Hormone Hacks for Fat Loss & Muscle Gain
Here’s some tips that you can implement right away to help with weight loss, improve muscle tone and boost your wellness.
Sleep for 8.5 hours
While you are asleep each night, your body is remodelling.
The pituitary gland secretes growth hormone (GH) where its highest output is in the first hour of sleep. Like waves on a beach, there will be smaller bursts of GH through the night. Therefore, the more you sleep, the more GH produced.
Once in the blood stream, GH stimulates the production of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). These two work favourably in our body, with GH involved in fat burning, and IGF-1 involved in muscle growth.
GH is also suppressed when the body has elevated levels of Leptin and high blood sugar.
A lack of sleep contributes to an increase in cortisol production, which can damage the muscle tissues, and interrupt the level of other beneficial hormones from actually producing.
This is why we must get deep, restorative sleep in order to lose weight.
Do you struggle with this? We can help!
There are many reasons why people can’t sleep soundly, including structural musculoskeletal issues, bed or pillow issues, electromagnetic reason. We can help if your sleep is being affected by restless legs, persistent waking through the night, trouble falling asleep, or constant urination through the night. These are usually signs of mineral deficiencies, over burdened liver, and/or stress hormone imbalances.
Insulin shuttles sugar around our body for energy, and this can fuel muscle growth, or fuel fat cell growth!
Exercise influences insulin to store more of the sugar into the muscle cells and less into the fat cells by increasing insulin sensitivity in the muscle cells while decreasing insulin sensitivity in the fat cells.
Research has shown that regular, high-intensity exercise with short rest periods is the best form of exercise to increase insulin sensitivity.
*** Always consult with your health care practitioner before starting a new exercise routine.
Post work out nutrition
If you are doing high intensity training, having high quality protein and carbohydrates straight after the workout is the best hack to help muscle growth and boost metabolism – ideally within 40 minutes of the workout.
Carbohydrates will create an insulin spike that will shuttle all of those muscle-building nutrients directly into the muscle cells, jumpstarting the repair and regrowth process, whilst protein will ensure your muscles have immediate access to the building blocks it needs for tissue repair and growth.
If you are doing gentle exercise that doesn’t result in muscle stress or fatigue, this is not required.
Whether you are aware of it or not, we are all performing at a higher level of stress and performance than our body can handle long term. Poor sleep patterns, low quality diet, excess alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, drug use, autoimmune diseases and environmental stressors all activate our nervous system setting it to Fight, Flight or Freeze (the sympathetic nervous system response). This mode pumps out stress hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine (adrenaline), burning up our nutritional reserves and exhausting our glands. This state will disrupt GH and IGF-1, as well as interrupt our nocturnal pattern.
Daily stress management gives the body a pause from this cascade of hormones, and retrains the nervous system to relax and switch to its natural state – rest and digest mode (or the para-sympathetic nervous system response).
Hence, stress management is an important aspect of your weight loss approach – as well as many other positive health benefits such as better mental health, connection to self, connection to self awareness and it can fulfil a spiritual dimension of our life experience.
When hormones stand in the way
If your body is ‘stuck’ and weight issues persist even when you are doing the right things, or you need an individualised approach to help you keep accountable to your goals, we would love to help!
Weight loss can be really hard if your hormones are out of balance.
On the flip side, get your hormones in balance and it can be much easier!