What you need to know:
- Fat storage on the hamstrings, butt and thighs is caused by hormonal imbalances
- Many products you use everyday are contributing to the thunder thigh phenomenon
- You should be supporting your body's detoxification processes with appropriate nutrition and supplement strategies.
Here at Cosnett Training Systems we use a 12-site body fat measuring system called Biosignature Modulation (Biosig). Biosig was developed by the world renounced Strength Coach Charles Poliquin and is based on his studies completed on athletes and military personal in the 1980’s.
Through his studies of comparing countless amounts sporting professional and military workers blood work with their skin fold body fat measurements he found that an individuals body fat distribution was closely linked to what was going on hormonally at the time. From this data, nutritional, supplemental and training recommendations can be made to help rebalance those hormones thus leading to fat loss in those areas.
Through Poliquin’s teachings our CTS trainers have developed the skill set to assess a clients body fat and use Biosig as a tool to help guide the individual to becoming healthier, leaner, stronger and happier. We complete these body fat measures with our clients on a regular basis allowing us to see quickly and easily which hormones are out of whack and what we can do to help them. From this information we recommend the most appropriate nutritional, training and supplemental advice specific to that clients needs at that specific time, there’s no one size fits all cookie cutter ways of doing things.
In the diagram below it can be seen which hormones are correlated with where we store our fat
Below I will describe why we store fat on the hamstrings, butt and thighs and give you some things you can start doing today, to help lose this stubborn fat, for good.For the sake of this article I will define toxicity as any compound that negatively impacts metabolic and endocrine pathways.
Many toxins in our environment like pesticides sprayed on fruit and vegetables, chemicals in plastics, certain ingredients in beauty products to name a few act as hormonal disruptors when we come in contact with them. The examples above are known as xenoestrogens and they behave like estrogens in the body, leading to estrogen dominance.
Estrogen dominance is bad news, as yes it causes fat storage on the hamstrings, butt, quadriceps and pectorals which sucks but on a more serious note it is also linked to cancers such as prostate and breast cancer.
For the majority of new clients we measure, the number one priority site is the hamstring. This is due to excessive amounts of xenoestrogens coming from certain substances similar to those mentioned above. What most individuals don’t understand is that these toxins are found in excessive amounts in many items/substances people come into contact with everyday. This easily leads to an overload of your body’s detoxification systems that will then lead to fat storage on the upper legs.
Firstly we want to reduce our exposure to these xenoestrogens and other toxins that are leading to estrogen dominance.
Some known toxins you want to avoid like the plague are phthalates, parabens, Bisphenol A (BPA), toxic metals and volatile solvents.
Phthalates are used in many toiletries and house hold products as they are great for prolonging the length of time a scented item will keep its fragrance, they are also added to plastics to impart resilience and flexibility. Phthalates are linked to endocrine dysfunction causing low testosterone, estrogen dominance and therefore muscle loss and fat gain. Possible phthalate containing items are:
- Scented perfumes and Deodorants
- Lotions, body soaps, shampoos and conditioners
- Tanning Lotions
- Hair Gel and Hair Spray
- Nail Polish
- Scented Candles
- Air Fresheners
- Plastic food packaging, plastic bags, plastic clothing
- Plastic shower curtains
- Plastic/rubber children’s or pets toys
- Vinyl Furniture
Similar to phthalates parabens again function as endocrine disruptors by binding specifically to estrogen receptors. Replace the following with organic and paraben free options.
- Lotions, moisturizers, shampoos and conditioners
- Mouth wash
- Shaving Gel
- Tanning Lotions
- Tooth Paste
- Bisphenol A (BPA)
Are used in resins that line some metal cans, and also used in many plastic products to make them resilient and flexible. Opt for glass and stainless products where appropriate, and always ensure plastics are BPA free.
BPA’s are generally found in:
- Food Containers
- Plastic Drink Bottles and baby bottles
- Canned Foods
- Soda Cans
- Plastic toys and electronic cases
- Toxic Metals
Toxic metals are found in many more products than the average Joe might think. Although when used in small amounts these products aren’t toxic if say something like aluminum containing deodorant is used day after day, month after month, year after year it will build up in the system and eventually lead to toxicity.
Check the following products and replace where possible
- Fluorescent Lights
- Non organic produce
- Make up
- Tuna and farmed fish
- Volatile Solvents
Volatile Solvents are found in many cleaning products and other household items such as:
- Fabric Softeners
- Nail polish removers
- Laminate flooring
- Wallpaper and paints
Replace the items above with natural cleaning products like vinegar, bi-carb soda, lemon juice; natural oils or most Australian supermarkets now stock natural cleaning agents and detergents.
