5 Reasons Why You Are Having A Constant Waking Up During The Night

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Contents of this article

Are you bothered by the constant waking up in the middle of the night?

Throughout my adulthood, “Waking up in the middle of the night” was a way of life, and until recently I really believed that there was nothing I could do to stop this “constant going up in the night”.
Thanks to this discovery, I now sleep like a baby, wake up, wake up, and are ready to spend the day.

But first, what wakes up at night

If you are wondering what causes awakening in the middle of the night, there are several factors, but the most common causes of sleeplessness for the elderly are:

The first common cause of nighttime awakening that occurs more commonly in older patients is associated with:

  • Recurrent depressive disorder
  • Chronic pain,
  • Obstructive sleep apnea,
  • obesity,
  • Extreme alcohol intake
  • high blood pressure,
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease,
  • Heart disease,
  • menopause,
  • Weakened problem prostate
  • Bipolar disorder

How can you sleep overnight without waking up

The ability to sleep in the middle of the night without waking up starts with establishing a quiet and relaxed bedtime routine.

  1. Take a relaxing dip in essential oils such as lavender, chamomile and tea tree oil.
  2. Listen to soothing music and let your bedroom relax.
  3. Put the clock in your bedroom so that you can not see it.
  4. Avoid caffeine after noon and limit your drinking to a few hours before bedtime.
  5. If you are struggling to sleep well at night, drinking alcohol will make it worse for you.
  6. If you must drink, drink within a few hours before bedtime.
  7. Avoid smoking.
  8. Let's do regular exercise.
  9. Running for a few hours before going to bed can help you feel better for a peaceful night. And if you can't run, it's okay to jump off.
  10. Sleep only when sleeping

What can I do to get a good night's sleep?

In most cases of sleep apnea, it can be easily reversed by taking some supplements as a sleep aid. There are many brands that offer sleep supplements. Here are some of the best editorial sleep supplements that anyone can use to get a good night's sleep.

N-acetylcysteine

If you are new to cysteine, it is one of the essential amino acids that the body uses to synthesize the important detoxification and antioxidant molecule glutathione. Also known as (NAC), this N-acetylcysteine ​​takes advantage of its mucus-reducing (mucolytic) properties to prepare the body (Tse 2014; Lu 2013).

  • Take vitamin C
  • Take vitamin E
  • Coenzyme Q10.
  • Please give me some selenium.
  • Take vitamin D
  • Take omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Take B vitamins.

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How to fix your sleep schedule in one night

Want to know how to sleep overnight without waking up? All humans need a certain amount of sleep every night to refresh and charge the next day. However, for many people, the next morning's incline can not be avoided immediately because it does not have enough quality sleep or suffers from sleep disorders.

What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?

When it comes to sleep apnea symptoms, it is something to worry a lot. In fact, many people wake up feeling as if they are not sleeping correctly or sleeping completely for 8 hours and as if they were not sleeping. Sleep apnea can be the cause of this.

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Chocolate Caramel Crispy

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Ingredients: 6 Carved Mars Bar 150g Butter 120g Rice Crispy 150g Milk Chocolate Description: 20 x 20 cm / 8 "x 8" Tin-lined tin for baking. Mix with a whisk and melt until smooth. Pour over rice crispy in a mixing bowl and mix until all ingredients are mixed evenly. Press evenly on the baking tin to be prepared and set aside. Chocolate on a pan of water simmering in a microwave or barely. Spread the melted chocolate over the rice crispy mixture and leave it in a cool place.
Source: https://thelemonsqueezy.com/recipe/mediterranean-pasta-salad/

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Smoked Haddock Kedgeree

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Ingredients: 50g butter 1 chopped onion 3 pods cardamom 1/4 teaspoonful small cinnamon sticks fresh bay leaf twig 450g basmati rice 1 liter chicken stock 750 g smoked haddock 3 eggs 3 tblsp chopped parsley 1 chop lemon pan [width about 20 cm Add 1 finely chopped onion to the], and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes until soft. Add three cardamom pods, one 1⁄4 teaspoon, one small cinnamon stick, and two bay leaves. Then cook for 1 minute. Turn over with 450 g of Basmati rice and stir until it is all coated well with spicy butter. Pour 1 liter of chicken or fish stock, add 1/2 tsp of salt and boil, and bottom of the pan. Cover with a close fit lid, cook on low heat and cook very gently for 12 minutes. In the meantime, boil the water in a large shallow pan. Add 750 g of unstained smoked haddock fillet and simmer for 4 minutes until the fish simmers. Lift it on a plate and leave it cool enough to handle. Hard-boil three eggs for 8 minutes. Discard the skin and bones and flake the fish. Drain the eggs, chill a little, peel and mince. If you wish, take out the rice and remove the bay leaves, cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods. Gently simmer the fish and minced eggs, cover and heat for 2-3 minutes, or until the fish is hot. Stir in 3 tablespoons of fresh parsley gently, add some salt and taste the black pepper. Scatter and serve with the remaining parsley, garnish with 1 lemon and cut into wedges.
Source: https://thelemonsqueezy.com/recipe/mediterranean-pasta-salad/

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The 10 Commandments Of Permanent Weight Loss

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Nothing sucks more than following a weight loss program to the letter and being rewarded with no weight loss, or worse yet, a weight gain.

Generally, when it appears that you’re doing everything right but not losing weight, it’s because you’re violating one of these 10 commandments of permanent weight loss.

Let’s get into them…

Commandment #1: Thou Shalt Focus On Changing Behavior…NOT On Losing Weight

Yup, you read that right. If you want to lose weight you must stop focusing on weight loss and start focusing on changing your behavior.

Stand by for an epiphany in 3…2…1…

A healthy weight chases a healthy body and a healthy body follows healthy behaviors.

Therefore…

When you focus on healthy behaviors, you will be rewarded with a healthy body (and metabolism), which will reward you with a healthy weight.

Here’s why this is a REAL epiphany…

I was working with a pre-diabetic patient named Shelly and she was despirate to lose weight.

