Tag Archives: hormonal signals

How ‘Good Fats’ Aid Fat Loss For The Post Natal Client

19 May

By Jenny Burrell BSc (Hons), Founder of Burrell Education, Specialist For Pregnancy and Post Natal Fitness& Therapy Education, London, UK. 

www.burrelleducation.com


Ironically, after years of demonising FAT in general, the diet, health, fitness and food industry is having to re-communicate to the general public that not ALL fat is bad for us and indeed some fats are not only vital to optimum health but also aid fat loss.  One of the hottest Essential Fatty Acids (good stuff)  for female health and fat loss is Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA).

Along with a ‘considered’ diet and daily exercise at an optimum intensity to effect the utilization of fat as energy, GLA supplementation has shown to be a highly effective component of fat loss programmes alongside its already well know effect on easing many of the negative symptoms associated with the female menstrual cycle such as breast tenderness, moodiness, depression, irritability and swelling and bloating from fluid retention.  All in all, GLA has a valuable role to play in times of ‘endocrine turbulence’ such as the early Post Natal period and when women are seeking to lose ‘baby fat’.

Why Does GLA Work?

  • In textbook terms, GLA can be synthesized from Linoleic acid, which is found in certain oils, grains, and seeds. But due to a number of common dietary and lifestyle factors in today’s society, most of our bodies don’t make that conversion.
  • The main metabolic roadblocks are trans fats (man-made fats found in crisps, biscuits, cakes, processed foods), sugar, smoking, alcohol, aging, and illnesses such as diabetes.
  • All of these factors affect the body’s ability to convert Linoleic acid into GLA and efficiently burn fat.
  • GLA has a key role in activating under-active fat in overweight people known as brown adipose tissue (BAT) to burn calories.
  • GLA is found (in the largest quantities) naturally in seed oils like Starflower oil (20-24% GLA) and Evening Primrose oil (18-20%).
  • Supplementing with either of these oils will assist the mechanism that will allow the body to get down to the business of burning excess fat.
  • Simply put, GLA has a key role in activating under-active fat burn calories.
  • Many researchers now believe that many overweight people are actually metabolically impaired when it comes to their ability to use energy from their fat stores.  Of course, the other modern factors such as a lack of exercise, a toxic environment, consumption of toxic processed foods etc., etc., just doesn’t help either!

A diet that includes supplementation with a high quality multivitamin, minerals and EFA’s (Evening Primrose Oil or Starflower Oil included) to ensure optimum nutrition is obtained daily is a great place to start for anyone seeking to embark upon a healthy lifestyle and fat loss . In my experience, Post Natal clients who commence and stick to an optimum supplementation programme especially after a period of depletion such as during Pregnancy  often experience  a marked decrease in food cravings, an improvement in general mood and mental well-being and an increase in energy, vitality and ability to rest.  And we all know just how priceless posessing those qualities in daily life are, especially for a new mom.

NB: Always seek the advice of a specialist HCP when providing nutrition and supplementation advice for a Pregnant or breastfeeding Post Natal client if you are not certified to do so yourself.

Passionate About Pregnancy & Post Natal Health & Fitness Education FOREVER! 

Connect With Me on FACEBOOK and Twitter

www.burrelleducation.com

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Sleep Deprivation, Stress and Fat Loss for the Post Natal Client

18 May

By Jenny Burrell BSc (Hons), Founder of Burrell Education, Specialist For Pregnancy and Post Natal Fitness& Therapy Education, London, UK. 

