cortisol

fitnessinfo

Stress, Weight Gain, and What To Do About It!

Let’s just start by saying that stress, to some degree, is necessary and can even be beneficial. It can increase your productivity and drive, and even save your life when you need a quick response during an accident or other life-threatening situation. However, these quick bursts of stress are not what we’re covering today, we’re talking about long-term chronic stress.

Stress can come from work, relationships, kids, etc, and even use of caffeine and pre-workout can add to the body’s stress levels. Whilst nowadays the stressors that we usually encounter are more psychological than physiological (we’re not usually being hunted down by larger land animals..) they can still alter the performance of your body. The effects that cortisol (the stress hormone) has on the human body are primarily metabolic, but can also impact immune response, ion transport and memory. Long-term constant cortisol exposure from chronic stress can impair cognitive function, decrease functionality of the thyroid gland and associated hormones, and in turn increase abdominal fat. High levels of cortisol have also been studied to prolong wound healing.

The stress that occurs in the human body is triggered by change and affected by how your body responds to that change. Regardless of the situation you are in, chemicals will send a signal to your brain which releases cortisol. If the situation is fine, no worries. If this continues to keep happening extremely regularly, or if it is ongoing, the cortisol returns and blocks other neurotransmitters, mainly noradrenaline (the main neurotransmitter of the sympathetic nervous system) and serotonin (the happiness hormone), this can create an ongoing cycle of stress. Anxiety, insomnia and depression can be caused by chronic cortisol response such as this. 

The link between having too much cortisol and weight gain is that usually if we’re starting to get a bit hungry between meals, our body will release cortisol because our blood sugar has dropped. To help us get by cortisol activates amino acids, glucose and fats to maintain our blood sugar level, and the insulin that comes along with it increases glucose absorption in the cells. So cortisol is trying to be a good guy, but he just gets carried away sometimes, such as in the case of prolonged, or long-term stress. When both the cortisol and insulin levels remain elevated in the body the extra glucose starts to become stored as fat, usually around the abdominal area.

So what can you do to stop stressing so much? I’ve put a video on my channel of 10 easy and inexpensive things to do regularly to ensure that you’re keeping your cortisol levels in check. By reducing the constant stress you can help stop the bad side-effects that come along with adrenal imbalance.

References

Rosmond, R, Dallman, M, and Bjorntorp, P 2009. Stress-related cortisol secretion in men: Relationships with abdominal obesity and endocrine, metabolic and hemodynamic abnormalities. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Vol. 83, No. 6.

Dickerson, S, and Kemeny, M 2004. Acute stressors and cortisol responses: A theoretical integration and synthesis of laboratory research. Psychological Bulletin. Vol. 130, No. 3, pp. 355-391.

Epel, E, Lapidus, R, McEwan, B, and Brownell, K 2001. Stress may add bite to appetite in women: A laboratory study of stress-induced cortisol and eating behaviour. Psychoneuroendocrinology. Vol. 26, pp. 37-49.

fitnessinfo

5 Ways To Improve Your Sleep

3 THINGS DRIVE THIS WORLD... SEX, MONEY, POWER SLEEP.
JUST 5 MORE MINUTES, JUST 5 MORE MINUTES, THAT'S ALL I NEED.

WHY AM I SO TIRED?

For most of us we go to bed at the same time, and wake up at the same time, go to work, follow our routine day in day out, our body adapts and we get used to it. But for some, sleep is a dream in a far away land, unicorns, Santa, yeah it’s all make believe, why can't they sleep? What is holding them back from laying down in their bed at night?

When we work out, we need to recover, we need to grow, the optimum time for us to do all of this is in our sleep, so if we aren’t resting, we aren’t progressing. If you put as much time into your training as you did in your sleeping, you would see your results skyrocket. So let’s start your new sleeping routine with these 5 tips:
 


one: planning

Plan your day, plan your week. Most of us have an iPhone which has a calendar app that can sync to our emails and any device. Plan your week so you know what times you have to wake up and go to sleep and prepare for your day the night before.

 

two: reduce caffeine

If you’re trying to re-energise yourself with your third coffee of the day, chances are its not going to do anything. Every time you have a coffee or any other caffeine product it's draining your adrenal glands, so it's going to make you crash, become more tired and lose energy, and that last one for the day is still going to affect your ability to sleep late at night. Remember, caffeine doesn’t actually give you energy, it just tricks your mind in to thinking it has energy.  If you are feeling drained, chances are you haven’t had enough food or you are dehydrated.

 

three: reduce stress/anxiety

These guys affect a lot of us, and our sleep is non-existent, and when we do get to sleep, it's pretty crappy, waking up constantly throughout the night. What controls our sleep patterns is a hormone called Cortisol, it's like a wave pattern of mental energy you could say. For people who have stable Cortisol levels they will fall asleep when their levels are low, low brain activity, it's easy for them to get in to REM and wake up naturally when their Cortisol spikes again, with several little spikes through out their sleep. Which is when you might hear something at night, or need to go to the toilet.

