By Angela Myers
If your goal is to lose fat as fast as possible, it is crucial that you focus your efforts on maximizing your production of the powerful fat burning hormone known as human growth hormone (HGH). Our metabolism prefers to burn glucose for fuel, but HGH forces the body to burn fat for fuel! It raises metabolism both directly and indirectly, by promoting muscle tissue which leads to higher metabolism.
HGH is released by the pituitary gland, and the levels in the body tend to peak during puberty, and then slowly decline with age. For years, bodybuilders have injected synthetic HGH to experience the beneficial effects it has on their body to create a leaner composition. Unfortunately, the synthetic version of this hormone is very expensive, hard to obtain and causes undesirable side effects. The good news is that you can increase your HGH levels naturally, and without any residual side effects. Listed below are the four most effective ways to challenge your body to release more of this hormone:
1. High Intensity Workouts The body produces HGH through high intensity exercise, and numerous studies that have noted the drastic spikes in this hormone as a response to high intensity intervals. As an example, a 2005 study published by University of Bath (England) researcher Keith Stokes, a well recognized expert on HGH and exercise, described the effects of 30-second series sprints sharply increased HGH in the body, and in addition the hormone levels remained elevated roughly two hours after a workout. Says Campbell, “Once the exercise-induced HGH is released, it will target body fat like a heat-seeking missile.” HGH rates spiked by 450% in response to the sprint intervals! http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12137178?dopt=Abstract
Key components of HGH releasing workouts:
-always complete a thorough warm up, including the emPower dynamic stretches
-intensity VERY high (should feel like a 9-10 on exertion scale) and short (:30 is ideal, no longer than :45!)
-recovery slow and easy, between 2-3 minutes between intervals.
-overall workout (including warmup and cooldown) less than 45 minutes.
-the exercise needs to be hard enough to induce muscle burning and oxygen debt. Think SPRINTING!
-sprinting uphill in grass is ideal because of reduced ground impact.
-bicycle sprinting on very high resistance is next best, as well as rowing on highest setting, or sled sprints with a heavy sled or band resisted sprints.
2. Avoid high-glycemic-load carbohydrates, especially after workouts. Insulin is a powerful, direct inhibitor of HGH secretion. To prevent the insulin spikes that decrease your body’s HGH level, eat a diet that is higher in fat and protein. Most importantly, to maximize the HGH released by a workout, don't eat carbs in the first two hours after a workout. Whey protein mixed with skim milk or water is a great post workout meal.
3. Insist on sleep. The majority of GH secretion occurs at night during slow-wave (deep) sleep. Along with high-intensity exercise, another natural stimulus of HGH secretion is sleep itself. It is well documented that inadequate sleep or and poor quality sleep can substantially inhibit GH secretion.
4. Plan your last meal of the day carefully. Your last meal of the day is important for maintaining a robust GH/IGF-1 axis. So what does that mean? A high-protein, low-carbohydrate snack before bedtime allows for maximum HGH secretion while you sleep.
Still have more questions about how you want to get lean as fast as possible? The key is to stimulate more of this hormone by incorporating these four habits. So if you want to dig deeper, talk to your emPower coach to get details on safely incorporating these workouts into your fat-loss program, and let the results speak for themselves!
Word on the street is that fruits and vegetables are good for you.
But why!? And what exactly are fruits and vegetables?
Let’s start with the basics. A fruit is a seed-bearing structure, whereas vegetables are all other plant parts; roots, leaves and stems. Using this definition, apples, squash and yes, tomatoes are all fruits. Vegetables include all non-seed containing plants such as beets, potatoes, spinach and broccoli.
But why should you eat them?
Epidemiological studies strongly suggest that a diet rich in plants can reduce the risk of cardiovascular and other chronic diseases as diets founded on fruit and vegetable intake tend to be low in saturated fat and cholesterol and high in fiber, magnesium, potassium, vitamins C and E.
How many should I eat?
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the recommended guidelines for fruit and vegetable consumption are as follows:
Vegetables // Fruits
Fruit and vegetable consumption is associated with a lower incidence of:
“But I don’t like veggies!”
No excuses! There are many ways to hide veggies in your diet:
If you would like to learn more about how nutrition can help you reach your health and performance goals, contact Nicole Cascio at firstname.lastname@example.org for a nutrition consult or to join one of our ‘Think Yourself Thin’ nutrition support groups.
Get your daily VitaminE on.