T Nation

Why Does the Body Lose Fat this Way?

I’ve come to accept that for men, the typical pattern of fat loss is abdomen -> trunk -> extremities (although exceptions exist), but I never really bothered to think why that is. Why is fat lost in this particular order? What is the physiological basis for this? Does it have to do with hormones? Certain receptors? Something else?

Is fat lost in this order all the time? Can this order be altered? Is this pattern the same for women? If not, what is the pattern?

Answers to ANY of these questions are greatly appreciated.

i feel as if I lose fat in the hips last. Its possibly because there’s not as much fat in extremeties than the trunk?

[quote]Rico Suave wrote:
i feel as if I lose fat in the hips last. Its possibly because there’s not as much fat in extremeties than the trunk? [/quote]

Interesting. Thanks for the contribution. As a follow-up (and it’s OK if you don’t have the answer to this), why, do you think that the trunk tends to store fat preferentially over the extremities?

Feel free to speculate, research, bullshit, or not answer.

[quote]kligor wrote:
Rico Suave wrote:
i feel as if I lose fat in the hips last. Its possibly because there’s not as much fat in extremeties than the trunk?

Interesting. Thanks for the contribution. As a follow-up (and it’s OK if you don’t have the answer to this), why, do you think that the trunk tends to store fat preferentially over the extremities?

Feel free to speculate, research, bullshit, or not answer.[/quote]

Insulation. Protection. The body is smart ya know.

I’m dieting right now and I have very little in the way of fat left anywhere but my abdomen. Shoulders, back, chest arms shoulders and legs are all very hard at this point, but the goddamn lovehandles stick around.

imo from an evolutionary standpoint the abdomen would be the optimal for the body to store energy for a couple of reasons.

  1. this is the place that it will hinder movement the least… think if all your fat was stored in just your thighs. it would be hard to move and thus hard for a caveman to kick a wolly mammoth’s ass to get food. being above your hips is the most portable place to put extra energy. think of the hump on a bull… above their shoulders where it is still easy for the organism to be mobile.

  2. this is a place where it can easily be metabolized and give energy to anywhere in the body. it has to travel the same distance to reach arms, legs, ect.

  3. if we stored it on our head we would all look like dumbasses and probably never get laid.

Yeah this is totally not true for me.

I lose fat in my extremities->back->chest->outer core (obliques)->abs

In that order. I barely have a 4 pack at 11% body fat…it really sucks :frowning:

I’m with ace, my body loses fat in extremities-back-chest-abs-obliques. Nothing a good old fashion cardio/clen or ECA beating doesn’t change though. My two pac makes me sad.

I think I may well have to give a good ECA stack a try. Can’t hurt.

Doesn’t it depend on your hormones? As a woman with more estrogen, the top of the back of my thighs and my triceps are the last place for my fat to go, with my mid-abdomen hanging on to a bit of fat also.

While still having a bit of fat on my gut, my hips are lean enough to see veins and I have very little fat in the love handle area.

Also, I know a lot of women who carry a lot more fat in their mid-section and back and arms. High cortisol I presume?

I’m been dieting for just over a month now and fat loss seems to be pretty uniform so far. My forearms are more vascular, my waist is smaller, my face is leaner, etc.

i’m a taller person, and i lose fat last in these areas accordingly:

1.Chest
2.Arms
3.Trunk
4.Belly

i wish belly was first

  1. Face
  2. Upper Chest/Shoulders/Arms
  3. Moobs
  4. Hips
  5. Lovin’ Handles
  6. Stomach

Speculation:
It would seem that your body wants to keep your internal organs insulated as long as possible. If it’s in a caloric deficit it will draw energy from stores furthest from your internal organs first in an attempt to keep the “more important stuff” insulated.

Speculation:
If you have more fat deposited in your trunk/midsection than your extremities and you begin drawing from all fat stores at once, your extremities will appear to be losing fat the fastest, as they will become leaner first.

I agree with both Sharp and Debra. It’s evolutionary in that we’re built to survive everything thrown at us, including caloric restriction. So when our body senses that we need muscle for hard work and insulation for our organs, it must keep the fat on the torso. Otherwise the body will think it’s going to die probably. haha

In regards to Debra’s response, I think it has a lot to do with the estrogen factor as well (and cortisol probably). I could be completely wrong, but the hip and stomach fat distribution could have to do with the fact that if the woman is child-bearing, they’ll need to keep the child warm too, which would be around that area. Speculation for me though.

But yeah, I seemed to have lost fat in this order: Face>Upper back>Legs>Chest>Arms>Abs>Obliques>Love Handles.

Interesting topic.

[quote]LUEshi wrote:
I’m dieting right now and I have very little in the way of fat left anywhere but my abdomen. Shoulders, back, chest arms shoulders and legs are all very hard at this point, but the goddamn lovehandles stick around.[/quote]

Yesssss I wish i could get rid of love handles -.-

EDIT my pattern:
Face > around ribs > stomach > legs > ass > love handles and moobs :@ :@

yeah i heard if you get abs last, that means you have high cortisol levels. im sure htats my problem haha

I think fat is lost from all over at the same time, you just notice it in your extremities first and trunk last because generally there is more fat around the trunk than the extremities.

Men tend to carry more fat in the upper body while women typically carry more fat around the thigh, glute region. That’s why in most men losing fat in the the upper body (trunk) is the last thing to go as is the thight, glute region for women.

That’s why it is a lot more dangerous for a man that is obese than a woman because he carries more fat around vital organs which is extremely dangerous. The people here that said that the fat insulates your organs, your right but you don’t need more than 3%BF to do that for a male and 10% for a female.

I lose from obliques first, then somemore from my obliques, then a little more from my obliques… Not ideal but what can you do.