Health and Fitness - What I have learned

Blue cheese

 I was having an insane craving for blue cheese that just wouldn't let up.  After buying blue cheese and eating a block a day for 5 days straight (lol), I decided to research it a bit and this is what I found:


The major health benefits of blue cheese


Lose Weight: 

Almost all diets that use diary products have cheese in them. This type of cheese has relatively low calories, so it can easily be a part of your weight loss diet. 


Milk Proteins:

Blue cheese is produced by coagulating milk and ageing the cheese. Thus, it contains very high amounts of milk proteins. If you want to build up your muscles then you must eat generous portions of this type of cheese. 


Heart Healthy:

Blue cheese is one of the best foods for the heart. The reason is that this type of cheese is consumed regularly. This is one reason why the French have the lowest rate of cardiovascular diseases in the world.  


Anti Inflammatory: 

The blue veins that are developed in this kind of cheese has very high anti-inflammatory properties. It helps to keep the arteries clean and healthy. 


Anti Cellulite: 

This type of cheese is said to have properties that prevent the body from depositing fats in the form of cellulite. So if you are prone to cellulite fat deposits, consider adding this cheese to your diet. 


Fights Arthritis: 

As it has already been said, blue cheese is anti inflammatory. It helps fight painful diseases like arthritis. 


Prevents Osteoporosis: 

It is very important for women to consume this cheese due to its high calcium content. The calcium present in this cheese helps prevent diseases like osteoporosis and osteoarthritis after menopause. 


Boosts Memory: 

Its good to add some blue cheese to your kid's plate too. This is because, this cheese stimulates the brain cells and improves memory. It is particularly beneficial for growing kids. These are some of the important health benefits of blue cheese. Have you tried it yet? Read more about: health benefits|wellness 

Read more at: http://www.boldsky.com/health/wellness/2012/blue-cheese-health-benefits-031850.html


Other notable benefits:


Probiotics:

Probiotics are bacteria that are good for your health, and they are similar to the bacteria naturally found in your digestive tract. One of the most common forms of probiotics, the Lactobacillus species, is present in Stilton (blue) cheese. Lactobacillus not only helps with the breakdown of food in your body, it also helps create an unfriendly environment for harmful bacteria.


Alleviates Symptoms of IBS:

A 2005 issue of "Gastroenterology" published a study that found that Lactobacillus, as well as another common probiotic, Bifidobacterium, helped reduce and alleviate the symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome, IBS. While the probiotics did not increase the number of stools produced or change their consistency, there was significant reduction in abdominal pain, bloating, gas and trouble passing stools in the test subject that took the probiotic supplement.


Reduces Allergy Symptoms, Boosts Immunity

A study published in 2005 in the "Journal of Dairy Science" found that Lactobacillus helped alleviate the symptoms of regular allergies, namely a stuffy and runny nose. A review published in 2011 in "Microbial Cell Factories" confirmed and verified research on Lactobacillus’ immune system-boosting abilities. Lactobacillus was found to provide support to the immune system, improving mucous tissue health in human and animal studies. It was also found to boost the strength of certain vaccines, increasing the antibody power of polio, cholera and flu vaccines.



And of course there are drawbacks you can read here.

Since I'm eating it right now, I'll keep you posted on the "lose weight/anti-cellulite" claim.  Stay tuned....

 Why Food Journaling is so Important!!


If you look at the images above, you will see an average increase of 70g carbs/day.

I hopefully caught this in time (3-4 weeks) to quickly tweek my diet macros back to before, or else my abs will be gone!!

I'm guessing this change caused my bodyfat% to go from 9-11% to 15-16%-YUCK!!!

It will be interesting to see how long it takes to go back down again.  Will keep you updated.

-Slm

12 Dietary Supplements That Can Massively Control Your Most Intense Carbohydrate Cravings.

-Ben Greenfield



I used to work in a French bakery in Moscow, Idaho (yes, paradoxical).

We served piping hot chocolate croissants every morning.

And homemade granola, fresh pizza for lunch, warm, salted baguettes, chewy sourdough, and basically the best-tasting carbohydrates you’ve ever had.


I wished I knew then what I reveal in this post, because I’m going to fill you in on 12 dietary supplements that can help to control carbohydrate cravings.


Whether you’re trying to cut carbohydrates out of your diet completely…

…slightly lower your carbohydrate intake…

…shift your body into fat burning mode…

…ensure that the carbohydrates you eat do less damage…

…or simply reduce the urge to snack at night…

…these supplements are good tools to use.


