Your Hormones, Your Health


Feeling bloated, irritable, or just not your best? A hormone imbalance could be to blame. Hormones are chemical “messengers” that impact the way your cells and organs function. It’s normal for your levels to shift at different times of your life, such as before and during your period or a pregnancy, or during menopause. But some medications and health issues can cause them to go up or down, too.

Irregular Periods


Most women’s periods come every 21 to 35 days. If yours doesn’t arrive around the same time every month, or you skip some months, it might mean that you have too much or too little of certain hormones (estrogen and progesterone). If you’re in your 40s or early 50s — the reason can be perimenopause — the time before menopause. But irregular periods can be a symptom of health problems like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Talk to your doctor.
Sleep Problems



If you aren’t getting enough shut-eye, or if the sleep you get isn’t good, your hormones could be at play. Progesterone, a hormone released by your ovaries, helps you catch Zzz’s. If your levels are lower than usual, that can make it hard to fall and stay asleep. Low estrogen can trigger hot flashes and night sweats, both of which can make it tough to get the rest you need.

Chronic Acne


A breakout before or during your period is normal. But acne that won’t clear up can be a symptom of hormone problems. An excess of androgens (“male” hormones that both men and women have) can cause your oil glands to overwork. Androgens also affect the skin cells in and around your hair follicles. Both of those things can clog your pores and cause acne.

Memory Fog


Experts aren’t sure exactly how hormones impact your brain. What they do know is that changes in estrogen and progesterone can make your head feel “foggy” and make it harder for you to remember things. Some experts think estrogen might impact brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Attention and memory problems are especially common during perimenopause and menopause. But they can also be a symptom of other hormone-related conditions, like thyroid disease. Let your doctor know if you’re having trouble thinking clearly.

Belly Problems


Your gut is lined with tiny cells called receptors that respond to estrogen and progesterone. When these hormones are higher or lower than usual, you might notice changes in how you’re digesting food. That’s why diarrhea, stomach pain, bloating, and nausea can crop up or get worse before and during your period. If you’re having digestive woes as well as issues like acne and fatigue, your hormone levels might be off.

Ongoing Fatigue



Are you tired all the time? Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of a hormone imbalance. Excess progesterone can make you sleepy. And if your thyroid — the butterfly-shaped gland in your neck — makes too little thyroid hormone, it can sap your energy. A simple blood test called a thyroid panel can tell you if your levels are too low. If they are, you can get treated for that.
chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. But other hormones, that travel the same paths as neurotransmitters, also play a part in how you feel.

Mood Swings and Depression


Researchers think drops in hormones or fast changes in their levels can cause moodiness and the blues. Estrogen affects key brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. But other hormones, that travel the same paths as neurotransmitters, also play a part in how you feel.

Appetite and Weight Gain



When you’re feeling blue or irritated, as you can be when your estrogen levels dip, you may want to eat more. That might be why drops in the hormone are linked to weight gain. The estrogen dip can also impact your body’s levels of leptin, a hunger-revving hormone.

Headaches


Lots of things can trigger these. But for some women, drops in estrogen bring them on. That’s why it’s common for headaches to strike right before or during your period, when estrogen is on the decline. Regular headaches or ones that often surface around the same time each month can be a clue that your levels of this hormone might be shifting.
Caginal Dryness


It’s normal to have this occasionally. But if you often notice that you’re dry or irritated down there, low estrogen may be the reason. The hormone helps vaginal tissue stay moist and comfortable. If your estrogen drops because of an imbalance, it can reduce vaginal fluids and cause tightness.

Loss of Libido


Most people think of testosterone as a male hormone, but women’s bodies make it, too. If your testosterone levels are lower than usual, you might have less of an interest in sex than you usually do.
Breast Changes


A drop in estrogen can make your breast tissue less dense. And an increase in the hormone can thicken this tissue, even causing new lumps or cysts. Talk to your doctor if you notice breast changes, even if you don’t have any other symptoms that concern you.

