Exercise Burnout

Exercise Burnout

Have you ever been just plugging away at the gym and feeling like you’re working hard and eating pretty good. But the problem is nothing is happening. You become frustrated. You kick up the workouts even more and then you decide to stop eating carbs. A few months later still nothing has happened and you have even gained some weight. You decide you’re going to work out harder and longer. Then you decrease your calories even more most likely cutting your fat intake. Your excited because you see an initial drop in weight. But then a few weeks later your weights back up. A couple months later its up even more. Your frustrated, tired, ready to throw in the towel. The best thing you could have done was consult with a professional in the beginning. Someone that can guide you in a safe and healthy manner that yields the results you desire.

But what’s happening here is hormone burnout. Your metabolism is at rock bottom and your hormones are all over the place.

For some it’s hard to believe that working your butt off in the gym and eating 1000-1300 calories could be the wrong thing. It is so easy to believe that working out is synonymous with losing weight, and the idea that more is better and bring more results. But your workout routine could be actually working against your weight loss efforts. Especially if you are already in a stressed-out state to begin with.

Exercise is a stress on the body, plain and simple. When the body is stressed it works hard to protect itself. It tries to adapt and prepare for fight or flight. Muscle tissue will be torn, cardiovascular tissue will be taxed, as well as respiratory tissue, adrenal glands will work over time, and stress hormones will be produced. The body will be asked to perform tasks at a higher rate and speed than in normal everyday life. Here comes the problems.

This is becoming more and more common in our society. Our food is changing, we are exposed to more chemicals, and lots of people are overly stressed. Hormonal imbalances are becoming more common because of this. Symptoms can vary from person to person. When any one hormone is out of balance it will affect the others. Your hormones all work together as one unit.

Symptoms of a hormonal imbalance are varied and wide. As with any medical condition if you are experiencing several of the following symptoms, I would suggest you consider consulting with a naturalpath or other qualified health care practitioner.

 

Symptoms can range from:

• Acne
• Weight Gain
• Lowered Libido
• Irregular Menstrual Cycles (women)
• Poor Sleeping Habits
• Hair Loss
• Irregular Hair Growth
• PMS (women)
• Missed Periods or heavy periods (women)
• Mood Imbalances
• Forgetfulness
• Achy muscles

The key here is taking time for rest and recovery and knowing what is helping you versus what is harming you. Excessive cardio, weight lifting, low calories, and too little recovery time doesn’t give your body a chance to fully repair, heal and create a new foundation. When your hormones are imbalanced it gets even tougher and your body can break down.
The best thing you can do if your hormones are out of balance is prepare a healthy eating plan, along with moderate exercise and consult with a trained professional who can help guide you in the right direction.

See References Below:
http://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-body/5-surprising-ways-stress-affects-your-workout
https://academic.oup.com/fampra/article/16/2/196/480196/Effects-of-dieting-and-exercise-on-resting

The basics of food prep

The basics of food prep

PROTEIN

We make all of our protein in 2-5 day serving batches.  Depending on the type of meat, some will keep fresh longer than others.  Fish we cook every night for the next day.  Steak, chicken, ground turkey, and turkey breast 2-4 days’ worth.

CARBOHYDRATES

We make ALL of our carbs on Sunday’s.  This is usually a base of white rice, brown rice, sweet potatoes, and baby red potatoes.  This varies depending on our meal plan and goals.

VEGETABLES

I like my veggies fresh and crunchy.  We buy a wide variety of veggies from bell peppers, kale, asparagus, cucumber, zucchini, green beans, Brussel sprouts and such.  We like lots of big salads with a mix of vegetables and stir fry’s.  My newest favorite thing is cauliflower rice, you can find this at Trader Joes, and it is so versatile.

Now that we have our staple items ready to go we can make meals on the fly or prep all of our lunches and snacks for the week. We eat a majority of our meals outside of the house.  It’s very important to plan ahead and pack our food.  Planning is KEY to SUCCESS!!!!  We eat our breakfast at home and last snack of the day also before bed.  The rest is consumed after our workout and while at work.  I like to season my food pretty heavy to give it some flavor.  I also like to use veggies to add volume to my meals while staying within my macros.  

We try to get as much of a variety of nutrients in our meals throughout the week as we can.  Once a week we have a pre-planned “TREAT MEAL” to enjoy some things that are more on the naughty side.  The key to any plan is to have balance and stay consistent.  We stick to eating nutrient dense foods 95% of the time so that the other 5% we can live it up and experience the culinary flavors of food.

Iron deficiency and weight gain

Iron deficiency and weight gain

Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in America.  We are so used to the hustle and bustle of life that we think being tired and low on energy is normal.  We push through daily thinking “oh I’m just tired”.  Well yeah, we are tired!!

