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Old 03-29-2013, 08:27 AM   #1
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Belly fat

I have always had a pot belly.
Depending on how much fat I'm carrying the 'pot' can greatly vary in size, but even when I'm at a good weight scale wise, that dang little natural belly pouch is still evident.
I'm faithfully lc and on OWL, so the pounds are still slowyly coming off, but I wonder, is there a way that anyone has actually targeted belly fat, or do we just lose as much fat as possible and leave the particulars to nature.
Oh, I exercise regularly....I go to the gym 4 or 5 days a week and have been for almost a year. I do both weight training and cardio.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:43 AM   #2
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I see you have already started the thread on belly fat. Thanks avid I will follow this avid...ly

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Old 03-29-2013, 09:15 AM   #3
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My husband is a very healthy 57 year old, trim and fit. But he too has a small pot belly which he's had for the last decade or so. I think it's a body type. He's very slender naturally and I think the pot would only disappear if he got very thin like he was in high school. And that would be underweight for a man in middle age, and not very healthy, I think.

You are obviously in great shape now, having lost all the weight and working out religiously. You're sanely dealing with your inherited cholesterol issues.
I'd just say relax about the little pot belly. Having a perfectly flat stomach probably isn't worth the scrawny legs, chest and arms you'd have to have to get it.

I'm sure you look and feel great and that's really what matters.
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Old 03-29-2013, 01:31 PM   #4
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be careful when you hear someone say "belly fat" that they are talking about the same thing you are, avid. I think most of the belly fat cure stuff is directed at fat stored in the middle of the abdomen, between the organs. this is the stuff that is so bad health-wise. the little pouch is normally lower and I think a totally different thing.
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Old 03-29-2013, 04:56 PM   #5
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There's no way to spot reduce. Get down to a good weight, and it'll go down too. If that's where you carry most of your excess fat, though, that's where it'll come off last. You can't control that, you can only control your behavior.
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Old 03-29-2013, 05:07 PM   #6
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I have come to that same conclusion.
It's that gene thing again.
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Old 03-29-2013, 05:19 PM   #7
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Darn DNA.
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Old 03-29-2013, 05:19 PM   #8
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That is always the last place for it to go for me too!
That thread on 160 lbs & 30" waist size bummed me out. I'm at 150 and my waist is bigger than theirs. Oh well, it got me to the gym yesterday...
It's from the navel to the hips, that is the hardest to lose. I don't remember ever beating it. Usually I get really comfortable with a weight loss and then get complacent before thats gone... I think I'll make that my goal. Everything else will come with it.
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Old 03-29-2013, 05:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avid View Post
I have always had a pot belly.
Depending on how much fat I'm carrying the 'pot' can greatly vary in size, but even when I'm at a good weight scale wise, that dang little natural belly pouch is still evident.
I'm faithfully lc and on OWL, so the pounds are still slowyly coming off, but I wonder, is there a way that anyone has actually targeted belly fat, or do we just lose as much fat as possible and leave the particulars to nature.
Oh, I exercise regularly....I go to the gym 4 or 5 days a week and have been for almost a year. I do both weight training and cardio.
I have just gotten the book by Dr Eades "The 6-Week Cure for the Middle Aged Middle: The Simple Plan to Flatten your Belly". How in the world did *I* get to be middle aged but that is where I store my weight as well. I have literally just gotten my hands on the book, so I have just skimmed a bit. There are a few things I will have to cut out if I want to trim my middle (cutting out caffeine being one, and I don't want to I love my coffee too much) . You can check out the book on amazon ( by that I mean you can read the book description and reviews and see what you think ). The good Doctor needed to tone up and down his tummy and shared his tricks and tips on how to do it.
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Old 03-29-2013, 05:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avid View Post
I have always had a pot belly.
Depending on how much fat I'm carrying the 'pot' can greatly vary in size, but even when I'm at a good weight scale wise, that dang little natural belly pouch is still evident.
I'm faithfully lc and on OWL, so the pounds are still slowyly coming off, but I wonder, is there a way that anyone has actually targeted belly fat, or do we just lose as much fat as possible and leave the particulars to nature.
Oh, I exercise regularly....I go to the gym 4 or 5 days a week and have been for almost a year. I do both weight training and cardio.
Do crunchies. Ya, ya, I know, most on this Forum are nay-sayers to them, but just see if they work for you. Experiment with doing a couple of hundred daily for a month - sets of 10, then 25, then 50. They sure worked for me and I'm glad I didn't listen to others. Sorry folks.
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:07 PM   #11
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The muscle definition from ab heavy stuff like pilates,zumba etc can make the appearance of abdomens smaller and more compact in some people.I guess it depends on muscle layout of something.I have noticed it in some friends but not others doing the same type and levels of exercise.
No harm in trying and seeing if it applies to you.
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:57 PM   #12
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Crunches build abdominal muscles, but if you have fat over your strong abs, you still have a potbelly.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:25 PM   #13
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Perhaps the muscle around the abs will work to burn fat around the stomach more efficiently?
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:40 PM   #14
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It doesn't really work like that but it can pull things in like an internal corset if you have a certain shape and even if it doesn't work you got some nice healthy exercise
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:41 PM   #15
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People have tried that for decades, if not centuries. Spot reducing doesn't work.

