We’ve all heard that you can’t spot reduce in one area of the body. Still it’s evident some people lose more in certain parts of the body, while others don’t.

There are many reasons why people store body fat in certain parts of their body and it generally comes down to genetics, hormonal balance and diet not just as simple as calorie counting.

When people attempt to train specific muscles to target body fat loss in specific spots they often fail for example just because you do a ton of sit ups every day it doesn’t mean you’re going to lose body fat around the belly. You can tone up/strengthen the muscles under the fat but the truth is for a male to see his abs his body fat needs to be around 8-12% and females 11-15%. (do you ever see people walking around with washboard abs and fat arms)???


My approach with fat loss is target certain basics such as clean eating, exercise regime, reducing stress levels and improving sleep patterns. Usually once a well-rounded approach is in place I see body fat stripping off people.

Now if there is stubbornness in certain locations I start to look at possible hormonal imbalances…

An increasing number of academics and those on the forefront of weight loss research are beginning to agree that hormones play a bigger part into how and where we store fat.

Women generally have more fat deposits than men and it is accepted that men store more fat round the belly and women on their lower half of their body. Think back to school pre puberty boys and girls have similar body shapes but as boys reach puberty their testosterone hormones switch on making them taller and more muscular whilst females ovaries switch on releasing oestrogen and develop breasts and buttocks.

Here’s a look at some common problematic body fat sites and how it could be potentially linked to certain hormones…

Love handles and muffin tops

Lets start with Insulin Hormone; it is the only hormone you have 100% control of (nobody accidently ate a doughnut). Insulin and blood/sugar imbalances can lead to insulin resistance and on the body can be displayed on the Sacro-illiac skinfold (muffin top or love handles) and/or sub scapular (around the bra strap region).

Reduce your carbohydrates and sugars. Sugars are hidden in many processed foods (especially low-fat options), fruit juices/carbonated drinks…

weight loss2

Man boobs and thunder thighs (pear shape)

High Estrogen hormone in men can usually be easily seen as they develop man boobs/moobs. High oestrogen is also linked with high fat storage in the Quad and Hamstring sites.

Oestrogen precursors such as processed foods, packaged goods, non-organic foods, (pesticides/herbicides), the pill, chemical laden cosmetics, plastic bottles, soy products etc can all lead to excessive oestrogen. To enhance testosterone levels lifting weights and deep sleep will enhance growth hormone levels.

Belly fat

Cortisol (stress hormone) is produced by your adrenal glands. Cortisol in the morning is usually high when we wake up and tends to drop throughout the day this is called diurnal rhythm. This rhythm can be reversed or altered if our work hours change, activity patterns, sleep patterns, work hours and response to stress.


Generally speaking I still believe it is near impossible to spot reduce as a balance in lifestyle needs to be in place and Hormones need to be in sync. Body fat loss will occur when we a happy, eating well and activity levels are adequate.

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Pollyanna Hale Health and Lifestyle coaches
Lost 13 Kg in Total
Mel, 32y Location: London, United Kingdom Working with Pollyanna changed everything. I lost 13kg, got toned and have more energy than ever! Get same results!


Chriz Zaremba Fitness Consultant
Lost 45 Kg in Total
Chris, 50y Location: London, United Kingdom Lost 45kg after the age of 50 and now competes and wins physique competitions and runs marathons Check our weight loss plans