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So, we have established that 5-6 protein based meals is the best way to burn fat, keep your metabolism high and give you sustained energy throughout the day but if your cortisol levels are too high then its all irrelevant.Cortisol, as I’m sure most of you know, is a hormone in the body. You may have heard cortisol called the “stress” hormone since it is true that people produce greater levels of it under significant stress and especially during a “fight or flight” reaction.

The problem with too much cortisol in the evening which can be raised by stress, caffeine, and too much sugar in the diet, to name a few, is that elevated cortisol levels cause insomnia. A lack of sleep can actually impair the body’s ability to defend against infection and to utilize our fats and sugars for energy.

Bad news! What this means to the average gym goer is an inability to burn body fat from the midsection, particularly in women!!!!

Reduce your cortisol by –

1) keeping caffeine intake down, or eliminate its all together (yea right)
2) Try to reduce work stress, easier said than done if you work in the City i know but
do your best.
3) Keep your carb intake low and never actually ingest sugar in its purest form(table sugar)
4) Have a diet that’s high in protein and EFA’s (essential fatty acids) eg salmon, mackerel, sardines, fish oil.
5) Aim to get 6-8 hours of unbroken sleep every night (should take my own advice)
6) Aim for 3-4 workouts or exercise sessions per week. Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce stress.
7) Reduce your alcohol intake. I am a big believer in the benefits of red wine but that’s another email entirely :)

Follow these ideas and your workouts will be more effective and you will be closer to achieving that flatter stomach or those wash board abs in no time :)

For a more in-depth study of this fascinating hormone then check out >>>HERE<<<

Gavin @ UCB

1 comment

  • […] You only get 6 or less hours of quality sleep per night: Charles Poliquin, the world famous strength and conditioning coach actually looks at a clients sleep patterns before he addresses their diet or training regime. Sleep releases a large portion of growth hormone and this is one of the best natural fat burners available. Lack of sleep will reduce your GH but also raise your cortisol levels, your fight or flight hormone. Not good. This will bring your fat burning efforts to a grinding halt. Look here for more on cortisol. […]


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