So, I started her on a walking program, which I call the 30/30 plan.

In a nutshell, the 30/30 plan involves walking 30 minutes a day for 30 straight days, rain, snow, or shine, in sickness and in health.

According to the rules of the 30/30 plan, if you miss a day for ANY reason, you must start from day one.

We made some other mild changes to her lifestyke and off she went to begin her 30 days of walking for 30-minutes a day. We scheduled a follow up appointment for 30 days to discuss her progress.

30 days later, she returned and she greeted me in the following way…

“I haven’t lost a single pound.”

To which I replied, “Ok, did you complete your 30 days of 30 minutes of walking each day?”

She replied, “I missed a day or two, but I walked almost all 30 days.”

I replied, “Great, now, how do you feel?”

“Actually,” she replied, “I am feeling better. I feel like I have more energy, and honestly, I haven’t walked this much in years.”

After some more discussion, we made a few more mild changes to her diet and supplement program and I sent her home with instructions to repeat the 30/30 experiment, only this time, I want her to make sure she didn’t miss a single day.”

Thirty days later, I called to follow up with her and she greeted me with excitement saying, “I did it! Today is my last day of the 30/30 plan and I have walked every single day!”

“That’s great!” I said, “How do you feel?”

She said, “I feel AMAZING! I have been eating better and I’m taking my supplements every day.”

“And the weight?” I inquired.

Her energy immediately shifted to disappointment, “I have only lost a pound.” she replied.

I went on to explain one of the most important lessons that I had ever learned about weight loss…

You can take 100 people and put them on the exact same weight loss program and at the end of 3 months some people will have lost 30 pounds, some will have lost 5 pounds, some will be the same weight that they were on day one, and some poor, unlucky folks will have gained weight.

Lesson: Weight loss is an ugly science.

We have very little control over how much weight we lose, but we have total control over the behaviors that determine our health and ability to release and burn fat.

So…when we focus on weight, we are ultimately setting ourselves up for frustration. When we focus on healthy behaviors, we are setting ourselves up for success.

Why?

…because when we set a habit-focused goal, such as “Drink one liter of water before noon”, we have 100% control over the outcome…we can either do the task or not do the task. Regardless, if we choose, we could win every single day.

If we set a goal of losing 2 pounds a week, well, because weight loss is an ugly science, you may win, or you may not, no matter your effort and consistency.

You have no control over how much weight you lose in a week, because it’s an ugly science and no matter what the weight loss gurus tell you, we still don’t understand all of the variables that lead to consistent weight loss.

You can only make good choices with your lifestyle, and leave the amount of weight lost to the weight loss gods.

When Shelly was focused on the 30 days of walking, she was energized and excited. The moment she focused on the weight, she shifted towards melincholy.

You could do everything right with diet and exercise and still not lose weight that week. Do the exact same things the following week and lost 5 pounds.

But…

Most people don’t do the exact same thing the next week, do they? Instead if the scale doesn’t reward them immediately, they jump ship and go looking for some other new diet.

The epiphany is this…

Focus on changing your behaviors and eventually you WILL burn unwanted fat. You just have very little say in how much fat you lose and when.

Shelly continued to focus on behaviors rather than weight, her weight loss was slow, but she was no longer caught in a cycle of failure and melincholy. Last we spoke she was almost 20 pounds down and no longer pre-diabetic. For the first time in a long time, she is hopeful and she even said, “I just don’t worry about weight anymore. I just focus on doing things that make me feel good.”

Her weight loss is slow…a trickle even…but every month, she makes some progress and the difference is it’s permanent weight loss.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather lose 10 pounds in 6 months and keep that weight off forever rather than lose 30 pounds in one month and gain it all back the next.

Commandment #2: Thou Shalt Optimize Insulin Levels

There are a lot of things that weight loss experts can’t agree on, but I am pretty sure that it is universally accepted that high levels of insulin are bad for weight loss.

Even if it’s not UNIVERSALLY accepted that insulin is the end-all-be-all of losing weight, I can tell you that the research is pretty clear on this subject…

High insulin levels are bad for your bodyfat.

You must optimize insulin levels to promote fat loss.

What does it mean to “optimize” insulin levels?

First, I chose this word carefully, I could have said “lower insulin levels” but I didn’t…

Insulin is not a bad guy. Just like water, insulin is only bad when you’re drowning in it.

I don’t want to get into a dissertation on how to optimize insulin levels, that’s a topic for another couple dozen posts…

I just want to give you some quick and easy strategies to see significant progress with relatively little investment…

First, going for a walk is the fastest path to bring your insulin receptors to the surface of your muscle. Research suggests that any exercise with the legs will instantly improve your ability to lower your blood sugar and improve insulin levels.

Interestingly, working out the upper body does not seem to have the same impact on insulin sensitivity.

Second, fasting sucks, but it works like gangbusters to lower insulin levels up to 25%. A simple fasting protocol is the exercise while fasted protocol…

Simply make dinner your last meal of the day and skip breakfast. Then, sometime between waking and lunchtime, go for a walk or do some form of exercise.

Start off following that protocol 2–3 days a week (every other day) and see what happens. If you feel good and are burning some fat, you could follow this protocol every day of the week as long as you make sure to not starve yourself. Eat lots of healthy, low-glycemic food after your fast.

Finally, focus on carb quantity before you focus on quality.

There’s a lot of discussion on the glycemic index and eating low-glycemic carbs, but the truth is, the easiest approach to lower insulin is to simply eat fewer foods that deliver all starchy or sugary carbs.

Look, you can’t burn fat when insulin levels are always high, so just accept the fact that you can’t eat 3 cups of pasta in a sitting and expect to burn fat.

Note: A recent study found that eating one-half cup of pasta three times a week had no negative effect on weight gain and even promoted a little weight loss.

Commandment #3: Thou Shalt Correct Hormonal Imbalances

Hormones are how cells communicate. When hormones go out of whack, the metabolism goes crazy because cells are not receiving proper instructions.

Just like the discussion on insulin, this conversation on hormones can, and does, fill volumes of books.

