How to Not Be a Fat Cat: Chill

You might of heard of the hormone Cortisol. If you haven’t it’s something you want to be familiar with because it can have a big effect on your health & fitness.

There are four (most) important hormones that affect protein synthesis in muscle. Growth hormone, testosterone, insulin-like growth factor (IGF) and insulin.

Protein breakdown is caused by hormones also. Corticosteroids produced by the adrenal glands are the most important.

So what does this info mean to you?

Here’s some things you need to keep in mind and take into account for reaching fitness, health and fat loss goals:

Although all of us need to have a minimum of 30 minutes of activity a day and more like 60 for fat loss and health benefits, there is something called overtraining. Is there a misconception? Is more exercise better?

You’ve probably heard about something called the fight-or-flight response. We all want it and need it. It’s part of our survival skills as humans and also comes in handy in sports where a quick burst of energy is desired. It’s also referred to as a stress response. The problem is, is that when you repeatedly are stressed, for example from over-training, along with all the other stress in our lives day to day, that your adrenals make too much cortisol in response. The negatives are a declined energy level, a suppressed immune system and loss of lean muscle. Not good!

In this article in the Virginia Hopkins Health Watch, David Zava, Ph.D. states: Too much cortisol, caused by stressors, over a prolonged period of time, results in excessive breakdown of all structural tissues of the body including muscle, bone, skin and brain, causing accelerated aging.

So what steps can you and I take, dear readers, to avoid the negatives effects:

• Get plenty of rest when at all possible. Throw in a nap when you can too! Try to have consistent go to bed & get up times if possible.

• Stick with low glycemic foods.

• Stay active throughout your day. Movement is good.

• Avoid over-training and especially obsessive cardio.

• Spend time meditating or some other form of relaxation.

In others words, chill.

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  1. Paul Steele says:

    Another great piece of advice Joyce put well. Great insight thanks! 🙂

  2. Joyce Cherrier says:

    Thanks Paul and thanks for commenting. I think the value of rest is underrated as part of being healthy! So feel free to nap! 😉

  3. Allison Strang says:

    Love this post. Just what we were talking about. Loved the article too. Thanks!

  4. I can definitely Chill LOL It was a good article and I am guilty of wanting tons of cardio–its easy for me to run a lot!! I am after muscle tone and definition so I have to chill! Great article Joyce! Always learning from you!! 🙂

  5. Joyce Cherrier says:

    Thanks Allison & Francis! Glad you liked it. Seems it’s been a popular conversation lately. Easy to be a “more must be better” person & love how we learn that, like many things in life, it’s a balance. Thanks for commenting, you both are awesome!!

  6. A great post, Joyce. My old health club actually made one of the aerobics instructors take a leave because she had overdone it. I think I’ve got the chillin’ part down. But then again, realized: Some nights I get enough sleep. Some I don’t. Meditation? Yes! Movement throughout the day… as in don’t sit at the computer? Definitely need more of that. Thanks for keeping it in perspective.

  7. Joyce Cherrier says:

    Hi Kat, thanks for stopping by! Sitting at the computer is a killer! Hours just fly by! Lately I have been standing while working at times to add a bit of extra movement throughout the day. It all adds up! Wishing you a good nite’s sleep! 🙂

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