Stress Less, Weigh Less

Everybody has a certain amount of stress in their lives. It’s basically unavoidable and can be caused by a number of factors: school, work, family and relationships.

Stress Less, Weigh LessIt is said that 80-90% of illnesses are linked to stress. This statistic, however, is not an excuse to allow stress to take over your health. It is how we deal with and control stress that determines how it affects us.

In relation to weight loss, stress is pretty much your worst enemy. This is especially true for individuals that predominantly store weight in their midsection. As stress levels in your body rise, so do the levels of cortisol and adrenaline. These increased levels can either fuel your fire or shut it down.

You can easily gain control of your stress levels and excel at a weight loss plan by paying closer attention to how stress and hormones directly affect one another.

Cortisol, insulin, leptin and serotonin are all hormones that affect fat loss. They are surprisingly very closely related to one another. If one hormone is out of whack, chances are the others are not too far behind.

Insulin is the body’s blood sugar regulator. In high-carbohydrate/low-protein diets, blood sugar levels are typically higher. This causes the body to pump out excessive amounts of insulin, causing it to become resistant to insulin and fat loss.

Cortisol, often referred to as the stress hormone, can lead to a drop in the growth hormone, causing your body to become catabolic. Cortisol has been shown to increase when insulin levels are high or during periods of intense stress. Increased cortisol levels are also associated with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, which can negatively affect anyone’s weight training or fat loss plans. You can gain control of your cortisol levels by doing cardio first thing in the morning, when your body’s cortisol levels are the highest due to increased adrenaline that the body uses to wake up.

Rapidcuts Shredded also works with your body to control cortisol levels, speed up your metabolism and helps you burn fat throughout the day. Not only will you experience increased energy, but you will feel more positive and alert.

Leptin, a hormone produced by body fat, is responsible for telling the brain when to eat and when you are satisfied. In some individuals the message of satiety is not heard, causing the body to send out more leptin, which adds to cravings and overeating.

Cravings due to increased insulin and leptin levels are likely to spike your cortisol levels, causing fat cells to gather and store fat. As cortisol is closely associated with belly fat, it can lead to serious health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain made from amino acids found in protein, is also responsible for creating a level of satisfaction. Low levels of serotonin lead to depression, lethargy and a preference for carbohydrates. Further, serotonin also plays a vital role in restful sleep. Increase the level of satiety in your mind by making sure your protein intake throughout the day is sufficient. A typical bodybuilder should be getting 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight, to ensure they remain anabolic and satisfied throughout the day.

Isoflex is a whey protein isolate that offers 27 grams of quality protein per serving. It contains only 1 gram of sugar and is basically fat-free. In addition to creating satiety, protein is also harder to break down than both fats and carbohydrates, causing your body to work harder and in turn, burn more calories.

Weight loss programs typically create high levels of stress on the body with regards to free radicals and muscle breakdown. If you want to be successful in your weight loss program, you must properly arm yourself with supplements that will help you properly channel your stress into more positive energy.

Glutamine and R-ALA can help reduce the amount of self-inflicted stress your body experiences by boosting your immune system and ridding the body of any free radicals. Both these supplements will help keep your body anabolic and aid in recovery.

Your muscles, however, will only recover with proper sleep. If you do not get enough rest, your body will have elevated levels of cortisol throughout the day due to exhaustion.This makes it impossible to lose fat. A good night’s sleep is important because it gives your body a chance to relax and recover after a workout. During sleep, your body will maximize its output of the growth hormone. Taking advantage of this output will help you wake up feeling stronger. This is why ALLMAX Nutrition offers you ZMA, a natural anabolic mineral formula. ZMA has been scientifically proven to increase anabolic hormone levels (testosterone) and muscle mass in trained athletes. Since zinc and magnesium are often easily depleted from the body, supplementing 30 mg of zinc and 450 mg of magnesium can boost test levels by 30%. Taking ZMA nightly can greatly increase your muscular/strength gains. As a little icing on the cake, zinc is a natural sleep-inducer that produces vivid dreams.

Weight loss doesn’t have to be stressful, so relax with ALLMAX Nutrition’s weight loss stack. You may just find that stress was the only thing weighing you down.

Valeria Fazio

Valeria Fazio holds a B.A. Honors degree in history from Carleton University and a diploma in professional writing from Algonquin College. She has been competing in amateur fitness and figure competitions for three years, and has recently qualified for the 2011 Ontario Provincial Figure Championships. As a certified personal trainer and nutritional coach, Valeria helps others in her free time to achieve their fitness goals.

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