Had a friend who finally had to have reduction surgery to relieve all the problems this was causing. I could not believe the devastation caused to her shoulders from just the bra straps, can’t fathom what else was affected.
My understanding is that this is a hormonal regulation matter.
Belly fat is specifically related to cortisol levels and stress management - particularly in females where it actually correlates with better health in later life, at least from SAD science.
Once I learned about the cortisol connection and adaptagenic/stress-reducing herbs/spices via studying Ginger (which reduces cortisol and does a ton of other great complimentary stuff as a superfood) around month 6 of keto - I stared supplementing with dry Ginger capsules (you can also do the fresh Ginger tea thing if you organize yourself correctly to properly prepare and drink two cups a day). The Ginger has DEFINETELY enhanced belly circulation and recomposition - it’s slow and steady. (Of course weekly intense slow weight lifting also is FAB for cortisol levels - but not if you’re dealing with high stress levels, in which case it can add to your stress).
The university paper “Cortisol Connection: Tips on Managing Stress and Weight” Christine A. Maglione-Garves, Len Kravitz, Ph.D., and Suzanne Schneider, Ph.D." goes into some of this, albeit without a specific low carb lens:
“Zingiberis Rhizoma [Ginger] significantly suppressed the increase of ACTH-IS (120 min) and cortisol (180 min)”
Belly fat may be stubborn - but there are ways to hack the cortisol situation and Ginger is one of the cheapest superfoods that also compliments appetite suppression as well as enhances enzyme production & absorption of nutrients in the GI tract/microbiome. It’s subsequently a natural anti-depressant and powerful anti-infammatory. I’m taking 4-6 capsules a day (that’s 2.2-3.3 grams).
Contraindicated if you’re on statins/blood-thinners. Ginger is a powerful NSAID and can replace your usual pain relievers like ibuprofin or aspirin - even high dose ones.
Interesting. I’m freaked out by that assumption that heavier is healthier in older women. Having pure belly fat and high triglycerides can’t be healthy. That is why I started Keto.
What I know about the studies on women is that it’s simply an extra layer of fat in the belly - that reflects an overall additional 10 pounds - not obesity per se - and particularly for very lean ladies whose leanness may render them without shock absorption, etc.
HOWEVER - no one’s studying this from a LCHF physiology perspective. There are various kinds of leanness and fatness, etc. What’s critical is hormonal health and nutrient absorption. LCHF/keto females (whether officially keto or some reasonable degree of LCHF) are physiologically optimized, and vastly under-studied!!!
There’s also an arguement (I think it might be in evolutionary biology?) that there is a mammalian benefit to some extra padding/fat stores for backup mothering energy that benefits survival of children during famine/catastrophes. However, traditional grandmothers in land-based pre-industrial cultures weren’t obese, etc. In fact, in some cultures they’re quite lean, but carry a li’l extra energy in the breast fat tissue.
I think female biology is so awesome, and am fascinated with the women’s health aspects of LCHF/keto.
I went into menopause at 53. I am now sixty. Funny, at fifty I was doing Pilates and mentioned to my instructor that I could pinch a quarter of an inch. She cited the female studies. And laughed at me. But now, I jiggle. I don’t think it is either healthy or attractive. But something is happening because a neighbor mentioned “less protrusion “. Wow. Attractive. And I am not snacking all day long. So a bit of padding, yes. A 25 pound weight gain in 10 years? NO!
Also I am sadly an Apple, not a Pear. my arms and legs now look like sticks. Six pounds water weight in three weeks. With the belly. So still have work to do to be truly healthy. But I truly believe my body will figure things out.
Oh yes. Even at my age they have to do three mammogram views because I have dense breast tissue. That I’m okay with.
Ugh, you should do thermography. All that radiation will cause cancer. Smh, I swear the medical community may be trying to kill us. I’m 52 and reduce to do mammogram, they are dangerous.
I’m convinced also that " my body will figure things out". I’m approaching my 8th week of keto and so far I’ve lost 3 pounds … no inches in the places I measured. Blood glucose levels are consistently lower than when I started - a plus. Yep … conscientiously measure carbs, portions, macros every day to make sure nothing is sneaking in … carbs consistently below 20. I have less to lose than some -25# at best - but losing is harder than I thought it was going to be. Just turned 60 and keeping weight off was fairly easy up until early 50s. kept putting off getting rid of “a few extra pounds” until it turned into a noticeable belly. I’ve stayed active, thought my diet was good until i actually took stock of what I was eating … now I know how I got to where I am!
Said all that to say that you put into a few words the thought that keeps me moving forward and not giving in to negativity … “I truly believe my body will figure things out”. I believe it will … eventually.
Same experience. Until 50 I was thin. The belly thing started so subtly that it didn’t register with me that I was gaining like four or five pounds a year. Gained 35 pounds which for me was a lot. Accidentally (I’m a natural carnivore, hadn’t then heard of Keto) went Keto four years ago and lost 15, which crept back. I just turned 60 and for the first time in my life had a really high triglyceride level. Belly? Triglycerides? Finally made the connection. .
Shock absorption? Good to hear. I could fall from a ten story building at this point and be just fine!! Assuming I landed on my belly!!
HAHAhaha, excellent sense o’ humor on the keto journey
I have lost 145 lbs since 10-08-2017 and the belly right in the front is the slowest to disappear, thinking the next 50-80 lbs it should be going because I have lost a ton of weight everywhere else. dropped 10 pant sizes.
Good to hear, James.
Even at my heaviest - 340 lbs/155kg - I was almost “normal” looking from behind. Well, that might be stretching the truth a little, I don’t know… But there was a world of difference between that and a full-on side view.
Holy cow 145 pounds in 7 months? That’s amazing. Congratulations that’s awesome progress!
I have been on keto for 3 months, first two months, no cheat days at all, zero carbs, fats, protein and veggies, I was 83 before and after two months I reached 75, face shrunk, a lot of the stomach reduced drastically, but now muscles have build nicely, but the Lower stomach is still there, though less compared to what it was, dropped from 22.3 percent fat to 15 percent the last I checked, I feel good, but yea when you see your belly bigger than the rest of the body, it is weird, especially when you tuck in and try to sit down, the most weird feeling, u am gonna try to increase the cardio a bit, but don’t want to loose the muscle I build, so if anyone of you have any thoughts about this, do let me know, much appreciated, we all are in the same struggle, good to know I am not alone in the fight
Give it time. Same boat here.
down 170 after a month plus stall but sill have the “gut” waiting for it to disappear
James, you’re blowing my mind. 170 pounds since October? That’s more than half a pound per day. Really amazing.