Hormones and Fat Loss

Over the years the fitness industry has continued to make leaps and bounds on physique manipulation, performance enhancement, weight loss and overall health. ONE thing though stands out among the rest that I would have to say is the most researched and sought out science.

Fat Loss

Fat loss is arguably the number one reason most people come to the gym and what most people look do accomplish. I know that you could say weight loss but, come on people think of weight loss they think of getting rid of their gut or thighs not water weight.

When even I meet someone that’s primary goal is to get lean and drop all the extra insulation I typically go through a series of assessments to determine where there primary problem with fat loss is. Most commonly is just unhealthy lifestyle BUT for others there is a bit more to the story.

Hormones are a big part of this story, and I guarantee a number of you are nodding your heads in agreement with this.

Without getting too in-depth here we know that if your hormones are out of balance it makes weight loss near impossible and in a lot of cases weight gain is most likely what happens, exact opposite of what we are going for!

Sometimes the ol’ adage of ‘calories in vs. calories out’ just doesn’t work anymore. When that happens I tend to look at:

Estrogen, Insulin and Cortisol

The big three that I personally take a look at when it comes to stubborn weight loss clients

When you reach that stage in your weight loss efforts that seem like you just can’t get that last bit of fat off or you’ve lost it everywhere else except in one particular area… usually one of those three are the cause.

Belly Fat


We’ve all seen those late night TV commercials that lead you to believe that if you take this magic pill you get rid of all that unwanted belly fat (admit it you played the commercial in your head didn’t you lol). You remember what hormone it was talking about…? Cortisol

Excessive amounts of cortisol traditionally lead to an accumulation of fat around the abdominal area, now understand the difference between belly fat and just being fat (harsh?).

In short cortisol is a hormone that is produced in the adrenal system in response to stress, both psychological and physical. Now we have cortisol in our bodies for a reason, if we didn’t need it we would have gotten rid of it a long time ago but just like anything else in life too much can lead to abdominal fat.

Crazy side note: Besides a stressful life style you know what else causes a significant cortisol increase? Long duration cardio sessions. Explains why marathoners and long distance runners have what we call skinny fat, sure they lose weight but they still have some fat to lose. If that’s yoru goal is to run marathons, I’m not hating, but I’ve said that skinny looks good in cloths but ‘fit’ looks good naked.

Love Handles or Muffin Top

We have all seen it so don't give me that look

So your losing weight, great! Now your noticing that your stubborn area is your love handles for men or muffin top for women.

The culprit: Insulin

If you have a insulin sensitivity you’ll notice that with and excessive amount of carbs or sugars you being to accumulate more insulation around the sides and lower back. This is in parts to your body’s ability to process and store sugar (glucose).

Pretty much you don’t do well with carbs, I bet your thinking “great low carb diets suck”. Well… you may be right lol but I’ll get into some ways to help curb these effects.

The ‘Pear’ shape:

I see this most commonly in women, though its NOT uncommon with men to have this as well. Your typically characteristic is that you have larger thighs, hips and rear.

The culprit: Estrogen

I’ve heard this before that estrogen is great for the Twilight Series and making babies but pretty crappy for weight loss, this can explain why some women have so much difficulties dropping weight. This is because the body tends to accumulate most of its estrogen receptors in the lower extremities.

Really in my opinion it’s one of the easiest to correct.

How to fix this?

Not so fast cowboy first you really need to take a look at your lifestyle and determine if your feel that you’re doing everything to the best of your abilities. You’re eating very clean meals and training consistently for several months. Typically this corrects most of the problems. BUT if you the other who just seems to sore fat in those areas and have a difficult time trying to get rid of it then stay tuned over some coming blogs I’ll share with you some tips that I’ve use to help to continue to drop these levels down.


In Health and Fitness,




Travis Merritt, BS, CPT is the owner of Fitness Revolution in Rowlett, TX.

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  1. Hey, I really like your content. It’s direct and written in a terminology that even a cat could follow it (my cats anyway)!

    You have some good clear concise, advice, – I like that you understand exercise endocrinology, FOOD!, HITT training, and strength workouts. I’m sure you’ve covered sleep and stress, and the other fragile range of things that affect us humans. But I really just wanted to say thank you for keeping it real, and sharing it.

    A pleasure !
    Vancouver, BC

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