Stubborn Fat: Does it affect you? Part Three

By David Grisaffi, CHEK
Corrective Exercise Kinesiologist
Golf Biomechanic Certified
Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach

As you know from reading parts one and two of this series, your hormones can be a liability when it comes to getting rid of stubborn body fat. For example, the hormone estrogen has a unique relationship with the fat cell. Fat cells can release signals that enable your body to synthesize estrogen and to regulate the reproductive cycle. In turn, estrogen has an effect upon fat cells. An influx of extra estrogen into the body from food sources can cause fat cells to grow and become stubborn.

A similar situation occurs during pregnancy and in mothers who are breast-feeding, as this causes the fat cells in the body to swell so that they are able to absorb and store more fuel. The estrogen is telling them that they need to stock up on extra fat, so the fat cells prepare to do so. This is why a lot of women gain weight when starting birth control pills or when entering menopause when levels of progesterone fall and estrogen becomes the dominant hormone.

Most of the time, women have a more difficult time losing body fat than men. However, men are quickly catching up in this day and age due to the estrogenic foods being consumed in our modern Western society, rife with environmental pollution and refined foods. Ironically, one reason women have a harder time with fat loss than men, is because at any given time, women are more likely to be on a severely restricted diet in order to attain the coveted thinness that’s been established as a standard of beauty and attractiveness in our culture.

Unfortunately, severe and prolonged dieting shuts down the metabolism, sending the body into starvation mode. The fat cells begin sending out even more fat storing enzymes and a significantly smaller amount of fat releasing enzymes. Because the fat cells are afraid of being starved to death and depleted of their stores, they will hold on to the fat they have to the best of their ability, causing the body to start burning lean muscle mass to get the amount of fuel it needs.

Lean muscle mass, located in the skeletal muscles and the organ systems, is the metabolically active part of the body. This means that after the diet is over and your body is out of starvation mode, your metabolism will still not be functioning as well as before the diet, because you have lost some of your muscle mass, which was the engine driving your metabolism.

In addition, the effects of restrictive dieting on your fat storing and releasing enzymes can be permanent. Though the levels will return to closer to a normal level after the diet, the fat releasing enzymes will almost always be at a little lower level than before the diet and the fat storing enzymes will almost always be at a slightly higher level. Even worse: The effects are cumulative. This means that after each successive bout of dieting, it will be harder and harder for you to lose fat and control your weight for the long term.

It sounds hopeless, but it’s not, so don’t panic just yet! This doesn’t mean that you’re stuck with unwanted fat and excess weight for the rest of your life. It only means that you don’t have to diet anymore. Even if you “tortured yourself” with deprivation diets that left you hungry, anxious, and unhappy in the past, what we know about hormones, enzymes and fat cells can actually be great news. You can lose your unwanted fat through good old-fashioned nutrition, calorie-burning and metabolism-stimulating exercise and anti-estrogenic foods.

What I am suggesting to you is not a magic bullet solution, and if you’ve been a long term chronic dieter, it might take a lot longer to lose the amount of fat you want to lose. But by putting an end to the quick-results, crash-diet approach and taking the weight loss gradually, you will not only avoid the feelings of deprivation that sabotage many diets, but also, the weight you lose will be three times more likely to stay off.

To improve your results in losing stubborn fat and to reduce estrogenic effects on your body, there are a few steps you must take to ensure your success. Your success will be dependent on your understanding of how to detoxify your liver, eat foods that aid reducing estrogen and exercise.

On this stubborn fat reduction plan, you are going to consume as many anti-estrogenic foods as possible and eliminate as many estrogenic foods as possible. In addition to stimulating greater fat loss, this type of eating will also aid in the detoxification of your liver. Without cleaning out the liver and reducing the chemical build up, your liver becomes overburdened and your fat loss can hit the wall.

There are a few stages in stubborn fat removal, so here we go

First and foremost you must eat unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds and occasional wild salmon. This starts the detoxification of the liver as you eliminate all processed foods, grains, farm fed livestock and chemically altered foods. Try to eat as much organic food as possible.

The base of your anti-stubborn fat plan is to consume an enormous amount of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussel sprouts, as these vegetables are very anti-estrogenic. Include citrus fruits such as grapefruit, orange and pineapple as they have enzymes in cofactors that help your body against the radical damage and help your liver detoxify.

Supplement your diet with omega-3 fatty acids from wild caught salmon and flaxseed. You can also take an omega-3 fatty acid supplements such as Carlson's oil available at

Eating raw nuts and seeds, avocados, and olive oil also improves your body’s function. In addition, eating green leafy vegetables, whole oats and barley, legumes (no soy), and spices such as turmeric (cancer fighter), milk thistle (liver detoxer), dandelion root (natural diuretic) and ginger increases loss of stubborn fat by decreasing estrogen in your body

There are many estrogen inhibitors that can help you decrease body fat quickly. According to Ori Hofmekler, author of The Warrior Diet, consuming these foods will greatly improve your ability to remove stubborn fat and decrease estrogenic effects. Hofmekler says there are additional estrogenic inhibitors such as chrysin (passion flower), Apigene (chamomile), Quercetin (onions, garlic) and all of these cofactors can work together to detoxify your liver and get the stubborn fat off.

To simplify, systemize and organize this information, Hofmekler has developed an anti-estrogen, anti-stubborn fat program into three stages:

Stage 1 Defense (Eat Anti-Estrogenic Foods)

Eat Anti-Estrogenic Foods Estrogen inhibitors

Cruciferous vegetables Passion flower

Citrus fruits Chamomile flower

Omega 3 oils

Wild catch salmon

Organic Dairy

Stage 2 Defense (additional foods that promote anti-estrogenic hormones).

