The Unconventional Guide To Count Calories

count calories

Yes, this is the unconventional guide to count calories because it is based on your intuition. Intuition is your subconscious mind communicates with your conscious mind. This exchange of information is “a feeling”. It takes years to build up your intuition because it is the result of experience and practice.

The interpretation of these feelings is a mix of vague and clear evaluation. The vague evaluation includes several sensations:

  • Energy
  • Mood
  • Craving
  • Hunger
  • Sleep

The clear evaluation is your body evolution:

  • Photo
  • Weight
  • Body fat %
  • Measurements

Metabolism

metabolism

Take the example of dieter and couch potatoes. A dieter is a person who burns a lot of calories but eats a low amount of calories. A couch potato is someone who but little calories but eats a huge amount of calories. In these two cases, they are not conscious of their vague evaluations (energy, mood, etc). The reason is that these behaviors lead to a high level of stress in the metabolism.

Once the metabolism has an immense rate of stress, it tries to get back to a normal level. When your body has too much stress, it uses an ancient survival method due to the famines in the past: move less, eat more.

Solution

be productive

There are tips to keep your metabolism to a good level:

  • First tips – Have a good harmony of workout sessions and recovery/rest periods. Look, athletes. They train hard, eat well and use a big amount of time to rest and recover. It’s a good idea to do like them because there is a link between food and stress hormones.
  • Second tips – Increase the number of your calories with healthy food. Of course, when you eat a burger or a pizza, it helps you to have more calories fast. The problem is you have more calories with a junkie food meal than a meal from your diet plan. There is also something important to know. Junkie foods create an addiction in your body to make you eat more of these types of food later.

There is a big discussion about the cheat meal. Some experts agree and some do not. From my point of view, I agree with a day of cheat meals because it works for me.

I wrote an article to buy healthy food in the supermarket. It can help you if you want to have more calories. I eat healthy for 6 days and I count calories for each meal. And one day, cheat meals.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

How To Control Cortisol To Keep Muscles (Part 2)

health

This is the second part of how to control cortisol to keep the muscle. I’m talking about health before tips to manage it with workout programs, food, and supplements. If you didn’t read the first part, click here.

Health

Have a high rate of cortisol influence health and mental health. It disturbs neurotransmitters. When it’s is high, it increase the adrenaline (epinephrine) level. Here the effects for health:

Reduction of noradrenaline

Noradrenaline fatigue makes you less focused and your blood pressure is low. And it can also lead to depression and anxiety.

Decline of dopamine

Dopamine creates noradrenaline. When you create to much adrenaline, you can damage the dopamine too. The consequences are Laziness, depression, lack of pleasure (anhedonia) and lack of motivation.

Deacrease the sensibility of beta-adrenergic receptors

Release a lot of adrenaline for a long time affects beta-adrenergic receptors. It’s not good to have a high rate of adrenaline all the time. It raises blood pressure to a high level and can damage the cardiovascular system.

The body to protect itself decreases the sensibility of the receptors. It does it to less react to its own adrenaline. The effects are depression, laziness, low self-esteem, and low energy.

How to control cortisol

boat control board

It’s time to know how to manage cortisol in a good way.

Workout

3 elements of workout can influence to not have an unnecessary high rate of cortisol.

Volume of workout

More you train, more you need energy. When you have a high need of energy, the cortisol will be more use to help to organize resources.

Effort demand

More you make effort, more you produce cortisol. For example, when you go to failure, you create more cortisol.

Mental strength

In the case where you do a stressful exercise, you create more cortisol. I mean when you try to bet your record on squat or deadlift, your body release more cortisol.

To make a comparison, there is a difference in cortisol production with exercises. With polyarticular exercises (squat or deadlift), you create more cortisol than others (curls).

All this information helps to decrease the damage of cortisol with a little plan:

  • When you do a big volume of workout => reduce your effort for each set (no failure).
  • When you do polyarticular movement => reduce the volume of training.
  • With polyarticular exercise avoid to go to failure.
  • When you do a real heavy training (92.5% + range) => reduce the workout volume.
  • In the situation where you add a new exercise => cut down the volume until you understand the new movement.

