Your Hormones and Body Are Out of Balance
Posted on 7th December 2015 at 12:12
6 Reasons you are struggling to lose fat – Reason 6: Not realizing your body is a network of connections
To unravel the main reasons behind why you have weight problems, you must realise how your environment, your mood, and your food intake affect the millions of cells that make-up your body, and can cause your metabolic engines to misfire and put your immune system on high alert, raising inflammation. I hope that my last 5 articles have shed some light onto these key factors involved in the complex art of fat loss.
Ignorance is no defence if you’ve been struggling to lose fat for a while but have been doing the same thing over and over again. And if unsure of where to turn, burying your head in the sand and expecting your body to magically change won’t help. No one is going to invent a magic pill that will fix your problems, you need to actively search out the person who can guide you along the right path; no one can step into your shoes and travel the path for you, they can only guide and encourage you! You may also benefit from searching out alternative sources of information; just as 6+3 = 9, so does 5+4. My way of doing things works very effectively, but there is no absolute approach to getting into shape; there are many roads to Rome.
You need to realise the body is a network of connections, like Facebook friends or twitter followers. Just as one tweet can cost a politician his job, so one small bacterial imbalance in your gut or a glitch in one biochemical pathway can instantly alert your fat cells to become more sensitive. To achieve that lean and healthy body you’ve been working towards, you need to exploit your body’s ‘social network’. This means taking a deeper look at how the complex systems of your body are connected. When you appreciate that the body is a vast network of linked connections, you’ll discover why obesity and its related disorders are more than just genetics, calorie overload or too much sitting around.
This is why the media and the doctors, who are supposed to be health experts, infuriate me as they tell us to eat less and move more. This compelled me to write this series of 6 articles as I wanted to shed some light on the more complex systems that are involved in the art of fat loss. Make no mistake, it is an art. Each time I get a new client, I feel like Sherlock Holmes, reviewing the evidence and trying to connect the dots and create a picture as to why this person has been struggling to lose fat and then establish which approach would work best for this specific individual.
So we have spoken about insulin, the main hormone responsible for fat gain; again, I can’t stress to you enough how important it is to get this under control, which is why I dedicated a whole article in this series to it. If your blood sugar is all over the place and out of control, so too will your insulin, enough to completely derail your fat loss journey. But there are other hormones that can become ‘out of whack’ and cause fat loss difficulties.
Cortisol is one such hormone and is a big one that I see my clients struggling to deal with. The constant state of alertness resulting from people having 3, 4,5+ cups of coffee each day places their bodies in a primitive ‘fight or flight’ response. Essentially, your body thinks you are being attacked or chased by a sabre toothed tiger and is giving you mental focus, heightened senses, and energy boost to get your ass out of there to safety. It’s evolved as a short term boost to save your life, not to keep you awake after a mid-week all-nighter. What people don’t realise is that creating such energy release through artificial stimulants is like paying for something on your credit card. At some point you’ll have to pay it back, and that’s when your body, and more specifically your hormones, takes a battering.
So how does Cortisol work? Cortisol essentially raises glucose (blood sugar), and other hormones, to give your body an instant hit of energy and the adrenalin needed to escape this sabre tooth tiger. However, when cortisol is present, insulin is supressed, because your body doesn’t want to store the glucose it needs to survive. However, you aren’t being attacked or chased, so the glucose won’t be getting used, so when insulin finally kicks into play it has an excess of glucose to force into the cells,= – remember the students, bouncer and the night club analogy? Although insulin is no longer suppressed by cortisol, cortisol will still be present, temporarily making some of the cells insulin resistant. If you remember the analogy, the night club will appear full, so insulin can’t force the glucose into the muscle and liver cells. But the 24 hour casino is open for business; so the body will drive the glucose into the fat cells for storage!
Depending on how high your glucose/blood sugar has been raised, your body could crash hard hypoglycaemia (potentially lethal for diabetics)! When your blood sugar drops like this your body will raise cortisol, to tell you that you need to get your blood sugar levels back-up to baseline …… hello carb cravings!! See, your body is super smart, it recognises that it’s crashing and recognises the imminent danger and potential threat to your life, so it releases cortisol (naturally) to get your body to raise blood sugar back up to base line. And what’s the quickest way to do that?? By making you crave carbs! But do you just eat the small amount required? …… Unlikely, and so begins the vicious cycle or fat storage, energy crashes and mood swings.
As mentioned earlier, your body is a social network of connections for hormones, no hormone ever works in isolation, just like the butterfly effect, every actions of one hormone has a reaction on another one. If you want to master fat loss, you need to understand the key players in fat loss and how to control them, stay tuned as I’ll be exploring the other big players during the upcoming months, as each will need their own article and analogy! In the meantime, here’s a nice little summary of what you can do to help balance cortisol, insulin and a whole host of other hormones:
Eat good quality protein with each meal with good quality fats
Only eat good quality carbs around your workout, and away from fats.
Eat fresh organic vegetables with every meal, getting as many colours as possible
Avoid coffee and caffeine after 3pm
Get a good night sleep (article to come)
Make sure you avoid foods you are sensitive to (article to come)
Stay in a positive frame of mind and don’t let the stress of the world bring you down.
So how many of the items on this list do you practice, and are there any more you would add in?
Comments are invited below.
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