Let’s get started. If you have questions, just leave them below in the comments section – and please remember that none of this information is meant to be medical advice.


Carb Craving Supplement #1:Vitamin B. 

Inadequate utilization of the carbohydrates that you are eating can make you feel like you simply need to eat more carbohydrates, so you can take a Vitamin B complex to help with carbohydrate metabolism so you make better use of the carbs you do have. 

A fat soluble form of Vitamin B can work better than the typically sold water soluble form, and a fat soluble form would be the  vitamin B derivatives called allithiamineand benfotiamine

You can take about 100-250mg of these fat soluble forms daily. In addition, to stop the damaging "glycation" reactions that can take place when dietary carbohydrates react with proteins in the body, you can also take about 50-100mg daily of vitamin B6 pyridoxine, which most multi-vitamins contain (and meal replacement powders like LivingFuel SuperGreens).


Carb Craving Supplement #2: Resveratrol. You may be familiar with this as the component of red wine and grapes that has been proven to increase lifespan in laboratory mice, but it is less know for it’s ability to improve insulin sensitivity, which means that your body is better able to upload glucose into muscle tissue for storage energy. 

To improve insulin sensitivity, you’d need about 100mg per day of resveratrol. To get my resveratrol hit, I personally mix Solar Synergy in a glass of water a few times a week. Be sure to get the "trans" form of resveratrol, which is the only truly effective form.


Carb Craving Supplement #3: 

CoEnzymeQ10. Also known as ubiquinone, this key component of your cell’s energy producing powerhouses (the mitochondria) is critical to improving your carbohydrate utilization. 

Many multi-vitamins and supplements have this already added in, so check your labels. I personally take "Race Caps", from Hammer Nutrition, which is a good, high quality form of CoQ10 (use 15% referral discount code 80244). Take about 80-300mg daily.


Back to top


Carb Craving Supplement #4: Fish Oil. 

Similar to resveratrol, the way that a high quality fish oil will help with appetite or carbohydrate cravings is that it enhances insulin sensitivity. I highly recommend you choose a triglyceride form of fish oil, like Pharmax

The triglyceride form of fish oil is more expensive, but it is far more well-absorbed and better utilized compared to it’s inferior "ethyl ester" form.


Carb Craving Supplement 

#5:Neurotransmitter and brain support supplements. 

So if you’re highly stressed, you do a lot of emotional eating, and you find yourself chewing your fingernails to the bone because you’re craving carbohydrates so badly at night, you likely need a bit of a brain fix. 

Supplements that literally tell your brain to settle down and quit craving carbohydrates include: L-glutamine (or you can just take a whole amino acid supplement like Master Amino Pattern), gamma-aminobutyric acid (also known as GABA), and D-phenylalanine. 

I’m a big fan of using Somnidren GH for the latter two (be sure to take it on an empty stomach before bed at night). Incidentally, these will also work pretty well for alcohol cravings.


Carb Craving Supplement #6:Gymnema Sylvestre

This stuff is pretty potent at reducing carbohydrate cravings. 

I am hesitant to recommend it to anyone with medical conditions, as I’m not certain of cross interactions with medications or medical conditions, but in a normal, healthy individual it will stop carb cravings in their tracks. 

If you put the powder on your tongue, it will make sugar taste like chalk. The only issue is that you need quite a bit to be effective, preferably about 4 GRAMS (not milligrams) three times per day.


Carb Craving Supplement #7: L-tryptophan. 

Steer clear of this stuff if you’re taking antidepressants, but this is the same substance that is found in smaller quantities in turkey meat and milk, and makes you tired after a big meal. It can be helpful in reducing carbohydrate cravings, and would also be found in a whole amino acid supplement like Master Amino Pattern

To reduce carbohydrate cravings, you’d want to take about 500-1500mg per day.


Back to top


Carb Craving Supplement #8:Lipase

Lipase, which is found in many digestive enzyme supplements, is a common deficiency in people who have blood sugar fluctuations, and it can also helps break down fat and burn fat as a fuel. Rather than just getting an isolated form of lipase, I recommend you simply use a good digestive enzyme supplement immediately prior to your 2 biggest meals of the day, like lunch and dinner. I’m a big fan of Caprazyme, which is made by the same company that makes the resveratrol containing Solar Synergy.