Food

Food

As said before, cortisol has also the function to stabilize the blood sugar rate. The body creates more cortisol when blood sugar rate is low. Eat carbs helps to reduce it and help to keep a normal blood sugar rate.

There is a lot of different type of low-carb diets. In my point of view, it’s a bad idea to use it if you have often a high rate of stress. This situation can drive to a constant creation of cortisol. Of course, you can produce glucose from amino acids to keep a normal rate of blood sugar. What I am saying is a keto diet doesn’t protect you at 100% of an excess of it. If you are a very active person, doesn’t eat carbs can have a result of a high level of cortisol.

In the meantime, a high-carb diet is not the solution. Eat around 30% of carbs in your caloric intake helps to have a low glycemic and have the cortisol under control.

Eat carbs at the diner helps to reduce cortisol to sleep well and have a better recovery.

Supplements

diet supplement

It’s also possible to use some supplements as tools to manage better cortisol.

Glycine

Glycine is an essential amino acid. One of its functions is to slow the nervous system when it’s too busy. In consequence, it reduces adrenaline and cortisol. Glycine boosts the distribution of serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical called happy chemical because it’s a well-being neurotransmitter. Glycine also stimulates mTOR . mTOR improves protein synthesis from a workout session.

Magnesium

Eat magnesium after a training session and in the evening. As a result, it reduces the link between adrenaline and adrenergic receptors . This helps you to relax and at the same time protect the beta-adrenergic receptors.

Rhodiola

Rhodiola Rosea is a plant from mountainous areas of Europe, Asia and Arctic. This plant has several benefits. In this case, it improves the ability to handle stress. Less stress, less cortisol.

Training supplements

Carbs from workout supplements are easier to absorb while a training session. In the situation where you have already carbs, your body can create less cortisol. Remember it also organizes your resources (energy) for your body.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps in the process in the conversion of adrenaline to noradrenaline. This vitamin decreases the effect of cortisol in an indirect way. It blocks an excessive production of adrenaline.

This avoids to have:

  • a reduction of dopamine or noradrenaline.
  • adrenergic less sensitive.

Conclusion

The body doesn’t create cortisol to destroy itself. Cortisol is a hormone that helps to survive in dangerous situations. The problem is when it has a constant high rate, it becomes bad for health. Today, we have a lifestyle that makes easier to have a high level of stress. This is, for this reason, is important to know how to control it to have a better life.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

First Lie :Training after 10pm

training at night

Have physical activity is important for well-being. This world creates a lot of stress and it’s difficult to have a good night of sleep. There is a new type of gym open 24-hours. It sounds good because, after a long day, it’s always possible to have a training session anytime.

The body has a day-to-day rhythm and creates different types of hormones at different time. At night, when the sun sets, you are tired and you want to sleep. The body produces hormones to make us go to bed. Did you notice? It’s the same thing for every human in each continent. The problem is when you do your workout after the sun is down, your body makes daytime hormones. It means it’s more difficult to sleep and also lose fat. There is a crucial hormone for wake cycles and sleep, it’s cortisol. In the morning, your body creates a high rate to respond to the sunlight and make your body operational for the day.

During the day, this rate decreases. In the evening, you produce melatonin, a night hormone. Melatonin, at night, prepares you to sleep to be in rest mode. Train late disturbs your cortisol and your melatonin. It can take several hours to bring back theses hormones to a normal level. The result is that it’s difficult to sleep during your first hours of sleep, which is why you don’t have a good night. After a training session, you can go to sleep because you are tired, but your hormones will not let you have a deep sleep. A real deep sleep to recover and also burn fat. Sleep is essential to losing fat, this is why use the right hormone at the right time will give you nice results.

Is better in the morning or evening ?

Some people say is better to train in the morning and others say it’s better in the evening. There is an interesting study. This research shows that when you train in the morning, you active better your metabolism. On the other hand, when you have a session in the evening, you use more body energy. Click here to read the study.

Tell me what do you think about this extract. Thanks for reading.

