etc. However, I weirdly carry a significant amount of fat just above my illiac crest.

This seems to clearly be a hormonal issue (possibly insulin resistance). Thoughts on what the problem is and how to deal with it?


It may be hormonal, but that is unlikely. You probably just need to loose more weight.
post a pic


IC or love handles is pretty much specifically related to high insulin levels, insulin being a hormone.
How to deal with it: start looking into what is causing high insulin spikes, or consistently high insulin levels in your diet. If you are relatively lean all over but carry fat around the love handles like a greek statue then you are most likely built for carbs but probably having the wrong kinds at the wrong times or the right kinds at the wrong times.

Hard to say for sure when the only information we have is I have love handle fat. Looking into organizing your carbs better regarding timing and quality.


I feel you brother. I have the exact same issue, can be 8 pack lean but i sti have a decent inch to pinch on my lower back and hips. My assumption is that some of this is due to the protective nature of fat over the kidneys.

Other than that though, i have done numerous weeks and months on low/no carb diets, extended periods of strict carb timings and avoiding any insulin spikes whatsoever but its still there. So id be interested to see what responses you get other that the inevitable 'loose more fat bro'.


A lifter has to make peace with their genetics at some point.
Everybody has 'issues'; if this is your main concern you are way ahead of the majority. If the OP looks anything like putter; you guys are 'evil' lean already.
Remember.......Perfect is the enemy of great.


I've got the same issue so I'd love to see some help as well.


I know that Charles Poliquin's Biosignature identifies fat on the IC as being related to dietary carbohydrates, and scapular fat identifies genetic carb tolerance. So if you do a skin fold test on your scapula and get a single digit reading, you are probably carb tolerant, just eating too much or at the wrong time.

I know that Poliquin says to go Paleo if you are not carb tolerant, and even if you are keep them gluten free. There are also supplements you can take. R-ALA is amazing, as is green tea extract and cinnamon (the best according to Tim Ferris' experiments is the species Saigon Cinnamon, available as a spice at Whole Foods and sort of hard to eat). Cissus Quadrangularis has had some statistically significant lab results in lowering glucose and causing weight loss by attacking insulin.

Maybe post a picture though to show us what we are dealing with? If you really are both built and lean, it may be wisest to take the earliuer poster's advice and accept yourself as imperfect, but nevertheless excellent.


At least one well-regarded expert (Lyle McDonald) has a somewhat different take on why certain fat stores (ab fat/love handles in men; thigh/butt fat in women) are resistant to weight loss. Paraphrasing from his ebook The Stubborn Fat Protocol, so-called 'stubborn fat' has the following properties that make it especially difficult to shed:
1) An unfavorable ratio of beta- to alpha receptors on the adipocytes;
2) relatively poor local blood flow;
3) relatively high sensitivity to insulin (more of a problem for lower-body-fat in women); and finally
4) a greater proportion of saturated fats.

In his book, McDonald offers some strategies for attacking these stubborn fat deposits. Might be worth a read. (For the record, I have no financial interest in McDonald's book, and thus am not flogging it for personal gain.)


If you're game, anastrozole is a very cheap and easy/oral "fix."


It's called skin.


Why would you recommend adex if you don't even know if his e2 is high


I guess I didn't technically recommend it...lol. More like suggest he look into it? E doesn't have to be high if it's just about small physique improvements.

But you're right. Posts like this have no place in this particular forum. My bad.


Why did you recommend it? I know it lowers E2 and makes you drop water but for someone with E2 in the normal range they shouldn't be lowering it any further and could just use an otc diuretic to shed some water. What are your thoughts


From recommendations of former T-member LaRoyal (who was VERY knowledgeable), Poliquin's Lean Legs cream is outstanding for this.

I tried it myself on two different occasions, and I saw results.

Keep in mind, if you put this cream on, you will sweat in that area like a brute savage when you workout.


OTC diuretic is a short term fix. It's also not the healthiest option. You can manage a minimal dosing of anastro long term just to bring your E2 down to lower end of "normal" range and drop fat and water in the woman areas.


I'd use exemestane in that case since its been shown to actually boost test as well and even improve lipids I think


Jesus Christ this thread. This until OP posts a picture of his otherwise "extremely lean" physique.

No one should be worrying about prescription drugs, voodoo creams or anything even remotely related to Tim Ferriss until OP tosses up a pic.


Oh, and what is meant by "attacking" insulin?


Yeah, I would leave E2 levels the hell alone unless you have done research and blood work.

MaxI: I have had similar results from clients using that cream or otherwise called Thermox7 I believe. But that is just a suggestion. It is a stubborn fat area being so close to the ass and my own back love fluxes. I usually have to dial down carbs for a while.



Creatine. Socks. He knows what he needs to do.