Here’s the bottom line…

When hormones are optimal, your metabolism run like a fine tuned racecar. When your hormone signals go haywire, you’ll gain weight…lots of weight.

If you suspect that you’ve got hormone imbalances, whether it be thyroid, estrogen, progesterone, or testosterone. It’s best to get a qualified physician, experienced in the prescibing of bio-identical hormones, involved to help restore those hormones to a more youthful level.

Some of the biggest hormonal imbalances that lead to weight gain are polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and hypothyroid.

Some hormone imbalances can be managed using natural, non-prescription lifestyle changes and supplements, others will require prescription options.

If you’re doing everything right with lifestyle and the weight won’t budge, or you’re gaining weight for no apparent reason…look to the hormones!

Commandment #4: Thou Shalt Sleep

I know, I know…it ain’t sexy, but it’s vital to your success with fat loss.

One of the core-guiding principles of Cut The Fat Podcast is, “There are non-caloric causes of fat storage.”

That means that it ain’t all about what you eat and how much you move.

It’s true, calories do matter; but there’s much more to the weight loss story…

Certain things like stress and lack of sleep don’t add calories to your body, but research is clear…if you don’t sleep, you will gain weight…or at least it will be very difficult for you to lose weight.

Everyone is different in how much sleep you need to “flip the switch” and not suffer metabolic consequences, however, if you held a gun to my head and said “Give me a number, or else…” I’d say, “7.5 hours”.

For most of us, 7.5 hours will work miracle for our fat loss efforts.

That being said, if you feel restored and energetic with less sleep then that’s a much better indicator of sufficiency and you may not need to meet the 7.5 hour milestone each night.

Also, sleep apnea is a death-sentence for your metabolism. If you suffer from sleep apnea and you aren’t taking heroic efforts to treat the sleep apnea, you will find it nearly impossible to burn fat.

Just keep these things in mind and do what you can to get as much sleep as is possible given your very busy life.

Commandment #5: Thou Shalt Walk

In today’s Beachbody Workout culture, walking gets forgotten as an important weight loss tool.

It’s true, intense exercise is very helpful for achieving your fat loss goals, but walking is equally important. Walking is restorative.

One other core-guiding principle of Cut The Fat Podcast is “Eat and exercise to manage hormones, not to manage calories.”

If you focus on calories then jogging appears to be the best exercise for weight loss because you can burn a ton of calories in a single session.

Unfortunately, steady-state, aerobic exercise has a dismal record of success in the weight loss literature with most studies showing no benefit to weight loss compared to diet alone.

The reason steady-state aerobic exercise like jogging and cycling seem to offer no benefit to fat loss (for most people) is due to something we call the “compensatory engine”.

In a nutshell, when you burn a lot of calories from aerobic exercise, your subconscious brain forces you to eat more and move less without your conscious brain even knowing it.

In the end, you may burn 600 calories on a treadmill session but you end up eating a few more chips, a little more ketchup on your food, an extra snack here or there, while unknowningly fidgeting and moving less than normal.

The end result is you restore those lost calories for a net loss of a big goose egg…a big, disappointing goose egg on the scale.

Walking appears to burn calories WITHOUT activating the compensatory engine. It’s sneaky like that…

When you say that walking seems insignificant, your metabolism agrees and therefore does not trigger the eat more/move less engine within your subconscious brain.

In addition, walking lowers cortisol (the stress hormone) while simultaneously improving insulin sensitivity…see Commandment #2.

Yes, walking burns FAR FEWER calories than jogging, but it enhances recovery and it doesn’t activate the emergency systems that compel you to eat more and move less in response to the lost calories.

Walk as much as possible. Just a good old, leisurely walk no faster than you’d walk if you were late for a meeting.

Commandment #6: Thou Shalt Eat…Not Too Much…Mostly Plants…some protein…some fat.

You can’t starve away fat. You’ve tried…it simply doesn’t work and, if you’re honest with yourself, you know it.

One of the biggest causes of weight loss failure is hunger, and do you want to know that the world’s greatest appetite suppressant is?

Food. That’s right, eating food.

Read this again…YOU CAN’T STARVE AWAY YOUR FAT!

Sure, you need a calorie deficit to burn fat, but a smaller deficit almost always trumps a huge deficit.

When you diet too heavily, you activate the same compensatory engine that you activate with large quantities of aerobic exercise, which slows metabolism, increases cravings and hunger, and destroys your mood.

So, eat food…not too much…and when you do eat, eat mostly plants like fruits and vegetables, eat some protein, and get some healthy fat like avocados, nuts, and extra-virgin olive oil.

Try to eat prime foods, meaning foods that have not been processed are altered to look like something else. Think grilled chicken rather than chicken nuggets, oranges rather than orange juice, sweet potatoes rather than mashed sweet potatoes, fruit rather than smoothies, etc.

Commandment #7: Thou Shalt Relax

There are two ways to make 100 out of 100 people gain weight…

The first is to inject them with large quantities of insulin, which we discussed already in commandment #2…

The second way is to inject them with cortisol or a drug that mimics cortisol, like prednisone.

Cortisol is a stress hormone and when your body is exposed to cortisol for extended periods of time, such as when people are under chronic, unyielding stress, the cortisol erodes the muscle and ruins the metabolism.

The classic body-type of someone stressed out of their minds for long periods of time is low muscle tone and a big belly.

You must learn to consciously control your cortisol production through stress relieving, restorative activities like meditation, relaxation, leisure walking, and coping skills.

You could eat perfectly, exercise all day, and fail to burn fat simply because you’re stressed out of your mind.

Dedicate your mind towards the mastery of chilling out! It will make all of the difference in your weight loss success.

Commandment #8: Thou Shalt Drink Water

Water can be a miracle for your metabolism. I have seen it time and time again…

A client can’t lose weight despite eating well and exercising, I get them to start “super-hydrating” with 80 oz of water per day and like magic, they start to burn fat and lose unwanted weight.

Besides that, their energy levels improve, their mood improves, their joints feel better, the skin starts to glow…

Water works, plain and simple.

