Targetting fat areas!

Longing for a lean, toned body? The answer could lie in your hormones which, says scientist and fat-loss expert MARIE-CLAIRE WILSON, play a huge role in how and where we store fat. Wilson says her secret weapon is BioSignature Modulation which 'diagnoses' hormone imbalances by looking at where your body stores fat. Here's how to target those stubborn areas...

Get the perfect body: It's all about understanding your hormones, according to an expert

Get the perfect body: It's all about understanding your hormones, according to an expert


Flabby arms (sometimes known as bingo wings) are very common in women and can indicate a lack of the so-called male hormone testosterone. In fact, both men and women need this and oestrogen, and testosterone plays a part in producing lean body mass. Often, lack of it indicates high levels of cortisol caused by stress.


DIET: Fat, or cholesterol, is essential for the production of many hormones, particularly testosterone - so eat nuts, eggs and butter but no hydrogenated or trans-fats found in cakes and biscuits. Get enough protein to build muscle, but avoid soya which has been shown to affect male and female sex hormones, as well as the thyroid.

SUPPLEMENTS: Magnesium oil, in spray form from health food shops, can aid sleep and decrease stress. Phosphatidylserine and inositol are other supplements that can help with relaxation.

EXERCISE: Weight training boosts testosterone production. Not for big muscles, but for a lean look. Press-ups and chin-ups help arm muscle growth.


Fat thighs and bottom can mean excess oestrogen. Levels are naturally higher in women than men - hence our curvier thighs- but too much oestrogen can come from taking the Pill, levels in our water supply, excess alcohol and chemicals leaking from plastic water bottles, packaging and cling-film. Compounds in plastics, such as bisphenol A, can sensitise the body to oestrogen or have oestrogen-like effects.


DIET: Remove refined carbs such as sugar, sweets, white bread and commercial breakfast cereals and eat more 'cruciferous' vegetables such as cabbage, sprouts and broccoli and kale. They contain a phytochemical which improves the efficiency of oestrogen processing in the liver. Check your thyroid function first, because these vegetables can result in symptoms of an underactive thyroid. Eat fibrous foods to speed up digestion and excretion of deactivated oestrogens.

SUPPLEMENTS: DIM (di-indolyl methane) is a concentrated form of the compound in cruciferous vegetables, and helps with PMS. Another key supplement is calcium-dglucarate, which supplies the body with the molecule used to de-activate oestrogen.

EXERCISE: Swap long-duration cardio for weight training to raise testosterone levels.


This can indicate low levels of growth hormones essential for your body to maintain a good balance of lean tissue to fat. Cortisol prevents their release, so prolonged stress can be a cause.


DIET: Protein and good natural fats. Avoid biscuits, desserts and ready meals.

SUPPLEMENTS: Sleep is needed for growth hormone production. Try magnesium, phosphatidylserine, or herbal products with hops or valerian that will help you to unwind.

EXERCISE: Sleep well. Try weight training.


Tone up: Simple changes to your diet and exercise can make all the difference

Tone up: Simple changes to your diet and exercise can make all the difference

This can indicate overstimulated insulin production from too many refined carbs and sugar. Alcohol can show up here too, since when you have it in your bloodstream you cannot burn fat, and it also affects blood sugar and hormone levels.


DIET: This area responds quickly to changes in diet. Insulin is the easiest hormone to control, as it responds very quickly to anything you eat. Eat good quality protein: Meat, fish, nuts, and lots of vegetables.

SUPPLEMENTS: Those suggested for back fat can be useful here as well. Also consider l-carnitine to boost general fat burning and performance in the gym. Don't bother with carb-blocking products such as Decarb - these can have side effects and don't help the root of the problem. But you might try green tea, which can stimulate metabolism, and other health benefits because of the catechins and theanine it contains.

EXERCISE: Again, weight training can help to improve the functioning of your insulin system. Aim for three well-designed sessions per week, and make sure you don't use increased levels of exercise as an excuse to indulge in desserts or sugary energy bars.


The big culprit is a high level of stress hormones, primarily cortisol. This puts sugar in your blood, proven to increase fat around the middle. People who store stomach fat may appear stressed, edgy or exhausted. Overexercising can be bad for you. Forty minutes-plus of cardio training, such as running and aerobics, triggers cortisol.


DIET: Cut out or reduce sugar and alcohol, drink no more than two cups of coffee or tea a day. Eat healthy fats such as oily fish and avocados. Try beans, lentils, oats and wholegrains.

SUPPLEMENTS: Omega 3 fish oils, vitamin D to maintain lean body mass, plus a B complex to help combat stress.

EXERCISE: No more than 40 minutes with weights. Eat afterwards.


Excess fat on your shoulder blades and back is often caused by your body's inability to effectively break down sugars and starchy carbohydrates like pasta and cereals. The hormone insulin helps store foods after eating. If your insulin system is easily overwhelmed by starchy carbs and sugars, it's likely you have inherited this from your distant ancestors. The diet of ancient hunter-gatherers focused on meat and seasonally available fruit and vegetables and was combined with vigorous exercise. This meant their insulin systems didn't wade through sugars and starch.


DIET: As someone potentially 'designed' to have a meat-and-veg diet, cut down dramatically on starchy carbs such as potatoes and especially grains. If you want carbs, use complex versions like brown rice, oats, root veg, millet and quinoa.

SUPPLEMENTS: Omega 3 fats in fish oils help the body manage sugar and lose fat generally. Two supplements, Fenuplex and Insulinomics, help improve insulin response. B vitamins can help an energy production system affected by years of wrong 'fuels'. If you crave chocolate, take Chromium and Magnesium chelates - mineral supplements.

EXERCISE: Any type of exercise improves insulin response. For a big boost, exercise before meals and have a low-carb protein shake, followed by a meal including protein

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