Stress

Posted: March 1, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

Lately most of the people I have been talking to are attempting to lose belly fat. It seems that nothing is working for them so they decide to cut back on portions and exercise harder. In some cases some of these people are getting up even earlier in the morning to go for an hour long run! This is unfortunate and not at all anyone’s fault. We are constantly told to eat less and exercise more.

The problem with this is we typically are just overworked. Our fight and flight response was built in us to survive predators and not deal with traffic, a miserable boss, teenage kids, etc. Sleep is condensed due to work obligations and other factors. This leads to even more stress.

The culprit hormone in all of this is cortisol. Cortisol is important, but too much of it can be devastating. Excessive cortisol can lead to insulin resistance and weight gain around the midsection. It is also the counter hormone to growth hormone and testosterone and can limit our production of new lean muscle mass.

Exercise is a stressor and too much of it can lead to excessive cortisol production.Undereating is also a stressor and can have the same result. In these cases eating less and exercising more is only going to further the problem.

If losing belly fat is your goal take a step back for a second and ask yourself some key questions. First, how is the sleep? A tell tale sign that excess cortisol is a problem is when sleep patterns are not normal. If you are constantly waking up throughout the night, have trouble falling asleep, or are super tired in the morning upon waking then that is the first issue that needs to be addressed. Pull the reigns tight on the paleo diet, black out everything in your room, and start getting better sleep.

Next question to ask is how often are you working out and how intense are the workouts? 5-6 days of intense workouts, allah Crossfit can be adding to the cortisol issues. Scale back the intense workouts to 2 times a week and add in some lower intensity lifting days where you focus on squats, presses, rows, etc. After a couple of weeks reassess where you are with the sleep and the eating. Sometimes tinkering with carbohydrate intake can help as well. Adding in sweet potatoes and yams on the intense workout days can help replensish the body’s carbohydrate stores.

Next you need to discover a way to manage stress. Whether it be meditation, yoga, or any other means you find relaxing. This can have a serious impact in a positive manner on our total health and well-being. Don’t be afraid to take some you time!

Everyone after reading this should take a minute to assess their current stress levels. It may be the difference to hitting those goals or not.

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Comments
  1. CultFit says:

    Like the name sake of your great blog Genetics and family history are vital as we move forward. Stress included, like stressing over stress…which happens to all of us. We all have a six pack hidden somewhere inside us, no need to fret about it in the short term.

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