This week I had a client who put ON fat despite a pretty good nutrition plan and an on-point week of training. Bewildered, I questioned whether perhaps pizza or gelato had been a nutritional feature?? Alas…100% consistent??
OH NO! …. HORMONAL HAVOC!
Tears then started to flow and I heard about a marriage on the rocks, working in excess of 50hours per week to meet unrealistic deadlines, a lack of sleep and even starting to get a cold! Geez Louise! Say no more. MEGA STRESS! I’m sure seeing the scales going up added even more stress! Regardless of where it comes from, there would have been a frenzy of stress hormones at havoc all week.
WHAT I CAN HELP WITH AND WHAT I CAN’T HELP WITH.
As a coach, I can help to ensure nutrition is on point, but unless there is
minimal stress, fat loss results wont be easy. Fat loss quite simply, favours a stress free, hormonally balanced, metabolically healthy body.
Stress, regardless of the cause, will significantly hinder a body’s ability to get lean. In many instances, significant stress can totally shut down fat burning resulting in fat storing and muscle wasting.
Stress will increase cortisol production. “In the presence of increased cortisol abdominal fat increases along with circulating fatty acids” – Dr. Ray Peat.
STRESS DOWN-REGULATES METABOLISM AND SLOWS FAT BURNING.
Cortisol suppresses mitochondrial respiration. This is what metabolism is all about. So, in the presence of increased cortisol, metabolic rate slows down. When metabolism slows down, fat burning slows down. When metabolism is severely compromised, fat burning comes to a drastic and devastating halt. This is not what anyone wants when fat loss is his or her goal.
HIGH CORTISOL – METABOLIC AND HORMONAL DISASTER!
Increased cortisol leads to a series of metabolic and hormonal disasters. Estrogen is increased, progesterone decreases, skin ages, brain cells are damaged, Inflammation occurs, protein (muscle) is catabolised and fat is stored in the abdomen and back. Excess estrogen also has many insidious carcinogenic, fat storing, mood destabilising qualities.
WHAT CAN CAUSE A STRESS RESPONSE?
Stress is experienced differently from one person to another. Different experiences illicit different stress responses pending personal resilience. When trying to get lean, be aware of emotional stress, relationships stress, financial stress, feeling overwhelmed, too busy, not enough sleep, not enough sunlight, stress from excessive or exhausting cardio and training. Feelings of depression, anxiety or guilt, too much muscle meat, poor nutrition, restricting calories or carbs, lack of essential vitamins or mineral etc. etc. can also contribute to stress.
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