-Steph

How To Control Cortisol To Keep Muscles (Part 1)

cortisol hormone organ body

Cortisol. It’s a weird name that I hear rarely. One time, in the gym, a guy told me to be careful about it. When I asked him what is it, he told me: “It’s the stress”. Follow this logic, we stress every day, it means each day we lose a little bit of muscle? It makes no sense. The first time I tried to learn about it, I didn’t understand anything. Cortisol is a hormone and you have to learn some medical things. I didn’t like this situation, because I wanted to know how to control cortisol to keep muscles.

This week, someone told me about cortisol and his explanation was very vague. I see that many people are afraid of it because they don’t understand it. It’s time to go deeper to understand Cortisol, because the body doesn’t create it to destroy itself.

What is its role

role

Cortisol is a stress hormone and it works like a type of alarm system in your body. It controls your fear, motivation, mood to handle dangerous situations. This hormone has several role:

Organize the energy of the stores

It organizes all type of energy that your body has to always be functional for a dangerous event. It means amino acids from muscle tissue, muscle and liver glycogen and fatty acids from body fat.

Stabilize blood sugar levels

When your blood sugar levels are very low, it helps to keep normal levels.

Boost your stamina and attention

Cortisol boosts Phenylethanolamine-N-methyltransferase (PNMT). PNMT is an enzyme that transforms noradrenaline to adrenaline. This method increases your adrenaline’s rate.

Boost the power of muscle contraction

This is a consequence of a high rate of adrenaline.

Boost the power of heart contraction and rate

It’s an effect of a high adrenaline’s level. Oxygen move better to muscle

Weaken the immune system

When there is a threatening situation, the body needs all the resources possible. For example, a fight. The high rate of cortisol will weaken the immune system to have the maximum of energy possible. When the rate decreases, the immune system has the full power back to repair the damage from the fight.

All these roles help you to get through an unsafe situation and survive. The thing is if the cortisol has a high rate for a long time, it can create problems in your body. Let’s see in different areas how cortisol can be bad.

Muscle Gain

gain muscle

A high rate of cortisol for a long period can impact muscle in a unhealthy way with these methods:

Muscle is less feed by food

Muscle receive fewer amino acids to create new tissue. Restocking of glycogen stores is decline too.

Boost muscle damage

There is a high level of protein damage (catabolism) than protein synthesis (anabolism). This is why we say “stress (cortisol) eat the muscle”.

Muscle take more time to repair

The immune system is very important to repair muscle. When a high rate of cortisol is recurring, it weakens the immune system.

Boost myosatin

Myostatin is a myokine, a protein created by the muscle and it limits its growth. It means when you have a high rate of myostatin, it limits your muscle gain.

On the long term it declines testosterone rate

Pregnenolone is a hormone that creates testosterone and cortisol. To have a high rate of cortisol, your body needs a huge amount of pregnenolone to make it. It means there will be less pregnenolone to create testosterone.

At the end of your training session, the level of your protein synthesis is big for around 24-30 hours. This is the period where your body repairs your muscle and add new tissue. When your immune system is fragile, your body uses these amounts of hours to only repair the breakdown you caused. Your body is not able to produce new muscle, it means you don’t gain muscle.

Recovery

fat loss weight

A long period of high rate of cortisol can impact your recovery in these ways:

Decrease the production of growth hormone

At night you have a natural spike of growth hormone and a high rate of cortisol disrupt your recovery. When your recovery is not optimal, you don’t progress.

Decline muscle glycogen storage

Gycogen is critical in the process of recovery.

Speed down the reparation of muscle

Growth hormone maintains, build and repair tissue. It means it also builds muscle mass. You gain muscle by repairing muscle. When the cortisol decreases the production of growth hormone, you don’t have results.

Increase adrenaline rate

Adrenaline (or epinephrine) is a helpful hormone before a workout session. It boosts your cardiorespiratory activity (more oxygen to the muscles). It also improves your metabolism, your mood, and your body is more reactive. Before to go to bed, it doesn’t help you to sleep.

