Harmonize Fitness
menu
Harmonize Fitness
harmonizefitness_a2tw1n

harmonizefitness_a2tw1n

Motivation

What does it really takes to lose weight?

DSC_0390_fix
views
26

Our weight now is the result of our health, it´s the results of unhealthy habits and routines for almost all our life.

If you´re here probably it´s because you´ve tried to lose weight before and you´ve failed over and over. Don´t feel bad, it´s not your fault, but the choice to change that is yours so if you want to get to your desire weight once and for all there are some points you need to know and the first one is it will take time and the beginning will be hard. It took years to be where you are now so it will take some time to get to your goal, it may be 4 to 6 months or maybe 10 months, maybe 12 or more it all depends where you are now.

You need to put the time in, how much time you dedicate to your weight loss journey depends of how discipline you are, some of us are so discipline and get so into it that we make sure we have everything we need so that we don´t make any wrong choice. You need some time to exercise every day and if you are disciplined you may want to prepare your meals and that takes time too. You may not have time to prepares meals for a complete week this is why fasting is a great strategy because you only have 2 meals and if you can keep your diet as simple as possible for 5 or 6 days it gets a lot easier and you spend less time preparing your meals. For exercise you need to do resistance training 4 to 5 days a week, those routines take about 45 minutes and you also need to find ways to stay active throughout the day, the way to do it is by walking during phone calls or schedule 15 minutes after dinner and go for a walk.

Nothing worth having is easy, the strategies are simple, but you need to put in the work. When you´re exercising you need to give your all, you won´t get the best results if you only show up or if you don´t put all the intensity and effort in. You need to make all exercise challenging because that what tells your body to change, to get stronger, to build muscle, to get leaner. The same goes for the diet part, if you´re not all in and you have cheat meals or you eat more you won´t get the best results possible, you need to make the decision and commitment to improve your body, your health and your life and go all in, there´s no reason to do everything as best as you can one or two days and then lose all that progress in one day of binge eating and skipping your exercise routine.

What are you willing to sacrifice to achieve your goal? I´ve said before that weight loss is simple but it requires some sacrifices and that´s what makes it hard, most of us are so lazy, we want instant results without effort, we want to lose weight with the less work possible. Sadly this is not possible, from my experience the most difficult part is the diet because you need to eliminate completely all those foods you love, those highly processed foods from fast foods pizza, burgers, donuts, soda, fruit juice, cereal, waffles, etc. for a period of time. The problem is the addiction all this foods create and to break that addiction going to a really strict diet is the best option because after some days your cravings and hunger stop you also feel more motivated and with more energy. You´ll get to a point where you can enjoy your favorite meals, snacks or desserts every now and then.

If you do want to lose weight and keep it off while improving your health and the way you feel you need to focus on your target and be able to delay gratification, let go that instant gratification, that sense of feeling good now, sacrifice a small reward that will make you feel good now for a short period of time for a bigger reward that will make you way better for a longer period of time.

We´ve all been living a very sedentary life full of unhealthy habits and routines so the moment you start making changes to reach your weight loss you´ll go through a lot of up and downs, we have a bad relationship with food that needs to be broken, the unhealthy foods we´ve eaten almost out entire life cause addiction plus we´re going through mental and emotional stuff that makes it really hard to stay on track, these are the reasons why you keep overeating and eating those unhealthy foods you know you´re not supposed to eat. To end this as fast as possible you need to focus on improving your hormones and metabolism and this means following a strict diet plan for a period of time, but you´ll be eating foods you like and keep you full to make a little easier for you to stay on track.

Let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter how many times have you tried to lose weight before and what was the hardest part to stick to?

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Diet

What is the best diet?

10-BEST DIET
views
34

How many hours have you spend trying to find the best diet? You may have been searching the internet, read magazines, ask as many people as possible including friends, family, your doctor or health care professional you nutritionist or dietitian, etc.

Many of us spend too much time searching for the best diet to achieve our fitness goal, and just a couple of weeks or days after we start following one we find another so we don´t stay long enough with one diet to actually see how our body responds.

The truth is that there´s not a best diet for all of us, not a single diet will work the same and will give the same results to 2 or more people, we´re all different so we need to find what works best for us.

