Harmonize Fitness
Harmonize Fitness



What you need to know about insulin sensitivity and insulin resistance

09 Insulin resistance & sensitivity

Most people in the industry give us the same advice for weight loss “eat less-move more” and the reason this doesn´t work for most people is that getting in shape gets more complex, if we don´t understand how hormones work it will be harder to lose weight and keep it off. In most cases the ones trying to lose weight and get in shape have a lot of fat to lose and the chances of them being insulin resistant if really high, if we want results we need to improve insulin.

The hormone insulin is one of the most important when trying to lose fat and stay lean. Insulin resistant and insulin sensitivity will determine how efficient is your body at utilizing carbohydrates which can make your process simple or harder. Insulin is also related to diabetes which is a common diseases that affects more and more people.

Insulin sensitivity can be defined as the amount of insulin the pancreas needs to produce to move certain amount of glucose from the bloodstream to the cells. Someone who is insulin sensitive can need only a small amount of insulin, while someone who is insulin resistant needs a lot of insulin to deposit the same amount of glucose.

Insulin sensitive is when less insulin is required to move a greater amount of glucose into the cells. Insulin sensitivity is the ability to take in and utilize carbohydrates efficiently for energy. People who is insulin sensitive can consume high carbohydrate meals and use the glucose for fuel with low amounts of insulin. That is why they can eat donuts, brownies, cakes every night and stay lean.

People who are insulin sensitive are more likely to stay lean even if they eat a lot of sweets; the carbohydrates they eat are taken up from the bloodstream to the cells and are use as fuel, people that is insulin resistant have to release a large amount of insulin to get some of that glucose into the cells, this blocks the breakdown of fat.

Insulin resistance is when the cells stop responding to insulin so all the glucose stays in the bloodstream and our bodies stop breaking down fat and instead we end up storing it. Those who are insulin resistant must use excessive amounts of insulin to do the job, which means that their blood glucose is higher. People who are overweight or obese are likely insulin resistant, reducing carbohydrates can improve insulin levels.

If you are insulin sensitive you can eat carbohydrates, if you are insulin resistant or diabetic, considering a low carbohydrate or ketogenic nutrition program can lower insulin and improve insulin sensitivity.

The more effective your body is at utilizing carbohydrates the easier it is to burn fat, to get lean and to stay lean, if insulin is high your body cannot breakdown fat and use it for energy, being insulin resistant which makes glucose in the bloodstream stays high won´t let your body use fat even on a low calorie diet.

The best ways to improve insulin resistant is by lowering carbohydrates consumption and intermittent fasting. You can use this strategies for a period of time until your insulin resistant improves and you lose some weight or you can adapt them to your life making them a lifestyle. Intermittent fasting have a lot more benefits for your health, to get all the benefits of a low carbohydrate diet the best option is ketogenic where fat intake is about 70%, protein 20% and carbohydrates 10%. (This macro nutrients vary from people to people).

People with obesity or overweight are more likely to be insulin resistant, their body is not efficient at using carbohydrates and some other hormones like cortisol, leptin, ghrelin, metabolism. Their body is not being as effective as it should so in this case they need to be more discipline in their diet by reducing carbohydrates for a period of time until they lose some weight and their body gets more efficient.

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Fitness goals

Tips for gaining muscle mass

08 Principles of muscle gains

As you may know by now I like to keep everything simple and the way to do that is by keeping my nutrition almost the same for any goal and I just make little adjustments to fit my goal, the way I adjust any nutrition program is by using tools like intermittent fasting, carbohydrate cycling and sometimes ketogenic diets.

Last week I share with you the principles I follow to burn fat, this week I´ll share with you my principles to gain lean muscle mass. As you already know I prefer to stay as lean as possible while gaining muscle to make it easier and faster when I want to lose that extra fat.

For the nutrition aspect for gaining lean muscle  the principles you need to follow are very simple: Increase calories and cycle carbohydrates. This are two principles I use when I´m gaining muscle, I love to keep things simple and  not getting obsessed with anything.


Even when you have more room to eat more it doesn´t mean that you can eat unhealthy foods, you need to keep those low and focus on healthy foods that give your body the nutrients it needs to function properly, perform great, recover and grow.


