Pt 4 Stress, Cortisol and Fat Loss

Part 4 – 50 Ways to Deal with Stress.

Take Action – Deal with issues that bother you…….

  1. Don’t ignore problems–deal with them and move on.
  2. Re-evaluate your diet and exercise–too much of a calorie deficit and too much cardio can both increase stress and cortisol! 
  3. Lay in the sunshine for a bit of natural Vitamin D.  Supplement D3 through the Winter.
  4. Quit smoking-nicotine increases your stress level, despite what you may think.
  5. Lower your standards. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
  6. Buy yourself flowers.
  7. Just smile because you can.
  8. Dance like no one is watching (maybe make sure no one is watching?)
  9. Take a hot bath or shower.
  10. Organize a hot spot of your home.
  11. Procrastination is like poison – Do It NOW!
  12. Ask yourself if a problem needs to be dealt with right now–then forget it until it does.
  13. Spend time with positive people, not moaners and groaners that bring you down.
  14. Ask for help. Don’t struggle alone.
  15. Foam roll or self-massage – ATR – active tissue release will relax your muscle and protect your joints.  A relaxed body will cope with mental stresses much better than a tight one.

Pt 2 Release Stress, Control Cortisol and Lose Fat!

How to Reduce Stress

So for weight loss as well as overall health, here are 50 ways to reduce stress.

  1.  Sleep removes cortisol from our system. You need about 8 hours of quality sleep every night.
  2. Practise Yoga. Just one moment where you focus on living right NOW rather than what will come tomorrow or fretting about yesterday.
  3. Add healthful foods that provide energy. You will stop craving junk.
  4. Prepare meals ahead of time in large portions, refrigerate and freeze so you can grab and go. 
  5. Have dinner with a good friend.
  6. Write in a journal.
  7. Watch a funny movie or tv show.
  8. Listen to good music-the more mellow and calming, the better.
  9. Play a board game with your kids or partner.
  10. Stay active during the work day.
  11. Make Love!
  12. Learn  and practise progressive muscle relaxation by tensing and releasing every muscle from your head to your toes.
  13. Get some fresh air – go walk the dog.
  14. Practice deep breathing by taking a deep breath in through your nose and blowing out in a controlled manner, like you’re making a candle flame flicker.
  15. Make sure you eat when you’re hungry.
  16. Create a Vision Board with all your dreams on it!
  17. Practice visualisation or self-hypnosis.
  18. Move some heavy weights – feel your tired muscles regularly.
  19. Do a commitment analysis and find what you can let go.
  20. Laugh-go to a comedy club or spend the day with someone who makes you laugh.

 

Next time even more ways to cope with stress while working towards a healthy lifestyle….

follow my blog to make sure you never miss a post.

Thanks  Jax

 

Christmas Stress WILL Make You FAT!

Why Stress Makes Us Fat and Unhealthy

 

christmas-stress-shopping

Stress is a part of all of our lives, some more than others. With Christmas just a few weeks away we can forget to look after ourselves, miss training and all our best diet efforts fly out the window.

When we feel stressed, our bodies react by releasing hormones, one of which is cortisol. We go into “fight or flight” mode, which is a built-in mechanism that is supposed to protect us from impending danger. However, in the case of chronic stress, we are experiencing a frequent release of cortisol, which can affect our health negatively by:

  • slowing metabolism 
  • increasing blood pressure 
  • impairing thyroid function 
  • lowering immunity
  • increasing visceral (belly) fat, which is associated with the dangerous condition of metabolic syndrome
  • decreasing insulin sensitivity, which increases the risk for diabetes 
  • causing insomnia 
  • increasing risk of cardiovascular disease 
  • increasing instance of digestive issues 

And this is just the physical response of our bodies, not taking into account the high-calorie emotional eating that many of us tend to do when we are under stress. late night shopping with coffee and cake, wrapping  presents with snacks and a glass of wine or too?  Sound familiar…..

Because of this, it is absolutely vital that we learn to effectively manage stress, and especially so if your goal is weight loss.  If you are consistently stressed out, your body is creating a metabolic and hormonal environment that is not friendly for weight loss, and can even cause weight gain.

Coming Next 50 Tips to release and manage stress – Please Follow my blog and NEVER miss another tip.

Thanks Jax x

5 Ways to Improve Sleep & Reduce Belly Fat

5 Ways to Improve Sleep & Reduce Belly Fat

 

You snooze, you lose…

That popular saying is meant to spur you on to get more done. After
all, they say “you can sleep when you’re dead.”

But if you want to shed bellyfat, cutting on sleep is the last
thing you want to do.

In fact, we can turn that saying around: “You snooze more, you lose
more fat.”

There’s mounting evidence that sleep is a crucial factor in
controlling your weight.

Just this year, scientists at the University of Washington studied
the effects of sleep habits on the BMI of identical twins. BMI–Body
Mass Index–is a measure of someone’s weight to their height. A
lower number means a more healthy and leaner ratio.