For further information on which products are best and too see how your current personal care products shape up see:
For more information on possible sources of toxicity from the home check out:
Now we have turned off the tap of toxic xenoestrogens and other endocrine disrupting substances we can now begin to unclog the drain and try to eliminate some of the toxins that have built up over time by supporting the body’s detoxification pathways.
I won’t be detailing any advanced estrogen detoxification protocols but will be going over the basics that should be covered to support this process.
Firstly we want to get as much benefit as we can for free and do things that wont cost you a cent but will benefit you greatly. This will include:
- Removing all products that contain any of the ingredients listed above from your lifestyle and replace with natural preferably organic options.
- Drink more water, aim to drink 37ml of water per kilogram of body weight and increase this by one litre for every hour of exercise.
- Eat more vegetables, preferably organic. The vitamins and minerals will support the liver to detoxify and the fiber will help bind to estrogens in the gut so they aren’t re-absorbed and can be excreted.
- Eat enough protein. Amino acids are an essential part of detoxification so ensure your have an animal based protein sources like meat or eggs with every meal. When fat loss is the goal we recommend 2 grams of protein per kg of body weight for females and 3 grams for males.
- Reduce caffeine and stimulant use. Caffeine speeds up phase one liver detoxification, which could possibly lead to phase two being overloaded. Instead replace coffee with green tea as it as has been shown to support estrogen detoxification.
- Make sleep a priority. Your body completes a big chunk of its detoxification processes at night while you’re asleep. So if you either aren’t sleeping enough or have poor quality sleep this will lower your ability to adequately deal with excess xenoestrogens. Try reducing screen time before bed and relax with reading. Also eating your carbs with dinner will support serotonin release and help you nod off when its bedtime.
- Reduce stress and inflammation. If you are chronically stressed, your detoxication processes will be greatly compromised. Chronic stress is a big contributor to inflammation which will stop nutrients from getting into the cells where they can be of benefit. Reduce stress by using simple mediating, deep breathing activities twice per day.
After clients have done these things listed above we then recommend supplements specific to that individuals needs. As this is case dependent I will just highlight the basic supplements to support estrogen detoxification below. When it comes to supplements don’t shop based on price, always ensure quality is of a high standard and aim to use practitioner only sold brands.
- Ensure your vitamin D levels are optimal. Many detoxification processes are vitamin D dependent, meaning they need vitamin D to occur. We would recommend getting your vitamin D levels tested by your doctor with optimal levels being between 120 and 150 nmol/L. If they are below this supplement accordingly with ideally 5-10000 IU’s of D3 per day and of course try and get more sun shine 🙂
- Take a good multivitamin and/or a quality greens powder. Many vitamins and minerals are critical for detoxification so having a good multi will provide your body with the nutrients you need to detoxify.
- Ensure B vitamins are adequate. Many B vitamins are involved in phase one liver detoxification. Ensure you use methyl folate as this is the active form of folate. Many individuals cannot break down folic acid and turn it into its active form.
- Supplement with fiber. Fiber as mentioned before works by binding to xenoestrogens in the gut helping to excrete them before they get into your system. It is important to rotate between fiber sources for example use one fiber source like flaxseed meal for seven days then move to a second source like pectin. Aim to use four different fiber types and rotate between them each week for best results.
- Ensure your gut health is up to par by using probiotics. Gut health is paramount when it comes to estrogen detoxification, so ensure you keep the good guys in the bad guys out by supplementing with a good probiotic.
- Try some estrogen specific support supplements like Dim or Calcium D-Glucarate. Dim supports healthy ratios of certain estrogens that play a role in cancer risk. Calcium D-Glucarate also supports detoxification and healthy estrogen levels by aiding safe removal of estrogens from the gut.
There are many more nutritional and supplemental strategies to aid with estrogen dominance but ensure you are doing the above day in, day out and you will be well on your way to lean, defined legs.
Take away points:
- Fat storage on your hamstrings, butt and thighs is caused by toxicity, more specifically estrogen dominance and xenoestrogens.
- No amount of booty toning, glute bridging, thigh gapping style exercises will help remove this stubborn fat tissue.
- Firstly remove any possible sources of toxicity and replace with natural safe products
- Secondly support your body’s detox pathways with the appropriate lifestyle, nutrition and supplements listed above.
Stay healthy, Live Lean.
Cosnett Training Systems.