Increasing calories is necessary to build muscle, you need to give your body nutrients and energy to get through the workouts and to recover. I´ve share with you one simple formula to get you calorie intake and two different ways to set macro nutrient ratios. Most people don´t need a lot of calories to build muscle, it takes around 300 to 400 calories, if you eat foods that are high in calories you can end up eating a lot more than what you need to build muscle and the rest will get stored as fat. The increase in calories come from starch carbohydrates.

You need to give enough nutrients to your body to repair and build so you need to consider the total amount of exercise you are doing, if you do resistance training and cardio training every day you are able to eat more.


Gaining lean muscle mass without a lot of fat along is what I prefer, this way you look great mostly all the time and when you want to lean down you can do it faster. Cycling carbohydrates is the best way to do it. To build muscle you need to increase calories, those extra calories come from starchy carbohydrates, what you´ll do to cycle them is on your resistance training days you increase carbohydrates to give your body fuel and nutrients, on your rest days you keep all macros the same, meaning you´ll be at maintenance.

By cycling carbohydrates you won´t be increasing calories every day, you only increase them on your resistance training days giving nutrients to your body to recover, on your rest days, your body doesn´t need those extra calories and that extra energy from the carbohydrates so you keep your maintenance macro ratios.

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How our thoughts create our reality

02 The negative effects of stress

Most of us have a lot of dreams, some of them are really big while others are small and when someone ask me how they can make their dreams a reality my answer is this: you need to take that big dream and set it as your ultimate goal, divide it into small monthly and weekly goals, create a plan of action and follow it. This is the active part but your mind needs to be right, what you think of most of the time is what we attract.

Most of us spend most of our time thinking on what we don´t want, even when you take some time every day to read affirmations or visualize your goals this is not enough if the rest of the day you are thinking of the opposite. The problem is our subconscious mind as long as your subconscious mind is stock in a negative way of thinking and the wrong mindset you´ll stay where you are.

Everything you see in your real life was first a thought, everything is created first in our mind then we come with ideas to take that thought and bring into the real world. This is easier said than done, your mindset, your thoughts, feelings and emotions they all need to be in harmony and you need to act so that you achieve your goals.

Since we are born we are programmed by society, friends, family, school, media to live a certain way and this program full of negativity and lack thoughts are stored in our subconscious this is why we keep living the same way year after year. This is why if you are struggling financially even when your goal is to get a better job and earn more money you can be doing all the visualization and affirmation exercises you want but if you don´t change the program running in your subconscious you won´t make any progress.

What we need to do is reprogram the mind, change the thoughts that are running on our subconscious to go according to our goals and the life we want to live. The way to do this is by repetition, yes we need to use tools like visualization but to make that mental image work we need to first calm the mind. Our mind is always working, it never stops, it´s always thinking so if you don´t work on calming it first you won´t be able to focus on what you really want.

Our mind is always creating the worst scenarios possible for any situation, we´ve been programmed to think negatively the entire time so when you start making changes it gets though.

Repetition is key so yes you need to change your thoughts patterns and the programs that are playing on your mind right now, to change them you need to visualize your goals and affirmations but it is important that your mind is calm when you do this. To calm your mind you need to use breathing and meditation techniques, you can start with breathing and go into meditation once you are relaxed and your mind is calm, then you can start visualizing your goal and putting as much feelings and emotions. This is when great things start to happen.

Now that you are training your mind you know that is not only about thinking positive thoughts, the energy and vibration you are key, you can be thinking positive thoughts but deep inside you feel fear, anger or doubt so your energy and vibration are not in harmony with your thoughts.

When you breath and meditate to calm and relax your mind and body you are able to get your thoughts, feelings and emotions in harmony once you achieve harmony and you put the time and work needed that is when the magic happens.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.



How our jobs are making us sick

24 How our lifestyle is making it harder

We´ve all heard that we need to get a 9 to 5 job and live for the pay check until we retire. For most of us this jobs are creating so may health problems.

Doing something you don´t like is stress, if you have a 9 to5 job and you don´t like what you do you´re living with stress plus the stress that comes from dealing with coworkers, your boss and a lot of work you need to do. That job is not only making you fat but also killing you and the reason is not that you spend most of the time in a desk job and you´ve become more sedentary (yes it´s part of some the pounds you´ve gained but not all). Stress is what´s causing most of the problems.