In twins who had differing sleep habits, those who reported getting
more sleep had a lower BMI. That means getting enough sleep allowed
the genetic expression of “lean” genes in the more well rested twin.

There’s also evidence that lack of sleep leads to increased hunger
and cravings throughout the day, which contributes to expanding
waistlines.

So here are 5 quick and easy tips to improve your sleep:

1) Sleep in complete darkness

Even a small amount of light has been shown to reduce a key sleep
hormone called melatonin. Banish the bright lights of your alarm
clock and get yourself some blinds or blackout curtains for your
windows.

2) Avoid “blue” light leading up to bedtime

Light from your computer screen, TV and most overhead lights is in
the blue spectrum. Your brain reads this as mid-day light and it
inhibits the hormonal “wind down” before bed. So turn off the
electronics at least an hour before bedtime and keep the lights
dim. Ideally, buy a couple light bulbs that block blue light and
only use those near bedtime.

3) Stay cool

Your bedroom temperature should stay around 20 degrees Celsius or
70 degrees Fahrenheit. This mimics your body’s natural night time
temperature and improves your sleep quality.

4) Maintain a bedtime ritual

Come up with a ritual that leads up to lights out. And stick to it
every night. For me, I read for 20-30 minutes with a yellow
spectrum light before lights out. It helps me unwind and is a
signal to my body that sleep is nigh.

5) If you need a little help…

There are two perfectly safe supplements that are worth
experimenting with if you need a bit of extra help with your sleep.
The first, and the one to start with, is magnesium, a mineral that
plays an important role in mopping up and clearing cortisol–your
“stress” hormone. If you are magnesium deficient, your body can’t
clear the cortisol and stays in a “jacked up” state.

The other supplement to try is phosphatidyl serine. PS helps lower
cortisol levels and also calms the nervous system.

My top 5 tips for getting a solid night’s sleep. Give then a go….  I did and found that getting sleep before midnight as part of one of my Fat Loss Plans made a real difference to my fatloss, especially belly fat…

 

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Adrenal Fatigue? Do You Have It?

What You Need to Know About Adrenal Fatigue

 

I found this article about Adrenal Fatigue by Justin – I think it very relevant to many living this fast paced, always ON life with iPads, smart phones and emails chasing us everywhere…..

 

Chances are you have heard of adrenal fatigue, but you may not be quite sure what it is. Understanding this condition is important however, because some experts suggest that 80% of the Western world will be affected by adrenal fatigue at some point in their lives.

The adrenal glands are located above the kidneys and are responsible for secreting more than 50 different hormones that are essential for life. Among these are adrenaline, cortisol, progesterone and testosterone. Because they regulate so many important hormones, their proper function is critical for many functions essential to life such as producing energy, balancing electrolytes and storing fat.

These glands also help you deal with stress. When you are under stress, the adrenal glands engage many different responses in your body to make it easier for you to handle that stress.

But during periods of intense, prolonged stress or chronic illness, the adrenal glands begin functioning below the level needed to maintain health and well-being in the body. They still function but at less than optimal levels. The result is adrenal fatigue.

 

Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue

 

There are some symptoms that are common among people who

are suffering from adrenal fatigue. These include:

 

Feeling tired for no reason

Craving salty or sweet snacks

Morning fatigue

Mid-afternoon sleepiness

Increased energy in the late afternoon

Decreased sex drive

Mild Depression

Weight gain, especially around the waist

Forgetfulness

Low body temperature

 

If you are experiencing these symptoms, you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue.

 

Treatment

 

Treatment for adrenal fatigue focuses on making changes to your lifestyle and diet. If you have minor adrenal fatigue, you can expect to be better within 6-9 months. Moderate to severe adrenal fatigue can take between 12-24 months to heal, and severe cases can take even longer.

 

Stress: One of the first things you should do is reduce the stress in your life. This may mean clearing your schedule, reworking some relationships or learning time management skills. In order for your adrenal glands to heal, the demands placed on them should be lightened.

 

Sleep: Sufficient sleep is also important. The main repair work on your adrenal glands takes place between 10 pm and 1 am. If you are prone to late nights, consider training your body to go to bed earlier. It is also a good idea to reduce or eliminate caffeine from your diet in order to help you sleep more soundly.

 

Exercise: Adrenal fatigue can also be helped by exercise. Exercise regulates cortisol, relieves depression and increases blood flow. Each of these benefits will contribute to your recovery. Shorter more intense bouts of exercise (like we do in our programs) are more appropriate than long duration workouts, like treadmill or elliptical cardio or running when suffering from adrenal fatigue.

 

Supplements: Finally, adding supplements to your diet can speed healing of adrenal fatigue. Calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, E, and B complex are recommended. Also try to avoid ‘junk’ food as much as possible. Rather, add plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet.

 

If you suspect you are suffering from adrenal fatigue, don’t be discouraged. You can start the recovery process by making the above changes to your diet and lifestyle.

 

JaxAllenFitness.com