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Weightlifting

Stepping into a weights room can be scary, but it's not as bad as you think it to be. Most of the people in there are all on a mission, the same mission as you, to change their lives and bodies. Of course, like anywhere, you are going to find a few wankers who don’t make it pleasant to be in a certain place, this is 5% of people who go to the gym, the other 95% are probably jut as insecure as you about something they are doing.

Now that we have moved past that phase of intimidation, it's about knowing what you do when you get there, depending on how many times you want to lift weights at the gym and how much time is spent in there can really determine the outcome of your results. To really get the best out of your time spent there, it comes down to the way you separate your days. If you are only going to go once, you have to plan a full body work out which usually consists of legs, chest, back arms and shoulders in one visit. Because time is short, try and focus on compound movements that work more than one muscle in one exercise.

Going twice to lift weights is pretty much going to double your results. But you don’t want to train the same muscles twice, otherwise it's going to plateau your work, try splitting them in to upper body and a lower body work out. With this you can focus on more compound and isolated muscles for a better targeted toned body.

3 times? This is pretty much the standard for weight training! When splitting your groups you can do them 3 ways:
Push (Chest Tris & Shoulders)
Legs (Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings)
Pull (Back, Biceps & Rear Shoulders).
There are thousands of exercises you can do, but some are more beneficial than others. Most sessions should go for 45mins-1 hour and focus on quality over quantity.
Eating prior to doing weights is essential too, lifting heavy stuff requires fuel, so having a meal with carbohydrates will help push you through and fight off being sick or tired during and after.

The 3 basic supplements that people take when training is a pre-workout to help ignite energy levels and fight off lactic acid, a BCAA to help keep muscles replenished, and a protein powder to help with recovery and building of muscles.

A lot of people, mainly women, are scared that they are going to get 'bulky', but that comes down to the style of training you do, and MOSTLY what you eat. A lot of girls get given advice from guys, and depending on your body type you can actually put on mass in the wrong places. I've explained a lot of this in the “Get Lean” Weight lifting guides, which is where the next adventure should take you on your weight loss journey.

Remember its not a challenge once the 12 weeks are over….. it’s a lifestyle.

 

Leptin

Commonly known as the ‘satiety hormone’, Leptin is the primary reason for food cravings, overeating and heart disease. Leptin is a protein produced by dynamic fat cells that helps your body to control appetite and metabolism. It allows the fat cells to communicate with your brain, telling your brain that the body has enough fat – but can also send mixed messages as it doesn’t know how to tell the brain when there’s too much!

Hormones are responsible for how your body communicates with its various organs and systems. They are a key factor on how your functions are controlled. Leptin receptors are found throughout the entire body, but their main location is the appetite control centre – located in the brain. When Leptin binds with the brains receptors, it shuts down appetite and speeds up metabolism.

Leptin can be your best friend but also your worst enemy – it is responsible for body weight, energy balance, metabolism, appetite, food cravings, obsession with food and heart disease. Weight gain can often be the result of Leptin resistance, particularly for those suffering obesity. As a person gains weight, Leptin levels increase, which extinguishes appetite control and disrupts metabolism. Our body’s natural response to hormone resistance is to produce excess. Leptin resistance and deficiency can both result in obesity because the brain thinks the body is starving, however Leptin deficiency is extremely rare. Insulin resistance and Leptin resistance usually come hand in hand – a blood test from your GP can assist in getting more information on these levels.

In order to lose weight permanently, the Leptin hormone must function properly. Improving your diet is the simplest way to focus on boosting Leptin by increasing production and alleviating resistance.

Here are our top tips for gaining control of Leptin through diet:

·      Avoid unnecessary snacking – it can be way too easy to lose track of what we consume if we are continuously snacking! Diet sodas and coffees tend to make you feel hungrier than you actually are – chances are you’re thirsty for water rather than actually hungry!

