Weight Loss

Thursday, 21 November 2019 20:39

How Hormones Affect Your Energy and Weight

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Are willpower and self-control the real solution to low energy and high weight?
Maybe not.
It might actually be your (powerful) hormones.
And we’re not just talking about sex hormones here; we’re talking about the hormones that directly affect your blood sugar, metabolism, and appetite. Things that actually control your energy and weight.
Let’s go over a few of the critical links between your hormones, and how they affect your energy and weight. The links may be stronger than you think.
WHAT ARE HORMONES
Having healthy, happy hormones is all around the “health waves” these days.  
And for good reason! Your hormones are part of the master control system of your entire body. 
Hormones are compounds made by one part of the body that are used to communicate with another part. For example, insulin is made in the pancreas. When your blood sugar gets too high, insulin is released into the bloodstream. Then, it goes to your muscles and other cells to tell them to absorb that sugar out of the blood (and if there is still too much blood sugar, it signals to store it as fat).
Your hormones control not only your blood sugar, but also your metabolism and appetite (plus a host of other things). And you probably know that having healthy blood sugar, metabolism and appetite is a foundation for your optimal energy and weight.
So, how can your hormones get out of whack to zap your energy and pile up the pounds?
COMMON HORMONAL IMBALANCES
In optimal health, your hormones would work great, and you’d have ample energy and be a good healthy weight.
But often there are problems with this whole setup. One common issue is that there may be too much or too little hormone released to have the desired effect. This is known as hypo- or hyper- “hormone” (i.e. hypo- or hyperthyroidism).
Another common issue is that, even if the right amount of hormone is released, the cells they communicate with can start ignoring them. This is known as hormone “resistance” (i.e. insulin resistance).
As you can imagine, if your hormones have such critical jobs, including controlling blood sugar, metabolism and appetite, they can definitely cause issues with your energy and weight.
HORMONES AND ENERGY
Your metabolism is key for controlling your energy. Metabolism itself is basically how much energy (calories) you burn. One of the main players of this is...you guessed it! Your thyroid hormones.
Your thyroid releases hormones that affect the metabolism of all the cells in your body. If it’s too low and your metabolism goes down (hypothyroid), you may feel cold, hungry and tired. If it’s too high and your metabolism is too fast (hyperthyroid), you may feel hot, jittery and lose weight.
What you actually want is an ideal metabolism, ideal energy use, ideal temperature, and an ideal weight. Your thyroid hormones are the master controller here.
HORMONES AND WEIGHT
Your weight may be controlled by hormones more than you think! Insulin controls your blood sugar, and whether that sugar is going to be stored as fat or not. And when your blood sugar is too low, you may start craving sugar and carbs.
You also have hormones that control your appetite! How hungry and how full you feel are controlled by the hormones ghrelin & leptin. When those get out of whack, you may find yourself wanting to eat because your body thinks you’re hungry and not satisfied...even if that’s not true.
And craving food (especially sugary ones) and not feeling full are going to be huge drives for you to eat more. Even if your body doesn’t truly need it, the hormonal signals tell you that you do.
And don’t forget that stress hormone cortisol. When it’s too high for too long, it tells your body to store fat. And not just any fat - belly fat!
SUMMARY AND WHAT YOU CAN DO
Your body is very complex and uses hormones to control a huge number of functions. They control your blood sugar, metabolism, and appetite, amongst others. And these directly affect how much energy you feel, how much you weigh, and even where your body fat is stored.
Here are a few “hormone stabilizing” tips that might help you with your energy and weight:
  • Get regular exercise to use up excess blood sugar before your insulin has your body store it as fat
  • Try stress-relieving activities like deep breathing, meditation or even coloring to reduce your (belly-fat inducing) cortisol
  • Support your thyroid with iodine-containing sea vegetables, fish, legumes, or even an egg
  • Balance your blood sugar with extra fiber from raspberries, avocados, or flax seeds
  • Reduce blood sugar spikes by replacing your juice or soda with fruit-infused water
If you need some support with your energy levels and/or weight, contact me Deanna Trask RHN for a strategy session to see how I can help you.
REFERENCES
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/fast-weight-loss-changes-hunger-hormones
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-thyroid
https://authoritynutrition.com/9-fixes-for-weight-hormones/
Monday, 16 October 2017 20:01

The Hormonal Effects of Crash Dieting

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Let me ask you a couple of questions:

Have you ever been on a diet?
Have you ever restricted calories in hopes of losing weight?
If you have been on a diet before how long does it take you to gain the weight back?
Do you find yourself more hungry after a crash diet?
Are you happy with your current weight?
Yo-yo and crash dieting is serious business. People want results quickly. They can starve themselves for a short period of time to get results. There are very real consequences to crash dieting; rebound weight gain, a slower metabolism, horrible digestion, an unhealthy relationship with food, intense cravings, binges and the worst offender…the inability to lose real fat later on.

