As a coach, I discovered a long time ago that there is far more to body composition and fat loss than just calories in vs calories out. I witness this discovery every day with those I work with. Specifically, hormones have a very powerful effect on whether the body loses fat or stores fat. Hormones can also alter headspace and mood and can drastically impact sleep and energy.
Number 9 may particularly surprise you. Remember it it is the culmination of our daily habits that creates your future. Each of your days is your life in miniature. Its what you do everyday that counts more than what you do once in a while. Thats why this list of everyday simple thing we do really can make a difference to our health, fat loss, hormones and metabolism.
Seeking hormonal balance is vita. When out of balance, the body’s chemistry can lead to a significant downward spiral in overall health and subsequently lead to weight gain.
In this post, I identify some common daily patterns, habits, routine, and behaviours that can work against your goal of creating a great looking, heathy body.
Some of these factors are so simple……yet so destructive to health. Many of these destructive habits or behaviours may have developed over time without even being aware. These habits impact fat loss and hormonal balance.
This is a must-read list for all of those serious about improving health and body composition. Those who want a bikini model diet or beach body diet to get lean, or those who just want to create a healthy, great looking diet should be aware of these common everyday things, Yes they matter and Self-awareness is the beginning of all change.
YOUR MORNING RITUAL and when you sleep.
Melatonin is the hormone which induces sleep and slows down energy production. Melatonin is destroyed by sunlight. Melatonin plummets when the retina of the eyes is exposed to the sunlight by either opening the blinds or simply stepping outside. Once this occurs, our feel-good hormone, serotonin, surges. Personally speaking, I can take on the world when I have started my day after a great night sleep.
On the nights that I have retired for bed too late, I become reluctant to rise early and simply stumble out of bed, my melatonin dissipates, and my serotonin is also impacted and rises slowly. These are the days I need copious amounts of coffee just to get going!!!!
Adrenal stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol rise during darkness. The body cannot differentiate darkness between a dark room or night time. These stress chemicals suppress metabolism, lower immunity, decrease blood flow to the intestines and contribute to storage of belly and back fat. For optimal health, it is recommended to sleep when it is dark and to rise with the sun.
ACCESS TO SUNLIGHT
“The absence of sunlight can create a progesterone deficiency that can leave estrogen and prolactin unopposed”. This can be a common cause of estrogen dominance. Dr Ray Peat.
Dr Ray Peat often refers to a lack of sunlight as the “pathology of estrogen dominance” when lecturing endocrinology in medical school.
“Light exposure and warmer temperatures support metabolism, mood and optimal body temperature maintenance. Improved cellular energy production increases our capacity to handle stress with an increased exposure to light.
In comparison, the cumulative effects of darkness and sunlight deficiency over an extended period of time reduces our ability to handle stress. It also increases cortisol and decreases thyroid hormone conversion. Darkness is identified as a stress as it impairs energy production. It is associated with a rise in a number of inflammatory substances. Some of these inflammatory substances compensate for decreased energy production.
The red light from sunlight helps cells produce energy and synthesize protective steroid hormones such as progesterone. Red light also reduces the stress hormones from released as a result of darkness and low energy production.
“Light deprivation induces a progesterone deficiency allowing cortisol, aldosterone, estrogen and prolactin to act unopposed creating PMS symptoms. Progesterone deficiency also results in other women’s issues such as fatigue, mood change and weight gain. Darkness also causes chronic rises in adrenaline as well. This has been consistently shown to inhibit progesterone production and lower thyroid hormone output. https://www.functionalps.com/ Functional Performance System.
Lives can be so busy in today’s society that it is often difficult to access to sunlight. It is important to remember that light exposure improves metabolic rate and darkness does the opposite. Low metabolism and stress related symptoms surface more during winter than during summer months.
EATING THE WRONG FOOD. By this I mean anti-thyoid gland food or food that places stresses on the liver
It is so easy, quick and often cheap to buy processed food when we time poor or in a hurry. Instant drive through food can be collected without even getting out of your car and can even be home delivered to your door on the internet. Processed food will wreak havoc on your liver. Poor living habits increases estrogen and suppresses the thyroid gland. Processed food is often high in PUFA’s that are not nourishing and are often very high in empty calories.