Raw nuts and seeds


Olives and Olive oil

Rice Germ Oil

Wheat Germ Oil

Stage 3 Defense (Foods that as cofactors and promote liver detoxification)

Green Vegetables

Spices (turmeric, oregano, thyme, rosemary and sage)

Fruits (citrus, berries, apples, pineapple

Whole oats and barley

Legumes (NO SOY)

Herbs (dandelion root, ginger, alma berries, milk thistle)

Three week plan:

Outlined below is a very simple three week plan that will produce good initial results in just three weeks. After this initial three week phase, you can then to rotate the stages to get continued and even better. You can also alternate the stages by the day. After the first 3 weeks. To gain more information on to set up a plan on a day to day bases just e mail me at

As this part is out of the scope of this article.

Stage 1 for a week

Detox liver

Stage 2 for a week

High Fat for fuel change over

Stage 3 for a week

Food reintroduction

In addition to eating the proper anti-estrogenic foods to remove stubborn fat, it goes without saying that a very important part of any program is exercise. Diet alone is not enough. Regular exercise is not only beneficial for fat loss, but also for your overall health. Exercise lowers body fat, blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol. You need to set some goals and plan to exercise on a continuous basis.

If you attempt to lose weight without exercise, you should expect only temporary success and expect to succumb to the rebound effect. This simply means that sooner or later, you will eventually gain back the fat and the harder it will be to remove the next time around.

Instead of using the diet-only approach, emphasize the diet and exercise combination and focus on increasing your daily activity level overall (refer to my article titled, “movement sufficiency, not calorie deficiency” for more information on exercising more rather than just eating less, and here are a few quick and practical suggestions:

Walk to the store instead of driving, go for a bike ride, walk upstairs in office buildings rather than using the elevator, and park your car at the end of the parking lot instead of looking for the front row spot. Take short walk during daily breaks or after you get home. Mow your lawn with a push mower, vacuum your carpets every other day, tidy up you backyard, basement or garage, iron your clothes, wash your windows, and play with your kids. These activities are usually not looked at as “exercise” or “workouts,” but all the activity adds up at the end of the day and it can work wonders as it accumulates over the long haul.

Naturally, of course, you should also have a more structured and formal exercise program to achieve maximum reductions in body fat. Even mowing your lawn has health benefits and burns some calories, but for really making inroads into those stubborn fat stores, more intense and focused exercise is a must.

A great type of routine for stubborn fat loss goals is a circuit training program. This style of training not only raises your metabolism, improves your cardiovascular ability, and increases strength, it is also time efficient. Put together a routine that uses large body parts such as legs, chest, back and shoulders into groups and perform all of the exercises nonstop. You can also mix cardio interval training into your circuit workouts or in addition to your circuit workouts to increase the fat burning effect.

Here is an example of an effective and time efficient circuit program that can easily be performed at home with nothing but dumbbells and a swiss ball.

A1 - Swiss ball Squats (ball up against the wall)

A2 - Dumbbell Cleans

A3 - Dumbbell Flys on a Swiss Ball

A4 - Lunge

A5 - Dumbbell 3 Matrix (side laterals, bent laterals, front laterals)

A6 - Dumbbell Row

Do each exercise with perfect form for 6-8 reps and then get on your cardio equipment and go hard for 1-2 minutes. Rest about 90 seconds between before repeating the circuit 2-3 more times, as your schedule and fitness level dictate.

You can easily take one or two ideas out of this series, put them to work and immediately begin to see improvements in stubborn fat reduction. However, the real “secret,” if there is one, is putting all the pieces together into a comprehensive healthy lifestyle overall.

The lifestyle below suggestions may seem basic and general, but when combined with what you’ve learned in this article series, they will have a profound impact on your outcome.

Don’t diet – Eat reasonably but do not starve or deprive yourself; avoid yo-yo dieting
Avoid empty calories and processed refined foods like sodas and sweets
Eat many smaller meals – eat light at every meal to keep blood sugar steady and metabolism stoked
Eat healthy fat- Eat omega 3 fatty acids such as those found in salmon to promote proper hormone function and balance
Eat a LOT of vegetables, focusing on the cruciferous variety,
Drink lots of water - What can you say other than, “without it, you will die!” Drink a 1⁄2 and ounce for very pound you weigh
Get sufficient quality and quantity of sleep
Keep stress to minimum
Avoid excessive and chronic use of stimulants
Exercise – Just a little increase in daily activities will go a long way towards improving your health; add circuits and intervals to knock off the most stubborn fat.
Have a little fun – find an exercise program you enjoy and do it

Read the previous parts of this series! Part 1 Part 2

If you enjoyed the information in this article, you will also enjoy the David Grisaffi Walking Guide, which is a complete walking exercise plan that comes FREE with the Firm And Flatten Your Abs program at


About Mark

Hi, I'm Mark Dilworth, Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist and Myofascial Release/Self Massage Specialist.

Since 2006, I have helped thousands of clients and readers make lifestyle habit changes with my 5-Star Body Transformation Plan, where YOU are the main STAR.

The 5-Star Plan helps you to achieve better long-term health, which includes body transformation and ideal body weight.

I do not recommend fad diets, quick weight loss gimmicks, starvation diets, weight loss pills, fat burner supplements and the like.

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