Sunday, 15 October 2017 21:51

Focus on the Waist not your Weight for Superior Health.

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When it comes to monitoring your body for fitness there are pinchers that test body fat, a bathroom scale that measures your water content and good old-fashioned calorie counting. Then there is a very simple way to find out your disease risk based on a simple calculation – the waist to hip ratio. You’ll need a tape measure, and these simple instructions:

Measure the circumference of your waist
Measure the circumference of your hips
Divide the waist measurement by the hip measurement
 
This is your waist to hip ratio!

 

Now what is the whole waist to hip ratio supposed to imply?

For a woman a ratio of 0.8 or above and for a man a ratio of 1.0 or above is a major sign that you are at risk for developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and arthritis (gout).

The waist numbers that take you out of the disease risk categories and back into the healthy categories are:

Females: 35 inches around 
Males: 40 inches around

If you fall into this category, don’t worry, all is not lost, there are ways to focus on your waist for superior health.

1. Cut down on sugar consumption: The old adage “a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips” is quite wise. The glucose derived from excessive sugar intake cannot be completely processed in your body and actually goes into storage for later use.

The preferred storage is fat cells! Going sugar-free all in one go can be extremely difficult, but by taking small steps you will start to notice a difference. Start by not adding sugar to your coffee and tea. Next replace a soda with a glass of water with lemon. Then change your sweetener to raw honey instead of white sugar.

Top natural sugar recommendation is RAW HONEY. 

2. Turn off the TV/computerTV watching is linked to the onset of obesity, mostly because the more TV you watch the less activity you are doing. With the beautiful summer weather, it should be easier to convince yourself to get out for an after dinner walk.  Start out slow – 10 minutes a day, then gradually work your way up to a goal of 30-60 minutes. It will also increase your overall energy and improve sleep. A 5 or 10 minute walk is better then no walk at all.

3. Improve your digestion: Fibre does wonders in improving your digestion naturally. The best way to increase your fibre intake is eating more fruits and vegetables.  Again the summer is a great time to start up this new regime with all that fresh produce around. Clinical evidence shows that dietary fibre promotes weight loss, improves blood sugar control and decreases the amount of calories absorbed by the body.

Try adding 1 to 1 tbsp of chia seeds to your breakfast or ½ cup of well-rinsed beans or lentils to your lunch.

Eat some fresh corn for dinner instead of a side of rice, go for a walk and if you get hot don’t reach for a can of soda but go for a cool glass of water. By starting slow and keeping hydrated, you will start to see signs that your waist to hip ratio is going down and with that your risk for disease also goes down.

Still need help?  Book your free 20 minute consult to learn more about my Balance Programs.  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

Saturday, 24 December 2016 15:08

How Stress Can Affect Your Weight

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I realize this is not always an easy thing to do.  Most of us are juggling way too much and going through the day at warp speed, trying to get more and more accomplished.  By having a high-stress level, not only is it harmful to your health, it’s harmful to your waistline as well. 
 
When you are constantly under stress, hormone levels, like cortisol and insulin are elevated.  The elevation of these 2 hormones can sabotage your weight loss efforts and actually cause weight gain.  
 
‘Feeling stressed can create a wide variety of physiological changes, such as impairing digestion, excretion of valuable nutrients, decreasing beneficial gut flora populations, decreasing your metabolism, and raising triglycerides, cholesterol, insulin, and cortisol levels.’  – Mercola.com
 
So, while you may think you can “handle it” as far as your stress level goes, we aren’t meant to be under constant stress and it takes its toll. If you are doing everything right as far as diet and exercise, but you’re under stress every day, you’re not going to see or feel the results you want. 
 
What are some ways you can reduce your stress level? 
 
Is there something you can start with this week? 
 
Some of my favourites include exercise, yoga, going to the beach, getting outside in nature, meditation, listening to music, reading a book.
 
I also find that Reiki is a great stress reliever, and in fact have many people book sessions with me for that very reason.  
Thursday, 06 October 2016 21:25

Fitness and Fat Loss Mistakes

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Are you Making These Fitness and Fat Loss Mistakes?

Have you been doing cardio 3-4 times per week but haven’t been able to lose weight?
What you are about to read might strike you as controversial. All that moderate to intense steady state cardio you’ve been doing on cardio machines for 30-45 minutes, 3 to 4 times per week is doing more harm to your body than good. This type of cardio is not going to help you in your weight loss effort and if you are already stressed out (who isn’t?) it may even be causing negative effects to your health.

Before you get upset and start sending the hate email it is important for you to understand why.
In order for you to understand there are a few terms that require an explanation first:

Subcutaneous Fat:
Subcutaneous fat lies right below the outermost layer of the skin. It’s the fat you can pinch with your fingers and is tested with calipers.