Even when the basics of nutrition apply to all, we still need to make some adjustments to create our own diet or nutrition program.

The first things to consider is to focus on eating whole, fresh foods and eliminate or avoid unhealthy foods like sweets, junk, processed, refined and fast foods is the first step. We´ve talked a lot about how refined sugar and refined carbohydrates are unhealthy and also how seed oils and trans fats are also unhealthy so by eliminating processed and refined foods you eliminate these unhealthy ingredients. Once you feel comfortable and you´ve develop the habit of eating healthy whole foods you can start making some adjustments to make your nutrition program better.

The second step is to decide which type of diet or which macronutrient ratio works best for you, you may want to follow a more balanced diet between proteins, fats and carbohydrates or you may want to follow a low carbohydrate-high protein or you may want a ketogenic diet, for this you need to make the adjustments necessary and set macro ratios according to our diet.

For a keotgenic diet fats can go from 70% to 75% with 10% to 5% of carbohydrates and the rest of protein, or you can follow a modified keto where you can have 60% fats 30% protein and 10% carbohydrates.

You also need to listen to your body and be aware of how it responds and how you feel with everything you eat, for some of us our body can´t digest or use properly some foods including healthy foods, for example some people can´t digest properly foods like cauliflower which can cause bloating or other side effects or some people can get allergic response to some foods like dairy so you need to pay attention to this and avoid them. There are so many food options available from where you can choose from for each of the 3 macronutrients.

If you consider the function of each macronutrient the best diet is one that focuses on real, fresh ingredients and avoid all unhealthy foods (sweets, junk, processed and fast foods) if you want to go to a more restrictive diet then a ketogenic or modified keto. One that is high in healthy fats, with the right amount of fiber, moderate protein and low carbohydrates. This type of diet will help to lose fat and maintain a healthy weight if this is your goal.

If you want to go even deeper and think about how your body works then you need to focus on micronutrients also which for me is the best way to go. Your body needs vitamins, minerals, amino-acids and fatty-acids, from here you need to think about each vitamin, each mineral, each amino-acid and fatty-acid here you need to consider the amount your body needs of each then you can look for foods that contain those nutrients and choose the ones you like more. This is what I consider nowadays for my diet 80% of the time (I also love some unhealthy foods and snacks so I have 20% free for those 😊). When you focus on nutrients you´re giving your body what it needs while enjoying life a lot more, you understand how everything works and you have more options from where to choose from so you eat foods you like and you can eat until you´re full so you don´t feel hungry.

You need to make sure that the diet or nutrition program is one that you can follow for long periods of time, for the rest of your life actually. This includes going out with friends or family, going on vacations or a job meeting or trip, someone cook for you or you cook your own meals. You need to consider all this and think about if you´re going to be able to maintain it in the long run and realize that you can still have your favorite meals, dishes or cheat meals every now and then (if there´s a way to prepare your favorite meal and dessert you can enjoy it a lot more).

It´s all about understanding how food works and how your body use it to maintain optimal health and support your fitness goals. When you understand how things work it´s easier to make healthier decisions knowing that you have the freedom to enjoy your favorite meals, snacks and desserts. It´s about feeling and looking great while having balance.

Let us know by leaving a comment on Twitter what diets have you followed and what where your results.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Sleep

Your lack of sleep may be disrupting your hormones

DSC_0181
views
42

Knowing how things work and the impacts they have in our body help us live a better life and achieve our goals in a simple way.

Nowadays sleep is one of our least priorities, if we want to lose weight we focus on diet and exercise and even when we know sleep is important we don´t give it the attention it deserves. Just one night of poor sleep will have negative consequences on your day and if this become chronic it can cause negative health problems.

Here we´ll talk about 5 hormones that are affected with just one night of poor sleep, this hormones are: cortisol, growth hormone, insulin, leptin and ghrelin.

Cortisol is the stress hormone, every time you are under stress your body releases cortisol to deal with that situation, your body needs more energy so it shuts down non essential functions for that period of time and glucose increases because it´s the preferred form of energy and you need energy in case you need to run or fight. Lack of sleep increases stress in your body so if you didn´t get enough good sleep cortisol will be high.

