Welcome back to my short series on hormonal weight gain. We are going to begin with the effects of estrogen on our weight. Estrogen is your youth hormone; without adequate estrogen, the skin looks saggy, like that of an elephant. One thing that makes young women look more youthful than old women is that layer of subcutaneous fat under their skin.
The plump smooth cheeks of a young woman’s face is due to estrogen, as are her full lips and breasts. All the smooth curves of youth are due to estrogen, even those full thighs, and hips. You may not like them, but that brown fat stored in your hips and thighs guarantees you have enough estrogen to support a pregnancy. It is beautiful biology.
Thank goodness, then, that young women have abundant estrogen. All that estrogen comes from the hundreds of thousands of ovum (eggs) stored in the ovaries. With each menstrual cycle, about 300 eggs develop into follicles, each vying to be the egg of the month. The follicle that pops out may become fertilized, implant in your uterus, and become a baby.
Yet, by her early to mid-thirties, a woman has half the amount of ovum, which means less follicles producing less estrogen. The skin of aging women start to develop fine lines and wrinkles. Tight smooth skin is also a function of estrogen, as I said, Estrogen is our youth hormone. As women get older, they also make less progesterone. Even as a woman has less estrogen at the age of forty than she had at twenty, she becomes estrogen dominant and starts to put on a padding of fat.
You cannot control the clock, you are going to get older., but you can control your body fat. You see, estrogen stimulates your insulin receptors, which is a good thing because that allows your cells to make more energy. But it is a bad thing if you do not expend that energy. Remember, you are going to have to store that energy somewhere, and our fat cells are our fat storage.
That is where exercise comes in. I know, you wanted a magic bullet to blast that fat. Well, balancing your Hypothalamus is the only magic bullet that I know of. By this I mean, if your Hypothalamus is functioning optimally, your hormones stay in perfect balance and you age gracefully. And stay fit. And more importantly, you don’t have to be an exercise fanatic to keep that extra body fat off.
The other thing that makes young women look youthful compared to old women is due to their better muscle tone. This is where cellulite comes in. Cellulite is the easy method your body uses to package your fat. Instead of soft smoothie adipose cells, your fat is loosely trapped in the connective tissue between your muscles and skin.
If you lose muscle tone with age and lack of fitness, your body will develop cellulite. Even thin women can have cellulite deposits on their hips, thighs, and buttocks. Those are skinny fat women who appear thin but have a layer of subcutaneous fat over underdeveloped muscles. They may appear thin in their youth, but as they age fat dominates their lean body mass.
Your lean body mass is your muscles, bones, and vital organs. Women need at least ten to thirteen percent (10-13%) body fat to be hormonally balanced. Twenty-one to twenty-four percent (21-24%) body fat to be fit. Over twenty-five percent means less than seventy-five percent (75%) of your body weight is lean body mass. And lean body mass is metabolically active. Fat is not. So the more lean body mass you have, the higher your metabolism. If you want to get rid of extra fat and especially cellulite, you must tone up your muscles.
Hormone Healing Tip: Exercise to Lose Hormonally Induced Fat and Cellulite
Aerobic exercise is the best for losing extra body fat. Weight resistant exercise is the best for toning your muscles and diminishing cellulite. We must do both to stay fit. Move your body, at least three times a week, during which an exerciser must get their heart rate up for at least thirty minutes. You can know if your heart raise is elevated if your breath is quick enough that it is hard to talk while working out. You can do anything:
- kick boxing
- aerobic class
- or even aqua aerobics.
Just move to use up that extra energy so it does not get stored in your fat cells. Aerobic exercise makes your muscles more metabolically active, so they burn the extra sugar floating around in your bloodstream.
Once a week, go for an LSD… no not acid! A Long Slow Distance; go far, not fast. After forty-five minutes of exercise, you will go into your fat stores. And the effect can last at least two days. If you do not fill up your fat stores with carbs afterward, you will continue to burn fat.
Then if you want to lose that cellulite, do some weight resistance exercise. You do not have to pump iron. Pilates and yoga are great weight resistant exercise that uses your own body weight. Isometric exercise works too. Cross-training, which combines weight resistant intervals with aerobic conditioning, is perfect for toning your muscles. Be sure to work out the parts of your body that stores fat as cellulite.
Keep watching this space, for part 3 of Hormonal Weight Gain: Man Fat