[By Tan Li-Shenn]
PART 1- WHAT IS STUBBORN FAT
Stubborn fat is a major problem for many people today. Despite desperately trying to get rid of it through various diets or different exercise routines, the fact is this fat remains and seems impossible to remove.
But what causes this strange phenomenon to appear on our body parts. Here is our 3 part special report on stubborn fat; its causes, how to prevent it, and what you can do about it once it’s there.
What is Stubborn Fat?
Stubborn fat is a slow-metabolized adipose (fat) tissue. To burn fat, a natural hormonal process has to take place. When a fat-burning process is activated, the adrenal hormones (adrenaline and noradrenaline) bind to special receptors in the fat tissues. There are two major groups of receptors in the fat tissues, alpha and beta. The beta-receptors are the more active ones, which respond to the adrenal hormones. Fat burning occurs when the adrenal hormones activate the beta-receptors in the fat cells. If these receptors are not activated, no fat will burn off.
Stubborn fat has a lower ratio of beta-receptors to alpha-receptors. As a result, it’s metabolized slowly and does not respond to the adrenal hormones. To make matters worse, stubborn fat has more estrogen receptors in the tissues. Estrogen (the female hormone), once bound to the receptors, causes even more fat gain.
There’s much more to it, but I don’t want to make this too complicated and scientific. So for now, let’s just say that stubborn fat presents three major problems:
- It doesn’t have a high enough ratio of beta-receptors to alpha-receptors, so doesn’t respond to adrenal fat-burning stimulation.
- It has more estrogen receptors, which accelerates fat gain.
- On top of all this, stubborn fat doesn’t have a healthy blood circulation. These slowly metabolized fat tissues have fewer blood vessels than a normal fat tissue, and consequently this fat is slower to metabolize, and therefore more stubborn or difficult to remove.
What Causes Stubborn Fat?
There are many reasons for having stubborn fat. Both men and women may suffer from it as a result of maintaining an unhealthy diet, from the liver’s inability to break down and detoxify estrogenic derivatives, or due to sensitivity to certain foods or chemicals in foods.
Fat gain has also been associated with insulin insensitivity and over-consumption of carbohydrates. Consuming too many carbohydrates — especially sugar and overly-processed, refined carbs — places pressure on the pancreas to overproduce insulin in order to lower the blood sugar level. Hyperinsulinemia then causes insulin insensitivity. When this happens, the body converts these extra carbohydrates into triglycerides and fat.
Deficiencies in certain nutrients, vitamins, and minerals — such as B vitamins, chromium, magnesium, zinc, and Omega 3 essential fatty acid (alpha-linolenic acid) — may also cause insulin insensitivity. This compromises the fat metabolism in the cellular mitochondria (compounds in the cells that are responsible for energy production and fat-burning).
Stubborn fat can be linked to protein deficiencies as well. Vegetarians and vegans are more likely to suffer from protein deficiencies, and especially to the essential amino acid lysine. Lysine, abundant in animal proteins but less so in grains, converts in our bodies to L-carnitine. L-carnitine is an amino acid essential for the fat-burning process, and it appears only in animal foods, especially red meat. Without enough L-carnitine and carnitine-related enzymes in your system, the ability to burn fat is severely compromised.
Stubborn fat can be an age-related problem for men. The older a man gets, the more of his testosterone is converted into estrogen – through a process called aromatazing. Thus, the older he gets, the more the aromataze enzyme is active. Fat tissues produce aromataze enzymes and therefore accelerate the aromatazing action, which converts testosterone into estrogen. There are natural ways to block this aromatazing process, which we’ll discuss later.
Women usually suffer from age-related stubborn fat around their hips, thighs, and buttocks. Some women also have stubborn-fat tissues around their upper arms or entire legs. Age-related stubborn fat for women may be the result of hormonal fluctuations or an increase in estrogen receptors in the tissues.
Moreover, age-related insulin insensitivity, chronic stress, liver congestion, low thyroid, vascular permeability, and exhausted adrenals may all make the stubborn-fat syndrome even worse for both men and women.