Low Body Fat in Women, Stubborn Low Back Fat, and Skinny Fat Training

I haven’t done a Q&A in a while and the mailbag is getting a bit full. So in lieu of boring everyone with another 20-part series on some minutial detail of training, here’s a bunch of questions.

Women Training and Fat Loss – Book Teaser

I intend it to be a complete guide to not only women’s physiology and underlying issues (including but not limited to the menstrual cycle, how it affects performance, how it can be affected by dieting and training, birth control, PCOS, menopause, HRT, etc. With the exception of pregnancy, which I am just not touching, it’s in there. Supplements, dietary needs, how they change throughout the cycle. It’s all in there.

Normal Weight Men and Women Overestimate Energy Expenditure – Research Review

For the 200 calorie exercise bout, the estimated energy expenditures, that is what subjects thought they burned ranged from 120 to 4000 calories. No, that’s not a typo. 4000 calories. For the 300 calorie exercise bout, the range was 150 to 3000 calories. Again, not a typo. 3000 calories. Let that sink in, for exceedingly moderate amounts of activity, 30-45 minutes of brisk walking some of the study subjects thought they burned 3000-4000 calories.

Comparison of the Atkins, Zone, Ornish and LEARN Diets for Change in Weight and Related Risk Factors Among Overweight Premenopausal Women – Research Review

Which brings us to this week’s study. The researchers set out to compare 4 diets of drastically different carbohydrate intake. The first was Atkins which is a very low-carbohydrate diet. The second was the Zone which is a moderate carb diet (40% carbs, 30% protein, 30% fat). The third is something called the LEARN diet which is your basic food Pyramidy type of diet with 55-60% carbs and saturated fat below 10% of total calories. Finally was Dean Ornish’s extremely high-carbohydrate, very low-fat (10% or less) diet. These diets were chosen to represent the spectrum of diets from very low carbohydrate to very high carbohydrate.

Fasted Cardio and Fat Loss – Q&A

This is probably one of the most commonly asked questions which is why it’s worth addressing. It’s worth keeping in mind that this idea usually comes out of the bodybuilding subculture, usually contest bodybuilders who, assuming their diet is working properly, are getting towards the low-end of body fat levels. And the short-answer to your question is that the body fat of the person is going to be the main determinant of whether doing cardio fasted in the morning is important or not.

Why is Stubborn Fat Stubborn?

In general there are clear gender differences that show up at puberty, suggesting that sex hormones play a role in how fat cells develop. And there is much truth to this. It turns out that if you take a fat cell from a man’s thigh and a woman’s thigh, they are functionally identical and essentially indistinguishable physiologically. Even though the man generally has extremely low levels of estrogen.

Body Fat Energy Availability or Hormones – Book Excerpt

In any case, here is another excerpt from the book, dealing with the causes of secondary amenorreha. For those not familiar with the term, primary amenorrhea is when the onset of menstruation (called menarche) is delayed; as frequently as not this occurs in females involved in sports such as gymnastics, ballet, ice skating and other sports that “emphasize thinness” (as the literature puts it).

DEXA Versus Calipers for Body Fat Estimation

There is a common occurrence online (my support forum has an entire thread) for people to ask for visual estimates on BF%. No, it’s not a perfect method but folks who have done this for a while can give at least a ballpark estimate. You can also find some neato graphics people have put together for men and women online.

Bodyweight Regulation: Leptin Part 2

In the last post, I talked primarily about leptin (and a bit about insulin,and a very little bit about the other hormones) and its discovery and how it may be the (or at least one of the) long-sought after hormones involved in regulating bodyweight.

Not Losing Fat at 20% Deficit, What Should I do? – Q&A

If someone is looking to reduce body fat and is not showing progress at 20% below their calorie maintenance level, what would be the next logical step to induce fat loss? This person engages in regular aerobic and resistance training.