·      Eat smaller meals – larger meals can provide too much energy that can store as fat, this can lead to increased satiety resistance (takes longer to feel full). Eating slow and chewing each mouthful will help you to feel satisfied sooner.

·      Eat a high protein breakfast – breakfast is crucial! There are many long-term benefits throughout the day when it is consumed – waking up body systems, preparing to ingest other foods for the day, etc.

·      Reduce carbohydrates – limit these to vegetables, some fruits, cottage cheese, butter and yoghurt for dairy. Minimise grain sources and avoid sugars and artificial sweeteners (these interfere with brain function!).

·      Partake in moderate exercise – consistency is better than intensity, start slow and increase efforts gradually. This turns on our genes and facilitates healthy Leptin function and metabolism.

The benefits of healthy functioning Leptin include not being hungry all of the time, improvement in digestion, no more need for unnecessary snacking, and weight loss. Managing meals in a healthy and smart way to improve your Leptin function is a fail-proof way to lose weight and regulate your metabolism.

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Gut Health

Gut health is another topic which we see glossed over so often when it comes to articles online and fitness information given to people. You’re always told, “just exercise and eat healthy”.. but what if it isn’t that simple. If you have poor gut health, or leaky gut, your body isn’t even going to absorb the nutrients from your food correctly, which is why it’s so important to fix any problems in your gut as soon as you notice them.

Poor gut health is often associated with other illnesses such as fibromyalgia, and PCOS, where the stomach has gone on to develop food intolerances, most commonly seen are gluten intolerance and lactose intolerance. It can also eventually lead to IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), and other food sensitivities and bacterial imbalances.

So what does your gut depend on to stay healthy?

  • A balanced intestinal bacteria;
  • A fully intact mucosa lining; and
  • A healthy immune system.

Leaky Gut
When the gut wall is irritated or has become inflamed it can lead to a condition called Leaky Gut. Leaky Gut is exactly as the name suggests, and the stomach mucosa lining has become permeable. This can lead to malnutrition, a bacterial imbalance, and as mentioned previously, food intolerances: gluten, casein, lectin, fructose, lactose. This lack of nutrients isn’t the only problem, the Leaky Gut can also act as a ‘vacancy’ sign to bad bacteria looking for a new place to stay, and once those guys are in your body is going to signal and immune or inflammatory response, and you can end up getting quite ill. Leaky Gut is often tied to other conditions such as allergies, type 1 diabetes, mental illness (depression, schizophrenia), skin inflammation, poor insulin signalling (leading to PCOS and type 2 diabetes), and even asthma.

Things that can cause a leaky gut include prolonged use of antibiotics (leading to the destruction of too much ‘good’ bacteria, excessive consumption of sugar or refined carbohydrates, bacteria, parasites, yeast, stress, and excessive alcohol consumption. The symptoms that your body will use to attempt to alert you of Leaky Gut will show up on the outside of your body and may be hard for a GP to diagnose because your new complaints seemingly don’t have a source. These symptoms include: joint pain, fibromyalgia, sleep disturbances, fever, anaemia, skin irritations, prolonged fatigue, regular headaches, arthritis, and nutrient deficiencies.

How to repair your gut
The following is a list of some things you can do to ensure the integrity of your gut good/bad bacteria balance and make sure that your body is absorbing all the nutrients possible from your food:

  • Eliminate inflammatory foods or drinks: highly processed sugars, and alcohols are the best place to start looking.
  • Balance your gut bacteria: speak to your naturopath or nutritionist about this one, but naturopaths will be able to find out which specific brands of bacteria your body needs to help repair itself, a general ‘probiotic’ is not quite good enough for this.
  • Remove sugar alcohols from your diet: these are found in chewing gum, ‘sugar free’ products, some protein powders, and protein bars.
  • Relax: consider slowing down. Stress can alter the state of your body dramatically.
  • Bone broth: consuming bone broth in the morning prior to eating can help repair the mucosa lining in your stomach.
 

Love Your Body

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