There are also many other common foods that actually are HEALTHY but suppress thyroid hormone conversion. These “healthy” foods slow down metabolic rate and fat burning. Many health-conscious people drink protein shakes, consume seeds, nuts, raw vegetables and soy products. All of these foods work against a fast metabolism and efficient fat burning.
ProComp’s Pro-Metabolic meal plans focus only on food which will increase metabolism. It also avoids any food that slows down thyroid hormone production and conversion. Great health and efficient fat loss become effortless once hormonal health is prioritized.
LACK OF DIAGHRAGMITIC BREATHI
Nothing communicates more to every cell in your body that you are not under threat and safe more than your breathing. Breathing becomes shallow with short sharp inhalations when stressed. The body then gets the message that life is in danger. The result……stress hormones increase and fat burning decreases. The body then switches to fat storage.
Deep breathing is breathing that is long and slow breathing that moves the diaphragm and makes the stomach move in and out. Shallow breathing only moves the chest. I often find myself not breathing property when I am busy. I have to consciously stop and take 10 deep slow Diaphragmatic breaths. I find this quite restorative.
Worrying about something that has not occurred and most likely will not happen, will not change the outcome of the situation. Stressing about something yet to occur, simply only elevates stress hormones. Stress….whether real or perceived….can promote the production of excess cortisol.
“The ripple effect of worrying can very slowly and subtly change your metabolism to one of fat storage and leave your headspace full of sadness” Dr Libby Weaver.
OUR PERCEPTIONS OF LIFE AND OURSELVES
Perceptions are a significant factor influencing whether we feel stressed or not. The body goes through everything the mind goes through. This is especially the case when we feel calm, safe, happy and positive. When the mind is wrestling with emotional issues , negative self-talk, poor body image and a lack of confidence, then cortisol ultimately increases.
LACK OF SLEEP
I would consider that a lack of quality sleep is one of the most significant factors that impact hormones, fat loss and metabolism. Poor sleep impacts our physical and mental health. Quality sleep is vital for stress management. For some, sleep is often the only time the body can rest and repair. When inadequate sleep occurs, then the body will produce more of the stress hormones cortisol that sends the adrenal glands into overload and puts a halt to fat burring.
During the deep phases of sleep, our body prefers fat as primary fuel source.
The reality is that high intensity exercise adds stress to the body. A healthy body can manage this stress and with rest, and good quality recovery will be just fine. Adding stress to an already stressed out body is a recipe for metabolic disaster!!!! If excessive or exhausting cardio has not budged weight from your hips or thighs, it is not going to start budging any weight until work has been done on the body’s hormonal system.
LACK OF SOLITUDE or time spent on your own.
LACK OF SOLITUDE OR TIME SPENT ON YOUR OWN
Studies have shown that spending time in solitude on your own decreases stress hormones , boosts memory, encourages creativity and improves empathy. It allows us to recharge, restore and re-set.
NOT CHEWING YOUR FOOD PROPERLY
Some people inhale their food or eat on the run shovelling food in without properly chewing. The gut and stomach then have to work harder to create more stomach acid and digestive enzymes to break down larger chunks of food. This behaviour increases stress hormones and often causes bloating.
We all see the world through our own experiences and perspective. When we see life as stressful, full of pressure, boring, depressing, difficult or challenging , our body responds accordingly. When we do not believe our situation will get any better or we cannot see our predicament being any different, this thought process has a direct impact on our body’s processes. Whilst saying this, it is important to note that we all get down and have things that upset us throughout our lives. It ultimately comes down to how long we remain stuck in that head space and thinking.
A belief that things will never improve is dangerous for every hormone our body. We encourage all our clients to shift their thinking and see life as an adventure, a gift, full of wonderful opportunities and experiences. At times, I need to be reminded of how great life is.
I could write so much more, but this is a geat place to start, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us
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