Visceral Fat:
Visceral fat is also known as organ fat because it lies between the organs. In other words, visceral fat is located between the organs and contributes to belly fat.
Visceral fat negatively affects health by increasing inflammation (the silent killer) in the organs in part because it releases substances called adipokines which are cell to cell signaling proteins that increase blood pressure and mess with insulin regulation.
Visceral fat is also responsible for decreasing the amount of adiponectin within the body. Adiponectin is an essential fat burning hormone and when this hormone is decreased it means that there are more triglycerides ( the type of fat found in blood) getting into the blood stream.
The worst part about visceral fat is that it can degrade muscle leading to more fat.

Oxidative Stress:
Oxidative stress occurs when we release too many free radicals than can be neutralized by antioxidants. Normally, the body can handle free radicals, but if antioxidants are unavailable, or if the free-radical production becomes excessive, damage can occur. Of particular importance is that free radical damage accumulates with age. Free radicals are responsible for inflammation and cellular death.

So now that we got that out of the way let me explain why moderate to vigorous steady state cardio may not be the best choice when it comes to aerobic exercise.

Aerobic Training Raises Cortisol Levels.
In this day and age, it seems most of us will have chronically elevated levels of cortisol. This means that your body will store fat instead of burning it. The gain in fat will be visceral fat which increases fat accumulation and inflammation in the body.
Since aerobic exercise is known to increase inflammation in the body and when combined with the bad oxidative substances that are elevated by visceral fat it doesn’t make for a health enhancing combo.
It’s well known that exercise raises cortisol because exercise stresses the body, which in the case of strength training is a good thing because it stresses the body to grow or adapt and get stronger. In contrast, aerobic training stresses the body without boosting the anabolic hormones, resulting in an overall inflammation-causing situation.

Chronic Aerobic Exercise Can Raise Inflammation Within the Body
Chronic inflammation is a major health issue that ages tissues and has even been called the “secret killer!” It is connected to fat gain, heart disease, insulin resistance and diabetes, asthma, arthritis, cancer, poor reproductive health, and stomach problems. It’s different from acute inflammation following training or injury, which has a protective effect on the body by localizing blood to the damaged tissue and immobilizing you.
Chronic inflammation occurs when the cells are being repeatedly attacked by oxidative free radicals, elevated insulin, or high cortisol, to name a few. That’s why aerobic training causes chronic inflammation—your body produces free radicals in response to the oxygen-rich environment created by increased respiration that goes with aerobic training, and your cortisol is raised from repeated physiological stress.
It’s well established that aerobic exercises cause oxidative stress—a review article in the Journal of Sports Science provides a useful summary of how strenuous aerobic exercise induces oxidative stress that can overwhelm antioxidant defenses.
There’s widespread and accepted evidence of chronic inflammation from aerobic exercise as seen from the increase in free radicals, damage to lipids and DNA , and decreased blood measurements of antioxidants such as glutathione.

Long-Term Aerobic Exercise Compromises Immune System
Long-term aerobic exercise compromises the immune system. There is ample evidence that aerobic training leads to immune suppression, putting aerobic endurance athletes at greater risk for infection, particularly upper respiratory illness. The worst kind of aerobic exercise that leads to the most pronounced immune dysfunction is when the exercise is continuous, long (about 90 minutes a session), and of moderate to high intensity (60-80 percent of maximal oxygen uptake). Overreaching or intensified aerobic training leads to greater risk of illness and puts athletes at risk of longer lasting effects because overreaching also modifies hormone function among other things.

The Best Workout to Achieve Your Goal Weight
The very best protocol for visceral fat loss and a lean physique is high-intensity interval sprints and a resistance training program. This will allow you to burn visceral fat and build muscle. More muscle will elevate metabolism and support a better hormonal and biochemical environment by lowering adipokines—remember that evil chemical that creates more fat and breaks down muscle.

A dual program that combines HIIT, or at least strenuous aerobic training in conjunction with resistance training, is clearly essential for health. You’ll be getting rid of the unhealthy fat and building up an arsenal of muscle to protect against future fat attacks.

Top Three Thing You Can Do Instead of Aerobic Exercise

  • Strength Train
    You’ll build muscle, burn fat (it triggers growth hormone, which increases fat burning), lower cortisol and inflammation, and look better.
  • High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
    You’ll burn fat—visceral belly and subcutaneous fat—and gain conditioning.
  • Take a Probiotic and Eat High Antioxidant Foods
    You’ll help your body detoxify from diet and environmental pollutants (they cause inflammation), and lower cortisol from daily stressors.

Information from this article was taken from www.charlespoliquin.com To read more about how to combat the negative effects of aerobic training visit Charles Poliquin’s research based blog.

Why not book a free 30-minute consult to learn more about my one one one weight loss programs.  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.