Tag: diet

Understanding Hormones & Weight Loss

Have you ever had that friend that even when they diet and exercised like crazy they still seemed stuck in a plateau that they could not get out of? I think we can all think of somebody that has done this before, but usually not all for the same reasons. One reason may be the closet eater, who hides the fact that they are gorging on bad food choices behind closed doors. Or the excessive drinker, that says they only drink a few beers once a week, and it’s more like 10 beers at 2-3 times a week. The above two examples are not who we are talking about today. We are talking about the guy or girl that is actually putting in all the hard work but just can’t seem to get past that hump. Why is that? Well, the answer could be as simple as your hormones are not in an optimal state for fat loss….Here may be why.

Feeling Stressed?

We have all heard that stress kills right? Well, not only does it kill you, it also kills any fat loss or muscle gain progress as well. Studies have actually shown that when you are in a stressful state for consistent periods of time you can eat the perfect diet for your goals and still not lose body fat. In fact you will either stay the same, or you may even gain weight! So why does this happen? What is triggered in us that is causing this stress?

Cortisol

Cortisol is the stress hormone, responsible for that fight or flight response in the body that gets released when we are perceived to be under stressful situations. When cortisol stays up it is actually benefiting fat gain, and preventing muscle gain simultaneously. Now lets go back to the question of what is causing this in us? What is causing cortisol to stay elevated? Well, there are a number of things that could be plaguing our day. Here is just a small list…

Job or work environment, family life, Time Management, money management, over training at the gym, excess alcohol consumption, and consistent bad sleep.

This list probably covers the top stressors the average person has in there life. I would say out of all of the issues listed above, the number one issue leading to elevated cortisol is consistent bad sleep. You should always try to get at least 6 hours of sleep each night. Now, I know they say 8 hours is considered best, but I am trying to be as realistic as possible. Quite a lot of us are busy people these days. For example, lately I am in bed around 10 to 10:30pm, and will be up at 4:30am ready to go. Whatever your time window is, please remember to not completely neglect your sleep. Try to make 6 hours be your minimum. Also, remember to keep the “blue lights” off when you go to bed at night. Blue light is the light emitted by television screens and phones, and can interrupt healthy sleeping patterns.

In regards to some of the other stressors listed above I highly doubt anyone is suffering from over training, since it is very difficult for the average person to even over train in the first place. But, as far as the rest of the list goes if you want to make a conscious effort to reduce stress try yoga or even meditation. Look for something you can do to unwind and calm the body. Maybe even massage therapy would be a great idea as well. Just keep in mind if you are at a sticking point in your fat loss results and you know in yourself you are doing all the right things then you may want to consider taking a look at your normal routine and figuring out what changes you need to make to get yourself moving in the right direction. Always remember we are here to help so if you need any assistance in figuring out what to do please feel free to contact me at our email address and we will get it figured out.

Why is Re-gaining Weight so Common?

How many times have you seen someone who was obese, begin to lose weight using diet and exercise, and get very close to their end goal, and then they end up stalling out, or even worse, start to put the weight all back on. They seem to be doing most of the right things, but a few slip ups here and there and the weight just sticks back on to them like glue. Here’s why….


Why You Keep Re-Gaining Weight

As we grow up, from a child to an adult, our bodies naturally end up with a fixed number of fat cells that we develop during our childhood years. Then as we hit adolescence that number pretty much stays where it is, unless we begin to eat so much that our body is forced to create new cells. This only occurs when all other fat cells have been filled to the maximum capacity, causing the body to adapt by making new cells. And the worst part is once these cells have been created, they do not go away. You can diminish them down by losing all that excess stored energy that is inside the cell, so in other words you can shrink the fat cells, but you can not eliminate them. So if you were obese with 40% body fat, and drop your body fat percentage to say 17%, you will still have the cells with you equivalent to 40%, but they are not filled because you have utilized the bulk of those cells for energy through what is called lipolysis, which is your bodies’ ability to take stored fat and use it up as energy. Now this is a great thing, to go from 40 to 17 percent, but since such a high percentage of fat was present at one time, this will make you more sensitive to re-gaining body fat since those cells are still present.

The biggest issue with having all these extra cells is when you do lose body fat, those cells are used to being filled up, which provides you extra energy for daily tasks. And since your body has burned through all that extra energy, it will offer resistance at times to try to get itself back to what it thought was normal, aka homeostasis. Also, when these cells are depleted through fat loss, the bodies leptin levels, (hunger hormone) will get kicked on in a lot of cases because again the brain is thinking you are depleted and need to eat, so leptin gets kicked on, and hunger sets in, causing you to over eat or totally cheat on your diet.

Is There Any Way To Eliminate Fat Cells Then?

There is one method that doesn’t technically “kill fat cells”, but converts them into a more useful type of fat, and that is cold exposure. You see there are two types of stored fat cells, white adipose tissue cells, and metabolism stimulating brown fat cells. By using cold therapy, research has shown that white fat cells can begin to convert to brown fat cells, making them more susceptible to be utilized as energy. Now when I say cold therapy, we aren’t even talking about cryo chamber cold or anything like that, we are just talking about cold showers, or applying ice to certain areas of the body. Very simple things to do to help with converting the cells, but there is a catch to this. The cold therapy must be consistently done to keep that conversion happening. So taking a morning walk without a coat, or taking a cold shower, even applying ice after a workout to certain areas all can be beneficial to keeping those fat cells brown, and in a burning state. So if you can’t eliminate them, just convert them!