Better Self Awareness: Mindset

Better Self Awareness: Mindset

Statistics show that 43% of all people expect to fail before February, and almost one out of four quit within the first week of setting their New Year’s resolution. Most people quit before the end of January, and only 9% see their resolutions through until succession. 9% successfully keep their New Year’s resolutions.

It’s the beginning of the year and we are all hitting mid-January in one of two ways:

  1. Achieving our goals for January Resolution
  2. Or not

But don’t beat yourself up if you are in the not category.

So we suggest that whatever your new year’s resolution is, we have the following guidance to help you get on track, steadily progress and most importantly stick to those goals long-term!  And it really doesn’t matter that we’re not starting on 1st January.  So if you’re ready to restart your resolutions with us then read on!

Make Space

Make space to honestly evaluate yourself and your feelings. Give yourself a set time of day, first thing in the morning or last thing at night are good starting points and use these times to reflect on your previous 24 hours.  What went well, what could have been better, what did you find difficult and most importantly what have you achieved?

Set Goals

Set goals, small achievable goals.  For example, make your bed every morning, drink enough water, and eat a wholesome breakfast.  Whatever you choose, start small, start achievable and work your way up.

Evaluation

Evaluate every few days.  Are you achieving your goals?  If not, why not?  What stopped you?  Was it in your control?

Goal map

Create a goal map.  Think of one thing you wish to accomplish in a set period of time and create a pathfinder to reach that goal.  A pathfinder is a plan of how you will achieve it, what obstacles you may encounter and how you can overcome them.  Your set goals and evaluation (above bullets 2 & 3) will form the start of your path finder goals, the objectives you met and overcome and how you will move forward will guide you through your next goals and objectives.

Express yourself

Express yourself, in any way that feels right for you.  Be it vocalising with your coach at Absolute, a close friend or relative or journaling.  As long as you get those feelings and emotions out you will be Abel to move forward more freely towards your goals.

Here at Absolute we are hugely proactive on accountability and you can assist your own accountability by improving your self awareness through setting achievable goals and spending time on reflection.

When tackling the highs and lows of training and fat loss, we are advocates of not only being transparent – that we all need a little motivation at times – but to normalise that nobody finds the journey (or the maintenance of personal results) a guaranteed easy road.

You can search through body transformations online and see many, many results and these incredible journeys. However, it is important to remember that social media is a highlight reel and everyone has different body compositions. 

We believe that it is important to discuss all sides of the journey because that is 100% the reality and if you know what is up ahead you will be better prepared to succeed. 

If you feel like the new year has got off to a rocky start, that’s okay. Achieving your goals is a process and whilst there might be peaks and troughs, you can get through. A positive mindset can help you achieve more than you think.

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A Simple Guide to Burning Fat and Losing Weight

A Simple Guide to Burning Fat and Losing Weight

Fat oxidation ‘Fat burning’ in its simplest form refers to the use of fat as a fuel source by the body. Our bodies store fat in the form of triglycerides. In order to be used as fuel, triglycerides need to be broken down into fatty acids through a process called lipolysis. Triglycerides can be found in the bloodstream, adipose tissue (fat cells) and to a lesser extent, within muscle mass. 

 

WHAT IS FAT BURNING?

Your body prioritises utilising triglycerides in the bloodstream and muscle first. Once these supplies have run low, triglycerides will be mobilised from the fat cells. This is where the fat burning equals fat loss comes from, the body is literally taking fat out of your fat cells to produce energy. 

However, if you are not in a calorie deficit, fat burning will not result in actual fat loss, energy cannot just simply disappear. Fat is a storage of energy and calories are just the unit in which we measure that energy. 

CALORIE DEFICIT AND FAT LOSS

When energy or caloric intake is equal to total energy expenditure from daily activity and exercise, your body will not use reserved energy stored as body fat. If you want to lose body fat you have to eat fewer calories than you expend, independent of the fuels you use! 

For example, let’s compare two different diets for weight loss.

Each diet is calorie matched (both 2000 calories). For this example, a person’s 2000 calories per day is their maintenance calories because their usual daily energy expenditure is also 2000 calories. 

Calories in Vs Calories out

Regardless of the macros, I.e. one diet containing 100g of carbs and the other containing 300g of carbs, both diets will result in keeping the person’s weight stable because there is no caloric deficit in either.

If we reduce the persons calories by say 400 making their intake 1600, this would result in similar weight loss for both diets, regardless of the macro split. This is because the body would be required to take the same amount from its fat storage to make up the other 400 calories. The greater the discrepancy between the calories you consume and the calories you expend, the greater the shift in body weight will be. 

“Fat burning” and “fat loss” are not interchangeable.

It’s simply a case of creating a calorie deficit. If you are not in a calorie deficit; you will not lose body fat.

When we remove certain food types from our diets, the most widely accepted of which is carbs, it is assumed the weight loss is because of removing carbohydrates from the diet.  And it is! However, it’s not the case that the removal of the carbs themselves are the sole reason for the weight loss, it is the calories that have been avoided by not consuming that particular food group that resulted in weight loss.  And that calorie deficit could have been made with or without restricting carbs, as long as there is a deficit, weight loss will come.