Someone like myself I knew I had a problem.  My hormones haven’t been right in the last year…or more.  Not one doctor out of the 4 I went to ever suggested doing a FULL blood work up.  It wasn’t until I went to see a natural path that I got the answers I have been searching for.  For the last 6 months, maybe longer I have been very tired throughout the day.  I’m high energy in the morning, slowly declining by afternoon, and by evening I need a nap to make it until bedtime.  I knew I had a problem with my hormones and chalked it up to that.  I have been working to find out what is going on with my body for the last year.  I workout HARD, eat REALLY well, get plenty of sleep, take my supplements, drink my water, you name it I do it.  I’m very detailed with my health and fitness.  But for the last year I just haven’t been able to get to the leanness that I desire, and feel that I should be at for the work that I do.

After a year I finally feel like the mystery is being solved.  Among the things that was discovered at my last natural path appt. was that my iron is EXTREMELY LOW and that I’m anemic because of it.  My level is at 26, a normal person should be at 50, and an athlete should be at 100.  Because my iron is so low its causing my thyroid to not function optimally and it’s caused my T3 to be lower.  My current plan of action is to supplement with iron, eat iron rich foods, and wait.  It is a long road to get your iron up and could take up to 6 months to reach optimal levels.  But at least I have one answer to the puzzle now.

Iron deficiency anemia symptoms may include:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Pale skin
  • Weakness
  • Weight gain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Frequent infections
  • Headache
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Inflammation or soreness of your tongue
  • Brittle nails
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Unusual cravings for non-nutritive substances, such as ice, dirt or starch
  • Poor appetite, especially in infants and children with iron deficiency anemia
  • An uncomfortable tingling or crawling feeling in your legs
Benefits of the sauna

Benefits of the sauna

Saunas flush toxins.

One of the best ways the human body removes toxins is through sweat.  Toxins are absorbed in many ways and from many various factors.  The intense heat sessions in the sauna can help sweat it out.

Saunas help in weight loss.

The sauna is a wonderful way to help with weight loss. During a sauna session, the heart rate increases substantially due to the dry heat. Scientific calibrations suggest that a 20-minute session at around 170 degrees Fahrenheit burns over 500 calories. The body’s metabolism speeds up similar to the way it does from physical exercise.

Saunas make the immune system stronger.

Another one of the major benefits of the sauna is that it helps to create a stronger immune system. Sauna sessions help produce white blood cells. The white blood cells of the body are what fight against attacking infections and ailments.  Regular users of the sauna have higher counts of white blood cells, they stay healthier, and if illnesses occur, they heal faster.

Saunas help improve performance during endurance sports.

Our body has a certain level for heat tolerance. Regular users of saunas increase the heat tolerance threshold. This leads to significant improvements in endurance sports.  Regular sauna users have a higher heat tolerance level, feel less fatigued, and can maintain their energy level over a prolonged period which helps improve performance.

Saunas help to recover from workouts.

Nowadays, a lot of gyms have a sauna and there are plenty of good reasons for this. Saunas are a highly effective way to recover from a workout. The metabolic wastes are eliminated while sweating in a sauna. The blood flow to tired and strained muscles increases.  Helping them to recover quickly and feel relaxed much quicker.

Saunas help you look younger.

One of the significant organs of our body, your skin also need regular exercise.  The sauna is a great way to exercise the skin. As we grow older, more of the dead cells accumulate onto our skin pores, as the skin becomes less elastic. A few sessions in the sauna improve blood flow to our skin, which aids the growth of new skin and also removes all the dead cells that were building up previously. The oils, which are the natural moisturizers and antibiotics present in our skin are mobilized through saunas. This helps us to look younger in a significant way.

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting

What is intermittent fasting and is it right for you?

Intermittent fasting is not a diet, it’s a pattern of eating. It’s a way of scheduling your meals so that you get the most out of them. Intermittent fasting does not change what you eat, it changes when you eat.

In fact, most of the time you’ll try to keep your calories the same when you start intermittent fasting.  Most people eat bigger meals during a shorter time frame.  It’s important to still consume the proper amount of calories, carbs, fats, and proteins in your day.  The only thing you are changing is your meal timing.

How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?

Your body is in the fed state when it is digesting and absorbing food. Typically, the fed state starts when you begin eating and lasts for three to five hours as your body digests and absorbs the food you just ate.

After that time span, your body goes into what is known as the post–absorptive state, which is just a fancy way of saying that your body isn’t processing a meal. The post–absorptive state lasts until 8 to 12 hours after your last meal.

When you are in the fasted state your body can burn fat that has been inaccessible during the fed state.

Because we don’t enter the fasted state until 12 hours after our last meal, it’s rare that our bodies are in this fat burning state. This is one of the reasons why many people who start intermittent fasting will lose fat without changing what they eat, how much they eat, or how often they exercise. Fasting puts your body in a fat burning state that you rarely make it to during a normal eating schedule.

When I’m fasting I usually do it on the weekend.  The weekend is when we are out and about and it’s more challenging to stick to a consistent eating plan.  Not to mention that on the weekend’s we sleep later which pushes our meals back.  My typical fasting period will start from my last meal the night before, say around 7 pm until the next day, anywhere around 12 pm-3 pm.  My fast usually last’s 16 hrs with a typical fast for many lasting 16-24 hrs.

Determining if this is the right tool for you depends on several factors.

-Are you eating consistently daily based upon a well-balanced nutritional meal plan?