For all of you out there with Post Natal clients (6 weeks to 6 years ;-)….Here are a few thoughts on a few important components to fat loss that are rarely considered when dealing with this special population.
  • During Pregnancy and the early Post Natal period, Cortisol is  NATURALLY ELEVATED!  In the Post Natal period the thought is that the elevated Cortisol and other stress hormones have the effect of keeping the mother alert and aware of any possible dangers to the infant and may have a role in the attachment process.
  • The physical stress of labour and birthing, alongside the stresses of adjusting to early motherhood and poor sleeping patterns/lack of sleep means that Cortisol levels may remain high well into the Post Natal period making it difficult for mothers to lose weight post birth.
  • During pregnancy, the hormonal signals have been set to ensure fat is stored in preparation for feeding the baby – theoretically, a mother may need somewhere in the region of an extra 650 calories each day to produce quality breast milk.
  • Being an older mother is also a factor in holding fat as sadly, by the mid to late 30’s the body is preparing for menopause.  And the ultimate paradox……..as women head towards menopause the body will automatically be reluctant to let go of fat around the middle as this is where Oestrogen is manufactured.  This happens because the body knows that Oestrogen will help protect our bones from Osteoporosis so the body tries to hold onto the fat to hold onto the Oestrogen to prevent Osteoporosis which it obviously deems to be a greater threat than having a fat belly!
  • The ULTIMATE blow comes in the fact that…….abdominal fat cells have four times as many receptors for Cortisol than anywhere else in your body so if you’re continually too stressed, your abdominal fat cells will be calling out for Cortisol and encouraging the body to store fat around the abdominals!
  • Adrenaline & Cortisol are the two main stress hormones produced by the Adrenal glands.  Totally useful when we need to get out of danger, not so great when our modern life and stress levels  keeps us chronically in a state of over-production.
  • Both hormones circulating in the system increase appetite and then drive the stressed individual to consume – guess what? More carbohydrate and fat!
  • Fat is stored around the middle simply because there, it’s closer to the liver where it can be quickly accessed to be converted back into energy if needed.
  • Natural Cortisol levels that we need to wake us up and go about our business in the daytime can remain elevated by STRESS!  They can also be elevated by a house too brightly lit in the evening time, and overstimulation via watching TV and working late.
  • Excessive production of Cortisol leads to adrenal fatigue which presents itself as chronic fatigue syndrome, infections, musculoskeletal aches and pains and headaches.
  • Obeying our natural rhythms of sleep and rest – our CIRCADIAN RHYTHM allows the adrenals to rest.
  • Caffeine, sugar, tobacco and LOW BLOOD SUGAR create EMERGENCY situations within our systems and signal STRESS.

What Can You As A Health & Fitness Professional Do About This?

In my early days of a Trainer, I was simply in a life phase where I could go all day and night without really considering the vital importance of rest and restorative activity.  Now, in my 40’s I really get it! And I ensure that rest and restorative activity is included in every session with every client.  I keep the training element of the session short and sweet, 20-30 mins  and ensure we have time for some foam roller work, a bit of remedial therapy on any niggles they have, a 10 minute meditation on the breath or a Power Plate massage for the the non-pregnant clients….either way, they walk away feeling and KNOWING the value of STILLNESS AS WELL AS MOVEMENT.

Passionate About Pregnancy & Post Natal Health & Fitness Education FOREVER! 

Connect With Me on FACEBOOK and Twitter

www.burrelleducation.com

Fat Smashing Cauliflower?!

18 May

By Jenny Burrell BSc (Hons), Founder of Burrell Education, Specialist For Pregnancy and Post Natal Fitness & Therapy, London, UK.

www.burrelleducation.com

Ok, so I think we are all agreed that if you ever want to have a decent looking belly again especially over the age of 35-40, AND ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE TRYING TO LOSE HORMONALLY INDUCED POST NATAL BELLY FAT, you have to ‘revise’ your eating strategy!

One of areas that a lot people get stuck on is how the hell do they get their clients to reduce their starchy carbs and still feel good? I think a new phrase needs to be coined…..‘CARB ANXIOUS’ – A CLIENT WHO GOES INTO A COLD SWEAT WHEN YOU TELL THEM THEY’VE GOT TO REDUCE THEIR STARCHY CARBS!!

In a nutshell, eat more protein, less sugar and processed foods, increase the volume of fibrous vegetable and eat more good fats – blah, blah, blah!  Just one problem, it’s our eyes!!!! We just look at our plates and it just doesn’t seem right.  Enter the humble cauliflower!!!!!! Thanks to John Beradi and the Precion Nutrition Team (www.precisionnutrition.com) and closer to home, UK fat smashers such as Paul Mort (www.bootcampking.com), and the Dukan Diet Cookbook (thanks Pippa & Kate), we now have the most brilliant solution – CAULIFLOWER MASH!!!!!!!!!  My God this works! Even my husband, a marathon running, carb-adoring, ecotomorph is fooled by this one and it’s possitively delicious too, not to mention the nutritional benefits of cauliflower being a cruciferous veggie.

My simple version goes like this:

1.  Steam 2 heads of cauliflower.

2.  When tender, I put in a bowl and add 1/4 teacup of coconut milk, Himalayan sea salt (thanks Amanda & Andrea!) and freshly ground black pepper and apply a potatoe masher until I get a consistency that looks like mashed potatoe.

3.  That’s it!!!  I then put in a Tupperware and keep in the fridge ready to replace the rice, potatoes, pasta that was previously on my plate.

AWESOME AND IT WORKS!  The eyes are fooled, the nerves are calm and the body is nourished!

For more attractive low starchy carb eating ideas my two top tips are anything by these two young men:


Both make great food look sexy!  Stick with these two guys and, guess what?  You might look even more sexy too :-)).

Remember, keep it passionate…………mediocrity is a sin!

Passionate About Pregnancy & Post Natal Health & Fitness Education FOREVER! 