Carb Craving Supplement #9: L-carnosine. 

As mentioned earlier, when you consume carbohydrates, you create a lot of metabolically damaging compounds "advanced glycation end-products" (appropriately abbreviated "AGE’s), and especially if you’re coming off a high carbohydrate diet, you should include supplements that keep any carbohydrates that you do take in from causing glycation. 

Take about 500-1000mg, 1-2x daily to stave off glycation.


Carb Craving Supplement #10:Acetyl-L-Carnitine

Not to be confused with L-carnosine, this is an acetylated form of L-Carnitine, which is formed by amino acids, and it is better utilized by your body than regular ol’ L-Carnitine. 

It’s role is to help transport fatty acids into your cell’s mitochondria for energy use, so it can basically help you switch over to burning fats as a fuel. 

You’d want to take about 500-2000mg daily.


Carb Craving Supplement #11:Chromium. 

Chromium assists with glucose metabolism, which is how you use carbohydrates as a fuel. 

It may also help to improve your insulin sensitivity. My favorite source of it is in the supplement Thermofactor, which also contains vanadium, which acts similarly to chromium. 

You’d simply take 1-2 capsules of Thermofactor prior to lunch and 1-2 capsules prior to dinner.


Carb Craving Supplement #12:Lipoic Acid. 

Take Lipoic Acid to assist with blood sugar stabilization and also to speed up carbohydrate utilization. 

It is in most antioxidant supplements, and my favorite sources is the meal replacement powder LivingFuel SuperGreens or  LivingFuel SuperBerry. You’d need about 50-250mg Lipoic Acid daily to control carbohydrate cravings.

That’s about it.


Armed with this knowledge, you can now walk into your local bakery and laugh in the face of the chocolate croissants.


If you have questions, just leave them below in the comments section, and also be sure to check out these other articles:


Bengreenfieldfitness.com

"Episode #160: How To Stop Carbohydrate Cravings In Their Tracks" and "5 Ways To Suppress Your Appetite Without Taking Any Special Pills or Capsules".


Back to top

Advice on Changing Habits


 So what is it that makes a good change-creating piece of advice?


Recently, some important heavy iron plates of missing knowledge have been clunking into place in my mind, due to a string of really interesting practical psychology books I have read in recent months. Blink, Nudge, The Tipping Point, 59 Seconds, Switch, and most recently The Power of Habit, which is a great book.


The concept is habits, and how ridiculously important they are to the human life – every human life.


If someone asked you to define "habit", what would you say? Until recently, I probably would have said something like "a repeating pattern of behavior, which is hard for some people to change, and easier for others. And the ability to change habits is sometimes called "willpower".


But I was surprised to learn habits are much more than that. As it turns out, habits are little chunks of auto-pilot behavior that get burned right into your neurology – permanently. Once you develop a habit, you can never truly erase the program, even if you manage to deactivate it.


It gets even crazier than that: when your brain starts running one of its many habit scripts, a good part of your conscious judgement is shut off for the duration. The habit takes over, controls you until you get to the end of the script, and then dumps you out at the end. And this is not just a rare occurence – depending on who you ask, habits are in at least partially in control for between 50 and 90% of our waking hours.


This has been a popular field of scientific study for several decades, although recent breakthroughs in the area have brought it into the public eye (and the bestselling book list, as shown by the examples above).


 Consumer marketers have been all over the concept of habit formation, as it is the basis for much of the sales and profits in the world’s vast Unnecessary Products industry. 

But now the cat is out of the bag, and the fruits of this scientific study are available for you to use to your own advantage, instead of Proctor and Gamble just using them on you. 


If we can gain a more accurate understanding of what habits are and how to change them, we can get much more control over our own lives.



The studies that figured all this out have been fascinating. In one study, the brains of test rats were monitored, first as they learned their way though a maze to some cheese, then as they eventually repeated the maze run effortlessly every time they were released. 

Neurological activity was massive at first, but after the habit had been formed, they could race through with very quiet brains, making no decisions between the initial click sound that marked the opening gate,until finishing the quest. 


 Even if removed from the maze and trained for other things, the rats could re-activate the old maze program much later in their lives. 

And even if the maze was booby-trapped, with sickness-inducing cheese or an electric floor, the rats still played out their habit scripts to their own detriment.


Why is this relevant? Because as smart and fancy as we all are, our mind is subject to the same auto-pilot "chunking" of behavior. 