What I´ve seen is that most people is so worried on being fired that they spend most of their time thinking and focused on all the job they haven´t finished, the meetings, the problems with coworkers, their bosses never like what they do so they never have time for themselves.

The truth is your company or the place you work is not interested in you or your health, they´re interested in the money and numbers. This creates fear and worry in all employees which create terrible work environments. Those 9 to 5 jobs are long hours of high demanding effort that make us feel overwhelmed. 

If the environment you work in is toxic, negative and stressful this is what creates most of the problems, you may be doing something you don´t like but you like the place where you work, you feel comfortable with what you do, the relationship with your boss and coworkers is great so you are actually doing great. Even if you don´t like what you do or you would prefer to do something different you still wake up every morning excited to get to your job because you like the environment. If you like what you do but the your coworkers are always making fun of you, you´re being bullied, the relation with your boss is terrible it seems that he hates everything you do you are under too much stress even if you like what you do. If you like what you do and you like the place where you work then you are in paradise. It´s so hard to find a job that you actually love doing and that you love the work place and environment, where you have great relation with your boss and coworkers.

If you have so much things to do you´re focused the entire day on your job even when you are out of the office you are still thinking on all the things you need to get done, it´s like if you were a prisoner, you arrive on time and don´t go out for lunch you even work double shift, your boss watch every move, and don´t forget the time you spend to go from your home to your job and back again every single day.

If it´s not enough all the stress caused every day at the office you get home and you are worried about how you´re going to make it through the next pay check or the fear of being fired cause lack of sleep which increase cravings for unhealthy foods, you can´t focus on the task at hand, you´re not motivated, etc. And what most of us do? We give in to stress, since we were kids we´ve seen our moms, dads and almost every one living like this so we think it´s normal and that´s how we´re meant to live.

We know from other posts about the effects stress have on health by triggering certain hormones and neurotransmitters. Now this is how sitting in a desk job is also a problem, most of us have unhealthy habits so if your coworkers have bad eating habits chances are you´ll follow their lead so you go and grab something from the vending machine and if you have time for lunch you may get fast or processed food, if you don´t have time you´ll stick with the vending machine. So yes you are more sedentary, you spend most of your time sitting, when you need to go to another floor you take the elevator and you eat almost unhealthy food. Even when this is a problem if you can manage stress you´ll be able to react in a more positive way in your day and you can start changing this negative habits for good ones.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.



How sleep impacts our hormones

08 Sleep and hormones

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. Lack of sleep puts stress to 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 produce 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 tell 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.

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 for you 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 this 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 make 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.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.



How isolation exercises compliment your workouts

08 Isolation

For the last years this type of exercises have become the go for many in the gym and even when I can´t agree with this the reason is simple, “the pump”. To look bigger faster which is not what I´m looking for.

I consider isolation exercises a great tool if you know how to use them to get the best results, for resistance training it´s a complex balance between the 3 types of exercises, variables of training (which we´re going to talk about in the next posts), and training techniques (we´re also going to talk about them in separate posts).

Isolation exercises are single-joint movements and they work one muscle at a time so you can´t lift heavy weight with this exercises. They may not be the best option to gain strength but they have their space on some workouts.

If your goal is to lose fat and get lean you can create a great workout program with just bodyweight and compound movements but if your goal is to gain muscle you can add some isolation exercises to hit weaker muscles.

While for compound movements you can lift heavy weight and work on myofibryllar hypertrophy, strength and power, with isolation movements you can´t lift heavy. You´ll be using a weight you can lift for around 12 to 15 reps, you can go a bit heavier and hit the 10 to 12 reps. In both rep ranges you´ll be working on a sarcoplasmic hypertrophy range (if you want to learn more about types of hypertrophy click here).

If you feel like a muscle group needs more work then you can use isolation exercises to give that muscle the extra work they´re missing.

There are so many isolation exercises and variations for every muscle group that it can get overwhelming, to keep it simple if you can stick with some few exercises for 2 or 3 months so that you can see your progress do it, especially if you are starting your fitness journey. You need to get familiar with the movements using lighter weight before you can add more weight and that process takes time.