Your Hormones, Your Health

Feeling bloated, irritable, or just not your best? A hormone imbalance could be to blame. Hormones are chemical “messengers” that impact the way your cells and organs function. It’s normal for your levels to shift at different times of your life, such as before and during your period or a pregnancy, or during menopause. But some medications and health issues can cause them to go up or down, too.
 

Is Your Diet Really Healthy? Pt. 1

Is Your Diet Really Healthy? Pt. 1

Identify and remove nutritional deficiencies

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Mission Impossible Plan….
Most people think they need a complete overhaul at first.
“I have to cut out sugar… and dairy… and carbs… and saturated fat.
Plus I have to eat more protein… more healthy fats… and more vegetables.
Not a lot of fruit, though.
I have to start drinking lots of water too.
And exercise… maybe a 6 am boot camp… yeah.”

I don’t know about you, but I get exhausted just thinking about changing all this, all at once. Let’s call it the “Mission Impossible” approach.

After coaching many clients over the years, I’ve come to realize that the Mission Impossible approach isn’t just difficult; it’s misguided.

Because a complete overhaul rarely addresses what’s making most people feel bad in the first place.
Often, people struggle with how they look and feel because their physiology doesn’t work the way it should.
This can be hormonal imbalances, but it’s more often dietary deficiency: not getting the right nutrients, in the right amounts, to get the best results.
Dietary deficiencies, therefore, are the first red flag that something’s wrong.

Just how common are dietary deficiencies?
The research in this area is pretty telling. A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition showed that it’s really hard to get all the essential vitamins and minerals from food alone.
This study analyzed 70 athlete diets. Every single diet was deficient in at least three nutrients. Some diets were missing up to fifteen nutrients! The most common deficiencies?
iodine
vitamin D
zinc
vitamin E
calcium

Another study, also published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, showed that people following one of four popular diet plans (including Atkins, South Beach, and the DASH diet) were also very likely to be micronutrient deficient, particularly in six key micronutrients:
vitamin B7
vitamin D
vitamin E
chromium
iodine
molybdenum

A study at University of Western Ontario, of nearly 600 fourth-year exercise and nutrition undergraduate students showed less than 10% met the minimum standards for a “complete, balanced diet”. Like the other studies, they were missing such nutrients as:
zinc
magnesium
vitamin D
omega 3 fatty acids
protein

Bottom line: Dietary deficiencies are very common. Chances are, you’ve got one, no matter how good you think your diet is.
That’s a problem because when you’re deficient in key nutrients, your physiology doesn’t work properly. And when your body doesn’t work as it should, you feel rotten.

Just how important is this first step?
Energy levels, appetite, strength, endurance, and mood all rely on getting enough of these essential nutrients. When you don’t get them, things break down.

That’s why you can eat “clean”, go Paleo, avoid meat, lower your carbs, or count calories – you can do “everything right” nutritionally – and still feel lousy.

You need to identify your red flags from the very beginning and start eliminating them, one by one.

What are the common nutritional red flags?
Here are the most common deficiencies I see with new clients:
water (low-level dehydration)
vitamins and minerals
protein (particularly in women and in men with low appetites)
essential fatty acids (95% of the population is deficient here)

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To find out where you stand-
A). you could get your diet analyzed by a dietitian
B). you could also record what you eat each day and enter it into an online diet calculator like the ones at Fitday or Livestrong.com.

Or – let me do a quick survey of what you’re eating, analyse your body composition and measure where you are now.
From there, I can advise you better towards
– eating more of the protein-rich foods you prefer;
– drinking more hydrating fluids;
– taking in more essential fats (through the use of fish or algae oil);
– eating more foods rich in the vitamins and minerals you need most.

Without any other advanced screening or crazy dietary changes, you will start feeling better. You will lose fat and gain lean muscle. Feel more motivated. And your workouts will become easier and better.