Growth hormone is the one that keeps you lean, it helps your cells use stored fat for energy and also repair and build muscle. Your body produces this hormone during sleep you need to get through all the phases of sleep for this hormone to get high. Lack of sleep keeps this hormone low making it easier for your body to store fat and even lose muscle tissue.

Insulin is known as the fat storage hormone, it takes insulin to the cells so it can be use as energy and it is triggered by carbohydrates, the higher insulin is the more fat you store and it´s also dangerous. Lack of sleep makes your body insulin resistant meaning that your body is not efficient using carbohydrates, your body needs to produce more insulin to get the same job done.

Leptin is the hormone that regulates appetite and it tells you when to stop eating by sending signals to your brain that you are full and that you have plenty of energy. Lack of sleep lowers leptin in your body so it can´t send signals to your brain that you are full so you keep eating.

Ghrelin also sends signals to your brain and tells you when you need to eat. Lack of sleep increases ghrelin so you are hungry all day. This is why your craving for sweets and unhealthy foods increases with just one night of poor sleep.

During sleep your brain is recharging so that you can learn, understand and memorize things with ease, lack of sleep affects your cognitive skills making it harder to retain new information, to react fast and make good decisions. Your attention and alertness lowers and you won´t be as creative as you can be.

Lack of sleep sends the wrong signals and trigger these hormones in the wrong way affecting not only your fitness goals but your health in general. One night of poor sleep will affect your day and you´ll see it in the short run symptoms like feeling tired, sleepy, lack of energy, hard to focus, cravings increase specially for sweets, being in a bad mood.

Chronic sleep problems can cause many physical and health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, depression, anxiety. It also makes your hormones go out of balance the internal clock of your body go nuts.

Changing habits is key for good quality sleep every night, some of the causes of bad sleep are chronic stress and blue light, if you are stressed your body won´t relax and your mind won´t stop making it almost impossible to fall asleep and get the adequate rest. Blue light is present in almost all screens of technology devices like computers, lap tops, cell phones, tv. Avoiding the use of this electronics before you go to bed help you sleep better and faster, meditation helps you relax and calm and release tension from your body and muscles.

In future post we´ll talk about each hormone separately to go deeper so you can have a better understanding, if there´s something in particular you want to know just let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter, we´ll be glad to answer all your questions.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Exercise

Best exercises for cardio!

DSC_0460_fix
views
37

There are some exercises that are better than others, this doesn´t mean that some exercises are bad, what I mean is that we all enjoy some exercises more than others, some of us may love running or jogging whether is on the treadmill on in the park while some may hate it. Some of us love HIIT while for others it represent a huge risk of injury or they can´t do it for health reasons. We all need to find the best cardio exercise for us.

We´re all looking for easy options that doesn´t require a lot of effort and discipline from our part but that give us great results. Unfortunately this is not possible. Whether your goal is to lose weight, keep it off or maintain optimal health, exercise is a priority and one of those types of exercise is cardio.

I´ve mentioned in other posts that we need to find ways to increase physical activity throughout the day, for this the best option is walk, we can all go for a short walk every couple hours but the days when we schedule time for cardio exercise you want to make sure the time you spend gives you the best results.

There are huge differences between steady state and HIIT cardio so first you need to decide what option is best for you or if you can and want to do both then go ahead. For steady state cardio I don´t recommend doing 45 to 60 minutes all in one session, I prefer to divide those 45 minutes into three 15 minutes and go for a walk. This is a way for me to add physical activity throughout the day and you get more benefits if you can walk outside and get sunlight. For HIIT I´ll do 10 to 15 minutes of sprints and some burpees, for sprints you have different options, you can sprint for 8 to 10 seconds and rest for 1 or 2 minutes, you can do 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest, you can do 30 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest. Find out what works for and what you prefer, keep in mind that you need to make each interval as intense as you can.

Here´s a short list of what I consider to be the best exercises:

1.- Sprints.- Sprints are a great option for HIIT, it helps you burn fat and helps you maintain a lean physique, the reason why I love sprints is they improves your health and fitness in general.

2.- Burpees.- Burpees work so many different muscles at the same time and keep your heart rate up which helps you burn fat and look toned. They improve physical skills and performance, improve strength while burning some calories.