When you focus on bodyweight and compound movements you may feel like some muscles are weaker or lagging and you want to work them more, for this you use isolation movements to hit those muscle specifically. 1 or 2 exercises for the weaker muscles is all you need, there´s no reason to do a lot more, if you feel like you still need more you can use some of the variables we´ll be talking about on future post or what I call advance techniques like rest pause, failure training or dropsets.

When your goal is gaining muscle you may be looking to gain muscle mass on one specific muscle so the way to do this is by adding more volume which you can do by combining bodyweight, compound and isolation exercises, you can use bodyweight and compound for heavy weight low reps and you can add 1 or 2 isolation exercises with lower weight and high reps, this way you can hit that muscle with both types of hypertrophy and more volume.

For anyone new to working out the best option is to focus on bodyweight and compound movements, start with lighter weight until you get comfortable with the exercises and start increasing weight, you can get in really good shape and build a great physique with those 2 types of movements, to lose fat faster add some cardio.

After a few months you can start to add some isolation exercises to your workouts to add more volume and variation. As you get more train you need to keep changing things constantly and isolation movements give you a lot more options.

Sticking with compound movements even when there are some variations for each exercise you may get stuck at some point, bodyweight exercises also have a lot of variations which keep your workouts challenging and fun but isolation movements have a lot more options considering that you can use them with almost all advance techniques.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.



What you need to know about insulin

08 Insulin

With so many diets and a lot of contradicting information, myths and lies the best way to know what´s true, what doesn´t, what work and what doesn´t is to understand how things work. This has been my focus for the last years understanding how things work and to get in shape and sustain it hormones play an important role, one of those hormones is insulin.

Insulin is a hormone that is produced and secreted by the pancreas following the consumption of carbohydrates. When we consume carbohydrates, they are broken down into glucose which raises the amount of glucose in the bloodstream. The body cannot have a lot of glucose in the bloodstream so the pancreas secret insulin to take the excess of glucose from the bloodstream to the cells.

Carbohydrates are the primary trigger of insulin. Insulin blocks the utilization of fat as fuel and promotes its storage so when insulin is high fat is not burned, when insulin is low the body can break down triglycerides (stored fat) to be used as fuel.

When insulin is absent or the cells are not responding to it glucose is not used efficiently and therefore cannot be utilized for energy. Under these conditions carbohydrate consumption causes blood glucose levels to skyrocket.

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that occurs when the hormone insulin is not working properly. There are two types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2. Millions of people are diagnosed and in treatment of one of this types while many others are undiagnosed.

Type 1 diabetes is when the pancreas which produces insulin cannot work efficiently resulting in insulin deficiency, with this lack of insulin the cells are unable to take up glucose,  blood sugar is high but it cannot get into the cells. This type of diabetes is generally treated with insulin injections which provide the insulin that the body needs to take glucose out of the bloodstream.

Type 2 diabetes is when the pancreas is still able to secret insulin, but cells are unable to respond to insulin and therefore do not allow glucose to enter. This is known as insulin resistance, it is the opposite of insulin sensitivity in which insulin easily moves glucose into cells. Individuals whit type 2 diabetes should aim to improve their insulin resistance.

In  insulin resistant cells do not respond efficiently to insulin´s signals to take up excess glucose, the pancreas secret more and more insulin to compensate for insulin resistance and manage blood glucose levels. Over time, this process leads to dysfunction and the pancreas is not able to secret insulin efficiently to maintain healthy levels of glucose in the bloodstream. Glucose then accumulates in the bloodstream which may lead to type 2 diabetes.

In both type of diabetes and even when insulin injections and other drugs are the preferred treatment, I cannot stress enough the importance of making healthy life changes including exercise and nutrition. 

The importance of a healthy lifestyle that includes daily exercise and a healthy diet have a positive impact on your life and daily activities preventing some diseases and leading to a more enjoyable and meaningful life.

The hormone insulin is one of the most important when trying to lose fat and stay lean. Insulin resistance and insulin sensitivity will determine how efficient is your body at utilizing carbohydrates which can make your process simple or harder. Insulin is also related to diabetes which is a common diseases that affects more and more people.