Starting the shower, arranging your towels and clothes, and going through the full routine of washing and drying yourself is probably one good example of something you do automatically. 

Reversing a car out of your driveway or driving or biking very familiar route that you’ve done hundreds of times is another. 

Coffee drinkers (myself included) are certainly familiar with the process of habit formation. 

And smokers can be some of the modern world’s most dedicated creatures of habit.


And it goes beyond that. 

The way the average person responds to certain luxury products and makes purchases is highly habitual as well. 

Need to go somewhere more than a block away? 

Grab the car keys. 

Hungry at work? 

Head out to one of the usual restaurants. Have a problem with your house? 

Begin worrying immediately as you try to find a professional who can fix it for you. Uncomfortable or Inconvenienced? Find a product to address it.


And here we get to the meat of the issue as it pertains to lifestyle success: because habits become so automatic, they become effortless. 

This is a bad thing if the habit is destroying you, but wonderful if the habit is a life-boosting one.


So if habits are so automatic, biological and hard to break, how do we do it? Distilling all the books and the science down to a tiny list, the answer seems to be this:


Habits are like little loops. They start with a trigger, which sets off your automatic behavior. 

They end at a reward, which is the little pleasant occurrence that reinforces your habit.



Luckily, enough research has been done that we now do know how to make habit change easier. 
It involves keeping the same cue and a similar reward, but substituting in a different routine. And this is how it is done:

1: Find the trigger point of your habit:You do this by describing your own behavior in detail, searching for clues you might have missed before. 

My habit of making coffee is triggered by entering the kitchen. 

Every time I walk in in the morning, I feel like firing up the espresso machine to make some lattes. 

If I wake up or spend the day in an unfamiliar setting (for example, at a campsite or out at a construction site), the coffee craving abates. 

But if I spend the day at home and return to the kitchen to make some lunch – hey, there’s that nifty espresso machine again.. maybe I need to fire it up! 


Similarly, some people smoke in response to a lull in their afternoon’s office work, eat in response to boredom, or buy stuff in response to desires. Find your own trigger.



2: Take the same cue, but trick yourself into triggering a different behavior: If I wanted to quit coffee, I could give away the coffee machine and put a box of herbal tea on the countertop on its place. 

Then I’d make tea instead of coffee. Or I could put a nice water glass, or even a pair of boxing gloves on that part of the countertop. 

Each morning could trigger a nice round of boxing practice with a heavy bag in the garage, and I’d be better off for it.


3: Try to make the new reward similar to the old one: With coffee, the reward is a warm, tasty beverage and an excuse to sit still, contemplate, or talk for a while. 


Caffeine may be a secondary part of it, but the physiological part of habits is only a tiny part of the reason they form (this was big news to me). 

So the tea would probably work, but boxing would be a bit of a stretch.


That’s the basic Habit Substitution trick, and you’ll go far just by understanding that. 

But for even more power, add the following two ingredients:


4: Get your foot in the door – with Keystone Habits:

(These habits support and bring about other habits.  Change the keystone habit and they all change.)


5: Reinforce habits with belief and community: This is the reason Alcoholics Anonymous works for so many people, and probably a big part of a role model's success in changing habits as well. 

If they tell stories of their own life to show that changes are not only possible, they are easy and fun to make. 

That creates belief. 

Then bystanders chime in with their own stories,


And thus my new understanding of habit has been born.


I used to wonder why I seemed to have less trouble than others with bad habits. Now I understand that certain people are more prone to habit-formation than others.  

Whatever your individual style may be, it seems that understanding habit formation is useful for everyone, so use the new tricks here often.


Back to the top

(See the entire article at Mrmoneymustache.com)

Photo credit coming soon

Post Competition "Bingeing" Guidelines 


The intake of junk food for multiple days following your pre-contest diet plan will result in several severe reactions... See how binge eating post contest can mess up your metabolism! 


Bonus: Ten easy steps to control bingeing.


By: Dr. DavidRyan &SteveStone, Certified Trainer 
Last updated: Aug 16, 2006
We've all done it; after weeks of dieting for a competition onfishandraw  vegetables, we give into temptation and go on a food binge.

In my own personal case, I've eaten hundreds of dollars of Denny's (my favorite!) food all by myself! When you've felt deprived from the effects of a low calorie diet, the feeling of being full is a "high" like no other. 

The trouble is that continuing in this bingeing behavior can devastate your metabolism for months or years to come. 