3.- Box jump or jump squats.- Box jumps work your lower body, you need power and strength and this helps you improve performance and speed. They also increase your heart rate.

4.- Jump rope.- Jumping rope is a great way to improve coordination and keep your bones stronger which reduce the risk of injuries and strength as we grow older.

If you´re starting on fitness then you don´t want to go hard on any exercise so you can start with short walks, once you´ve lost some weight and your health starts to improve you can try jump rope or any other exercise but before doing any of this make sure you talk with your doctor or health care practitioner and also make sure you avoid injuries.

Those 4 exercises are on top of my list because most of us can do them almost everywhere but there are more exercises like swimming, cycling, etc; that are great options too.

To maintain a lean physique and optimal health I choose HIIT as the best option for a cardio workout also considering that I try to go for short walks throughout the day. This is what works for me but remember that exercise needs to be a habit so you need to find exercises you like and enjoy doing so that you can stick to them, you also need to consider that most of us get bored after doing the same thing over and over and your body adapts so you need to have 2 or 3 different options so that you can keep changing them and also increase the intensity and make it a challenge.

Maintaining optimal health and a healthy weight is a priority and exercise plays a huge role on making that possible. Let us know by leaving a comment below and on Twitter which cardio exercises are the ones you enjoy more.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Stress

How to use meditation to reduce stress

00 Intro
views
44

Most of us live very stressful lives, we wake up every morning and follow the same routine every day, some of us get up late and try to arrive on time to our job to work with people we don´t feel comfortable, doing something we don´t like and leading with a boss that doesn´t care about us.

Doing something you don´t like with people you don´t feel comfortable and dealing with a boss who doesn´t care about you creates stress plus the stress from traffic, paying the bills and other worries we all have leads to a life of chronic stress. This leads to a lot of health problems, but fortunately there are ways or strategies you can use to lower stress.

If you´re living this kind of life one of the best steps you can take is quit your job and find one where you love what you do or start something yourself. I know this is impossible for most people so in this case you can use meditation as a tool to help you manage stress.

Different types of meditation had been practice for thousands of years, it´s not clear where and when it began and why, most of them used them as a practice to train the mind, to center, to calm the mind, to bring calmness and tranquility, to live in the present.

You may have heard of different types of meditations, some of them are:

Guided Meditations.- You can download some of this where you start by focusing on your breathe and relaxing your body and slowly you start visualizing different images on your mind depending and you need to use your sense while keeping the image of your mind like smells, colors, textures.

Mantra Meditations..- You repeat a word or phrase in your mind or low voice, this helps you stay focus on your breathe and the word or phrase you are repeating and since you have something to work and focus on it´s harder for your mind to start to wander.

Mindfulness Meditation.- Here you focus on your breathe and keeping your body and mind calm and relax, in this case it´s easier for your mind to wander. You want to increase awareness and stay in the present.

Some benefits of meditation are:

1.- Reducing negativity

2.- Reduce anxiety

3.- Reduce stress

4.- Focus on breathing

5.- Focus on the present moment

6.- Increase awareness

7.- Calm and relax your body and mind

8.- Improves sleep

9.- Improve concentration

Mindfulness meditation is one you can start practicing right now, because you don´t need any guidance or mantra in the only thing you need is find a place that is quite, take a seat (I recommend seating on the floor), close your eyes and bring all your attention to your breathe, take a deep breathe in, hold it for a couple of seconds and let it out slowly, while you do this slow breathings relax your body, imagine all muscles of your body relaxing. As you do this you´ll find that your attention and your mind starts to wander, this is fine, do not judge or get obsessed or angry with your thoughts and your mind wandering just the moment you are aware of it bring your attention back to your breathing. This all you need to do to start your meditation practice, you can start with 5 minutes and increase the time. With time you´ll be able to make each session longer and add some visualization exercises, a gratitude practice and other tools that help you stay present all day.

Since we´re living very fast-paced times and there´s a lot of expectations we need to meat in different areas we demand so much of ourselves, we demand a lot to our body and mind but we get to a point where it´s just too much so we need to take some time for ourselves every day to leave all the negativity out of our minds, all the worries, fears, anxieties and relax, concentrate on breathing deeply and slowly, to center, to connect with our desires, to focus on our projects.