Connect With Me on FACEBOOK and Twitter

 

The No-Diet Fat Loss Ten Commandments

17 May

By Jenny Burrell BSc (Hons), Founder of Burrell Education, Specialist For Pregnancy and Post Natal Fitness & Therapy, London, UK.

www.burrelleducation.com

Image1.       INSULIN IS ONE OF OUR MASTER HORMONES IN TERMS OF FAT LOSS  – TO PREVENT FAT BEING STORED WE NEED TO GOOD CONTROL OVER IT.  For most people this means 3 things, reduce/moderating their intake of STARCHY CARBS, CUTTING BACK ON ALCOHOL AND AVOIDING SUGAR – YOUR OVERALL DAILY INTAKE SHOULD LOOK LIKE THE PLATE ABOVE.

2.       Eat more protein especially in the morning (first meal of the day), it sets the scene for your intake for the remainder of the day ie., you will crave less carbs.

3.       Focus on avoiding C.R.A.P – Excess starchy carbs, Refined Sugar, Alcohol and Packaged/Processed Foods.

4.       Keep well hydrated – aim for 2 litres of water a day – add a little Himalayan mountain salt and  the juice of ½ a lemon to ‘supersize’. Water is VITAL TO FAT LOSS.

5.       Supplement – Omega 3 and a High Quality Multi-Vitamin & Mineral – GOOD FATS ARE VITAL TO FAT LOSS.

6.       Perform 20 mins of High Intensity  Interval Training 3-4 times per week that involves whole body movements – THIS PUSHES YOUR BODY TO BURN MORE FAT. You need to get HOT, SWEATY, OUT OF BREATH AND YOUR MUSCLES NEED TO BURN.  Intensity and brevity are king.  Forget about hours on the treadmill.  Get going, work hard, go home!

7.       Increase your general level of walking and lower level activity on the days when you are not performing HIIT.

8.       Perform some kind of stretching daily & prioritize rest/quiet time – INACTIVITY IS JUST AS VITAL AS ACTIVITY.

9.       Identify your stressors and start work to eradicate or minimize them – STRESS MAKES YOU FAT!

10.   Base your daily intake and actions on the fact that: YOU ONLY GET 1 BODY, WE ARE NOTHING WITHOUT OUR HEALTH AND VITALITY. Movement and great nutrition are your way of showing daily gratitude for the body and health you have been gifted 🙂

Passionate About Pregnancy & Post Natal Health & Fitness Education FOREVER! 

Connect With Me on FACEBOOK and Twitter


Train Women? Read These Books!

4 Apr

By Jenny Burrell BSc (Hons), Founder of Burrell Education, Specialist For Pregnancy and Post Natal Fitness & Therapy Education, London, UK.

www.burrelleducation.com

1. Fat Around the Middle – Marilyn Glenville – easy to read and understand. Great for clients who really need to get the message that STRESS is making and keeping them fat!

2.  The Female Body Breakthrough – Rachel Cosgrove – a kick ass text, she tells it how it is and shows you how to get blinding results from pretty easy to do changes in nutrition and beefing up your workouts (not so easy:-) – a personal favourite.

3.  From Belly Fat to Belly Flat – Dr CW Randolph – great if you have clients who are pre or currently menopausal and just can’t seem to shift the fat, especially from around their mid-section.  Some tough love here but I guess the mantra is ‘want something different, got to DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT!  I personally, followed this book to help me with my Oestrogen dominance issues.

4.  Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom – Dr. Christianne Northrup – my ‘women’s business’ bible!  Even Oprah has a copy permanently by her bedside.  If you train women, get this!!!!!

5.  Pregnancy & Childbirth – A Holistic Approach to Massage and Bodywork – Suzanne Yates – I studies with Suzanne and was massively inspired.  A beautiful, sentient book, my bodywork bible.

6.  Anatomy and Physiology for Midwives – Coad with Dunstall – one of the major texts on the reading list for student midwives in the UK.  Heavy on the science but what did you expect? 😉

7.  Optimum Nutrition, Before, During and After Pregnancy – Patrick Holford – Does what it says on the tin from the ever-on-it Mr. Holford.

8.  Fitness for the Pelvic Floor – Beate Carriere – Foundation text.  Period! (Pardon the pun!)

9.  The Metabolic Effect Diet – Jade & Keoni Teta – BIG, BIG SCIENCE MADE SIMPLE!  The Teta brothers rock!  Got stubborn fat all of a sudden?  They’ll help you understand what’s going on and fix it, dramatically!

10.  Balancing Hormones Naturally – Kate Neil & Patrick Holford – Again, does what it says on the tin.  Great advcie and strategies for regaining endocrine balance.

www.burrelleducation.com

Passionate Pregnancy & Post Natal Health, Fitness & Therapy Education – FOREVER!

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