High levels of insulin for a long period of time is unhealthy and causes may health issues, every time you eat insulin gets high so one way to keep it low is following some type of fast, you can do this by reducing meals per day, instead of 5 meals per day try 2 meals. Another way you can keep insulin low is with a low carbohydrate diet, specially keto which is high in fats, carbohydrates are the macro which spikes insulin.

High levels of insulin caused by unhealthy diets are the cause of most metabolic diseases so finding tools you can use to keep it low will give you amazing benefits.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.



This fat loss tips will make everything easier


As always I´m trying to keep things simple and give you the best tools to achieve your fitness goals in the fastest, most effective way possible while helping you live a healthier life. To make things easier for you I´m sharing today some principles for fat loss that if you follow them you´ll lose fat, you´ll get results.

For this principles I will consider that you are insulin sensitive so you don´t need to be worrying about following strict diets low in carbohydrates and you´ll be burning fat efficiently.

For the nutrition aspect for fat loss the principles you need to follow are very simple: Avoid unhealthy foods, reduce calories and try intermittent fasting. This are the three principles I follow when I want to lose fat, I don´t over complicate things and don´t get stressed.


Many people are so obsessed with finding the best diet to lose weight as fast as possible, from keto to vegetarian or paleo but most of us still consume a lot of unhealthy foods. The first step and the one that is going to give you the best results is to avoid unhealthy foods as much as possible, this include sweets, junk, processed and fast food. Develop the habit of eating fresh food like vegetables, fruit, meats, fish.


You need to eat less to force your body to use stored fat for energy. The goal is to create a deficit that is sustainable, one that is enough for your body to use body fat and that you don´t feel hungry. If you feel hungry it´ll be harder to stay on a caloric deficit, also if you go to low in calories for a long period of time your metabolism slows down and your body gets in starvation making it impossible to burn fat.


With intermittent fasting you reduce insulin by eating just two times a day, this creates the perfect scenario for your body to burn fat, it also gives you the opportunity to have bigger meals and you don´t need to be thinking about food all day long. Reducing the amount of meals you have per day reduces your stress and makes your life easier, reducing stress also has a positive impact on weight loss and it´s easier to stay on a caloric deficit.

Don´t forget to eat a good amount of protein to maintain your muscle mass even when you are reducing calories, make that calories reduction come from carbohydrates. Focus on making healthy food choices to make your fat loss faster and easier, even when reducing calories helps you burn fat, if you eat healthy, nutritious food your body works more efficiently so it´s easier to lose fat than when you eat junk and processed foods.

If you can keep your diet simple by selecting some healthy meals you love and eating them over and over again it´ll be easier. You don´t need to eat the same exact meal two times a day or every day, you can make a list of your favorite healthy meals and create a meal plan for one week and just keep repeating that meal plan making some adjustments.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.



The power of believing in yourself

07 BEliefs

I´ve met so many people in my life that have so many big dreams but they don´t accomplish any of those dreams. They settle to what we´re taught about living pay check to pay check and they´re really focused on what everyone around them have to say and since we´re more prone to criticize, blame and make fun of everyone else they believed they didn´t deserve anything so they stopped believing in themselves.

We all dream of having an amazing life but not everyone of us is willing to pay the price to live that amazing life, it takes so much hard work and time but what makes the difference is making the first step and to make that first step you need to be motivated enough. The way to get that high amount of motivation you need is by believing in yourself, believing it is possible.

Have you ever heard the phrase “If you don´t believe in yourself no one else will”? This is absolutely true and the reason is simple, people sense what you radiate, if you don´t believe in yourself you lack confidence and the fear and doubt that runs inside of you is what you radiate.

If you don´t believe in you, you are limiting yourself to a tone of ideas, possibilities and opportunities that this amazing life can give you. Almost all successful people from entrepreneurs to great athletes, actors and actresses, musicians they all believed in themselves even when no one else did, they set a target and work on it knowing that it could be possible and that they could do it.

What would you love to do right now and for the rest of your life if I tell you that it is absolutely possible and that you have everything you need to do it?

One of the first things you need to do and you can start right now is stop thinking of what other people say and think of you, if you want something belief it´s possible and believe that you can achieve and don´t listen to everyone around you who tells you it can´t be done or you won´t make it, do not pay attention to those comments.