Do this at night before going to bed, take a seat on the floor, close your eyes and start breathing slowly, take a deep breathe, hold it for a couple of seconds and let it out slowly, take a couple more of slow breathes in and out, focus on relaxing all the muscles in your body, feel all your body and mind relaxing and calming, once you are completely relaxed focus your entire attention on your breathe. Do this for 5 minutes.

Let us know how you feel after doing this small exercise for a couple of days by leaving a comment below and on Twitter.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Motivation

With so many weight loss programs why obesity is still a huge problem?

DSC_0408_fix
views
45

If you´re trying to lose weight and you´ve searched the internet you may have found so many different programs from brands or fitness experts like Weight Watchers, Beach Body and many more. All of them claiming to be the best weight loss programs that will give you results a lot faster. If all this program work why obesity and overweight is still a huge problem?

There are several reasons why, first we need to mention that this programs focus on giving you results fast which create a lot of problems on the long term and it´s hard and almost impossible to maintain your results.

Here we need to talk about diet and exercise which almost all weight loss programs come with a plan for each. Lets start with diet. Most of us have an idea of what a weight loss diet should be, veggies or salads, some boiled rice and a small portion of lean protein like chicken, you can have small portions of fruit, maybe some oatmeal. The important point is that you count calories or points and don´t exceed certain amount. The problem with this is that your body needs certain nutrients to function as best as possible, this nutrients include fatty-acids, amino-acids, vitamins and minerals. If you only focus on calories you´re not considering nutrients and you may be deficient in some nutrients and they can make your weight loss harder, the worse problem with this calorie strategy is that they create the programs based on the most famous advice we all know “eat less – move more”. I´m sure you´ve tried it before and you failed, and there´s a reason for that and it´s not your fault.

Sustainable weight loss is not about eating less and moving more, it´s about hormones and metabolism, this diets created to help you lose as much weight as possible by focusing on calories where you need to eat really small meals do more harm to your body, they impact your metabolism in a negative way and don’t consider the hormones this leads to yo-yo dieting because the moment you stop the diet you start gaining the weight back. For some of us it may take more time to gain back the weight for some less but in a couple of years we gained all the weight back and more.

Now lets talk about exercise, most programs focus on a lot of cardio whether it´s long sessions of steady state or some HIIT routines that are like hell. I´ve mentioned before on other posts that cardio is not the best way to lose fat, it´s beneficial and can help you achieve your goals faster if you do it correctly which is not what those programs do. Too much cardio lead to muscle loss and makes it harder to lose weight because of the adaptation and the signal it sends.

I mentioned in other post that cardio and resistance send different signals to your body (click here to read that post), cardio tells your body to be more efficient at that activity, with cardio you improve your endurance and for that muscle mass is not needed it can actually block your progress so you start losing body mass because you don´t need it for that activity and every time you need to do more and more cardio just to maintain your weight otherwise you start gaining it back.

Those weight loss programs put together the most common strategies to lose weight fast without considering your health and long term success. Yes, if you eat less and move more you´ll lose weight with any program, the problem comes later when you get off the diet, it only takes some months or years until you regain the weight.

The biggest mistake is this: It´s not about losing weight fast, it´s about losing weight at a sustainable pace that gives you the freedom you need while developing the habits needed to make that weight loss sustainable. The only way to do this is by focusing on hormones and metabolism, when you start following strategies so that your hormones and metabolism work efficiently, hunger and cravings start to decrease and you feel less tired, you start feeling more energy, more motivated and is easier to follow a diet, with time you see that you can still enjoy your favorite dishes, desserts and snacks and you find yourself making healthier and better choices 80% to 90% of the time without effort. So you enjoy life a lot more. This is the place you want to get. This is our goal to help you get to that place.

Let us know by leaving a comment below and on Twitter if you´ve tried to lose weight before and which diet or program were you following? Also let us know why you stopped the program.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

DietHealth

What´s a ketogenic diet?

DSC_0380_fix
views
44

Have you heard about the keto diet? If you´ve heard about it but you´re new to it then this post will be helpful.