Eating more food post-competition is helpful, but it depends on the food. You may be eating more protein and more vegetables, which is exactly what your body will need to recover from the rigors of contest preparation. 


In many cases, however, individuals turn to extremely high starch-laden foods and/or empty calorie foods such as candy


The intake of junk food for multiple days following your pre-contest diet plan will result in several severe reactions related to hormonal and brain chemistry. 

You could literally destroy in a few days what it has taken years to obtain. 

What normally happens after we are done restricting ourselves for weeks to achieve our content shape is nothing short of a pseudo starvation state. 


Most of our "comfort food" has been eliminated from our diet. 


This restriction stops the normal flow of peptides to our brain and results in a temporary depressive state. 


As children, most of us were conditioned by our families to enjoy certain foods. We were rewarded for good behavior with a sweet candy or treat. 


This behavioral adaptation results in our brains producing powerful chemical reactions centered in the hypothalamus which lead to peptide production. 

Much of this reaction is reviewed in a movie called, "What The *Bleep* Do We Know?" (The title actually involves the word 'bleep'; available on DVD.) 

The movie explains how we condition ourselves as human beings to derive emotional and chemical stimulation from various environmental occurrences. 


In other words, some of us enjoy laughter, while others enjoy misery. Some of us enjoy sweeter foods, while others will crave protein-based foods. 


This over-indulgence is a conditioned response and given that the average physique athlete is a borderline obsessive-compulsive disorder patient anyway, our susceptibility towards this predisposition of over-indulgence is very real. 


Men And Women Are Different

Most physique athletes, especially women, perform better when their post-competition weight is maintained within 10 pounds of contest-ready shape. 

Most of your top physique pros will maintain their diets, due to photo shoots, guest posing, and other competitions. 

Males can sometimes carry between 15 and 20 pounds of additional weight gain. There are some athletes who will gain up to 50 pounds of excess bodyweight; however "chemical enhancement" has to be considered.

 (Natural bodybuilding versus chemically-enhanced bodybuilding are two different worlds, and should be treated accordingly.) 

 

For a long time, powerlifters would gain as much weight as possible to be able to counterbalance heavy-weight lifting. 

As a competition grew closer, the strength athlete would simply lose excessive body mass while trying to maintain power. 


The trend has currently switched in the other direction and this can be seen in many of the strongmancompetitors and also the powerlifters. 

Leaner and more cardiovascular athletes are leading the pack in today's strength competitions. 


Most high-level strength athletes and bodybuilders have come to the realization that gaining excessive weight is harder on the body and requires the use of more chemicals when it's time to reduce and remove that excess fat


(Back to the top)


Looking At The Current Research


Two studies in the October issue of Behavioral Neuroscience show that when animals are stressed, deprived and exposed to tempting food, they overeat, with different degrees of interaction. This results in what is known as "dieters rebound" or "The Yo-Yo Effect." 


What this means is that given a choice between eating nutritious food versus "junk food," it is likely that we will overeat the junk food. 


This results in nonproductive caloriesthat further trigger our bodies craving of additional food to provide sedation of our need for protein and other nutrients


Other studies have shown that individuals who are overweight and are given additional protein in their diet tend to crave less food over all. 


The Effects Of Dieting Can Be Worse
Than Drug Addiction


Opioids or endorphins (the brain's "feel-good chemicals") are triggered when we eat specific foods. 


You actually can become addicted to junk food. 


It takes approximately 2 days to alter our brain's perception of need and stimulation. 


Multiple days of eating improper foods and calorie rich food will result in an excessive endorphin production from our brain. 


We are specifically susceptible to this after our contest dieting and preparation


This change in our neurochemistry is deeply attached into our genetic code. Some individuals are more susceptible to this than others. 


It is also related to our upbringing and our environmental stimulus that we have been adapted to by not only our parents, but our grandparents and specifically it is related to the habits of our pregnant mothers. 


The extreme of this can be seen in cases where mothers who were addicted to various recreational drugs pass that addiction on to their offspring. 


RELATED ARTICLEControlling Late Night Binge Eating! 
I never did understand the true connection between nightfall and cheating on one's diet, but I do know that I have fallen culprit to it many times... 
Click here to learn more. ]

The effects of binge eating are very powerful and have a trained effect on the hormones of our bodies. 


Hormones are the most powerful chemicals in our bodies. Insulin is the ringleader and controls 90% of the effects of the other hormones and chemical levels in our body. 