Building up muscles in certain areas? Absolutely. Reducing fat from one area in particular? Not without liposuction.
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:57 PM   #16
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Even at 110lbs I still have that. It's so gross. People say ,"Don't worry about it. It's just because you've had children." What I don't tell them is that even at 96lbs and before having any babies...I still had it.
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Old 03-30-2013, 04:04 AM   #17
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In some people their lipophilic adipose tissues are located in isolated areas in the body. And it can result in an uneven body fat distribution. In fact, the more weight you lose, the worse it becomes because you notice it more. When you are carrying a lot of body fat, it tends to not be as noticeable because the body fat spreads out and these problem areas just "blend in" with the other areas. The only way to reduce the fat in these particularly problematic areas is to reduce your overall level of body fat or body fat percentage. This is a difficult road. The way to do it through diet and exercise is basically just try to build some muscle mass and keep losing. It means finding a diet that reverses the process of fat accumulation that has probably occurred over years and possibly decades. You can't try to lose it fast either, or else you risk losing LBM. So to get rid if it could take a few years. I know that isn't very motivating to hear that, but that is how you do it without sugery.
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:39 AM   #18
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As I said in my original post, I exercise regularly.
Perhaps I should be more specific.
I work out hard.
I go to the gym 4-5 times per week unless injured or in need of extra recuperation time. I do extensive core work that includes crunches, ab machines, and planks.
I am firmly in the camp of believing that targeted fat loss is a myth.
This thread seems to be confirming that belief.
One of the beautiful things about LCF is that members will bring hard science and research into the various discussion threads. Notice there is none of that here.
Why? In spite of my hopes, it seems that there is no research pointing the way to
removing fat from targeted areas without surgery.
I didn't think there was but one can hope.
I will continue to eat LC and to exercise with gusto....I enjoy being healthier and fitter than I have been in years.
I think it's an American thing. Instead of me reveling in my youthful physique and vitality, I yearn for some level of perceived perfection that is ultimately meaningless.
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:33 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avid View Post
As I said in my original post, I exercise regularly.
Perhaps I should be more specific.
I work out hard.
I go to the gym 4-5 times per week unless injured or in need of extra recuperation time. I do extensive core work that includes crunches, ab machines, and planks.
I am firmly in the camp of believing that targeted fat loss is a myth.
This thread seems to be confirming that belief.
One of the beautiful things about LCF is that members will bring hard science and research into the various discussion threads. Notice there is none of that here.
Why? In spite of my hopes, it seems that there is no research pointing the way to
removing fat from targeted areas without surgery.
I didn't think there was but one can hope.
I will continue to eat LC and to exercise with gusto....I enjoy being healthier and fitter than I have been in years.
I think it's an American thing. Instead of me reveling in my youthful physique and vitality, I yearn for some level of perceived perfection that is ultimately meaningless.

