Monday, March 30, 2020

Why overtraining might be the underlying cause of your weight gain

Did you know that many women are overtraining and don’t even know it? Maybe you’re one of them! Overtraining can cause many health issues, including weight gain…probably the exact opposite of a regular exerciser expects. Let’s explore.

You: Overtraining

In science-y terms, overtraining syndrome is an imbalance between training and recovery. What that means is that there is too much exercise (for you) at too high of an intensity (for you) without enough recovery time (for you). I say ‘for you’ because one of the leading reasons women (and men) fall into the trap of overtraining is comparison. Just because your friend works out all day, every day doesn’t mean you should too!

Anyone can experience overtraining syndrome. An unexpected surge in duration, intensity, or frequency of movement can impact the body in surprising ways. Everyday people are highly prone to overtraining syndrome because of comparison or aggressive goal setting (i.e. training for a marathon, wanting to lose 10 pounds).

Overtraining and Weight Gain

Overtraining syndrome-related weight gain can come from reduced metabolism due to hormonal imbalances or it can come as a byproduct of your emotional state. Yes, really. Depression, anxiety, stress, and fatigue can all cause a person to overeat. Macros be darned, I’m eating that cookie! One may choose to indulge in comfort foods as a means to cope with excess stress or anxiety, see an increase on the scale, run to the gym to ‘remedy’ this, and thus, a cycle of overtraining is created.

When your hormones are out of wack and cortisol is high (from too much exercise, lack of sleep or plain ol’ stress), the body gets pissed off and responds by increasing blood sugar and insulin and lowering metabolism, which cause weight gain, especially around the midsection. Additionally, overtraining can cause something known as HPA Axis Dysfunction. Basically, this is when the increased stress due to overtraining (and other lifestyle actors) causes a severe miscommunication between the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and adrenal glands, which causes all kinds of negative physical effects – everything from fatigue and insomnia to gut issues and weight gain.

How to recover from overtraining syndrome

Overtraining is not a badge of honor. Being depressed, irritable, stressed, overly hungry, or fatigued is not normal. If you’re feeling any of these symptoms, make adjustments immediately, before symptoms worsen. Here’s how to do that.

Assess

Take a hard look at your workout routine. Is it long or intense? Are you allowing your body to recover? Are you exercising and then performing a physically- or mentally-demanding job? Take an inventory and commit to making adjustments.

Rest

Sounds obvious, but if you’ve already spiraled pretty far down the rabbit-hole of overtraining, slam on the brakes now and give your body a few days of rest. Working out 6 or 7 days of week might be too much. Hell, 4 or 5 days might be too much if your training is intense. 

Reassess

Incorporate adjustments that ensure that you don’t go back into overtraining mode. Consider reducing intensity, duration, or frequency of exercise. Replace your daily 5K run with a yoga session or a foundational strength-based routine. 

Realign

Make adjustments to your nutrition, work-life balance, sleep pattern, and stress factors. While overtraining syndrome is a direct result of exercise, these additional life-related issues impact the body and its susceptibility to overtraining syndrome. Don’t disregard how your lifestyle affects your training. It’s a HUGE piece of the puzzle! 

Overcoming Overtraining Syndrome

There is life after overtraining. When you commit to dropping the “all or nothing” mantra and adopting balance, you will win. Not only will your body feel better, but with the right nutrition and exercise regimen, it will look better too. 

My prescription for an ideal exercise program is one that is based on strength-training fundamentals, which is also great for healthy hormones! Lifting heavy (for you) weights builds the essential muscle you need to improve your physique, boost your metabolism, and protect your skeletal system. Shorter, more efficient workouts allow the body the recovery time it needs to keep you in the game longer.

One week from today (April 7th), my 6-week total body strength training solution for building muscle and burning fat, StrongMadeSimple, is on sale. This dumbbells-only training program includes 24 full-length workouts, all 30-40 minutes in length, and designed to increase strength, definition, and lean lines without pushing you to overtrain. This comprehensive 4-days-a-week program is totally do-able for women who want to look like they actually work out, without spending hours exercising.

StrongMadeSimple was designed to get you the results you deserve without sacrificing your health. And because it requires minimal equipment and space, it’s perfect for working out at home. 

StrongMadeSimple is only on sale for a limited time, so be sure to mark your calendar for next TUESDAY (4/7) to get it for yourself. In the meantime, be sure to sign up for the waitlist to get the latest updates (and discounts)! 

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Success Story: Life After Cravings

It’s Monday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Monday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

Folks, I have been grateful for every story that has come my way over the years. It’s an incredible privilege being on the receiving end of your reflections and evolutions, and they are why I’ve kept at it all these years—knowing the message and information have made a difference in people’s lives. I appreciate every single one. Here, you’ll read about a woman who went through a long period of trial-and-error and ultimately realized that conventional advice was hindering her progress. Thank you to reader, Karine, for sharing your story, and for using your personal transformation to inspire others as a health coach and mentor!