We specialise in tailoring exercise and nutrition plans to our clients to target their personal needs as an overall wellness approach to fitness and lifestyle.  If you have been struggling with yo-yo dieting, the restriction of food groups or are simply mystified as to why your body is not responding to your nutrition and exercise regime, book a free consultation with us and we will give you a personal and tailored review of how to kick start your training and nutrition to get the results you have been looking for in a sustainable and safe way. 

Know Your Body: Hormones

Know Your Body: Hormones

We will start our “Know your body” series with hormones. Why? Well, they are mostly misunderstood and they affect all of us, and we want to bust the myths and help you to understand them more.

Hormones at their basic level are chemical messengers that coordinate different functions in the body. Hormones are produced from several glands, organs and tissues, medically known as the endocrine system.

There are over 50 different types of hormones in the human body that all serve a different and very important purpose.  In this series, we will focus on some of the systems that hormones coordinate.

Metabolism

Metabolism is the chemical (metabolic) process that converts the foods and drinks we consume into energy.

The body uses about one-tenth of its energy to process the food that we eat into fuel. The remaining energy fuels your physical movement.

Metabolism and metabolic problems often get blamed for weight struggles. Our metabolism naturally regulates itself to meet our body’s needs. It is rare that metabolism is the cause of people’s weight gain or loss. 

The fact remains; that anyone who burns more calories than they take in will lose weight. 

A fast metabolism simply refers to someone with an accelerated basal metabolic rate (BMR) which means the body burns a lot of calories even when at rest. A slow metabolism means that the body needs fewer calories to keep it going. A fast metabolism does not necessarily lead to being thinner. In fact, studies have shown that people who are overweight often have fast metabolisms, which means their bodies need more energy to keep their basic day to day body functions going.

Growth and Development

The main player in growth and development is Growth Hormone. Growth hormone is produced by the pituitary gland. It has many functions including maintaining normal body structure and metabolism.

Growth hormone levels are increased by sleep, stress, exercise, and low glucose levels in the blood. 

Growth hormone has been linked to a sensation of wellbeing, specifically energy levels. There is evidence that 30-50% of adults with Growth hormone deficiency feel tired to a level that impairs their wellbeing.

The hormones concerned with growth are the pituitary growth hormone, thyroid hormone, the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen, and the pituitary gonadotropic (sex-gland-stimulating) hormones. 

Sleep Wake Cycle

Nearly every hormone in the body is released in response to our circadian rhythm, also known as the sleep-wake cycle.

Melatonin controls sleep patterns and tells your body when to get to sleep. Human growth hormone is released during deep sleep hours, which is vital to cell growth and repair.

In the early morning, your body’s cortisol production naturally surges and helps us to get up and go. This is often referred to the cortisol awakening response. Once you’ve woken up  the cortisol surge continues for around 30-45 minutes before returning to its baseline after an hour or so. If you are waking up tired every morning you are probably not getting enough sleep, or your circadian rhythm disrupted. Not meeting your sleep needs means your body isn’t given ample time to curb cortisol secretion, leading to elevated daytime levels of cortisol.

As long as there is insufficient sleep, your body remains stranded in the fight-or-flight state. 

The long-term effects of sleep insufficiency have been studied widely and documented in scientific literature, particularly in the form of metabolic health issues such as:

  • Obesity 
  • Weight gain
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart disease

Getting adequate sleep is important for regulating several hormones, including:

  • Cortisol
  • Estrogen and progesterone
  • Hunger hormones, like insulin, leptin, and ghrelin
  • Melatonin
  • Thyroid hormones
  • Growth hormones

Mood

Dopamine and serotonin are chemical messengers, or neurotransmitters, that help regulate many bodily functions. Dopamine is involved in movement, coordination, and feelings of pleasure and reward and serotonin is involved in emotions as well, but it also affects digestion and metabolism.

Dopamine and serotonin are often called the “happy” hormones. There are several hormones that play a role in our mood, however, these 2 are the most common. 

Dopamine plays an integral role in the reward system, a group of brain processes that control motivation, desire, and cravings.

In addition to aiding digestion, serotonin is involved in regulating the sleep wake cycle, mood and emotions, metabolism and appetite, cognition and concentration, hormonal activity, body temp and blood clotting.

Dopamine is the brain’s pleasure and reward centre, and it drives many behaviours and habits.

Dopamine and serotonin also have opposite effects on appetite; while serotonin suppresses appetite, low levels of dopamine can stimulate hunger.

Both dopamine and serotonin can impact mental well-being.

Although dopamine alone may not directly cause depression, having low levels of dopamine

may cause specific symptoms such as:

  • Lack of motivation
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
  • Loss of interest 

However, low levels of serotonin have been linked with mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety. 

Having too much or too little dopamine and serotonin can impair communication between neurons. This may lead to or indeed exacerbate the development of physical and mental health conditions.