How To Manipulate Your Hormones For Fitness and Health
By Travis Wade
I hate to say it but your doctor isn’t going to take good care of you. They will do their job to keep you alive and pain free and some of them will put in the extra effort to do a good job. That’s all free health care will get you and do not expect any more. They will not keep you at optimum health. It’s not a concern to our health care system if you are overweight. Your doctor isn’t going to tell you what I’m about to tell you here.
Personal Training 101
I love fitness and I love seeing people achieving their goals in the gym. Here’s a stat for you; 20% of people in the gym are getting their goal. Over 90% of the people getting their goal in the gym have training.
Lots of people will plateau at some point. It’s very common and there are ways to get around that. Some methods are undulating your program, changing your program once a month, periodizing your program, and working on the weak link or sticking points of your lifts with your accessory exercises.
This is personal training 101. Not every trainer knows how to do all this effectively because 79% of trainers will quit within one year. The industry is saturated with beginners. Learning a lot of these skills takes experience.
The thing I really want to talk about is how a holistic personal trainer can manipulate hormones to achieve goals. Most personal trainers may not know it but it’s one of the main things we do. Heavy lifting with compound movements will boost testosterone and human growth hormone; proper nutrition avoids insulin spikes and gets the nutrients your body needs to function well.
Your Allostatic Load
This is where most good personal trainers stop. If they don’t get you past your plateau with diet and exercise, they will likely be stumped. There is much more that can be done. What I want to talk about is called your allostatic load. This means the total stress on your body.
Oxidative stress from the types of foods you eat, the mental stress (from your job, family and life in general), your toxic load, and dysbiosis which is the imbalance of good and bad bacteria of the gut. These are the main components of your allostatic load.
Your allostatic load has a major impact on your adrenal glands. A high allostatic load increases cortisol. Cortisol is a really good antiinflammatory. The side effects are weight gain around the belly, lack of sleep, frustration, reduced performance, and increased health problems. This can lead to depression, adrenal fatigue, and Addison’s Disease.
Another thing is when cortisol is high, thyroid hormone is low and so is melatonin. High cortisol and low melatonin will make sleeping difficult which in turn increases your stress. Low thyroid hormone will cause low metabolism creating weight gain.
One last thing is, a high allostatic load fills your bucket. There is no room for added stress like working out or getting a project done. If you do workout, it will take much longer for recovery and you won’t fully recover before your working out again. If you have low allostatic load then there is plenty of room for added stress and recovery from that stress.
The first component of allostatic load I want to talk about is mental stress. It’s the one that most people are familiar with. One thing I try to get my clients to do is meditation. I don’t mean once a day for a half hour; I mean for 5 minutes about 5 times a day. We get distracted in our minds too easy. The more times a day you practise the better you’ll get at it. One of the things over achievers have in common is meditation. They say they can over achieve because they take the time to do their daily meditation.
Another thing I’d like to talk about is telomeres; they depict your age. They are the ends of your DNA strands and the older you get physically the shorter your telomeres get. Scientists have only discovered one thing that makes telomeres longer; meditation. If you don’t do meditation you will likely have a high allostatic load, age faster, never be able to overachieve, and live a stressed life.
Your Toxic Load
Your doctor will tell you that your liver takes care of toxins and that’s what they are told in med school. The truth is your liver can’t keep up anymore. There are 3000 toxins being created every year, you’re exposed to over 200 before you are born, you have approximately 700 in your body at any given time. It’s called your toxic load and it has an extremely profound effect on us. If your liver was taking care of it you wouldn’t have 700 toxins in you at any given time. Maybe your liver was keeping up a hundred years ago but not anymore.
Your toxic load increases your chances of disease and inflammation. It causes chronic fatigue and brain fog. It needs to be excreted. The heavy metals bind to mineral receptor sites and need to be unbound from places like our brain and mitochondria which are the energy factories in our cells. For more on heavy metal detox read my article on it here.
We have 10 times more bacteria cells in and on us than we do human body cells, we have 10 times more viruses than we do bacteria cells, we have fungus, yeast, and all kinds of other tiny creatures. They are on our skin, in our mouths and noses, in our lungs, and mostly in our guts. This ecosystem is called our microbiome. It is involved in virtually every aspect of our physiology.
The microbiome is complicated but one thing I will mention is candida is a very common yeast overgrowth and SIBO is small intestine bacteria overgrowth. These are very common and need to be eliminated along with any other type of bad gut infection.
One other thing I should mention is firmicutes is fat person bacteria and bacteroidetes is skinny person bacteria. You can manipulate these with probiotics, antioxidants, fermented foods, and when the timing is right, resistant starch.
Oxidative stress can be caused from processes in the body like metabolism, exercise, phagocytosis, and inflammation. Sugar metabolism has 16x more oxidative stress than fat metabolism.
People are convinced they need to eat carbohydrates for energy. I hope to change that belief in people and you can read my many articles written on fat and how it should be used for your energy source. Of course, that’s not an easy diet to follow but there are many tricks to make it easier and it gets easier with practise.
All of the above have huge impacts on your hormones. When you have an imbalance, it is very likely that one of the above is the cause or most likely all of them. If these concerns are not addressed there may be a plateau in your future along with other health concerns down the line.
When one hormone is out it affects the other hormones. One will be high the other will be low. Then there will be compensation in another area. A lot of times thyroid hormone will be reduced which depicts your metabolism. Lots of weight gain starts to happen. There is a symphony going on. Manipulating your hormones is not a simple thing to do and a lot of times a specialist may be required.
What To Do
#1. Hire me.
Other Things You Can Do
True Balance is a place in Sherwood Park that offers hormone replacement therapy which is a quick fix but I like them because they educate their clients and offer solutions to the cause of the imbalance and they use bio-identical hormones as opposed to the synthetic crap your doctor will prescribe. They do a full panel and find out your nutrient deficiencies, blood cell counts, hormone levels; it’s a very in depth panel. They do get people fast results while they address their causes.
The causes will still need to be addressed. Eat well to get the nutrients your body needs and avoid oxidative stress. Meditate 5 times a day for 5 minutes at a time. You will never get really good at it but that’s why they call it practise. You will get better at it though; I promise. Detox by getting rid of as many sources as possible and get infrared rays; consider Biosil and Pectasol C. Have your microbiome tested and address major issues then feed your good bacteria.
I wish you lots of health, love and happiness!
The only holistic personal trainer in Edmonton.