 

weight-loss-success-storySwitzerland, April 2008, I decide to get ski-fit. I think I am healthier than the average. I am not eating junk food, not smoking and not drinking alcohol. But I am very sedentary, apart from a bit of skiing in winter. I am already a decent skier but need to be fitter to go back-country skiing. This is when you climb the mountain with skins under your skis to find true off-piste skiing.

I buy a gym membership and quickly become addicted. I start lifting (very light) weights every day. I also throw in some cardio to lean out and increase my stamina. I start reading articles about nutrition and fitness and change my nutrition. I follow the nutritional advice from the fitness industry: 5 to 6 meals a day, very high in lean proteins for muscle synthesis and very high in carbs for energy. I am not a big meat eater and there is just so much chicken breast that I can eat everyday! I have to supplement with a lot of protein powder. I am convinced I am doing the right thing.

Australia, 2017. After 9 years of training, I am much fitter, have more stamina and can lift “decent” weights. But I still do not look lean and toned. My first DEXA scan gives me 26% body fat. Very average and unfair, considering that I am training 2.5 hours a day and not over-eating! And I am starving ALL THE TIME. I cannot go 2 hours without eating. Food becomes an obsession and a constant struggle. I also have really bad cravings for sugary food. I need so much will-power to resist banana bread and cookies or not to go overboard with fruits. I eat about 2,200 calories a day, as I exercise a lot, but I am never satiated. According to the calorie in / calorie out principle, I should be losing weight. But this is just not happening. It DOES NOT WORK. Something has to change.

The Shift to a Life Without Cravings

July 2018, I start the Primal Health Coach course. This is a revelation. My big AHA moment. I understand that if I eat a lot of carbs or even very lean proteins, I raise my insulin, which puts me in a fat storage mode. And it is even worse as I eat 6 meals a day. I remain in a fat storage mode all day! The calories in / calories out concept just doesn’t take into account the physiology of our body and how different macronutrients are metabolized differently. It suddenly all makes sense!! I understand why I am so hungry all the time, why I am bloated and have cravings. This is such a relief: I now know what to do. But it is also so frustrating. I have basically wasted 9 years working out super hard to improve my body composition, without any success.

I change my nutrition right away. I start with paleo, low carb, high fat. Mind-blowing! After one week, all my hunger and cravings are gone. I am not bloated anymore. After two weeks, I start losing weight. I decide to go full keto. So easy, and the food is delicious. I love all the healthy fats: avocados, macadamia and pecan nuts, olive oil, fatty pieces of meat. Yum! I don’t feel restricted at all. On the contrary, I don’t think about food all the time anymore and don’t even crave unhealthy processed and sugary foods. After 6 months, my body fat percentage is down to 21%. I still eat the same amount of calories as before, but with different macro nutrients.

I am no longer hungry in the morning and it is also very convenient. I continue to lose some excess fat. After a year and a half on keto, I am now around 16% body fat, which seems to be my happy set point. I am now regaining a bit of weight, but it is only muscles! Six months in, I stop the cardio. I realize that I was overtraining, and my stress levels are a bit high. I also start time restricting eating. I skip breakfast and have a larger lunch and dinner. It is actually very easy.

Not bad for a 47 year old. And all these improvements without much effort. I really wish I had known all this back in 2008…

Mental Benefits of Keto

The other benefits I can see of going keto are that I am far less anxious and stressed than before, and my mood is more stable. I have never suffered from brain fog, but my brain feels super clear in the morning, when I am fasted. And if I am away from home without access to healthy food, I can skip a meal without being hungry.

In the meantime, I discover that I am highly toxic in heavy metals, especially arsenic and mercury. Probably from low-quality protein powders, tap water, dental fillings and conventional food. Another big awakening! I ditch all my conventional cosmetics and cleaning products and replace them with organic non-toxic products. I install a reverse osmosis water filtration system and start buying organic veggies, pasture-raised and grass-fed meat. The heavy metals are going down, but I probably need another year or two to get rid of them.

Sharing what I’ve learned

After taking the Primal Health Coach certification course, I continue studying nutrition with two courses from the Nutrition Network: Low Carbohydrate High Fat / Ketogenic Nutrition & Treatment and LCHF in Clinical Practice. I also start studying the other pillars of a healthy lifestyle: sleep optimization, stress management, exercise and toxin reduction. I am now officially a health coach and nutritionist and start coaching friends and relatives.

