Hormones Driving You Crazy???

Does it sometimes feel like you are doing everything right and yet you have that extra body fat that you still cannot get rid off?

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Does it drive you insane too?

When it comes to reaching our goals and becoming leaner and fitter, what we eat and how we exercise is just the beginning. There is so much more that needs to be addressed and one of the biggest roles to deal with is or HORMONES!

Dun-dun-dun….(enter theme music here) 😉

Let’s talk about hormones, my friend. We have so many different hormones and if any of these become out of balance; our bodies can start to store extra fat.

Wait, WHAAAAAAT??

You read that correctly! (ding ding ding~)

Due to our stressful lifestyles (and who doesn’t have one, right?), going on crash diets and exposing ourselves to toxic chemicals on a daily basis is a one way highway to hormone hell!

Let’s talk about the 4 most common hormones that are responsible in storing that extra body fat…

1. Insulin

If you have ever suffered from weight issues, you can pretty much count on the fact that you have (or have had) and insulin imbalance. Well, what exactly does this mean, right? Insulin is a hormone that tells our bodies how to store energy…and if this is out of whack (like I said, who isn’t?)..the body will store energy as FAT.

HELP! How to remedy this problem now:
– Avoid simple or High GI carbohydrates like bread, pasta, white potatoes, or anything with refined sugar or excess fructose content
– Increase your good quality lean protein choices

2. Estrogen

Estrogen is another hormone that is commonly responsible in weight gain, storing fat and cellulite. Too much of this is really not a good thing at all. HELP! Want to know how to get a handle on it now?

– Avoid plastic that contains the chemical BPA. This has been linked to increasing levels of estrogen in the human body. If you do eat or drink from plastic, make sure its BPA free.
– Avoid or limit soy products
– Cut out alcohol as this can affect the liver’s ability to metabolize estrogen
– Increase your fiber intake (approx. 25 to 30 grams per day)

3. Leptin

Now leptin is a hormone that can help us. It tells us when to stop eating. Score, right? Well, if our leptin levels are too low, then this can lead to overeating and again…our bodies storing more of that fat and putting on weight.  HELP ME! How to get utilize this hormone to help us instead:
– Make sure you get enough of good quality sleep (at least 7-8 hours a night..not “I can get by on 4 hours”…)
– Eat slowly and mindfully (turn off all your phones, tvs, computers and electronics and savor your foods!)
– Chew your food (too many of us gulp it down and our bodies cannot register it was ever really eaten)
– Avoid MSG at all costs!!!!

4. Cortisol

Now here’s the biggie…cortisol is the hormone that your body produces when it feels like it’s under attack. Boy, do I know about this one!! In the caveman era, they required cortisol to help survive in the many dangerous situations that surrounded them daily. The problem with our current day and age is that everything that stresses us out is creating more of this hormone. It raises the levels within our bodies way beyond what we can handle.
What happens when this results? Well, elevated cortisol levels increase our sugar and carb cravings (sound familiar?) which then leads to overeating and increased hunger…and this results in our bodies storing more fat. Increased cortisol levels actually break down our muscles, which will then slow down our metabolism. (and this is bad news)  HELP ME!! What can we do about this today?
– Introduce calming practices to your daily routine like yoga, meditation or deep breathing techniques
– Get more sleep and focus on quality
– Get out in nature as much as you can
– Eat a healthy well-balanced diet
– Listen to relaxing music when you feel your stress levels rising
– Ask for support from family and friends

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Hormones are nothing to ignore. Dieting only creates more imbalance so the best suggestion I can give you today is to stop dieting!!!!! 

Eat clean and wholesome nutritious foods. Work on regaining balance to your body and supplementing with dense nutrition, such as Shakeology.  Start going to bed at a decent hour and getting your body on track to creating healthy sleep patterns. Do more of what brings you peace and joy and limit stress as much as you can. Reach out to others for support and don’t accept anything less. Need more help? Send me an email and we could match you up with our next support system to help you succeed today.

http://www.spazzykay@gmail.com

It’s up to you to take that first step. Will you?

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Eat Your Way to GREAT Abs!!!

When it comes to creating incredible abs, even the most effective workout programs can only bring you so far. That’s because you can’t get a flat, hard midsection without losing body fat. No matter how much effort you put into creating a six-pack, no one’s going to see it if it’s covered by a layer of flab.