For people who suffer from anxiety, you will see lots of spikes through out the night that will keep you awake or in a light, disturbed sleep that causes even more panic and anxiety! For me, I find that this can cause even worse anxiety, knowing that I haven’t had enough sleep for a big day can really affect the rest of my day. Even though this isn’t a tip, I feel knowledge and understanding can help. But the next tip can also help these challenges.

 

four: supplements

If you use them in your training, use them in your sleeping. “Cort RX” will help with points 2 & 3, reducing the adrenal fatigue from coffee and also slowing down the effects of Cortisol throughout the body, meaning less stress and anxiety, controlling your levels of sleep better [get Cort RX here].  "Shred Time" by Lecheek Nutrition is something I rely on, with Fibromyalgia my Cortisol levels fly about everywhere, so getting to sleep and staying asleep is a major challenge for me [get Shred Time here]. A scoop before bed gets me to sleep in 15 minutes and waking up when my alarm goes off. Not only does it assist with sleep, but when your body goes in to REM it is repairing at a higher rate, and your BMR is working at its hardest meaning you’re metabolism is firing and burning away at fat and building muscle. Staples of repairing also are BCAAS, Protein & L-Glutamine, these are major factors in repairing.

 

five: sleep position

How do you sleep? On your side? Back? Or like you have passed out after a big night of drinking looking like a pretzel? The way your body is positioned is important to getting a good nights sleep, not only are you spending 1/3 of your life in bed and the way you are set up but the stress you put on your muscles will alter your Cortisol levels too. So practice laying on your back, cover your eyes, create a dark space and invest in some comfortable bedding.


I used to dread going to bed.  I couldn’t sleep, I would stay up to the small hours, just entertaining myself with whatever is going on. I think the Internet causes a lot of a distraction,  you can find your self scrolling and cycling between Facebook, Instagram and other social media apps for no reason. Just put the phone on charge, somewhere longer than arms reach so you can't reach for it when your bored, or when that alarm goes off in the morning you have to get up and turn it off. I wish I could go back in time and tell Faithless these tips, but then again we might not have a classic dance tune!

Like always subscribe to the blog, tell me your tips on how you get to sleep.

products

Product Review: Cort RX

By Beau
For the last month or so I have been trialling a new product named Cort RX. Have you ever looked down at your belly and see just this pudge of fat that just sits there? No matter how much you train and follow a strict diet, you just see this fat hanging there like a balcony off the second storey of an apartment building. I was getting that, and it turns out the best thing to do about it is stop stressing about it, literally. Fat stores in the little belly 'pudge' region due to a hormone called cortisol, a stress hormone activated by mild level stress and long training sessions. I've touched on cortisol before and that doing long training sessions doesn't actually equal better results. 

Cort RX is a new product from Australian based Company ATP that has multiple benefits for your body, and your mind too. I haven't seen a product like this before and to tell you the truth it's groundbreaking, I'm not sucking up to ATP Science nor have they paid me for this review and as we have seen in the past Rachel has had a hiccup with the company before, and even she was impressed with the results I was getting.

These are the 2 points I'm going to touch on:

- More Energy
- Less Stress = Less Belly Fat

are they not what we all strive for in our busy, day-to-day lives?

Lets start at the more energy.
Cort RX is an adrenal cortex, we use our adrenal glands when we have any stimulative substance like coffee, pre-workout, fat burners etc. We drain the adrenal glands to a point where can't use them again until they start to rebuild and return to functioning order. So after that first coffee for the morning wears off and you go to grab another, you're not going to get that same stimulative effect that you got from that morning cuppa. It also blocks the sleepy chemical serotonin which means you will be more awake, that’s why you find so many stressful people are also insomniacs. More adrenaline = more energy.

Less Stress = Less Fat
Cortisol plays a major part in the bodies defensive systems, basically our bodies act first and think second, so if the body is under attack from any internal or external stress factors, it automatically thinks we are in danger and releases the chemical to our brain to calm ourselves down. Once this hormone has been released through the body it then store on our bellies as fat. Great…… another thing to be stressed about, being fat.

Whats in it? A whole heap of stuff I can't pronounce that's found in the ground which Rachel will probably translate for me when she puts this post up, like:
Schisandra chinensis (nicknamed 'five flavour berry', a woody forest vine, grows in China and Russia)
Withania somnifera (Indian Ginseng - the roots have been used in traditional medicine for centuries)
Rhodiola rosea (Rose root, a herb known to strengthen the immune system)
Turmeric (An Indian spice)

So it's an all natural product which a lot of you like. The thing that really makes me love this product is the many things it can help with as well in day to day life, like inflammation, anxiety, lack of energy and inability to sleep. So many people need help with these things and it's no wonder its been flying off the shelves.

