What Your Body Fat Says About You

What if I told you that there was a way to lose body fat that caters to your unique body type. A multifactorial model that assesses not just how much body fat you store, but more importantly where you store it.

Assessing how and where you store your body fat is instrumental in determining how your hormones are working with you or against you. Based on your “problem areas”, we can develop an individualized plan of attack utilizing nutrition, lifestyle, exercise, and supplemental guidelines to help re-balance hormones and decrease body fat.

Let’s be very clear though: fast and healthy fat loss are NOT synonymous, evidenced by the hundreds of failed diets, pills, creams, and other useless contraptions making unsubstantiated claims about rapid fat-loss and wreaking havoc on long-term metabolic health.

Real, healthy, and long-term fat loss (and more importantly, health) comes from understanding a few basic principles regarding body fat storage:

1) Metabolic Function – involves a complex network of body systems, hormones and enzymes that not only convert food into fuel but also affects how efficiently you burn that fuel.

2) Biochemical Individuality – Our individualized DNA accounts for a significant degree of how and where we store body fat, our muscle fiber make-up, nutritional needs, stress tolerance, our ability to detoxify, and more.

3) Habits and Motivation – what we do day in and day out has a significant impact on our ability to lose fat. These habits aren’t just about eating and exercise (which do play a BIG role), but also how we think, communicate, sleep, hydrate, digest and eliminate.

Our BioSignature Modulation System is a 12-week program built on identifying the bodies unique fat storing systems based on the aforementioned principles.

Charles Poliquin, the creator of the BioSignature system, emphasizes that the places we tend to gain body fat may be indicators of which body systems are in need of nutrition, lifestyle, and supplemental support. These fat accumulation areas, based on 12-site caliper measurements, can be categorized into 6 different body types depending on which sites are storing the most fat relative to the other sites.

Here’s a quick look at the sites and how we aim to “modulate” the hormones responsible for fat storage in those specific areas:

Androgen Type
If you’re a male and you have “moobs” (man-boobs) then this is you. Increased fat storage in the chest and triceps is common in males and can be indicative of low androgen levels (male sex hormones) including testosterone. Research strongly supports a decrease in sex hormones associated with increased levels of body fat and the prevalence of a conversion (aromatization) of testosterone to estrogen in the body. This conversion of male hormones to female hormones is what causes male breast tissue to grow and is becoming quite common even in adolescent males today.

Fat loss in the Androgen Type:
Improving testosterone through increased protein consumption as well as supplementing with magnesium, zinc and B vitamins can be effective. Additionally, consuming plenty of bioflavonoids from things like flax seeds, apples and berries and supplementing with resveratrol (found in red wine) can help reduce the conversion of male hormones to female hormones.

Insulin Type
This is those men and women with the “spare tire” around the midsection and the back fat that tends to hang over the bra strap. The insulin type has strong correlations to increased blood sugar and poor insulin handling mechanisms.

Fat Loss for the Insulin Type
Typically eating a higher protein, lower carbohydrate diet filled with ample amounts of fibrous vegetables can remedy these blood sugar related issues. Various herbs such as fenugreek, bitter gourd and gymnema sylvestre help to lower blood sugar, inhibit glucose uptake in the small intestine, and have the ability to stabilize insulin production leading to better insulin sensitivity.

Thyroid type
Poliquin suggests that fat accumulating between the armpit and the love handles (on the ribs) is directly correlated to decreased thyroid function yet there is little research to support these claims. True indicators of suppressed thyroid include decreased body temperature, low libido, cold hands and feet and poor energy, all of which need to be assessed if fat loss is a goal.

Fat Loss for the Thyroid Type
Nutrients required for optimal thyroid function include fish, onions, asparagus and seaweeds for iodine and foods rich in tyrosine like poultry, fish, almonds, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds. Foods containing selenium, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin B6 help the conversion of the inactive form of thyroid hormone (T4) to the active form (T3).

Cortisol type
Accumulation of fat in the belly (umbilical region) can be indicative of long-term exposure to high levels of stress and or low tolerance to stress hormones, namely cortisol.

Fat Loss for the Cortisol Type
There are several forms of stress: physical, emotional and dietary. One of the most common dietary stressors is food intolerance from wheat, dairy, soy, corn, eggs, nuts and yeast. Reducing the consumption of these foods (if intolerant) can decrease inflammation in the gut and therefore reduce the heightened cortisol response from an over active immune system. Adaptogenic herbs (cortisol balancing), like rhodiola, ashwaganda, and licorice root can also help modulate stress and support adrenal gland function.

Estrogen type
If you’ve got extra “junk in the trunk”, then this type could be you. Accumulation of fat on the butt and thighs can be indicative of elevated levels of estrogens (both self-made and environmental) along with possible poor estrogen metabolism. Both men and women have estrogens receptors within their fat cells, with women typically having more than men, causing more fat deposition in these problem areas.

Fat Loss for the Estrogen Type
Supporting estrogen metabolism and elimination helps reduce fat accumulation. Compounds like sulphurophane, found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage help to regulate liver enzymes that metabolize estrogen.

Growth hormone type
Accumulation of fat on knees and calf or “kankles” could be indicative of little growth hormone production, but research is lacking. Anecdotally, poor sleep patterns tend to lead to greater fat distribution with in these areas.

Fat Loss for the Growth Hormone Type
Improving sleep patterns and sleep duration coupled with weight training can help improve growth hormone production.

Utilizing BioSignature Modulation to identify your fat storage type, coupled with more in-depth information regarding your nutritional and exercise habits, sleep, energy levels, and previous history of fat loss can be instrumental in facilitating a realistic fat loss pathway that can be maintained long-term.

References:

Steve Hines: http://www.ion.ac.uk/information/onarchives/autumnbiosignature-modulation-weight-loss-through-hormone-balance

http://www.naturalhealthmag.com.au/content/what-your-body-fat-trying-tell-you