Very few chemicals have an effect on insulin directly. 


The chemicals secreted by the hypothalamus are among the most powerful stimulants towards our mood and cravings. 

The lower that our insulin levels fall, the more effect these chemical stimulants have on their receptors. 

In other words, the hungrier you get, the more likely you are to eat junk food. 


Once you have stimulated this pathway, a cascade of effects results in excessive eating and is very difficult to stop. 


Research indicates that trying to stop overeating is similar to any other addiction, such as alcohol, tobacco, cocaine, etc. 


This is a very powerful and deeply-rooted mechanism within our body geared towards preventing starvation. 

It is a survival mechanism and therefore is entrenched in our genetic code, deeper than the drive for sex

 You must recognize and respect this system and take steps to prevent overstimulation of that system. 


(Back to the top)


Effects Of Binge Eating


 Insulin

    When you binge, it affects your hormonal system and mostly changes the insulin, thyroid, and serotonin levels. 

    Insulin is affected due to the high levels of carbohydrates available. Elevated insulin levels will trigger your pancreas to make more and more insulin. 

    This results in a slower and slower metabolism

    Do you think it is easy to speed up your metabolism? Any bodybuilder over the age of 50 can tell you how difficult it is to cut weight, compared to when they were twenty-year-olds. 


    Kerry Lind who won the "Mr. Ohio" at the ripe age of 44 had to start dieting 6 months prior to his victory! 

    Insulin is very powerful and will take months and even years to correct its slightest dysfunction. Insulin, once attached to the cell, will act like a vacuum to suck everything out of your blood stream. 

    More insulin results in more unwanted items being sucked into the cell. 

    Not just protein, but sugar and fats will enter the cells, too. 

    Eventually, packed fat (cellulite) will make losing that fat darn near impossible to burn off and remove. Insulin is a contributor to so many other hormonal changes. 


    Binge eating - and specifically binge eating with sugars and starches - will burn out your pancreas and cause less insulin to be produced. This is what causes the "bloating" after excessive eating and the feeling of being sleepy and tired. 

 Thyroid

    Your thyroid is located behind your Adam's apple. 

    It has two parts and one controls your metabolism and the other part, called the "parathyroid," controls calcium


    Binge eating will cause a decrease in your body's production of thyroxin and hence slow your metabolism down. 

    The active ingredient in thyroxin is iodine. 

    The hypothalamus controls the pituitary gland which controls the thyroid. 

    This control is all driven by the first hypothalamus' glands production of TRH (thyroid releasing hormone), and that affects the pituitary gland with produces TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), and once this trigger is received by the thyroid, it absorbs iodine and the amino acid tyrosine to make T4 and T3. 


    The thyroid makes about 80% of T4 and 20% of T3. The T4 is about four times less strong than the T3 at stimulating metabolism of every cell in your body. 


    To put that in real world order for you, one unit of T3 is about 100 times stronger than any metabolism pill that you can take.


RELATED ARTICLEThyroid, The Master And Commander Of Metabolism! 
Millions of Americans trying to lose weight are horrified to see their bathroom scales inching uncontrollably up-wards. Sound a little too familiar? Well it is. There are steps to take care of the issue however. 
Click here to learn more. ]


    Now once T4 and T3 are produced there is a simple feedback mechanism. The T3 and T4 act like heat coming back to a thermostat in your house, more heat shuts off the furnace. 

    Similarly, more T3 and T4 will shut off the entire production. Similar to that is the presence of high levels of insulin associated with binge eating.

    Using metabolism stimulants will slow the production of T4 and T3 down, hence why their use post-contest should be discontinued. Don't take a pill to make up for your poor diet choices! 


    Various implants in your body will also slow the effectiveness of thyroxin. Using various forms of birth control, such as an IUD will slow your body's ability to use thyroxin. 

    Medications will directly affect the T4 and T3 in your body and render it useless. Thanks to Mike Davies for pointing out this fact. 

 It's All About What Carries The Thyroxin In Your Blood

    Thyroid Binding Globulin (TBG) is the protein that carries the thyroid hormone in your blood stream. Insulin levels, excessive blood sugar, elevated toxins, etc., all affect the ability of TBG to do its job. Many times you may have a thyroid test and show normal T4 levels, but the carrier protein is not available to move the T4 or T3 to the cells. 