I still think you should check out my book recommendation I posted above No harm in doing some research!
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:44 AM   #20
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I had a little belly even at my lowest weight (120 @5'8). I'm pretty sure it's a genetic/body shape issue and not anything I have control over.
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:46 AM   #21
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I think that as you clean up your liver through LC you will have a greater chance of reducing belly fat. However, once the damage is done and once the adipose is secreted in your belly, it is very difficult to ever lose.
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:41 AM   #22
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I still think you should check out my book recommendation I posted above No harm in doing some research!
Good point....this is important to me, so I'll check it out.
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Old 03-30-2013, 11:12 AM   #23
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Old 03-30-2013, 01:41 PM   #24
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I think Trillex posted somewhere about how even in body builders with low body fat there is a ring of fat deposits around some guys lower abs and back that is harder to shift due to hormones and blood supply?I think she said hard ,not impossible and I have never seen a body builder at a show with it so just patience maybe...It may just take a while to burn that last pocket.
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Old 03-30-2013, 03:03 PM   #25
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Good point....this is important to me, so I'll check it out.
Let me add that my library had this book too. I checked it out a very long time ago. I didn't want to do it at that time because of the coffee. I love it too much and don't want to go without it What can I say, I love it so much I am a barista at Starbucks I know I will have to eventually do something to get rid of my middle, but not ready yet. I do believe that unclogging my liver will most definitely help!
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Old 03-30-2013, 03:10 PM   #26
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Have you tried interval cardio?
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Old 03-30-2013, 03:21 PM   #27
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Quote:
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One of the beautiful things about LCF is that members will bring hard science and research into the various discussion threads.
I don't have a belly-fat problem, I have an all-over-fat problem so I just now saw this thread after talking with Darrin about this problem on a different thread...

With regard to science, the situation is complicated by the specifics of what your body is actually made of. The fat you're losing (and have lost) and the workouts you're doing don't matter much in this particular context. According to the existing studies, the largest determining factor (as several people have already pointed out) is your bodyfat level and general body composition.

When the body is working a specific area/muscle, that specific area requires more energy and burns more fat (during fat-burning exertion). But the fat that is burned by that single area comes from all over the body. Bodyfat is systemic. Muscles don't just burn the fat that is immediately adjacent to the muscle that is working. And even when they burn proportionally *more* fat from the adjacent area, exercise physiology studies show that the amount is too small to result in the type of significant "spot reducing" effects that could offset a disproportionate bodyfat profile.
Here is one such study:
Are blood flow and lipolysis in subcutaneous adipose tissue influenced by contractions in adjacent muscles in humans?
Are blood flow and lipolysis i... [Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2007] - PubMed - NCBI
The situation is also complicated by the "re-esterification" of fatty acids. When fatty acids are mobilized, the systemic nature of bodyfat allows the body to later restore mobilized fat to an area from which fat has been lost. So mobilizing additional fat from a single area during exercise doesn't necessarily mean that area will maintain a particular level of fat loss over a period of time when the system rebalances fat storage. This is one of the reasons that -- before I started Atkins in May -- although I exercised my facial muscles A LOT by chewing (including obsessively chewing gum for hours each day) without working any of my other muscles very much, I didn't have a slim, sculpted face atop a fat body. My body's fat-balancing system didn't allow my face to have a lower level of fat just because the muscles in that area got significantly more exercise. It's obviously more complicated than this, but I think this is kind of an obvious example of the systemic nature of bodyfat.

As has also already been pointed out, different hormonal profiles also contribute to different fat loss/storage profiles. As has already been recommended, there are specific dietary approaches to eliminating or adding specific foods that contribute to hormone profiles that support particular types of fat loss. For example, the type and composition of hormone receptors that are located in subcutaneous lower abdominal and lower back fat are particularly sensitive to the action of leptin (and dopamine) and to the body's cortisol balance and, as a low carb dieter you already know, insulin. These hormone receptors regulate fat release so hormonal profiles that block the action of certain receptors can shut down fat loss in a specific area, even as fat release continues in other areas.