Visualization is a great tool to keep you focus and motivated, you need to create a clear mental image of what you want to achieve and feel the emotions as if you already achieved it, the emotions and feelings are the key to keep you focus and working towards your goal.

If you have a dream take that big dream and set it as your ultimate goal from there you work backwards, you set monthly goals and weekly goals and create an action plan with things you need to do every day, every week and every month. Small actions every day get you closer to your goal.

Since we´ve been conditioned to doubt ourselves it can be hard to start with big goals so start with something small, we all have small goals that we want to accomplish but “we´re just waiting for the right time” or “we´re not ready yet” all this thoughts are excuses based on fear and self doubt.

I´ve seen in many people that our lifestyle also has a huge effect on our believes and how much we are able to achieve our goals, if we have unhealthy habits we have low energy, we´re not focused, we´re lazy, we are in a terrible mood and of course we don´t feel like doing anything. Developing good healthy habits like exercising, eating healthy foods, lowering stress, having good quality sleep and the right mindset makes it easier to believe in yourself. When you have a healthy lifestyle based on healthy habits you feel great and when you feel great your confidence and believe in yourself increases and this is when great things start to happen.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.



How stress and junk food cravings are related

07 stress and junk food

Have you ever wonder why is it harder for you to avoid sweets, junk and foods high in sugar when you are stressed out? You are not alone, this happens to almost all of us but don´t freak out there are some tools you can use to reduce this cravings.

Most of the times when you have cravings specially for sweets and highly process foods full of sugar you are stressed out and it´s hard to control them and a couple minutes later you´re done with the entire bag of cookies or chocolate that was in front of you. You feel great for a couple of hours but then before you realize it you have cravings again, this is a vicious cycle and it´s tough to stop it.

We´ve seen in posts before that stress increases cortisol and reduces neurotransmitters that make you feel good like serotonin. When you eat junk and processed foods full of sugars, unhealthy fats and chemicals the contrary occurs, this foods reduces cortisol and triggers the neurotransmitters in your brain that make you feel good. This is why when you eat them and sometime after you feel good but hours later you feel down again, stressed out, anxious and you have cravings again. This is just part of the problem.

When you are under stress your body needs energy in case you need to run (the fight-or-flight response) this can increase your hunger and stress triggers a hormone called ghrelin which control your appetite so you will have cravings specially for foods high in sugar which are the best source of fast energy that your body “needs” in that moment. Finally, stress also affects sleep, a lack of good quality sleep also increase cravings and makes it almost impossible to avoid unhealthy foods.

So if you think about it what our body is doing is what it is supposed to be doing, it is reacting to stress so it needs to be ready to save you, it needs a lot more energy so you have cravings for unhealthy foods and it stops unnecessary systems in your body. The problem is that we have a constant flow of stress day in and day out.

Most of us live with chornic stress and some of the ways we use to deal with it is by smoking, drinking, comfort food and social media which causes a lot more problems. We´ve all have difficult times in life and on a daily basis we need to deal with the teacher that don´t understand us, the kids that spend most time bullying us, the boss that hate us and never likes our job, coworkers who make our job harder, all the work and projects we need to finish, the bad relation we have we family or friends and our financial situations but the way we deal with all this is what makes all the difference.

Now, there´s another problem, every time you eat highly processed foods full of sugars, fats and chemicals the reward and pleasure center of your brain is triggered so you feel great for a period of time and sometime later this same foods make you feel depressed, anxious and you may feel guilty for eating them, you may get anxious and angry for not being able to avoid them which creates more stress.

This are some tools you can use to lower stress and keep cravings in check. Exercise is my go to, it has a lot of benefits but related to lowering stress it triggers endorphins that make you feel good and improve mood, this is why you may don´t want to hit the gym but after you´re done with your workout you feel great.

Another way to stop cravings is to keep hunger in check, if you eat highly processed foods full of sugar and chemicals you tend to be hungry most of the time, having meals high in simple carbohydrates and low in fats won´t keep you full for a long period of time so what you can do is increase healthy fats in your meals, avocado is a great option and use olive oil to cook. Also add foods high in fiber, this will keep you satiated for a longer period of time and it will reduce cravings.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.