Today On Ask the Naturopath…
Mark talks Hormone Regulation and Fat Loss
If you’ve attended one of Mark’s talks before or are a current client of his you know how passionate he is about hormones. When he speaks on this topic his has an amazing way of capturing your attention and sharing his knowledge in such a way that offers great clarity.
I was so excited when he told me that he wanted to contribute a series of blog posts on hormones, so here is Part I.
Hormones Part I. Adrenal Involvement in Fat Loss
What is the adrenal gland?
It is a small gland located on the top of your kidneys. It’s responsible for producing and sending hormones into the blood stream. The regulation of these hormones is completed mainly by the brain through a chain of hormone control known as the Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal axis (HPA axis) I know what a mouth full, right?
This is important to know when we consider one of the major hormones that the adrenal gland is responsible for; Cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, because it regulates your body’s response to stress, often referred to our “Fight or Flight” Response.
For example, when the guy in the car next to you cuts you off and you instantly stick out your middle finger, this is your adrenal gland at work. Or when this same response happens and you freeze this too is the reaction caused by your adrenal gland. It all depends on what the response is, fight (middle finger) or flight (freeze).
So when you are in a Fright or Flight response brought on by fear of danger, sickness, weakened immune system, poor diet, dehydration, to little or too much exercise (also known as over training), or poor sleeping patterns the production of cortisol is extremely impacted. Too much cortisol in the blood stream can lead to a syndrome known as adrenal fatigue, resulting in extremely low energy levels, mental fogginess, a dependence on caffeine to stay alert, depression, cravings for salty or sugary foods, excess weight gain and or challenges losing weight.
If you are in a constant state of ‘Fight or Flight’ your adrenals will over-secrete cortisol in response to its stressors, and the excess of this stress hormone can lead to increased fat storage and increased weight gain.
In our cave man days when we carried around a club and spear wearing a designer loin cloth our biggest stressors were where will I sleep? How will I feed my family? Will I get eaten by a lion or tiger? When will this winter be over? I need to mate with someone! Which I must add for most men has not physiologically evolved out of us yet…lol So ladies its genetics we apologize.
Now days for many of us, these are no longer valid worries. Our lives have become more and more increasing stressful, full of hassles, frustrations, worry, deadlines and demands.
Does he/she like me?
Does my wife/husband still find me attractive?
Will I get to work on time?
When will we get to see that new movie?
Will I make my flight on time?
Why can’t I have those Gucci shoes like my co-worker?
Why has my sex drive diminished?
This deadline is impossible to make, my boss won’t get off my back, I hate my job
…and sadly this list goes on.
When we feel threatened or upset stress is a normal physical response; it’s our body’s way of protecting us, whether real or imagined our body knows no difference.
A certain amount of everyday stress is normal and ok; it helps us stay focused and energetic, giving us the drive to complete projects, delivery a winning presentation or rise up during everyday challenges. In emergency situations, stress can save our life – giving us extra strength to defend yourself, for example, slamming on the brakes to avoid the guy that cut you off in traffic. .
But beyond a certain point, stress stops being helpful and starts causing major damage to our physically and mental health creating even more stressors and frustrations, leading to unexpected weight gain and difficulties losing weight.
So if you want to burn fat, you MUST control your stress levels!
How do you do that you ask?
Well, one of my most favorite web sites states, Keep calm and chive on! Just go with it! Don’t sweat the small stuff!
Do something every day for yourself; something that makes you happy, smile, or laugh. This is what we’re meant to do, thrive in life.
Don’t allow yourself to get caught in the rat race. Commit to taking 10 minutes everyday day to just STOP, breathe, and relax when you feel stressed. Your body is screaming for this self-care.
You can also try forgiving someone who you have had an issue with for years; maybe that someone is you!
Self-forgiveness is critical to distressing and has helped many people lose the ‘stubborn fat’.
I also, highly recommend you try Meditation!
Keep it simple when you first start. Just sit or lay down in a quiet room, lights on or off it’s totally up to you.
Take a deep breath in through your nose and out through your mouth. While you continue to breathe I want you to picture a white light attracting to your forehead while you breathe in. As you exhale through your mouth imagine breathing or spitting out all the garbage that you don’t need, this can be the color brown, green, or yellow whatever feels right for you.
Continue your breath for 10 minutes allowing all the stress to fall away. Notice how you feel afterwards. You should feel refreshed, recharged and in a much better mood.
Do this whenever you feel it is necessary. I usually do this at the end of my work day, which ensures that I not take my work stress into my home life.
It’s also important to eat clean (proteins, fats, carbohydrates and water) and to do so consistently. Take time to de stress, do something just for you every day and enjoy yourself.
Before your begin your workouts make sure you take the few minutes to de stress, leave your work schedule, kids schedules and all the other issues that make you feel stressed and check them at the door. Make sure you are well rested, fueled and hydrated, reset your energy button and step into the class with a renewed sense of energy. Only then is exercise a stress buster instead of a stressor!
In Part II & III of this topic I will go into a little more detail about all the other hormones secreted by the adrenal gland and how they affect your fat loss. This topic is extremely involved, so I will focus on helping you better understand what’s really happening in the body and how it affects your life.
Until next week, Keep calm and chive on!
If you want to learn more about adrenal fatigue and how it affects your fat loss, please join Mark for a FREE 1hr talk on Sunday, May 26th from 10am-11am at the LYL Studio inside Global Gym on Elizabeth Ave.
During his talk, Mark will go into much more detail about the involvement of the adrenal gland, its hormones and explain what it means to your fat loss success.
He will also touch on the following subjects:
– Uncontrollable hormone shifts that occur in women called Menopause
– How to recognize the signs and symptoms of hormonal imbalance
– Understanding food cravings and what they mean
– Help you better understand how your weight loss struggles may be caused by hormones
Mark will share some key advice on what foods you should be eating, and which ones to avoid. What types of exercise habits you should be practicing and some relaxation techniques to help remedy this issue of imbalanced hormones.
Seats are limited, so please email Charlene at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your seat.
The session is FREE so bring a friend.
See you there! 🙂