We´ve been told our entire lives that carbohydrates are the best source of energy for our body. But this is not completely true, ketones are another source of energy that our bodies can use efficiently.

A ketogenic diet reduces carbohydrates but you´ll find different macronutrient ratios because there´s not a rule to set a proper ratio, we´re all different and our lifestyles play a big role also. The goal of a ketogenic diet is to get into ketosis, this is possible by reducing carbohydrates, increasing fats and keeping protein moderate. Some people recommend 20% to 30% of carbohydrates, other people want to go lower in carbohydrates and recommend 5% to 10% of carbohydrates, 15% protein and 80% fat. If you go higher in fat and lower in carbohydrates it is possible to get into ketosis faster.

When glucose is available in the blood, the body will use that to make energy instead of using stored body fat.  When glucose is not available the body starts breaking down fat, and ketones become its primary fuel source.

When we lower carbohydrates blood glucose levels lower and the body´s glycogen stores are depleted. When blood glucose is low and glycogen stores are depleted it forces our body to use another fuel rather than glucose. The body naturally utilizes glucose whenever it is available in the bloodstream or from the breakdown of stored glycogen. By lowering the amount of glucose from food which are mostly carbohydrates and the amount of glucose stored as glycogen the body is able to start burning fat/ketones as its primary source.

In the presence of a low-carbohydrate diet, all healthy fats are easily metabolized and broken down, including saturated fats (trans fats and unhealthy vegetable and seed oils are not part of this, they are unhealthy fats and have negative effects for our health).

Ketogenic diets shifts the body from relying on glucose to relying on fat as its primary fuel, where we are in a state of ketosis, the body easily taps into fat stores when it needs energy. Before our body starts using fats efficiently it needs to adapt, this adaptation and switching from utilizing carbohydrates as its main source of energy to utilizing fat take some time. The period of adaptation varies from person to person, consider 4 to 6 weeks to give enough time for our body to adapt, it may adapt sooner, or it may take longer. The first days and weeks we may feel tired, unfocused, we may have headaches and other symptoms all related to this diet, this phase is known as the “keto flu”, most people give up during this period thinking that the diet is not for them.

The anabolic diet may be a good nutrition program for some people, but others may find it difficult to sustain, on the anabolic diet by Mauro Di Pasquale we follow a ketogenic diet for 2 weeks very high in fats and very low in carbohydrates to help our body adapts faster, on the second or third week on weekends (Saturday and Sunday) we change our macro ratios from high fat/low carbohydrates to high carbohydrates/low fat, making this two days or for some people just one day like a cheat meal or cheat day, I´ll explain more about this diet which I consider to be a modified ketogenic diet in other post.

If you want to try a ketogenic diet I do not recommend counting calories or trying to lose weight and reduce calories during the adaptation period, if you are training continue with your cardio and resistance workouts but you may need to lower the volume and intensity. Once your body is adapted you´ll shred fat faster and your strength and energy increase so you´ll be able to continue with your workouts and make consistent progress.

This diet has so many amazing benefits for health and we´ll be talking about it consistently but this does not means that you need to go keto. You can use it as a tool to lose fat and get lean, you can cycle it with a more balanced diet or you can stick to your actual diet if you feel great. Remember that it doesn´t matter which diet or nutrition program you are following you need to make sure you´re doing it the right way to avoid any problem.

As always before making any change in your diet and exercise program you need to talk with you doctor or health practitioner first, especially if you have any health issue.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Sleep

Why lack of sleep can make you gain weight

DSC_0497_fix
views
44

If you want to make your weight loss journey easier and maintain a lean physique then you need to pay attention to the quality and quantity of sleep.

We´ve mentioned before that weight loss is not only about calories, in fact it is more about hormones and metabolism and sleep plays a huge role on maintaining all hormones and systems on your body in balance. Lack of sleep has a negative impact on your brain and body, this include your weight.

There´s so much research and studies done about the relationships between sleep and weight and it´s clear that when you don´t get enough high quality sleep you gain weight or at least it is harder for you to stay on track, the reason for this is hormones.

Some hormones regulate your hunger and appetite, these hormones are leptin and ghrelin, when leptin is up you have less cravings and you eat less, when ghrelin is up you have more cravings and you eat more. With lack of sleep or poor-quality sleep leptin decreases and ghrelin increases this is why it is harder to avoid unhealthy foods and to follow a diet when you didn´t get enough high-quality sleep.