The power of removing nutrient deficiencies
Here’s just one example (of many): Research in the British Journal of Psychiatry shows that providing fish oil and a multivitamin to prison inmates reduces aggressive and violent behavior by 35% and decreases antisocial behavior by 26%.
Also, a paper published in Nutrition Reviews shows that giving children fish oil and a multivitamin improves both their behavior and intelligence scores. (Who doesn’t want a smarter, better-behaved children?)

That’s the power of removing nutrient deficiencies. When our bodies don’t have the nutrients they need to do their work, we all suffer.

But as soon as we get these nutrients, we thrive.

Book your Nutrition check up NOW
If you’re training with me you get this included with your plan.

If you’re local you can message or text me to book
07831 680086. Jaxallenfitness@gmail.com

Fees: £25 initial assessment. £20 follow-ups
Time: 40-60minutes

Eat Clean. Train Smart. Expect Results

Jax

The beginning of HIT – High Intensity Training

The beginning of HIT. High Intensity Training

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I do have a chuckle every time I hear someone talking about high intensity training as a ‘new’ concept!
As you will read below, the concept of HIT has been around for a long time. I’m particularly interested as I aim to build lots of lean, metabolically active tissue in my clients as it’s THE best way to burn all their unwanted fat fast!

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The Colorado Experiment was a bodybuilding experiment run by Arthur Jones using Nautilus equipment at the Colorado State University in May 1973.[1]
It is of interest due to its claims that incredible results can be achieved with a small number of sessions using single sets of high intensity repetitions to momentary muscle failure focusing on negative or lowering multi-joint exercises. The first subject, Casey Viator, was said to have gained 63 pounds of muscle in 28 days and the second, Arthur Jones, gained 15 pounds in 22 days.
These claims are considered controversial because it was only performed with two subjects who were not “average,” but regaining pre-existing muscle mass.[2]
The results of the experiment do not appear to have been repeated in a scientific study.
References[edit]

[1] http://baye.com/colorado-experiment/
[2] http://blog.legendarylife.com/the-colorado-experiment

In the next part we’ll look at the West Point Experiment by Arthur Jones in Colorado which set out to prove HIT in a bigger group of subjects.

Breast Cancer Awareness

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and, while breast cancer incidence is on the decline, it’s estimated that this year alone tahere will be thousands of new cases of invasive breast cancer, and many women will die from breast cancer.

There is hope though! While the two highest risk factors for developing breast cancer – gender and age – are out of our hands, the third is not. Being obese or overweight significantly increases your risk of developing breast cancer.

Luckily, there are lifestyle choices and changes that women can make that can reduce their risk. As an added bonus, adopting many of these tips will help you lose weight too!

1. Maintain a healthy weight: This is absolutely crucial. Some research has shown that overweight or obese women produce more estrogen than women who maintain a healthy body weight.

2. Eat right: While there’s no evidence to suggest diet affects breast cancer, there is irrefutable evidence that a healthy diet is essential to fighting obesity. Diets rich in healthy carbs, protein, and fiber give you the best chance of staying healthy.

3. Limit alcohol consumption: Research suggests that women who drink are at greater risk of developing breast cancer than those who don’t. Plus, alcohol consumption adds calories and may encourage you to eat more, sabotaging efforts to lose weight.

4. Breast feed: Prolonged exposure to estrogen is one of the highest risk factors associated with breast cancer. Estrogen production decreases while a woman is pregnant, and stays low while she breast feeds.

5. Exercise: As little as 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day – plus two weight training sessions a week – can lower your risk and help you lose weight.

6. Incorporate antioxidants into your diet: Free radicals are atoms in your body that interact with certain molecules. Some of these interactions can be beneficial – killing bacteria, for example – but others may result in cell damage or death, which has been linked to diabetes, strokes, heart attacks, and cancer.
Antioxidants are the miracle workers that fight against these free radicals and, therefore, help in the fight against these diseases. Fruits – berries, specifically – are antioxidant powerhouses. Nuts, vegetables, and even meat are also good sources of antioxidants.

You ARE In Control For Preventing Breast Cancer
Start eating antioxidants and reap the benefits of their magic!

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