Fat loss

The famous coach Charles Poliquin said that when you have too much cortisol, it stores your fat in abs. There is a problem here because cortisol has also as function to organize stored energy. Fat is a kind of energy for the body. It means cortisol doesn’t store fat, you know, fat is energy.

Another function of cortisol is that is a fat loss hormone when the rate is high while a short time. If the high rate is recurring, it complicated the action to fat loss.

Decline the transformation of hormone T4 to T3

A little explanation about these hormones. The thyroid is a gland in the neck. It creates three hormones: triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4) and calcitonin. T3 and T4 adjust the temperature of your body, your metabolism, and your heart rate. T3 usually sticks to protein in your body.

The thyroid creates a lot of T4 to change it in T3. T3 modifies the metabolism rate. When you have a high rate of metabolism, you burn more calories. In the case where your body has a low level of energy, the thyroid creates less T4. Fewer T4 means fewer T3 and the result is a low metabolism rate and the body burns fewer calories.

Do you remember what happens in a situation when your body lacks food? The cortisol rate is high to keep blood sugar stable and organize stored energy. This is a mechanism of the body to survive since the prehistoric era. Today is good because access to food is better. Unfortunately, cortisol can have a high rate because of other stress factors.

Insulin resistance

Cortisol boosts the blood sugar rate in a crisis event (lacking food, running away or fighting). These emergency circumstances allow the body to release glucose for energy. When people are sedentary and the blood sugar level is high, it’s not good. The level stays longer high and can drive to hyperglycemia. The body to avoid it creates insulin to decline the rate of blood sugar to a normal level.

Imagine a situation where cortisol’s rate is high a lot of time. It boosts the blood sugar levels and the body produces insulin every time. The result of this is insulin resistance. In the plan to lose fat, settle a caloric deficit is crucial. Unfortunately, insulin resistance and a metabolic rate low make the process more difficult. It can even create a surplus of fat.

Let’s be things clear, insulin alone doesn’t make you fat, it stores the elements of your food. It’s when insulin has a high rate that is tough for the body to use fat in a good way.

Insulin resistance means that the cells work badly with insulin. The result is the body needs to create more insulin to do the same task with the cells. When there is a huge amount of insulin, it takes more time to go back to the normal level. When there is a big quantity of insulin for a long time, the body has trouble to use fat.

It is the same thing for cortisol. Alone, cortisol doesn’t make you fat. It’s when cortisol has a high rate that is tough for the body to use it in a good way.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

What Wikipedia Can Not Tell You About Shoulder Lateral Raises

This is The Stephane Andre and today I’m talking about how to do shoulder lateral raises. Last year I had a little pain in my left shoulder, it was a shoulder impingement.

Train shoulder is good to have a good posture. There are people who have a rounding of the upper back with shoulder enrollment forwards. It calls Kyphosis , it’s because usually, the muscles in the front of the shoulder are stronger than the back. In my case, I did some shoulders exercises in a bad form for long time.

Lateral raises works deltoid lateral (middle part) beams. Use lightweight with sets of 10-25 reps until it burns. Be careful because when you raise arms over the horizon, you work trapezius. There are several lateral raises exercise:

Lateral raises

shoulder exercise lateral raises

Standing with your legs little apart. Your back is straight, you arms along your body with a dumbbell in each hand:

  • Raise your arms to the horizontal with your elbows little flexed
  • Back to the start position

You can also do this exercises in a seated position.

Read more about this exercise.

Low pulley lateral raises

shoulder exercise low pulley lateral raises

Standing with the handle in your hand. Your arm along your body :

  • Inhale and raise your arm to the horizontal
  • Exhale at the end of the movement

Read more about this one.

Side-lying lateral raises

shoulder exercise side lying lateral raises

Lying on the side, on the floor or on a bench with a dumbbell in your hand in a pronated grip :

  • Inhale and raise your arm to the vertical
  • Exhale at the end of the movement

More details.

Machine

Shoulder exercise machine lateral raises

Sit on the machine and take the handles :

  • Inhale and raises your elbows to the horizontal
  • Exhale at the end of the movement

More info about it.