    Poor nutritional choices and geneticsboth play major roles in your deficiency of TBG. Remember, thyroid tests often test the measurement of concentration, but not the action of the hormone. 

    The lower levels of estrogen effect the thyroid binding globulin by lowering its production. 


    Following a competition with restrictive diets and excessive exercise, the TBG is lower and that is why you are tired all the time and sleepy. 

 Medications That Slow Down Your Metabolism

    Medications such as these slow down your metabolism:

    • Birth Control
    • Estrogen
    • Testosterone
    • Anti-Seizure Medications (Dilantin and Tegretol)
    • Anti-Depression Medications


    The most devastating medication, however, which will literally stop the absorption of thyroid hormone is cholesterol-lowering medications. Like I said, don't use a pill to make up for poor dietary habits! High intakes of iron or calcium will also effectively lower your absorption of thyroid hormone. 

 Don't Drink And Binge

    Remember that alcohol contain the fastest-absorbed calories known to man. 

    Alcohol will dehydrate you and should be avoided following the excessive dietary restrictions associated with contest preparation. 

    This is a great time to choose Starbucks! Remember that coffee and chocolate both contain the most powerful antioxidants we have, about 50 times stronger than those in  green tea

 Cortisol

    Over-eating or binge eating is very stressful to your body and makes your body produce cortisol

    High levels of cortisol will result in more belly fat which can take weeks to months to reverse. 

    Cardio activity of sessions less than 40 minutes in duration at levels that are between 60-80% MHR will result in decreased cortisol. 

MAX HEART RATE (MHR) CALCULATOR
Enter your age, then press "Calculate".Age:
yrs
    
Your Max Heart Rate:

bpm
Percentages Of Max Heart Rate:
60% =
70% =75% =

80% =

Unfortunately, this calculator won't run without JavaScript. We're sorry for the inconvenience.RELATED ARTICLEThe Facts About Aerobic Response. 
Learn the main reasons why doing cardio twice a day or after a workout may be more beneficial in burning fat, not muscle. There are also some facts here that may surprise you... 
Click here to learn more. ]


10 Easy Steps To Controlling Bingeing
After A Contest

Heed the ten (okay, eleven) following tips to avoid the harmful effects of binge eating after your latest contest win!

  1. Your weight gain following a contest is primarily water - up to 90%. Drink lots of water!
  2. Eat foods that are designed to provide stimulation to your diet, but limit the caloric intake.
RELATED ARTICLEA Collection Of Recipes For The Health Conscious Consumer 
Get ready to try out some great healthy recipes. 
This next round of recipes range from Granola and Low Carb Bread to Meringue. 
Try them out now and see what you think! 
Click here to learn more. ]
  1. Avoid binge eating for periods longer than 24 hours after your competition.
  2. Return to your pre-contest meal plan as it was approximately four weeks out, as soon as possible.
  3. Continue eating six to eight small meals per day, maintaining a high protein intake.
  4. Get additional metabolic stimulation by engaging in cardio and sportsactivities that normally would have been avoided due to contest preparation.
  5. Be conscious of making contact with family members or loved ones to establish a reduced need for "comfort foods."
  6. Maintain a cardio base no less than 50% of your pre-contest levels.
  7. Avoid post contest weight gain greater than 5 to 10 pounds for a female and 15 to 20 pounds for male.
  8. Use supplements such as Oil of Evening Primrose* (500mg/100 pounds of bodyweight) for approximately 4 days post competition. EFA's such as those found in Oil of EP, and fish oils help to stabilize blood sugar levels.
  9. Avoid drinking your calories. Especially avoid canned soft drinks - the sweetener of choice in canned soft drinks is high fructose corn syrup, which doesn't require insulin and is just automatically absorbed by your cells to manufacture fat quickly and store it.

*A side note on Evening Primrose Oil: this supplement not only detox's your liver and kidneys, but it results in clearing up of acne. 

It is a free fatty acid (containing 8-10% of gamma linolenic acid [GLA]), which has been shown to have several effects on smooth muscle contraction and detoxification


Conclusion

There is nothing wrong with letting your hair down (if you still have some) following a contest. 

Being reasonable and using moderation are the keys associated with quick recovery and lay the groundwork for you to do your best at your next competition. 

Do not take pills to make up for poor eating habits (I can't emphasize this enough), and remember to say your prayers just to cover the rough edges!

Created by SlimMcD⭐️Photo credit: BAM Studios