If you’re following the dietary guidelines of a Beachbody fitness program, you’ll automatically be eating the right foods to lose fat as you get in shape. But the following seven principles can give you an extra edge, and will help ensure that the effort you’re putting into your abs will bring you the results you want.

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1. Get plenty of protein
Eating enough lean protein promotes fat loss and muscle gain, the two most important elements for developing great abs. It also helps keep you from getting hungry while you’re eating right. You don’t have to gobble down 12-ounce steaks—just eat a normal portion of lean meat, fish, low-fat dairy, or vegetarian protein with every meal, and make sure your snacks contain some protein, too. If you still have a hard time getting enough in your diet, a daily Shakeology shake can be a perfect addition.

By the way, protein is especially important in the morning, when a lot of people don’t get as much as they should. A protein-rich breakfast will help keep your blood sugar steady for hours, preventing the dips that can lead to cravings later in the day. (Try some low-fat chicken sausage, or an omelet with one whole egg and three egg whites, along with fruit or whole-grain toast.)

2.Reconsider your carbs.
Despite the popularity of low-carbohydrate diets, the average American meal is still too high in sugar and fast-burning starches to bring body fat down to ab-baring levels. It’s time to say goodbye to sweetened soda, ditch the Doritos, and save the cake for your birthday. If your fitness plan calls for a sports drink before a long cardio workout, or a carb-and-protein recovery drink after resistance training, that’s fine. But the rest of the time, stick with foods that are on the low end of the glycemic index (refer to GlycemicIndex.com for more information)—these foods burn more slowly, so they won’t spike your blood sugar and insulin levels.

3. Have fun with fiber.
Something about the word “fiber” just doesn’t sound appetizing. But high-fiber foods can actually be quite delicious: fresh berries and other fruits, salads loaded with colorful produce, your favorite steamed vegetables or vegetable soup, stews or chili made with beans, chewy whole-grain breads and cereals…You get the picture. (These foods just happen to be loaded with nutrients as well.) High-fiber foods keep you fuller with fewer calories, and they help keep your digestive system working at its best—a double-whammy for getting rid of belly bulge.

4. Enjoy some yogurt.
Probiotics, the healthful bacteria found in yogurt and other fermented foods, have been proven to help reduce belly fat. In a recent study in Finland, new mothers who took probiotic supplements averaged smaller waist circumferences—and lower body fat in general—than those who didn’t take probiotic supplements. And while the topic is still controversial, studies have found that eating lots of calcium-rich dairy foods like yogurt may increase overall weight loss.

5. Don’t forget to eat.
Tempted to lower your daily calorie count by skipping meals? Don’t. Going hungry can raise your levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol, which research has found can increase belly fat even in otherwise thin women. And eating too infrequently can lower your metabolism and energy levels, while increasing the chance that you’ll get too hungry and decide to chuck your meal plan entirely. If you’re eating the right foods, regular meals and snacks will keep your body fueled while you’re working toward that strong core.

6. Drink more fluids. Hydration is important when you’re on a fitness plan, but drinking plenty of water has particular benefits for your midsection. It helps keep your stomach full, so you don’t overeat, and it helps flush out excess sodium to prevent belly bloating. (Eating more potassium-rich foods, such as tomatoes and bananas, will also help in this area.) Plain ol’ H20 can’t be beat, but you can also switch it up with flavored waters, iced tea, and anything else you like to drink that isn’t full of sweeteners. How much do you need? The old rule of 8 glasses a day is a good start, but everyone is different: drink more if you’re exercising or it’s hot out, and drink less if you’re running to the bathroom every 5 minutes.

7. …With two exceptions.
It’s time to cut down on those mood-altering substances, coffee and alcohol. Too much caffeine raises your cortisol levels and can impair your sleep, which can lower the production of fitness-promoting hormones. Meanwhile, the proverbial “beer belly” isn’t just the result of extra calories—alcohol actually makes it more difficult for your body to metabolize carbs and fat. Booze also stimulates your appetite and lowers your inhibitions, which can lead to bingeing. The best road to flat abs is no alcohol at all, but if you really like a drink now and then, just have one at a time (and no more than a few a week), and stay away from higher-calorie beers and sugary mixed drinks

If you add these rules to your fitness plan, you’re sure to see faster improvements in your midsection. Of course, there’s an added bonus to eating this way: it’ll keep you healthier, too. That may not be as big an inducement as great abs, but we’re throwing it in for free.

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