Research suggests that low-grade dehydration triggers food seeking behavior. Meaning you eat more food when you’re dehydrated.

One study found that men and women who drank water before eating actually ate less food and lost more weight.

Other research found that drinking water helps the body to kick out excess cortisol and cortisone from the body…which, as we discussed in Commandment #7, is hugely beneficial to your metabolism.

There are many reasons why drinking good old, bland water can make your metabolism work better, but you don’t need me to report on a dozen studies to know that water is good for you.

So, just trust me on this one…drink your water!

Commandment #9: Thou Shalt Build Type II Muscle Fibers

Marathoners have a lot of type I muscle fibers, which are small, efficient muscle fibers that burn few calories. They’re great for survival and winning gold metals in distance running, but TERRIBLE for helping you to lose weight.

If you don’t want to look like an emaciated, skin-and-bones marathon champion then listen up…

When you jog and run and cycle and swim, you build lots of type I muscle fibers and your body becomes a lean mean efficient machine…like a Toyota Prius.

That’s bad when your goal is to burn a lot of extra calories.

When you build type II muscle fibers through intense and heavy restistance training and high-intensity interval training, you turn the body into a gas-guzzling race car…that burns fat, like a teenager with a credit card burns money.

This is especially important for middle-aged men and women and post-menopausal women.

More type II muscle also helps to restore lost insulin sensitivity because type II muscle loves sugar.

YOU MUST LIFT WEIGHTS! YOU MUST BUILD TYPE II MUSCLE FIBERS!

Trust me, this one is a game-changer.

If you fail to follow this commandment then even if you manage to lose “weight”, you won’t feel strong, you won’t feel energetic and fit, and you’ll probably look in the mirror and feel “skinny-fat”.

Commandment #10: Thou Shalt Get Leverage On Yourself

As I said, weight loss is an ugly science. One thing I didn’t tell you is…

The key determinant of success is the ability to tolerate changing your behavior without seeing results.

Read that again, it’s critical to your success.

You will plateau, your weight loss will stall and your dedication WILL hang by a thread at some point in your weight loss and fitness journey.

You must learn to manufacture leverage or you will succumb to the dreaded weight loss plateau, you WILL give up, and you will feel disappointment.

That leverage can come in the form of a public proclamation on Facebook, a trainer or coach, a monetary consequence (like forcing yourself to donate to your most hated charity if you don’t stick to your plan), signing up for a 5K, whatever you choose to do, it must SCARE you a little.

You need to have something to pull you through the tough days when the scale doesn’t reward you for your efforts!

Remember, weight loss is not linear, weight loss goes through an endless series of weight up, weight down, weight stagnant…

As long as the trend is downward, that is what matters and the only way you’ll stick to a program long enough is to have some sort of leverage pulling you forward during the tough times when the scale appears to have gone stagnant.

Remember, the scale crumbles beneath the weight of consistant healthy actions followed day in and day out. It all circles back to your behaviors. IF you keep building healthy habits, if you keep stacking new healthy habits on top of old healthy habits, eventually, the scale, or the tape measure, or the reflection will have no choice but to bow down before your rock solid followthrough.

When that day happens, congratulations, you’ve become the king or queen of your lifestyle and, probably the king or queen of your life!

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Research Unlocks The Key to Weight Loss…It’s Not Calories, Carbs, Or Fat

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According to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, it’s time to give up on calorie counting and focus on eating real, whole foods.

This new research, performed at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, concluded with a twist…

According to the lead researcher, Dr. Gardner, he and his collegues designed this study to find out if a low-carbohydrate diet could outperform a conventional low-fat diet in obese and overweight people. 

Spoiler alert…

Both diets were about equally effective with the low-carb group losing approximately 13 pounds and the low-fat group experiencing a loss of approximately 12 pounds. 

This finding sent shockwaves throughout the low-carb community because most low-carb experts expected the low carbohydrate diet to significantly outperform the low-fat diet.

Low-Fat And Low-Carb Are Equally Effective? Not So Fast…

On the surface, it looked as if losing weight is all about a calorie deficit. In fact, this study resulted in a flood of dieticians on the airwaves screaming, “See…we told you, as long as you have a calorie deficit, it doesn’t matter what diet you follow.” 

…but as I said, there was an interesting twist…

The twist was, unlike other studies, the researchers made it a point to impress upon the subjects that they were to seek out real foods during the course of the study rather than eating low-fat/low-carb processed foods like low-fat brownies and low-carb Atkins bars. 

This is what makes this study so groundbreaking…

It turns out that both diets worked as long as the foods you eat are natural, wholesome foods. 

The Proof…

The researchers set two groups of overweight and obese subjects on one of two diets, which were called “healthy” low carb and “healthy” low fat.

Both groups attended classes with dietitians where they were instructed to eat nutrient-dense, minimally processed whole foods,.

They were also instructed to make a concerted effort to eat at home when possible. 

Even though soft drinks, juices, white starches (i.e. white bread and white rice) were technically low fat; the low-fat group was told to avoid these foods and replace them with whole-grain and low-glycemic alternatives when possible. 

They still consumed a low-fat, high starch diet, but those foods were minimally processed and more natural such as:

  1. Brown rice
  2. Steel-cut oats
    low-fat dairy
  3. Quinoa
  4. Fresh fruits
  5. Lean Meats
  6. Legumes

The low-carb group was instructed to choose nutritious, high-protein foods like:

  1. Nuts
  2. Olive oil
  3. Salmon
  4. Non-starchy vegetables
  5. Avocados
  6. Nut butter
  7. Grass-fed meats
  8. Hard cheeses

Although the study subjects were encouraged to meet the federal guidelines for physical activity no further instruction was given to increase physical activity. This means that exercise was not a significant factor in this study…

Compared to other studies, it’s important to note that these diets were not overly restrictive for either the low-carb or low-fat group. They were not instructed to count calories nor were they instructed to meet stringent guidelines for carbs and fat. 

This Low-Carb Diet Wasn’t Actually “LOW” Carb…

As expected, the “Low-Carb Tribe” attacked this study with brutal and flailing arguments, and truth be told, they aren’t wrong…

This study was “carb-controlled”, it wasn’t truely “low-carb”…

My hypothesis is that if the researchers made the carb requirements more stringent, the low-carb group would have outperformed the low-fat group for weight lost during the course of the study…

I also believe, however, that doing that would have rendered the results of this study less insightful…

The REAL Insight Of This Study Is a Game-Changer…

I believe low-carb diets are more effective than low-fat diets if you look exclusively at the weight lost, however, I do not believe that people are any more successful at maintaining a restrictive low-carb diet than a restrivtive low-fat diet. 

The real insight of this study is that we can lose weight without taking a low-carb diet into the “restrictive range” where consistency of action begins to waver. 

Interestingly, these study particpants were instructed to eat as much food as they needed to avoid hunger, provided that food was wholesome and natural. 

“The unique thing is that we didn’t ever set a number for them to follow,” Dr. Gardner said.

Even though there was a lot of variability in weight loss from person to person, Dr. Gardner said that the people who lost the most weight were the ones who reported that they had “changed their relationship with food.”

They no longer found themselves eating mindlessly in their cars or in front of the boob-tube like so many Americans. Instead, they were cooking more at home and actually sitting down to eat dinner with their families…how about that?

Mindfulness seemed to be baked into the diet when people chose real food…

The key was eating high-quality foods, limiting refined foods, and minimizing added sugar.

Vegetables and other whole foods were stressed and the avoidance of low-carb/low-fat pseudo-foods was recommended because, as the researchers put it, that’s “gaming the system”. 

…and gaming the system is almost always fails to produce lasting weight loss.

More Research-Proven Benefits For Eating Real Food…

Aside from the weight loss, it’s important to note that both groups also saw improvements in other health markers, like decreases in their waist girth, lower body fat percentages, improved blood sugar levels and lower blood pressures.

What About Fat-Genes? Did Genetics Matter?

Interestingly, the researchers tested the genetics of the subjects for indicators of how their bodies handled fat and carbs…

in essence, the researchers evaluated for the presence of fat-genes, which are snips within their genetic material that may offer insight into how sensitive their metabolisms may be to fat consumption or carb consumption…​

Results: Genetics didn’t matter. 

Well, it’s not that genetics didn’t matter so much as it was that a whole-food diet seemed to take the genetics out of the picture. 

My guess is that eating real food flips the right genetic switches on or off so that the fat genes become inactive whether they fall on the fat or carb side of the equation.

How About Insulin Resistance?

Amazingly, the researchers tested the subjects level of insulin resistance and many subjects DID fall into the insulin resistant range at the start of the study…

Once again, however, the consumption of real food seemed to knock insulin resistance out of the picture; the subject’s level of insulin resistance at the start of the study didn’t impact the effect of either diet. Both low-fat and low-carb diets worked despite the level of insulin resistance of the subjects at the start of the study.

The KEY Findings Of The Study

Dr. Walter Willett, chairman of the nutrition department at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, said that the key finding of this study was that a “high quality diet” results in significant weight loss and that the percentage of calories from fat or carbs do not matter provided the subject eats REAL food.

Dr. Gardner built on this observation saying that both groups ended up eating fewer calories unconsciously and the natural, unconscious decrease in calories resulted in significant weight loss.

He went on to say, “We really need to focus on the foundational diet, which is more vegetables, more whole foods, less added sugar and less refined grains.”

On the surface, this doesn’t seem like groundbreaking stuff, but it really is groundbreaking because the weight loss industry would have you believe that calories are the only thing that matters so they can sell you protein bars, packaged TV dinners with a low-calorie sticker, fake foods, and supplements that report to burn more calories while you sleep.

None of that works…

We tell people on our weight loss podcast, “It’s not enough that a weight loss program fit you biochemically, it has to fit you culturally as well.” This means it doesn’t serve you to give you a diet that causes you to lose weight if you have a zero percent chance of sticking to the program because it’s overly restrictive or doesn’t take into account the culture of your life.

It comes down to the recommendation, “Eat real food, not too much, mostly plants, some protein, some healthy fat.” 

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Master The Female Metabolism – The Ultimate Guide To Female Fat Loss

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In our younger years, when estrogen is highest, lipoprotein lipase is inhibited and this means we store less fat. As we progress past 30 and ultimately into menopause, estrogen drops and the fat storage increases. 

So, estrogen acts as a direct inhibitor of lipoprotein lipase. So, when estrogen levels drop, lipoprotein lipase kicks up.

As we progress in the article, you’re going to see how estrogen’s effects stack on top of each other to synergistically impact fat storage and fat burn in positive ways, as do the consequences of low estrogen…

Let’s move on to the next key player in our female fat loss saga…

Estrogen Increases Insulin Sensitivity & Protects Against Insulin Resistance

Estrogen optimizes insulin production and insulin sensitivity. There is no doubt that after menopause, women face all kinds of metabolic clues that demonstrate just how important estrogen is to insulin and insulin sensitivity. 

After menopause, many women suffer from high cholesterol and triglycerides, increased central obesity, and clear insulin resistance…all hallmarks of metabolic syndrome. (Endocrine Reviews, vol. 34) 

These effects seem to be directly tied to estrogen receptors because when we genetically modify mice so that they do not express estrogen alpha receptors they demonstrate high blood sugar, high leptin, high insulin levels, and they burn fewer calories and become naturally more sedentary!  (Diabetologia, vol. 49)

These effects have been confirmed in humans in studies on men and women with low estrogen due to genetic defects that cause insufficient estrogen production. These low-estrogen individuals show signs of insulin resistance and high insulin, which is reversed with estrogen supplementation. (Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism)

The bottom line is estrogen has dramatic effects on insulin sensitivity. The more insulin sensitive the lean tissues of the body, the less fat you will generally store! The lower your estrogen levels drop, the more insulin resistant your body will become.

This point will become vitally important when we discuss how to reverse this effect as estrogen levels drop after the age of 30, reach a tipping point around 40, and then a critical point in menopause. 

Estrogen Increases Your Body’s Fat Burning/Anti-Aging Hormone

Within the body is a POWERFUL hormone called growth hormone. Growth hormone is considered one of the body’s most important anti-aging hormones because it triggers repair and rejuvenation of tissues throughout the body. 

Beyond the powerful and welcome anti-aging benefits, growth hormone is also one of your body’s most powerful fat-burning hormones. 

Sadly, as we age, growth hormone levels naturally drop and the effects of low growth hormone are exaggerated by low-estrogen.

It turns out that without sufficient levels of estrogen, your body does not respond as well to growth hormone. This demonstrates how we can’t view the effects of hormones individually…think of your hormones more like a web of interconnected effects and actions. When you pluck one string of the web, it reverberates across the whole web…

Change one hormone and you either directly or indirectly change other hormones.

Estrogen appears to work by stimulating growth hormone receptors (the effect) and may also influence the production of growth hormone (the amount).

Interestingly, in post-menopausal women, when estrogen is given orally, the growth hormone levels drop resulting in more weight gain and less fat burning. When estrogen is given transdermally,  through a patch or cream, estrogen actually benefits the growth hormone pathway leading to fat loss. (Pituitary Today: Molecular, Physiological and Clinical Aspects)

Ugh! Why do you hormones have to be so complicated? 

This oral estrogen effect partially explains why so many women struggle with weight from oral contraceptive use…when all of that estrogen hits the liver it negatively impacts growth hormone production and signaling! The result is less fat burning! 

As estrogen levels drop, you get the side-effect of insulin resistance (which we already discussed) this then increases insulin production and high insulin suppresses…you guessed it…growth hormone. 

For our post-menopausal readers, one of the most common complaints associated with menopause is sleep disturbances. Guess when your body produces the most growth hormone? You guessed it, while you sleep!   So, as sleep gets disturbed, growth hormone problems worsen. So that’s a triple whammy!

To review…when estrogen levels are naturally high (as in youth) it appears to enhance the effects of growth hormone resulting in more fat burn and faster recovery of tissues.

When estrogen is supplemented in tablet or capsule, it likely has a NEGATIVE effect on growth hormone resulting in less fat being burned. When estrogen is supplemented via cream or patch, it may improve growth hormone signaling and thus enhance fat burning. The growth hormone issues are further exacerbated by insulin resistance and poor sleep. 

Let’s move on…

Introducing The Scourge Of Female Fat Loss

Within the fat cells you will find two important types of receptors that influence your ability to burn fat: alpha receptors and beta receptors. 

Beta receptors activate fat release while alpha receptors inhibit fat release. These receptors are both activated by the adrenal hormone epinephrine, also known as adrenaline. Think of the beta receptors as the gas peddle of fat loss and the alpha receptors as the brake peddle of fat loss. 

Here’s where things get depressing…

Women have 9X more alpha receptor than beta receptor activity in “stubborn” fat found in the hips, thighs, and butt. Sadly, generally speaking, women also have more alpha receptors than men if we take into account all fat in the body. 

Estrogen, it turns out, impacts the activity of alpha receptors in a good way. Higher estrogen found in youth seems to add more gas peddles and fewer brakes to the fat cell. The result is estrogen allows you to burn more fat due to less alpha receptor activity. 

This also explains why some women store more in the hips, thighs, and butt…they simply have more alpha receptor activity in these regions (genetically determined) than women without these “problem areas” (if there is such a thing as a “problem” area). 

When women’s estrogen levels drop, alpha activity kicks up. The result is less fat burn in these tissues. Don’t worry, later in the article, we’ll talk about how to tone down alpha activity and kick up beta activity…

This alpha receptor issue also partially explains why a starvation diet is the wrong approach and why it’s even more damaging to women with low estrogen, such as those in menopause (or even those who are over 40).

For now, just know that as a woman you have higher alpha receptor activity…especially in problem areas like the thighs, butt, and hips. We’ll discuss the antidote later. 

Now that we know about alpha and beta receptors, we can move on to the next player…

Estrogen Increases Epinephrine (Adrenaline)

Epinephrine is a hormone released by the adrenal gland. You may know it as “adrenaline”. 

When released by the body for short periods of time, adrenaline stimulates fat burning by activating the beta receptors. We’ll discuss how to simulate adrenaline release in the right amounts later in the article…

Adrenaline activates beta receptor, but also activates alpha receptors. This explains why you lose weight in your face before you lose weight in your problem areas. Alpha receptors, which we learned are found in up to 9X more quantities in stubborn female fat, inhibit fat loss in these areas. 

So, when estrogen levels are healthy, your body kicks up fat burn by kicking up adrenaline production (and by buffering alpha receptor activity). This effect also explains why post-menopausal women don’t seem to lose as much weight with exercise, especially cardio. The exercise doesn’t trigger the same level of adrenaline it did in the younger years, add to that the enhanced alpha receptor activity triggered by low estrogen and you get a double whammy of fat storage. 

For now, just know that there is a way of eating, exercising, and living that can optimize both adrenaline production and adrenaline response in the female fat cell! This “way of living” can be effective for women under 40 and women over 40, including post-menopausal women. More to come…

The next key player is blood flow…

In order to burn fat you must release it into circulation from fat cells so that it can be delivered to the lean tissue to burned for energy. To achieve this, tiny blood vessels called capillaries perfuse throughout the fat. 

One effect of adrenaline is to increase in blood flow by stimulating the heart to beat faster and stronger while influencing the blood vessels. Estrogen also appears to influence blood flow to the tissues, such as fat. As estrogen levels drop, your body doesn’t deliver as much blood flow to the fat cell. This can interfere with your ability to release fat into circulation, especially around the stubborn areas! 

I’m not going to spend too much time on this one, I just wanted to bring it to your attention. When we get into the discussion on exercise, many of the recommendations we make will enhance blood flow to your fat cells!

Estrogen Makes The Body A Fat-Burning Machine

When estrogen levels are higher, the body fuels itself off of more fat than sugar. As estrogen levels drop, your body starts burning more sugar and less fat. 

This is just one more reason why the over-forty metabolism allows for less fat burn. Here’s the problem…

None of the effects of estrogen deficiency exist in a vacuum…they compound and act synergistically…

When you have a body that has more difficulty burning fat (as in the estrogen deficient body), it starts to burn sugar, this is then compounded by the insulin resistance that occurs with low estrogen. The result is wild swings in blood sugar that then trigger cravings and hunger. The cravings and hunger that ensue leads to the over-forty appetite that ultimately leads to more calories and more fat storage. 

That’s not all…there’s more…

Wait, wait, wait, I know this is all sounding like a depressing situation. I promise, I’m not going to leave you hanging! I must lay problems at your feet so that the solutions will make sense later! 

Now let’s get into one of my FAVORITE topics…mitochondria. 

Mitochondria: The Bottleneck Of Aging And Metabolism

I am obsessed with mitochondria, and for good reason…

Mitochondria are the bottleneck of aging. They are also the key to age reversal…you heard me right, understanding how mitochondria function can help you to turn back the clock and actually help make your cells grow YOUNGER! So much so that I will be spending much of this year writing on ways to rejuvenate your mitochondria. (This alone is worth signing up for our newsletter and podcast to get this groundbreaking information. You won’t want to miss this)

In THIS article we’re going to talk high-level, just touching the surface of what mitochondria are and how they impact your health and metabolism, and then we’ll get into the influence of estrogen on mitochondria. 

First off, mitochondria are the powerhouse of your cells. They manufacture the majority of the energy that fuels your body, and when they become dysfunctional it leads to a dramatic drop in energy, and a dramatic rise in risk of many, MANY chronic diseases associated with aging. 

When mitochondria reach a critical state of dysfunction, they trigger your cells to commit cell suicide, which biologists call “autophagy” (to eat oneself).

When we nurture, protect, and feed our mitochondria we are rewarded with boundless energy, youthful vitality, and resistance to diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, muscle loss, and premature wrinkling …just to name a few.

For our discussion today, just know that “when your mitochondria don’t work, your metabolism don’t work”. Also, estrogen helps to stimulate repair of existing mitochondria, the production of more energy in your current mitochondria, and even stimulates your body to make NEW mitochondria. 

This can explain why so many menopausal women report plummeting energy levels, decreased exercise performance, muscle weakness, decreased recovery from exercise, generalized fatigue, tiredness, and poor immune function. 

Mitochondrial dysfunction explains it all!

Estrogen appears to impact the health and function of the mitochondria from multiple pathways. When estrogen levels are optimal, your mitochondria will be healthier as a result. 

There is far more to this story, in fact, there are many other factors that will determine how healthy your mitochondria are and how energetic your cells will be, but we’ll have to shelve that discussion for another time. Just know that many of the recommendations to come, will improve a woman’s ability to burn fat at least, in part, due to its beneficial effects on mitochondrial function and health. 

Certainly, a low-estrogen situation certainly does cause a hurdle to healthy mitochondria, but not an insurmountable challenge as we’ll discuss later. On to the next…

Cortisol: The Enemy Of Female Fat Cells, The BFF of Belly Fat

No one would challenge me on the statement that a high cortisol level for extended periods of time is BAD for your weight loss aspirations. Well, this next discussion might shine some light on why belly fat becomes such an issue for the over-forty metabolism…

Estrogen and progesterone both help to antagonize cortisol. So, in our youthful years, when estrogen levels are high, the effect of cortisol on fat is less problematic because estrogen and progesterone counteract the negative effects of high cortisol. 

This explains why belly fat is fairly uncommon in women before the age of 40. (I know, some of you are saying, I’ve been dealing with belly fat since my twenties…I’ll get to you in a minute)

As estrogen and progesterone levels drop and reach a critical level after menopause, the perfect storm of belly fat occurs…high cortisol AND high insulin.

Think about it…estrogen and progesterone are no longer around to counteract the fattening effects of cortisol and the low-hormone environment along with dysfunctional mitochondria leads to insulin resistance and thus high insulin. The end result is BELLY FAT!

That’s just scratching the surface, add sleep disturbances, loss of muscle mass, poor energy, carb cravings, and hunger to the mix and bye-bye flat stomach, hello belly fat…

Estrogen and progesterone isn’t the entire picture. You can stress yourself into oblivion, even at a younger age when estrogen and progesterone levels are high, and overwhelm the cortisol-buffering effects of these hormones…which explains why some of you have dealt with belly fat since youth, you were relentlessly stressed out. True or true? 

The take-home message here is “high cortisol = bad”, at least when it’s elevated for extended periods of time. Add high-insulin to high-cortisol and you have the recipe for belly fat. Add a low-estrogen and the rest is history.

Men do not enjoy the cortisol-buffering effect of estrogen and that at least partially explains their susceptibility to belly fat even at younger ages. 

Aside from all of the factors that we have already discussed, there are other benefits of optimal estrogen, which means that there are more problems for women over 40 whose estrogen levels may not be quite “optimal”.

Estrogen Leads To More Spontaneous Movement

First, estrogen seems to increase non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). NEAT is all activity that happens outside of working out. This can be fidgeting, spontaneous activity like having the sudden urge to get up from a chair and move, it can be taking out the trash, etc. When estrogen levels are optimal, you just want to move more through spontaneous NEAT. 

When estrogen levels drop, your innate motivation to move is replaced by an innate desire to imitate a sloth. NEAT is a significant contributor to fat burn and may negatively impact your ability to burn fat as estrogen levels drop. 

Estrogen Speeds Recovery From Exercise & Injury

Estrogen levels help you repair and recover after exercise or injury. This means that “after-forty you” will not rebound from exercise as quickly, after menopause you may be sore for more than a week. Luckily, there are ways to improve our recovery and repair, which we’ll cover later…

Estrogen Decreases Appetite

Estrogen helps to keep your appetite in check, likely through its influence on hormones like leptin and ghrelin.

As estrogen drops you will naturally crave more, snack more, and eat more. This will require more diligence with our diet in order to assure that we’re not overeating. 

Estrogen As A Fat Loss Hormone Review

I know it’s strange to think of estrogen as a hormone that impacts your ability to burn fat, but hopefully by now you’ve had a bunch of “ah ha’s!” 

To review…

  1. Estrogen inhibits lipoprotein lipase (less fat storage)
  2. Estrogen increases growth hormone (more fat burning)
  3. Estrogen increases epinephrine (more fat burning)
  4. Estrogen inhibits insulin production (Less Fat Storage)
  5. Estrogen Increases Insulin Sensitivity (Less Fat Storage)
  6. Estrogen increase blood flow to fat cells (More Fat Release)
  7. Estrogen causes more fat to be burned over glucose (More Fat Burning)
  8. Estrogen optimizes mitochondrial function (More energy)
  9. Estrogen influences the hunger centers of the hypothalamus (Less hunger)
  10. Estrogen may influence non-exercise thermogenesis (NEAT) (More Calorie Burn)
  11. Estrogen speeds recovery from exercise and decreases muscle soreness (Less Pain)
  12. Estrogen decreases inflammation and muscle damage post workout
  13. Estrogen works with progesterone to counteract high cortisol (Less fat storage) 
  14. Estrogen helps to optimize leptin and ghrelin (less appetite and more fat burn)

Now that we’ve uncovered many ways in which estrogen can impact weight loss, let’s look at some other ways a woman’s metabolism differs from that of a man…

Women Burn More Fat At Low Intensities Of Activity

All too often, women believe that men are better at burning fat, but that would be inaccurate. Women are actually better fat burners than men…the problem is, they are also better “fat storers” as well and most of us have a fat storing problem more than we have a fat burning problem. 

In fact, at 90 minutes of walking women are burning 79% of their calories from fat while men are burning just 59% of their calories from fat. ( Journal of Applied Physiology, 85(5))

This moves walking up the list of priorities for a female fat loss workout program.

My goal isn’t to say that walking is sufficient to overcome the female fat loss resistance experience by many women, it’s to say that walking is a vitally important component of a fat loss program
for men and women…doubly so for women…triply so for post-menopausal women. 

Sadly, walking has fallen out of vogue. That is unfortunate, because walking is one of the few forms of physical activity that doesn’t activate compensatory eating and compensatory slothfulness…which is the next topic.

Also, walking is RESTORATIVE, it actually resets the nervous system and lowers cortisol, which we already discussed is quite problematic for estrogen-deficient women.

Now let’s talk about the “compensatory engine”…

Women Compensate For Calorie Deficits More Than Men

At Cut The Fat Podcast we often talk about the “Compensatory Engine”…

In a nutshell, when we eat less and exercise more we often activate an unconscious drive to eat more and move less. We call this “compensatory eating” and “compensatory slothfulness”, together they make up the “compensatory engine”.

The larger the calorie deficit the more aggressive your hunger and cravings will be and the more tired you will feel. 

This is important because to be successful with lasting weight loss, we need to learn NOT to activate our compensatory engine as this system is designed to keep up from burning fat. This is what is responsible for the yoyo effect we experience when we lose weight and gain it back repeatedly. 

Women are already more susceptible to the compensatory engine and as estrogen levels drop, that susceptibility skyrockets!

This means, generally speaking, smaller calorie deficits trump larger calorie deficits when lasting weight loss is the goal. One reason why long bouts of cardio (i.e. jogging, cycling, rowing, etc.) fail us is because they burn so many calories that the compensatory engine is kicked into overdrive and our appetite, cravings, and desire to sit on a couch go into overdrive. 

This also explains why walking is such a crucial part of a complete female fat loss workout program…walking burns calories WITHOUT activating the compensatory engine.

Said another way for effect…Jogging, running, cycling, rowing, aerobics, etc. burns more calories and almost ALWAYS activate the compensatory mechanisms that keep us fat…

As we’ll learn later, the best forms of exercise for women, especially women over forty, are walking, resistance training, and H.I.I.T., we’ll talk more about this soon. 

Now that we’ve covered some key influences of estrogen, and lack thereof, on female fat loss, we’re going to start journeying into the realm of what to do, starting with the Female Fat Loss Diet Program. If you’re ready, click the link below to continue to Part II…

References: 

  1. Estrogen Suppresses Transcription of Lipoprotein Lipase Gene. J Biol Chem. 2000 Apr 14;275(15):11404-11.
  2. F. Mauvais-Jarvis, D. J. Clegg, and A. L. Hevener, “The role of estrogens in control of energy balance and glucose homeostasis,” Endocrine Reviews, vol. 34, no. 3, pp. 309–338, 2013.
  3. G. Bryzgalova, H. Gao, B. Ahren et al., “Evidence that oestrogen receptor-α plays an important role in the regulation of glucose homeostasis in mice: insulin sensitivity in the liver,” Diabetologia, vol. 49, no. 3, pp. 588–597, 2006.
  4. L. Maffei, Y. Murata, V. Rochira et al., “Dysmetabolic syndrome in a man with a novel mutation of the aromatase gene: effects of testosterone, alendronate, and estradiol treatment,” Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, vol. 89, no. 1, pp. 61–70, 2004.
  5. Arzt E, Bronstein M, Guitelman M (eds): Regulating of Growth Hormone Sensitivity by Sex Steroids: Implications for Therapy Pituitary Today: Molecular, Physiological and Clinical Aspects. Front Horm Res. Basel, Karger, 2006, vol 35, pp 115-128
  6. Horton, TJ, Pagliassotti, MJ, Hobs, K, Hill JO. 1998. Fuel metabolism in men and women during and after long-duration exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology, 85(5), 1823-1832 
  7. Anisha A. Gupte, Henry J. Pownall, and Dale J. Hamilton, “Estrogen: An Emerging Regulator of Insulin Action and Mitochondrial Function,” Journal of Diabetes Research, vol. 2015, Article ID 916585, 9 pages, 2015.

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