When it comes to clients it’s important to find a system the helps them remain consistent.
This transformation took a period of 22 weeks.
Fat loss and muscle growth doesn’t happen in a 24-hour window, your body will resemble what you consistently do ALL THE TIME.
That means you need to address not what you do in one day, but the entire week, month and year. Once you find a system that works and that is consistent, health will improve. As health improves so does the adaptation to the training stimulus and the biproduct of that is an improvement in body composition.
So how do we improve our health? The two main ways I am going to discuss today are:
Why Decrease inflammation?
In the short term, acute inflammation is a normal body response that triggers the immune system.The human body wants to survive so when it senses a threat it will respond. The issue is when the acute response becomes chronic.
Chronic inflammation is ongoing. It happens when the body is overwhelmed, due to things such as diet choices, high body fat or life stressors such as long hours at work, relationships etc. Chronic inflammation causes issues with a number of systems in the body, for example, decreases in bone density, effects on mood such as depression and anxiety, GI tract inflammation and damage to the intestinal lining which leads to malnourishment and leaky gut, cardiovascular damage, kidney damage - pretty much everything.
Obviously, some of these stresses we have less control over than others, like work stress, but some can address. To help manage the effects of stress on our body we can change our composition and food choices.
With our client Kathleen we made her diet consist of healthy whole-foods that are easy to digest. We avoided foods as they cause a lot of inflammation and GI distress. The other approach we took
was to improve the body composition through weight training and cardio as Kathleen’s excess body fat would have caused more inflammatory problems. By lowing her inflammation, Kathleen improved her mood, training and energy levels.
Why Increase insulin sensitivity?
I won’t go into too much depth about insulin because we can talk about this all day! I am going to give you some basics that you need to know about this hormone, and I will write a whole article on insulin soon.
Insulin is secreted by the pancreas. Insulin’s role in the body is to get blood sugar out of the blood and deposit it into the liver, muscles cells, fat cells. It is NOT a bad hormone and does not make you fat. What will cause insulin to store body fat is OVEREATING and having a higher level of bodyfat.
Your overall energy balance will dictate your body weight, you can read my article on energy balance to go over that in more detail. Insulin sensitivity is how sensitive the tissues in your body are to insulin. When you overeat you put a lot of sugar into your blood stream so your pancreas has to release a lot of insulin to get that sugar into your tissues. Over time if you keep overeating your tissues become almost immune to the insulin that is trying to push the sugar into your tissues. This is when you are considered insulin resistant. Insulin resistance and high blood sugar levels over time can lead to Type 2 diabetes.
Body composition also has an effect on insulin sensitivity. Fat cells together actually act as an endocrine organ, which means that they secrete hormones. The hormones secreted by fat cells can also influence how insulin acts on the body. Fatty tissue secretes molecules that promote the uptake of sugar into fat cells. Therefore, in those people with a high body fat percentage, sugars are going into fat not into muscles where they could be quickly and easily used. This is benefit of being leaner, your body partitions the calories into muscle rather than fat.
When Kathleen started her cut her body fat was 25%. By making adjustments to her diet and training program we stripped her body fat down to 17%. Kathleen’s body at 17% is a much more efficient system at utilising calories.
Take home message
At the start of the article I talked about improving overall health through decreasing inflammation and increasing insulin sensitivity. You can see the effects of these two changes in Kathleen’s transformation.
We made alterations to her diet, reduced her bodyfat resulting in lower inflammation and improved insulin sensitively, making her leaner. Now that her cut phase is over her body is more efficient as
using calories so she has remained lean with a high caloric intake (from 1700 to 2300).
Now say it with me - Improve overall health and body composition will follow.
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