Fat Storing hormones!! Cortisol (Bad!) and Leptin (Good!)

Quite important in bodyfat regulation is hormonal balance. The main main hormones effecting this balance are Cortisol and Leptin.

Cortisol is a hormone released by the body in times of emotional, physical or mental stress. Cortisol effects by the body by super-charging your cravings for sugary or high fat foods. It is also responsible for the increased storage of bodyfat, especially around the stomach. Your body releases Cortisol to get the energy needed to handle this new stress. So stress tells your brain to eat fast acting energy foods (bad foods!)

Leptin is the hormone your body produces that gives you the feeling of satiatey, or “feeling full”. Cortisol however reduces your bodies release of this hormone, making you eat more.

There are methods to rduce your bodies production of cortisol, and they are relating to lowering the amount of stress you endure. This does not just equate to buying stress ball at work. Physical stress can be reduced by getting more sleep. Over-training (see below) puts the body under alot of stress, releasing alot of cortisol,actually counter-acting weight loss! Eating smaller meals more frequently (see just below) can enduce less stress on your digestive system. Another strategy is eating more water rich alkaline foods, alist of which to have/avoid I found on the internet

Eat Freely:   http://www.natural-weight-loss-myths-revealed.com/alkaline-foods-eat-freely.html

Eat moderately: 


Eat Sparingly:*  http://www.natural-weight-loss-myths-revealed.com/acid-foods.html

*You may note meats/poultry are stated to eat sparingly, but I tell you to eat lots of protein. Although its not pH balanced, the thermogenic and beneficial properties of protein greatly outweigh this negative. Ofcourse, too much of anything is bad, which is why I have given you a set protein limit in your nutrient requirement (clients). Most peole will find this high anyway, so there is little worry of over-loading.

Green Veg, Natures Cardboard Box

When attempting to keep calorie intake down there is always one complication that will throw a spanner in your motivation, metabolism and all-round progress.. HUNGER.

As stated in the next Post (above), going a long time without food (hunger) or very small meals can cause stress on the body, releasing cortisol (more above). So fill your stomach with fibre in the form of green veg, which holds the least calories per gram of fiber consumed. Thinks of green veg as being like cardboard, passing through your system giving your stomach something to do, staving off hunger and with it the release of cortisol. This keeps your metabolism strong (and green veg supplies nutrients, esp. Brocolli!). Cucumber, Brocolli and Celery being the best, although all calories in most green veg in moderate quantities can be considered negligible.

Combined Movements for Extra Benefit

Alternating between 2 moves can give great variation when looking to improve different physical attributes. Here I show an example of how you can combine a Clean and Press with a snatch to develope strenght, size, core strenght, power and cardiovascular output in one exercise.

Watch Out For Cream!

Half of healthy eating is knowing what to eat, the other half is knowing what not to eat. One of the most fattening every day ingredients is cream, which is enarly one thrid saturated fat (which is likely stored as body fat). Try to avoid any sauces with a creamy texture, especially in soups. Any soup with “cream of -” in the title is best avoided. A 250gm serving of cream of Muschroom soup could be as fatteing as 2 Mars bars!!  A cream based curry could contain 3 days of your recommended fat intake. The most misleading thing is that people may go for a soup as the healthy option, not knowing it is quite possibly the worst option in the store!

Protein Supplements

Before anything else, remember that protein supplements are… supplements. You supplement them to your natural protein intake to help you reach certain amino requirements. They are not meant to be your exclusive protein source.

Proteins are broken down in the body into amino acids, the building blocks of muscle fibre. So, it could be said protein is muscle (put very simply). When you are eating a steak you are eating an animals muscle, so the main nutrient present is protein. It is shown that to build lean muscle a person needs atleast 1 gram of protein per 1lb of lean bodymass (overall weight minus bodyfat %) daily. This ofcourse is always up for debate, but is a good target to go by if you’e looking to build serious muscle tone. For some people this might be a target too hard to reach. In this case you can supplement your protein requirements with a protein shake.

There are 2 main types of protein (which can be mixed), Whey Protein and Casein Protein.

Whey protein is derived from Cows Milk, is fast acting and contains little to no fat or cholesterol. Being fast acting it is perfect for times when your body needs a quick surge of amino acids, like before/after training and in the morning.

Casein protein is also derived from milk, but is a found as suspended particles not soluble like whey. Being less soluble whey protein forms a sort of gel in your stomach, making it harder to digest. This equates to a slower release time, gradually providing amino acids to the body. This type of protein is perfect for when you expect not to eat for some time, like bedtime. While asleep, your body is constantly fed protein over a long duration, which is perfect for recovery at rest.

Be sure to go to Fitness/Nutrition stores for protein, not Health Food stores, as proteins made for bodybuilding are of a higher grade, and cheaper. I get mine from IrishLifting.com. Make sure you dont buy a weight gain (full of carbs), and that carb and fat levels are low (atleast under 2 grams each!!!).

Straight Back Alignment


It has come to my attention that I have not documented the importance of hydration (thank you Claire), so I’ll give you the low down on the clear stuff.

Water balance is important in maintaining our bodies metabolic functions (metabolism), and while it is false that more water boosts our metabolism, it is true that a lack there-of can lower it. So during the day, and especially while exercising we lose water through various fnctions, which I’ve pulled from a water bottling site would you believe:

  • 1500 ml/day excretion by kidneys in the form of urine
  • 500ml/day evaporation and perspiration from the skin
  • 300ml/day from the lungs
  • 200 ml/day from the gastrointestinal tract
  • So it can be seen on average we lose 2.5 litres of bodily fluid before exercise. So as a general rule I believe it a good idea to cunsume 4 litres of water a day while exercising heavily. A good guide would be while not being as clear as water, our urine should not be yellow. It should be pale. Bare in mind that drinking too much water can lead to digestive problems and strain on the bladder.

    Another interesting strategy that you can bring to my attention before a session is as follows: weigh yourself before/after training to measure what weight of liquids you’ve lost during execise (after shower).

    My 5 Golden Rules….

    To live in Gods image…

    1.   Thou shalt have protein in every meal

    2.  Thou shalt use fibre (veg) to stave off hunger (hunger releases fat storing hormones)

    3.  Thou shalt not eat carb after 6pm, unless needed for late training (when carbs are utilised)

    4.  Thou shalt go for scrabble board instead of snack when bored (boredom leads to hunger.. FACT!)

    5.  Thou shalt eat 5 meals a day to keep metabolism strong and stave off hunger

    Easy Peasy Protein Snack

    You’ve probably heard me say (and if you havent I’ll say it again), every meal/snack should contain protein, and in the perfect world of waistline reduction every snack should be purely protein. Protein is the most thermogenic macronutrient (supplies more heat to body during digestion).

    Heres a snack thats purely protein (pretty much), and that you can play around with based on different flavours.

    Put simply, you can either bulk pre-cook (for the week) or purchase 100%  chicken breast pieces, and sprinkle with this to add flavour: