Transformation Tip: 225 to 122-5 on stage and 138 in a building season. These are my lifestyle changes from 2009 to 2017. Many ask for tips and help, so I’ll share what I can. I want to make a BIG impact in improving our nation’s wellness, so I’ll keep talking!
Two areas I focus on as I age: Cortisol and Insulin
Both are necessary hormones that our body utilizes daily. However, if they are imbalanced, the body can fight back.
The hormone that rises in the morning to wake us up. It also rises after we train and purposefully lowers during the day to allow us to prepare the body for restorative sleep. Cortisol also brings glucose into the bloodstream from liver storage, to be used in stressful situations.
The downside to cortisol: Electronic use and artificial lighting at night raises cortisol levels, all while the body is trying to dial them back. Long-term stress and anxiety can create high levels of cortisol in the body, raising blood sugar and increasing body fat, specifically in the midsection.
Hacks I use to keep Cortisol in check:
•Aim to keep my caffeine consumption to AM hours
•Use post-workout nutrient timing to strategically raise blood sugar to call on insulin, which then lowers cortisol levels
•Intend to stay out of bright lights, electronic stimulation, and use of the computer/phone a few hours before bed, allowing sleep hormones to take precedence over cortisol, and wind down for the night. Restated, high cortisol levels impact sleep. Poor sleep raises cravings and likely body fat, impacting overall wellness and hormone balance.
•Destress and self-care often to keep life stresses in check (they will happen, I’m learning how to best manage them!)
Carbohydrates and Protein will raise blood glucose levels, calling on insulin to then lower blood sugar and keep the body in homeostasis, known as “balance”. Like dietary fat, we use these macronutrients for energy, mental clarity, and body functioning every day. Imbalanced intake of macros (usually super high refined carbs) and over-consumption of food in general can be cause for ongoing elevated insulin levels, sending the overage into fat storage and raising insulin resistance. Insulin amounts play a critical role in aging!
Hacks I use to keep Insulin levels in check, with the goal being to establish and maintain a high insulin sensitivity:
•Be mindful of my sugar impact from all sources: fruits, starchy vegetables, white sugars. I’m now living grain-free off all grains, so that REALLY helps monitor my insulin secretion and body fat levels in tandem with watching my overall food quantity daily.
•I keep carbohydrate intake to about 10-25g maximum per meal serving to avoid that “sludge” dip and drag feeling a few minutes after I eat
•My carbohydrate sources are generally green vegetables, coconut flour products, and berries, offering me fiber and phytonutrients, but minimal starches and sugars that tend to call more insulin into my bloodstream
Overall, being mindful and strategic throughout the day and everyday has been the best pattern for me to establish in time over these last 7.5 years. We are machines. Food is our fuel. Food is our medicine. Get unbusy, study your body’s optimal, and get territorial of your priceless system!
To Your Wellness,