As I was saying to Darrin, on a different thread, bodybuilders *do* have specific methods to reduce bodyfat in "stubborn" areas. For example, male bodybuilders are often left with disproportionate deposits of fat around the lower abs and/or lower back even when they're at (or extremely near) the 3-4% competition level of bodyfat. This lower ab and lower back fat can be a HUGE problem because bodybuilding contestants are judged on symmetry. Even a few extra millimeters of fat running around the lower torso -- which you or I probably wouldn't be troubled by -- means these guys can't compete at a high level.

BUT the protocols that bodybuilders use to address this problem only work when their bodyfat is already EXTREMELY low. Using the exact same process does NOT work to reduce "stubborn" areas when there is still a relatively high level of existing bodyfat. It has been tried, countless times, by bodybuilders who try to improve their proportions before they've "cut" deeply enough and it has failed. Because bodyfat is systemic. These protocols work for pre-contest bodybuilders because they simply don't have much existing bodyfat to either feed into the metabolic system or to restore to fat cells via re-esterification. At very low levels of bodyfat (8-10% for men and 12-16% for women), they can burn the problem fat and get rid of it in a way that people with higher levels of bodyfat (usually) cannot achieve because bodyfat is systemic.

So, depending on your body composition at this time, you may not need additional "cutting" protocols but rather an overall reduction in bodyfat. Many bodybuilders who have "stubborn" areas lose the excess "problem" fat when they drop below a certain level of bodyfat, without adding area-specific, additional "cutting" measures.

In case you are interested, as I said on a different thread:

Quote:
One of the *tricks* that bodybuilders use to reduce/remove stubborn fat deposits is to increase circulation to the "problem" area by insulating that area to keep it warm (for example, by wearing a neoprene wrap around the area), while doing sustained periods of "low intensity steady state" (LISS) cardio in the fasted state. (1) Exercise in the fasted state puts the body into a hormonal condition that is prone to release stored fat rather than burning fed nutrients. (2) LISS cardio increases overall circulation to encourage fat transport from fat cells into the muscle cells that will burn the mobilized fat. (3) The neoprene wrap keeps the "problem" area warmer than other areas to optimize circulation in that specific area.

As noted, one of the problems (although there are other issues) with lower-ab/lower-back fat in male bodybuilders and hip/thigh fat in female bodybuilders is that the capillaries in those areas don't efficiently mobilize fat for transport as well as other areas of their bodies. As Lyle McDonald points out:
In addition to differences in responsiveness to lipolytic stimuli, certain fat depots have significantly poorer blood flow than others. You can test this yourself, touch an area of your body where you lose fat more easily, it should feel fairly warm. Now touch your butt, hips or thighs. Probably stone cold. Studies have shown that blood flow in lower body fat can have 67% lower blood flow than other depots. Visceral fat has extremely good blood flow, it also goes away very quickly. If you could drive your hand into someone's stomach and feel their visceral fat, it would probably feel fairly warm.

Poor blood flow has two consequences of importance here. First and foremost, it means that blood borne hormones (such as the catecholamines which, recall, don't work well in the first place) can't get to the fat cells. Second, poor blood flow makes it harder to get mobilized fat away from the fat cell so that it can be burned elsewhere.

Why is Stubborn Fat Stubborn? | BodyRecomposition - The Home of Lyle McDonald
There is good blood flow to visceral fat in the abdomen of male bodybuilders, for example, but that is the fat that is underneath the muscles and the subcutaneous fat they need to cut to show good abdominal definition is on top of the muscles and is served by smaller capillaries. So heating the area encourages a spot-specific increase in circulation and, in this way, helps mobilize additional fat from that specific area.

Bodybuilders have been using this trick for decades and it had always been assumed that this worked to *fix* the area for competition by removing additional water but people didn't really believe it removed additional fat. However, DEXA and MRI scans now show that the process actually does result in lower fat levels and not just water reduction as had been previously assumed. Again, this is because the underlying problem of these "stubborn" fat deposits was circulation and fatty acid transport, not a systemically high level of existing bodyfat.