The more I learn, the more frustrated I am with the poorly researched, wrong or conflicting mainstream information about nutrition and so-called healthy lifestyles. I realize that, when I talk to people about bad oils, added sugar, excess carbs and gluten, about going to bed at 10 pm to get 8 hours of sleep, about grounding or turning off their phone at night, they look at me as if I were coming from another planet. They have heard a different message pretty much since they were born and it is difficult for me to prove my point over a fifteen-minute conversation.

September 2019. I set up my own website and start blogging about nutrition, sleep, stress, toxins, exercise and anything that can help people getting healthier and feel better. I keep the articles short: a bit of information on how our physiology works and many practical tips that are easy to squeeze into our busy days and have be proven by the research to work.

I just want to raise awareness. It is not because a product is sold in our favorite supermarket that it is healthy. Our modern lifestyles are harmful in so many ways and it is not enough to just avoid junk food and give up smoking. We need to do much more than that: pay attention to what we buy, how much we move, what we think about, the water we drink and how we use technology. We all need to be so much more mindful. We can no longer be on auto-pilot and hope that we will stay healthy. This was my realization anyway. I hope it will make your readers think about it.

Karine

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High Highs & Low Lows

I think I can speak for most of us that these past two weeks have been filled with many highs and low lows. One minute the kids are playing together and I’m pulling pancakes out of the oven, and the next minute it seems the world is crumbling beneath us and there is no end to this in sight. We have a lot to be grateful for (house, jobs, food) so we are trying to count our blessings and make the most of this unique situation.

I actually think the timing is great for Birch having his brother home to play. To Birch this is a wonderful time!

Here are some of our adventures from the past week

Spotting a garden snake on a walk

Riding bikes at the church on our street. This parking lot has been such a life saver!!

At the end of every walk we get Birch out and do a big loop around the block with him to get his energy out. He loves it! (Note again i’m in a down coat and Mazen is in short and a tee!! That boy is never cold.)

Climbing the mountain!

Our weather has had high highs and low lows as well. Before this weekend, the low cloud cover was making me go insane. I’d take a cold sunny day or a rainy warm day over low-hanging clouds anytime.

We’ve played fort and book store –

And were thrilled when Grammie sent these 3 crafts!

The stepping stone kit involved mixing plaster in a “disposable mixing bowl” (who has disposable bowls?!) and was not the best indoor activity. I’d recommend a stone painting kit like this instead!

I had some luck with documentary watching during Birch’s nap time, and we watched 72 Dangerous Animals and Chasing Monsters (all about fish). My mind was blown when the host walked through a murky, gator-filled river. HOW is he not scared!? You couldn’t even pay me to canoe in that water!

Here are some of the things we’ve been eating…

Blueberry overnight oats

Hand pies from The Pie Chest with peas + rice

More Pie Chest – pot pies with couscous salad

And homemade pizza night!

We had some frozen salmon from Sitka Salmon that has come in handy when grocery store trips are at a bare minimum. They ship fish right to your door. Herby roasted with a make-shift kale salad.

And finally – drippy sun butter yogurt on the porch!

As always, I hope you guys are doing the best you can right now <3

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Coping with COVID-19, Kevin Gilmartin PhD | Salty Talk 003| THRR


Welcome to Salty Talk. This is a special edition of Healthy Rebellion Radio. Each week on Salty Talk Robb will do a deep dive into current health and performance news, mixed with an occasional Salty conversation with movers and shakers in the world of research, performance, health, and longevity.
For the full the video presentation of this episode and to be a part of the conversation, join us in The Healthy Rebellion online community.

WARNING: These episodes may get “salty” with the occasional expletive.

This episode of The Healthy Rebellion Radio is sponsored by Perfect Keto. Perfect Keto makes eating keto easier. Perfect Keto provides clean low-carb bars, nut butters, and supplements, and the best keto recipes and info so you can keto with confidence. Go to http://perfectketo.com/salty40 and use code SALTY40 for buy one get one 40% off on all Perfect Keto products. 

Today’s Salty Talk is an interview  with Dr. Kevin Gilmartin…
Dr. Gilmartin is a behavioral scientist specializing in law enforcement and public safety related issues. He is the author of the book Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement: A Guide for Officers and Their Families. He previously spent twenty years working in law enforcement in Tucson, Arizona. During his tenure he supervised the Hostage Negotiations Team and the Behavioral Sciences Unit. He is a former recipient of the International Association of Chiefs of Police-Parade Magazine, National Police Officer Citation Award for contributions during hostage negotiations. He presently maintains a consulting relationship with public safety and law enforcement agencies in the U.S, Canada, and Australia. He is a HUGE friend of ours at the Reno Risk Assessment program. 

Transcript:

Download a copy of the transcript here (PDF) – Coming Soon….

Coming soon….

 



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