Lack of sleep increases cravings for the unhealthy foods you need to avoid, highly processed and refined foods that are loaded with sugars, trans fats and unhealthy oils and if you eat them you´ll get into a cycle that is hard to leave thanks to the signals this food sends to your body including your brain. We also need to consider that you not only have cravings for unhealthy foods and in most cases you´ll end up eating them, you also tend to eat more.

Lack of sleep or poor sleep make you feel tired, without energy to exercise so chances are you´ll skip the work out of the day and if you don´t exercise, you eat unhealthy foods and you eat more you have the recipe to gain weight.

If your body is working properly and everything is in balance it´s really simple to lose weight and maintain optimal health and also maintain a healthy weight and to keep all hormones and systems in balance you need to make sure that your diet is sending the right messages to your body and enough high quality sleep makes this possible in an easier way.

Leptin and ghrelin are just two of the hormones, there are other hormones like growth hormone and insulin that also play an important role on weight and optimal health. There are studies that show that one night of poor sleep increases insulin and when insulin is high then you don´t burn fat. For a healthy weight loss and to make it sustainable you need to make sure that you are losing fat and maintaining lean muscle mass, insulin blocks fat burn.

One night of poor sleep takes all hormones out of balance which makes it impossible to lose weight and if it is chronical the negative impacts are worse.

On future posts we´ll talk about why weight loss is not about self-control and will power, it´s about making sure that your body works properly, this means that you need to improve your health, to maintain optimal health you need to develop certain healthy habits and routines which includes enough high quality sleep, this is key to make sure that all hormones are working properly which is what makes your weight loss possible in a simple, effortless and enjoyable way.

Finding ways, tools and strategies that help you get enough high quality sleep is important, having a sleep schedule, exercising especially in the morning, using breathing techniques are some of the tools you can use to improve sleep.

Let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter if you had pay attention at how you feel after a night of poor sleep, have you realized that you eat less, that you have more cravings and you more?

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

ExerciseMotivation

How to develop the right mindset to exercise

DSC_0446_fix
views
74

It´s hard to get up and exercise when you feel tired and your body hurts, and it´s harder when your mindset plays all kind of tricks to avoid all challenges, but getting up and exercise is key, is so important to lose weight, to keep it off and maintain optimal health.

In most cases what´s holding you back is your mindset and this is why you need to train your mindset the right way. A strong mindset will keep you going even when everything seems falling apart.

You need to start by realizing that if you are here, on this website is because you ae struggling with your weight and you want to make a change, you want to lose weight and improve your health so that you can live the life you deserve.

It´s really easy to set a goal and get excited at the beginning but maintaining that excitement and motivation when the journey gets hard is the difficult part, that´s when most people give up, but you won´t. You will continue and you´ll get through those hard times.

Our minds are designed to work on targets, on projects you always need to have a goal, a project or something you want to achieve, a purpose. You are here for a reason, for a purpose and that´s what keeps us going. The moment you lose sight of that project, goal or purpose you´re done. Most of us have dreams and would like to live a certain way but to live that incredible life you need to make health a priority.

You are capable of achieving whatever you want, you got everything you need physically and mentally you just need to get stronger, both physically and mentally and developing a strong mindset is harder. Once you get your mind right everything follows.

For anything you want to achieve there are some sacrifices you need to make and the journey is hard, there will be great days and there will also be hard and tough days, what will keep you going and get pass through those hard days is having a clear goal, seeing clearly your project fulfilled and the result you want to achieve, believing in yourself and knowing that you need to keep going to get that result you want.

Also there´s something you need to give in, something you need to lose for something much better to come. In this case your goal is to lose weight, keep it off and improve your health for this the sacrifices are time and effort, doing resistance training 4 or 5 days a week and being more active every day. The workouts are not complicated but they are hard, you need to challenge yourself to feel that pain and that challenge so that your body changes. You also need to eat healthy nutritious foods and avoid unhealthy, highly processed foods full of unhealthy oils and sugars. This is what you need to sacrifice for a better life.