I think the main reason they use heat wraps to stimulate circulation, rather than massage or some other form of circulatory stimulation, is because mobilizing the fat and getting it into the bloodstream is only one part of the equation -- the fat has to be burned or it won't actually leave the body, so LISS cardio helps to burn the fat off. Sustained periods of LISS cardio keeps the body in the "aerobic" zone where fat is preferentially burned, rather than the "anaerobic" zone (of weight training or intense cardio) in which glucose is largely burned. Fat produces fuel when it is "oxidized" (metabolized in the presence of oxygen). Anaerobic exercise produces energy when lower amounts of oxygen are available but this pathway primarily uses glucose, so bodybuilders use LISS to focus more specifically on burning the mobilized fat, rather than simply burning more calories and reducing bodyfat through a general energy deficit. For a lot of bodybuilders -- like my brothers -- this is the absolute only time and the only reason they will ever do any cardio.

Also of note, bodybuilders often eat a ketogenic diet during this type of "stubborn fat" reduction because the hormonal changes that accompany a ketogenic diet contribute to fat release -- although they still workout in the fasted state as part of this procedure so that the body will burn stored bodyfat rather than dietary fat.
In any case, that's what I've learned from the 40 bazillion bodybuilders in my life who have told me more than I ever needed to know about their lower back fat concerns... I hope it helps!
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Old 03-30-2013, 07:36 PM   #28
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Well now.
Ask and you shall receive.
I am totally agog
Thank you so very much Trillex. Your response exceeds any expectation I may have had. I am actually humbled by the time you have invested.
I am usually in ketosis, so whatever benefits come from that will come over time. As for the neoprene wraps and other 'tricks' used by body builders...I'm not so sure I'm so motivated.
Your response indicates that yes, indeed targeting fat loss is a daunting challenge.
I think I'll be focusing more on acceptance than change.
Once again, thank you so very very much.
You have knowledge and a generosity of spirit that enriches us all.
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:45 PM   #29
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Well now.
Ask and you shall receive.
I am totally agog
Thank you so very much Trillex. Your response exceeds any expectation I may have had. I am actually humbled by the time you have invested.
I am usually in ketosis, so whatever benefits come from that will come over time. As for the neoprene wraps and other 'tricks' used by body builders...I'm not so sure I'm so motivated.
Your response indicates that yes, indeed targeting fat loss is a daunting challenge.
I think I'll be focusing more on acceptance than change.
Once again, thank you so very very much.
You have knowledge and a generosity of spirit that enriches us all.
No problem! I've had this information poured into me by bodybuilders my whole life. I'm just glad some of it is helpful to someone! I think it's fascinating stuff, but most of it is so specific to bodybuilding culture that no one from outside the culture ever really hears about it.

With regard to fat mobilization and fat burning, you have many advantages as a male. Post-menopausal women appear to suffer terribly from re-esterification -- endurance exercise appears to increase the release free fatty acids (FFA) from fat cells, BUT the fat is then taken back up and restored to the fat cells:
We conclude that, despite the large age-related decrease in metabolic scope in PM women, endurance training increases the capacities for FFA mobilization and oxidation during exercises of a given power output. However, after menopause, total lipid oxidation capacity remains low, with reesterification accounting for most of FFA R(d).

Twelve weeks of endurance training increases FFA mobilization and reesterification in postmenopausal women.
Twelve weeks of endurance training increases ... [J Appl Physiol. 2010] - PubMed - NCBI
Studies don't show the same effect on men in the same age range.
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Old 03-31-2013, 04:43 AM   #30
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Canada
Posts: 914
Gallery: Punkin
Stats: 160/95/100
WOE: NK or LC
I'm posting here to say that it isn't hopeless. Basically what Trillex is saying is the place where I am at right now. I am very lean everywhere on my body with the exception of two large fat deposits on the backs of each of my legs. They are emptying, but it is a VERY SLOW process. These are what are keeping me from competing in a bodybuilding competition right now. I have decided to basically stick with a strict ketogenic diet and do some low intensity exercise to try to burn off the fat in these deposits. Endurance exercise doesn't really work all that well because it is difficult to stay in the fat burning zone. For example to stay in the right zone, you pretty much have to be able to have a conversation with another person without much effort, and that can be difficult depending on the type of exercise.

Anyways, I think you are on the right track it just might take more time. Generally we are supposed to have our body fat spread evenly throughout the body, but in some people our fat storage patterns don't cooperate!
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