Lift lightweight

Several times I made the mistake of lift the heaviest I can to progress. The truth is that the shoulder is not a big muscle like chest, arms or legs. Every time I forget that shoulder is a joint, I can move my arms almost at 360 degrees. It maintains the humerus head on the scapula’s glenoid cavity with a complex musculo-tendinous pack.

Shoulders are fragile. For this reason, we need to focus more on the numbers of repetition than the weight to avoid injuries. I know, it’s a little hard because of the ego, but I’m sure you know someone with a shoulder’s injury and it is not cool.

I remember the first time I did dumbbell shoulder lateral raises, one person told me to did the movement with my thumb down. Another day, another person told me to did it with my thumb up. The thumb’s position is a special topic. The only thing I can tell you that everyone has a unique morphology. You need to find your optimal position and angle of work. Listen to your body.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

How Does This Bodyweight Plan Bring Sexy Back

fitness body silhouette

This is The Stephane Andre and today I’m talking about how you can gain muscle anywhere and anytime. The solution, this bodyweight plan. Maybe you think you can’t gain a lot of muscle with it, but this is the first step to build a solid foundation.

When I decided to be in shape, I didn’t have the money to buy a gym membership. I used a bodyweight workout to be stronger and it learn me the basic movements to use gym equipment. When I am in a hotel and I don’t have the time to train, this is amazing. This kind of workout is very helpful for people who are under 16 years old and want to have a better body.

Do you know people who gained muscle years ago, and when you see them now, they gained fat instead? Generally, it’s because of a change in their life and they don’t have the time to train anymore. It’s sad.

It’s now or never to bring sexy back anytime, anywhere, no matter what changes in life.

Full bodyweight workout plan

Do this plan 2 to 3 times a week with at least one day of rest between. This workout plan can be done in 2 ways:

  1. For each exercise do 4 sets of the maximum repetitions you can do
  2. For each exercise do the maximum of repetition you can do for 30 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds and go to the next exercise.

You can alternate these two training’s type in a week.

Start with a warmup of 20 jumping jacks

Jumping jacks

jumping jacks

Then

Mountain climber

mountain climber

Squat

squat

Lunge

lunge

Burpee

burpee

Crunch

crunch

Decline push up (chair or bench)

decline push up

Leg raises

leg raises

Push up

push up

Dips (chair or bench)

dips

Bicycle crunch

bicycle crunch

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Body Under Construction 2019-08-31

body

Each month I do my body check to track my body’s evolution with photo, measurements and body fat(%) to reach my Golden Ratio.

I take my results in the morning with my stomach empty or just a glass of water.

I calculate my body fat ( %) with the 1 site skinfold measurement (fat caliper) and I use the caliper’s chart.

Current

  • Height : 175 cm (5 ft 8.8 in)
  • Weight : 80.3 kg (177.03 lbs)
  • Body fat(%) : 10.5 %
  • Waist : 87 cm (34.25 in)
  • Chest : 98 cm (38.58 in)
  • Arms : 33.5 cm (13.18 in)
  • Forearms : 28.5 cm (11.22 in)
  • Shoulders : 117 cm (46.06 in)
  • Hips : 97.5 cm (38.38 in)
  • Thighs : 60 cm (23.62 in)
  • Calves : 40.5 cm (15.94 in)
  • Neck : 38 cm (14.96 in)

Goals (Golden Ratio)

  • Height : 175 cm (5 ft 8.8 in)
  • Weight : 80 kg (176.37)
  • Body fat(%) : 8 %
  • Waist : 75.07 cm (29.55 in)
  • Chest : 107.25 cm (42.22 in)
  • Arms : 39.93 cm (15.72 in)
  • Forearms : 31.63 cm (12.45 in)
  • Shoulders : 121.47 cm (47.82 in)
  • Hips : 91.16 cm (35.88 in)
  • Thighs : 61 cm (24.01 in)
  • Calves : 39.61 cm (15.59 in)
  • Neck : 39.68 cm (15.62 in)

Websites where I found my Golden Ratio, it’s here .

Websites where I calculate my body fat(%), it’s here .

And you ? Have you set your goals ?

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-Steph