-Are you consuming enough calories daily?

-Do you have a healthy mind set around nutrition and exercise?

-Do you prefer to have larger meals or room in your macros (carbs, fats, and protein) for the occasional treat (Flexible Dieting).

The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Fat loss is great, but it isn’t the only reason to try intermittent fasting.

-Intermittent fasting provides additional simplicity to my life that I really enjoy. When I wake up, I don’t have to worry about breakfast.  I can wait until I’m actually hungry.

-Intermittent fasting allows me to eat less meals.  Which also means planning one less meal, cooking one less meal, and stressing about one less meal. It makes life a bit simpler and I like that.  This is why it works so well for me on the weekends.

-Intermittent fasting takes my mind away from focusing so much on food daily.  That constant feeling of is it time to eat and how and when am I going to eat based on my schedule.

-It’s great for fitness competitors post show who are trying to re-introduce food and increase macros.  Intermittent fasting allows for bigger meals and more satisfaction with our food without going over your daily macros (carbs, fats, and protein).

Remember Intermittent Fasting is only a switch in when you eat now how you eat, or how much you eat.  It is a longer period between your last meal the night before to your next meal the next day.  The rule that we must eat every 3hrs doesn’t work for everyone, and should not be considered a rule but more of a suggestion.  What works for everyone is different.  The most important thing at the end of the day is your total macros consumed.  That is the determining factor for weight loss, weight gain, or maintaining.

Are your hormones in balance?

Are your hormones in balance?

Hormones are the most important component to weight loss and muscle gain!

It’s time to consider the possibility that hormonal imbalances could be the cause of your troubles. It is one of the most over looked areas when someone is trying to get healthy and lose weight/gain muscle.  There are several hormones effecting the body.  For females, Progesterone is one of the main drivers of our hormones.  This can determine our fat loss or fat gain.

Too much Estrogen could be making you gain fat:

-Progesterone lowers insulin levels.

-Progesterone is a natural anti-inflammatory.

-Progesterone is a natural sleep aid.

-Progesterone reduces fluid retention.

You can see the dramatic effects of this in the dairy industry. They give excess amounts of estrogen to the cows because it fattens them up. Which is also why it is a good idea to eat and drink organic dairy and meat products. To make matters worse, your fat cells make more estrogen, and your estrogen causes more fatty tissue growth. This excess fat usually accumulates around the abdomen when you are estrogen dominant because estrogen levels also impact where the body distributes fat. You can end this by balancing your estrogen with a proper level of progesterone.  This is also why it’s important to know where your levels are at, to know if you are balanced.  Insulin is affected by hormone imbalances, and estrogen dominance can lead to the release of excess insulin.  Increases in insulin can lead to sugar cravings that can be hard to control. Therefore, many women crave chocolate or other sweets during PMS.

Reducing inflammation also helps your brain to receive anther hormone called Leptin, which helps to regulate your appetite. Balanced hormones make it easier to eat in moderation and lose weight.

Progesterone has a calming effect on the brain. Estrogen on the other hand has the opposite effect on the brain. Because of this, women with estrogen dominance typically sleep very restlessly. Sleep deprivation is also associated with disrupting the hormone that regulates your appetite (Leptin). Lack of sleep has been linked to both increased calorie consumption and reduced energy expenditure (more calories in and fewer calories expended will always result in weight gain.

When Estrogen levels are not balanced out by adequate levels of progesterone, women tend to retain more fluid than usual, and no one likes being bloated.  Progesterone is a natural diuretic that can greatly reduce bloating and swelling.

Women should be focused on eating more of the right foods and exercising. This means eating higher amounts of vegetables and “estrogen free protein” (a soy free and organic meat focused approach) as well as engaging in weight training over cardio. There are only three ways to reliably restore hormones: sleep, adequate protein, and intense exercise using weights.

Weight training is perhaps the most important aspect of this and is critical for female health specially to stop the belly fat that accumulates during aging. Progesterone is to women what testosterone is to men. It keeps them looking young, lean, and firm. Once progesterone levels fall due to stress, menopause, or other factors, getting our Progesterone back in balance is all that is left to keep belly fat in check.

Women falsely believe less intense exercise like walking and yoga will give them the desired “look “they want. While these activities are exceedingly healthy, they will not be adequate to generate the hormonal effect needed to raise Progesterone. However, they will work synergistically with more intense exercise to lower the negative impact of cortisol.
Here are some ways that you can natural help your hormones:

1. Decrease exposure to all estrogen related factors in the diet and environment. Including plastic bottles, coffee, soy, pesticides, non-organic meats, sodas, etc.
2.Help the body deal with excess estrogen through natural detoxification. This is done through increased intake of green tea, cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc.), increased fiber, tailored supplementation, and decreased dairy and grain 
3. Drink water (not out of plastic) and green tea, and skip coffee and other beverages.
4. Supplement with Vitamin D, calcium, and Fish Oil, to protect bones, and decrease inflammation.
5. Train with weights 3 to 5 times per week to burn fat, build muscle, build bone, and improve mood.  NOTHING compares to weight lifting exercise.