Ask The Trainer #18 – Shedding Fat and Cellulite (Part 2 of 2)

Ask the Scientist #56 – Burning Fat With BCAAs

QUESTION (From Part 1):

Hi Chad,

I’ve been a fitness enthusiast and weightlifter for about 5-6 years. I’m a 28 year old female, 5’4″ and about 145lbs. I would approximate my body fat to be about 18-22%, so I feel that I am relatively lean with a decent amount of muscle. Like many females, I have struggled for years with a “healthy” layer of fat/cellulite on my thighs while the rest my body is quite lean. I have tried huge amount of cardio only, then cardio and weight lifting, then just weightlifting at an intense pace, and of course, eating clean at about a 50% protein, 25% carb, and 25% fat ratio. And yet, nothing has proven to get rid of the fat and cellulite. I’m not big on taking fat burners or thermogenics, but I’m not opposed to them either.

I think the most frustrating part of trying to lean out my thighs is not only my inability to so far, plus I’m in the process of getting my CPT with NASM, and yet I’m struggling with myself! I’ve attached a recent pic of me in at the gym. I’m in leggings so you can’t get an idea of the fat/cellulite but you can see my overall physique.

If you have any suggestions or recommendations, I’m all ears! I thank you in advance for your response.

Best Regards,

Shawntell K.


ANSWER (Continued From Part 1):

Some supplements have shown promise for increasing natural growth hormone levels. Studies have shown both glutamine and creatine supplementation may increase natural growth hormone levels significantly. I personally use Kre-Alkalyn and GlutaZorb because I don’t get the bloating sensation I seem to get with other forms of these amino acids.

Additionally, studies have also shown that supplementing with melatonin before bed can result in a nice HGH boost. The most common adult dosage is 3 mg, although some people swear by higher doses.

Chad ShawUsing a thermogenic supplement can help raise catecholamine levels. There are countless options on the market. I have found the vast majority of them give me adverse reactions, such as jitters and light-headedness. One thermogenic supplement I haven’t had any negative issues with is called Lean Fix. This product seems to have just enough stimulant properties to give me a good energy boost, without unwanted side-effects.

I do want to also mention that this product, or any other thermogenic supplement, should not be overused. I suggest taking a 2-week break following 4 weeks of continuous use to avoid herbal resistance and symptoms of adrenal fatigue.

If you’re overly sensitive to caffeine, then L-Tyrosine and Mucuna Pruriens may be a better option for you.

Exogenous (or external taken in) estrogen is something most of us fail to consider. Estrogen plays an important role in our bodies. But, when our levels become too high, we are more susceptible to gaining fat and even some forms of cancer.

Here Are Some Ways You Can Rid Excess Estrogen From Your Body:

1. Eat plenty of Indole-3-Carbinol containing vegetables: These include broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C) converts into 3,3-Diindolylmethane (DIM) in your stomach. DIM is best known for its ability to regulate estrogen by effectively flushing estrogenic compounds and xeno-estrogens out of your body.

2. Avoid plastic: That means beverages and foods that come in plastic bottles. Try to avoid storing food in plastic containers as well. Plastic containers contain phthalates, which are compounds that make plastics flexible. Phthalates are known to mimic estrogen inside the body, so they compound the estrogenic effects. When food and beverages come in contact with plastic containers, it absorbs some of the phthalates from the plastic.

3. Avoid soy products: Soy is a very powerful phytoestrogen or plant-estrogen. When you consume even modest amounts of soy products, this can dramatically potentiate the effects of estrogen in your body.

4. Consume foods containing calcium d-glucarate: Calcium d-glucarate is a type of fiber found in the skin of many berries. Juniper and blueberries are the two best. Calcium d-glucarate binds into the bad estrogen molecules in your gut. This action will help your body to remove those xeno-estrogens from your intestines.

5. Consume organic foods: Non-organic foods contain a plethora of unnecessary chemicals, some which mimic estrogen and disrupt normal endocrine function. Organic foods may cost a bit more, but they’ll pay themselves back in an increased lifespan and a much healthier hormonal profile.

Finally, I would consider implementing some ways to control insulin. Why is this significant? Because studies have proven that large insulin spikes reduce human growth hormone levels and also contribute to fat synthesis.


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Here Is A Few Good Ways To Avoid Overproduction Of Insulin:

1. Avoid foods made from white flour and processed food products containing refined sugar: You should especially avoid foods containing fructose, high fructose corn syrup, or corn syrup solids which are even found in sugar-free coffee creamers. Obviously, you will also want to avoid foods like candy, cakes, pastries, sweet flavored coffee drinks, etc. Even a lot of the most popular protein bars on the market contain as much sugar as commercial candy bars, so pay close attention to the ingredients and nutrition information on the labels of these products.

2. Include monounsaturated fats in your meals: This will help slow down glucose absorption, reducing surges of insulin. Great sources of monounsaturated fats include fish oil, almonds, extra virgin olive oil and avocado.

3. Take a short walk after eating a meal: Taking a slow walk for about 15 minutes following a meal, roughly 20 minutes after finishing, can help the body absorb the glucose without causing an insulin spike. This happens because light exercise helps your body absorb the sugar from your meal by fueling movement rather than sitting idle in your bloodstream.

4. Choose more complex carbohydrate sources to include in your meals: Slower digesting carbohydrates, such as vegetables, yams, turnips, pumpkin, squash, brown rice, and Ezekiel Bread, allow glucose to enter your bloodstream gradually. This can help prevent your insulin levels from skyrocketing.

The human body is a very complex machine with thousands of mechanisms within its chemistry all contributing to metabolism and the synthesis of body fat.

Hopefully, some of this information offers you some new ideas to help you resolve your concerns and reach your goals! I wish you all the best!

Prove ‘Em Wrong,
Chad Shaw

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