This is definitely a product worth trying if you have at least one of the mentioned symptoms. I know this is something I'll be using for a long time.

other

Rise and Shine

By Beau

This is the second time I’ve written this blog post - so I hope I remember everything! 

I’m writing this from bed now knowing I have to go to sleep, I have a client at 7am so that means waking up early and getting there on time. It’s funny, a year ago I never had anyone before 11am, let alone 6am. I found it hard to get to sleep, staying up 'til 3 doing nothing, just looking at the ceiling. 

About 3 months ago I became the busiest I had ever been, 70 sessions per week booked in and I only had time left for clients at 6am. I had never done such an early start before, but I was just like YOLO!

I set my alarms and I got there and I couldn’t believe how many people were there, and here I am thinking, "There is a 6 o’clock in the morning now?" The gym was packed, it had a great vibe, and I was digging this! My client had a great session and I was happy and full of energy so instead of going home I did my paperwork, sent some emails and even trained my self, all of this done and it was only 9am, crazy! After having her booked in I felt it was a waste not to utilise my time around it, so I had more clients booked in and my mornings were packed! This is it, I have become a morning person!

So after such a long intro I’m going to give you 5 tips on how to transform from a nighttime person, to a morning person!

1.     Set alarms, you have to do this! You need to make sure something is waking you up in the morning. If you sleep through your first alarm set a second or a third! You can’t fall away from the routine, stick to the plan. It will be hard on day one, but you need to be consistent!

2.     Go to sleep at a certain time every night, it may be hard to force yourself to go to sleep but your body will need the rest so it has enough energy for tomorrow and recovery from your day just gone! If sleeping is a challenge for you I really recommend creating a routine before you go to bed. Have a shower, brush your teeth, do some stretches or read a book. Stick away from things like scrolling through Facebook or Instagram because they can over stimulate your brain and keep it running in to the later hours.

3.     Make a routine, training program or some sort of commitment in the morning, something you have to be at. If you have a PT I find a lot of people book in with me to make sure they are sticking to something, and sticking to something at 6 am is a bit harder than something in the afternoon. Stick to it, do it with someone else and don’t let them down!

4.     If your routine you have doesn’t consist of doing something early in the morning still get up at the same time and do something new, send emails, stretch, do some cleaning, whatever! Keep your body clock consistent and it will get easier to wake up everyday

5.     Last but not least, caffeine!!! I don’t recommend this all the time but when you need to try and wake up and your head isn’t in the game have a coffee or a stimulant supplement. I used these when I first started getting up and felt that it really did improve my focus, energy and getting my day started! Don’t do it all the time, just when it is needed, as it can be very addictive!

Well I hope you are ready for bed and excited about tackling your morning duties! If I can change so can you!

Goodnight!

products

Product Review: Green Machine

By Beau

Having Fibromyalgia stopped me from training and I put on 12kgs and looked my worst. I've been able to manage that since then and have been at my best and lost 15kgs! Where I'm heading with this is that one of the symptoms I had was that it was causing me to be sick in the stomach, like really bad. My belly was churning and hurting and........I farted a lot. Rachel hated it. Sorry! I then found out that I'm lactose intolerant - I love ice cream and thick shakes and they're now things I've had to cut out of my diet.

I've been looking into Supergreens to help control my digestive system and get me back on track and because I love going in to ASN Brisbane I was interested in a product called Green Machine that helps:
*lower cortisol levels
*balance PH levels
*iron levels
*vitamin A C and B12
*and it helps overall energy and fatigue.

Ask any of my clients, since I've been taking green machine I've been in the gym training people and twerking like Miley, my energy levels have been insane. On a serious note though, so many people have digestive problems and need to get the right greens in their bodies to help lower cortisol to reduce stress, excess fat storage and the loss of muscle mass. So many people don't even know about cortisol and it slows down the weight loss process dramatically.

The thing that got me with this product is that it actually taste great! Some super greens just taste like liquified rabbit food, which means no one wants to have it and it sits in the cupboard like millions of other fad diets and supplements that you don't need. The fruity taste makes you want to have it everyday, which it should be along side healthy eating, training and other supplements.

 If you want to see what the best Supergreen is go to www.asn.com.au


PRIZE TIME

Because we love our followers, bloggers, friends and family we have decided to give away a tub of Evolve Green Machine!

How do you enter? Simple:
- Take a photo with one of our eBooks
- Tag @eatrunlift.me and @asn_brisbane
- Hashtag: #eatrunliftgreen
- Pop the photo on Insta or Facebook for us to find
We will draw the winner Tuesday February 3 (7pm AEST).

Need some ideas for your photos?

Check out the eBooks here.