Realize that there are no quick fixes, it´s a long and hard journey with sacrifices, there´s a price you need to pay but if you stick to the plan, if you are consistent eventually you´ll get to that result you´ve been working for and that´s when you´ll feel proud of what you´ve accomplished and all the work you put it, you earn that success.

You need to know and realize that things are going to be tough, that you need to push yourself and work as hard as you can for as long as you need before getting to the gym or before starting your workout, you get in that mental state of knowing that you have a plan and you´ll do whatever it takes to achieve your goal. You know that you´ll feel tired, your muscles will burn and you keep going until you´re done with what you had planned.

When you go to the gym or you are getting ready for your exercise routine you need to focus on your goal, what you want to achieve, how you want to look like and keep that image of you being successful in your mind. Think about the reason why you are exercising and make sure that all the mental images and self-talk is positive. You go to the gym and exercise because you love your body, you love how you feel, you love how exercise makes you feel. You feel strong and confident and you feel a sense of accomplishment after exercising. So when you arrive to the gym and start working out you give your all.

There´s a lot of things going on and that we need to talk about when it comes to developing the right mindset, not only to get up and exercise but to be successful in life and we´ll be sharing with you more information.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Stress

The impact of stress on our health

DSC_0098
views
52

When we talk about health and we want to make some changes we start with food and exercise but, stress plays a huge role on improving and maintaining optimal health. If you want to take your health seriously then you need to know some of the impacts stress has.

We´ve know that some stress is good, is beneficial for our body and we need it to maintain optimal health and get stronger but, the problem is with chronic stress because it takes almost all hormones and systems of our body out of sync and when they´re out of sync our body is not working properly and this leads to health problems.

We´ve talk on other posts about what is stress and the types of stress, we´ve also mentioned that food can increase stress by harming the gut bacteria. Stress has an impact on our gut, hormones, inflammation levels and all this creates a cascade of positive or negative effects on our body and brain.

From the moment you wake up to the moments you go to sleep you´re running from one activity to another even if they´re all routines you follow to get to school or job, get your homework and projects done, go to meetings, have lunch, come back home and every single day is full of stressful situations this type of stress is toxic for your body and since you go under this stress every day it gets chronic keeping it high for long periods of time and this is what leads to most visits to the doctor.

We can increase stress in our bodies in so many different ways, from what we eat, to the quality of sleep we get, from our environment, social media, news. Being surrounded by negativity including negative people. Since stress can be increased in so many ways it can seem impossible to escape from it but when you realize that it affects your hormones and systems and it may the cause of you not being able to function at your best then you can start taking actions.

We know that stress is a response from our body to keep us safe, this is how our ancestors survived but nowadays it´s constant and this constant stress affects our gut, our hormones and increase inflammation. It can affect our gut directly by the food we eat, if we eat healthy nutritious food then it can use all those nutrients and send them to the right places on our body, it regulates metabolism and also neurotransmitters which is why food affects our mood.

Stress also has an impact on our hormones it increases cortisol and adrenaline which can lead anxiety if it stays high chronically, when cortisol is high oxytocin is low, oxytocin is the love hormone and this imbalance in hormones can lead to problems with relationships.

Chronic inflammation is linked to chronic diseases and inflammation is a response of chronic stress, it´s the defense that our immune system sends to defend our body from bacteria, virus or stress.

It´s clear that stress has a highly negative impact on all hormones and systems of our body so we need to focus and work on lowering it to maintain optimal health. One great way to reduce stress is exercise, breathing exercises are also helpful, stop watching the news all day and reduce the time you spend on social media. Another way is to stay focus on the activity you have at hand and live in the present, stress also comes from staying mentally on the past which leads to depression and thinking about the future which leads to anxiety so focus on staying in the present moment.

Stress is also created on our mind, our mind creates and all kind of thought and most of them are not real, what you focus on is how you feel and what you attract so if you catch your mind thinking on the future and creating worries or if it´s stuck in the past bring it to the present and take a couple of minutes to do some breathing exercises to calm you down and don´t forget to exercise at least 5 days a week and make sure you get high quality sleep every night.

Let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter if you know what´s the biggest cause of stress in your life and what strategy or tool is the one you use to lower it.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam