fbpx

Reducing Stress: The Key to Effective Weight Loss for Women

Stress and weight gain go hand in hand for many women, especially those in their 30s and 40s. When stress levels are high, our bodies produce more cortisol, a hormone that can wreck havoc on bodily systems, affecting our thyroid, gut, immune system and more (all of which contribute to metabolism function). This can also trigger cravings for sugary, fatty foods and cause us to store more fat, particularly in the abdominal area. Additionally, stress can interfere with our sleep and reduce our overall energy levels, making it harder to stick to a healthy diet and exercise routine.

Reducing Stress: The Key to Effective Weight Loss for Women

The connection between stress and weight gain is well documented, and research has shown that chronic stress can lead to weight gain and an increased risk of obesity. Cortisol, which is known as the “stress hormone,” is released in response to stress, and it affects our bodies in several ways that can contribute to weight gain. For example, cortisol stimulates the release of insulin, which promotes fat storage, and it also increases our appetite and cravings for high-calorie, high-fat foods.

Moreover, stress can interfere with our sleep, which can further impact weight loss efforts. Lack of sleep disrupts our circadian rhythms and metabolism by affecting melatonin and recovery, making us more susceptible to cravings, overeating, and a slower metabolism. Lack of proper recovery can impact hormonal responses and levels that we need to maintain balance within our body and affects the response of storing versus using calories for fuel.

 

So, how can women reduce stress to support their weight loss efforts? Here are some tips and strategies to get you started:

  1. Practice relaxation techniques: Meditation, deep breathing, yoga, or other relaxation techniques can help reduce stress and promote feelings of calm. Turning on your parasympathetic nervous system will help bring down the fight or flight response to help reduce inflammation and can overall help us to get closer to that homeostatic state our body craves.

  2. Exercise regularly: focusing mostly on strength or resistance training to help promote muscle growth and walking to help with overall daily fat burn. Not to mention exercise is a great way to reduce stress and boost endorphins, the body’s natural “feel-good” chemicals. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.

  3. Get enough sleep: Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night to support weight loss and reduce stress. Sleep helps recovery happen. This is also where detoxification of things in the liver really occur. If sleep is off, more than likely hormone levels and metabolism will be affected over time. Making it much harder for metabolism to function properly.

  4. Eat a healthy, balanced diet: Eating a diet rich in whole, nutrient-dense foods can help reduce stress, boost energy levels, and support weight loss. This means lean proteins, healthy fats to help hormonal health, and complex carbohydrates. Aim to have them at each meal.

  5. Connect with others: Spending time with friends, family, or a support group can help reduce stress and provide emotional support during your weight loss journey.

As we get older we have to think of workouts and lifestyle a bit differently. Take a step back and think about everything you have been through in your life, stress of all forms, illnesses, pregnancy and so much more. Those things over time can compound and leave our body in a state where we have hormonal imbalances, inflammation of all sorts, gut issues, autoimmune conditions and more… all of which will absolutely affect how our body uses and/or stores energy. 

So focusing on stress levels and improving those through various means (and understanding it is not an all or nothing approach) will have the BIGGEST impact overall.

If you feel like you are doing all the things with no results, do not give up! This CAN be turned around. 

We help clients daily address these issues

With the CCS Metabolic Fat Loss Method we work with women over 30 to help them CORRECT their metabolism, CREATE accelerated fat loss and SUSTAIN the results. We do this WITHOUT restriction or hours in the gym, and we get you feeling better than you ever have and in the best shape of your life (no matter your age!). Want to find out more? Inquire here.

We also offer free trainings on topics JUST like this every week inside our FREE Group- Join us!  – Check out below!

Why Accountability is the BIGGEST Key in Reaching Your Goals

Why Accountability is the BIGGEST Key in Reaching Your Goals

Every person on this planet has had a year unlike any other. That is something I do not think any of us ever thought we would be saying….. 

We have gotten thrown for a loop in regards to how we live, how we interact, how we do life day to day. We have had to learn to adapt and learn more patience. Who knows maybe you have even had to lean into your faith more. I know I have.

Then there is our health and wellness. If there is any takeaway from this year it should be that we need to make our health a priority. We need to take care of ourselves NOW so we do not have to be at risk later. That means work on eating better, losing weight if were at an unhealthy level, and strengthening our heart and lungs, etc. 

Yet so many of us have fallen off track with our fitness routine. It could be due to gyms being closed, or maybe it is due to our mindsets and giving up amongst craziness. 

However, those justify all reasons why we NEED fitness even more. It is also why we need accountability even more. 

In this blog I am going to go over why accountability is so key, especially in tough times.

If you have fallen off track, do not lose hope, you can get back on! You just have to take that step and keep showing up after that.

WHY ACCOUNTABILITY  MATTERS DURING HARD TIMES

1- Stress is high and temptations are in front of you

When we get stressed out, it is normal for us to turn to something that comforts us- would you agree? When you are stressed, do you turn to food? Or alcohol? Or something else? It is human nature to go after comfort and relief. We want that anxiousness to go away, so we go for how ways to numb it.

Unfortunately that is also how we end up in worse shape than we started. Our stress hormones go up, then we are eating junk or putting some sort of toxin in our body. When that happens our body stores more fat (in basic terms) because it thinks we may need it later – this makes us pack on weight and then start to feel even more down on ourselves.

2- If you are alone in your choices your more likely to turn to old habits

When you have no one checking in on you, or anyone to hold you accountable, then it is more likely that you will turn back to your old ways. When someone is there you are less likely to do so because you will have to own up to them. It will make you think twice.

3- It gives you a purpose day to day

When you have some sort of accountability in place, whether a person or a plan you have a reason to go after it each day. One thing I have learned from myself, clients, and friends this year is that every day when there was a plan in place, we felt a little better. Even when working from home if you have a plan or schedule for the day it wouldn’t be as mundane. The same can be said for fitness. When you have a workout plan and you work at it, you will only feel that much better about yourself. 

WHY YOU NEED A PLAN

1- Because you need action steps

Without a plan in place, how will you know when you have succeeded at something? How will you know when you have made progress? How will you know if you missed a day? – The plan makes ALL the difference. 

When you are working out you cant just wing it everyday or you will never succeed – you have to take it a step at a time, and get better over time. Plans make you accountable.

2- You need goals to work for

Why would you continue to show up every single time if you had no reason to? We ALL have something we want to work for, whether it is something like a race, or our health or just to lose weight or look good on that next trip. There is ALWAYS something. Setting an actual goal helps develop the plan of action to take to get there- hence a plan being important. 

3- To measure your progress

If you do not celebrate the small stuff then you are less likely to stick with it. You have to recognize when you do something you could not do before, or when you have lost that 1 lb. Those little things add up. A plan helps you see this. It helps you look back and see when you could not do something x amount of time ago and where you are now. It helps you keep moving forward.

This is motivation we ALLLLL need

WHY YOU NEED A PARTNER

1- An Accountability partner will help you show up when you do not want to. 

How many times have you not wanted to show up for a workout? How many times have you literally had to pull yourself out of bed or convince yourself for 30 minutes to go for that run or go to the gym?? We have ALL been there. When you have someone to push you, you’re more likely to show up.

2- To make you remember why you started

You may have had a bad week, you may have gained a little weight, or you just do not like what you see in the mirror today- so whatever you are doing is not working…. WRONG- that is definitely NOT always the case. SOOO many factors could go into why it is not working, but stopping is not going to get you anywhere. Pretty sure we have all been there too! That is even more reason to have someone in your corner. You need someone to remind you why you started in the first place. 

3- To call you out

Really no explanation needed- you need someone to call you out when you screw up or when you doubt yourself. Who better to do that than someone who has a job to hold you accountable??

 

Key Takeaways

During any sort of hard time, having someone in your corner is key. Whether it is a family member, friend, spouse, or coach it does and will make a difference. 

The quality of the people you surround yourself with and invest time in matters too. That is why it is important to have people who will be truthful and love and respect you as well as will motivate you to be your best, not bring you down. 

Accountability really is the key to success in all areas of life. You have to keep showing up – if you don’t you won’t get where you want to be. 

Hiring someone to help you in the area your lacking like a coach or professional can make all the difference. They can provide the knowledge and the plan you need to help you take those steps needed to get you to your goals. 

That is exactly what I provide with clients virtually and in person. We develop a plan and we implement it. Whether it is together or on your own. Or with my new 6 week #WORKOUTPARTNER challenge . We celebrate the small stuff and the big, and I call you out when needed too. It is how it has to be done to work. It is why I love what I do, I love seeing clients succeed. If you are someone who is needing that extra structure, that accountability, that guidance to help you get back in gear you can start today- simply download the free workout below. You can do it anywhere 🙂

 

Get a FREE workout to start today

Accountability help can start right NOW – start with this workout- get it done and get moving in the right direction.

Why our Glute Muscles Matter

Why our Glute Muscles Matter

Our glutes (aka booty)- they are so important for a variety of reasons. 

Not to mention we all want good ones, right???

However our booty is so much more important to our daily lives than just how it looks in jeans. The  muscles that make it up play an important role in movement every day.

Our booty is made up of 3 essential muscles that are known as the glutes. We have the gluteus maximus which is the primary mover, the glute medius and glute minimus. Together they all help to extend and rotate the hip in and out. 

Our glute max helps extend your leg back and outward as well as help with rotation of the leg outward.

The medius helps with in and out rotation of the leg and the minimus basically aids with that too (to keep the explanation short 🙂 ).  They also work together to protect the lower back, spine and pelvis (when they are strong).

Oftentimes pain in the lower back, neck, and knees can all indicate weak glutes. Muscle imbalances are common in many adults, especially if you tend to sit alot or do not do much if any strength training. 

Overcompensation in other areas is a result. Simply put this means you put pressure on the wrong muscles when the primary muscle that should be doing the work (in this case the glutes) is not working properly.

So What Do We Want To Work On To Help?
First you want to be sure you can get an eccentric glute load, meaning being able to feel the glutes lengthen when squatting or hinging. If they cannot lengthen then they will never be able to relax and contract in a way where you can load them and strengthen them correctly.

Squatting :

  • When you Squat you are allowing your hips to go back and down while letting your glutes lengthen and support the hip. Then you let them contract on the way up.

Hinging:

(think dead lift or bending over)
  • You want to allow your hips to go back without allowing them to go down as much (depending on the type of deadlift you are doing). With this move you need full lengthening again or you will take some of the blunt in your back. This happens because your pelvis will begin taking over due to possible imbalances in your deep hip rotators or simply tightness (both of which can be fixed with practice and work!).
  • A great way to try this is to stand in front of a wall and allow hips to hinge back until your butt hits the wall. Keep your weight in your heels and big toe. As you are bending over your glutes go back then your upper body (maintaining a neutral spine). You can bend your knees a little bit once you feel those hamstrings stretching too.

How To:

Things to look out for – 

If you have lower back pain:

It could be because you tend to clench your glutes when standing this can cause an issue with learning how to load in extension. Simply pay attention to how you stand throughout the day, and try to relax!

You could be dealing with tightness in your hips. This can cause your hips to not be able to push back as far as they can or should. Simple hip stretching exercises can help and working on true glute activation can help strengthen your hips. 

Your core may be weak – if this is the case starting with something like learning to breathe properly can go a long way. Just keep practicing. It takes time! This blog can help if ya need it!

If you have knee pain:

You may be leading with your knees! Ensure that you are sitting back when you squat.

Pay attention to your feet, are you going more onto your toes or heels? Heels are key!

Do some glute activation work before you start to do full movements. Turn those suckers on first!

Now lets talk about Activation:

Bridging –

It is essentially a form of hinging but easier to isolate glutes and get them to fire. 

Perform the movement by –  laying on your back you will place hands by your sides slowly lift hips up keeping spine neutral and working to squeeze glutes at the top of movement, Drive through heels and keep big toe down. Hinge hips back down and repeat.

Banded lateral walks:

Place a band slightly above the knees. Stand hip width apart and keep feet facing forward. Leave a soft bend in the knee and slightly hinge hips back (key word slightly). Step to the right side and keep tension in the band, return back to start leading with the left foot. Repeat for a few rounds until you feel the burn in the side of that booty! (here are my favorite bands – glute bands)

Slow squats

You can use a band over your knees if you wish or practice without. Hold onto something to be able to keep neutral spine and focus first on breathing. Sit back into the squat keep your spine neutral without looking down. Aim to keep weight in heels and core engaged by keeping big toes down. Go slow and slightly press out on band with knees. Feel the stretch in glutes then stand up and squeeze to the top. Repeat.

Slow hinges:

To learn – stand slightly in front of a wall and plant feet. Breathe deep first and focus on letting hips hinge back then follow with lowering of the upper body while keeping a neutral spine. Once you feel a slight stretch in your hamstrings you can bend knees slightly to go a little deeper. Slowly start to contract glutes as you stand back up. Repeat.

 

 

All of these movements should always start with bodyweight then move into adding more external resistance. Build up and progress and do not compare yourself to others.

If you want a whole video on just squatting and how it can help – check this out – 
Achieving optimal glute strength will not only help prevent lower back pain, hip pain and knee pain but it will also help us really ensure we are protecting ourselves when we move during every day life.
All of these exercises can be incorporated to different parts of your cycle and workout routine/plan. For example during your menstrual phase it would be ideal to do more activation and stretching where as during your follicular you would and could focus on lifting heavier and doing more explosive movements to help really build the muscle up.
Bottom line is our glutes are important. We need them to work properly to help us live pain free and get more results in our workouts and in daily life.
You can also check out training programs here – https://candicecfit.com/virtual-training/
Four Week At Home Workout Program

Four Week At Home Workout Program

This time in our world is just crazy. Never in my life did I think something like this could happen. I am sure you somewhat agree….

With “social distancing” and trying to really stay healthy we are going to not be in gyms and more than likely aiming to get creative at home. Going virtual possibly or working with trainers or friends remotely. This is exactly why I created this program. For those of us who may not have much equipment at home or maybe no fancy bike…. This program is for you if you are at a loss of what to do, are at ANY fitness level (there is a beginner, intermediate, advanced program). You need minimal equipment and if you do not have something you can omit it, OR if you DO have something you can add it. It is simple but will help us stay on track.

There is a schedule to follow each week (this is four weeks long just in case!).

There are descriptions of each workout and exercise along with photos and some videos (link in the photo of the exercise bank).

You get 4-5 workouts a week broken into cardio and strength along with stretching.

So again no matter the fitness level, one of these can work for you! And for only $30 this is a STEAL……  a month of workouts for less than you would pay for most gyms (and no plan mind you). You can totally lose weight with this- but if you want a little extra help I am also offering a consult via skype or Google hangouts to help you with that and if you are interested in cycle syncing as well. If you are interested in adding that on you can do so when purchasing or simply reach out to me and let me know and we can set it up! Again I hope this gives you a little hope and can help you stay focused. We will ALL get through this! Stay healthy guys! C

Get it below! (and ps use code CHANGEUP to save $10 at checkout!)

 

Stay up to date! Sign up 🙂

[mc4wp_form id=”458″]

Hormone changes and our workouts – how they can work to benefit each other

Hormone changes and our workouts – how they can work to benefit each other

I may have found a new obsession, and that is involving researching and learning more about how cycle syncing for women can truly help us lose more weight, regulate hormones which can help with decreasing inflammation, and help us feel better, decrease period symptoms and increase our metabolism AND improve workouts!

You may be wondering what the heck is cycle syncing?

I had no idea until I discovered Alissi Vitti’s book “In the Flo”. 

Essentially you are working to support your cycle. Your cycle meaning the 28 day or so period we are supposed to rotate through. (here’s your biology talk)  It is made up of four phases; Follicular, Ovulatory, Luteal and Menstrual. Each phase consists of a few days where our sex hormones should fall and rise (hormones meaning estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone mainly among others). The first half is composed of the follicular and ovulatory cycles which are aimed more at increasing estrogen and testosterone to help prepare for ovulation when they are at their peak and to make us ladies fertile. The second half consists of the luteal and menstrual phases where progesterone starts to rise and the other two start to drop before menstruation where the lining sheds if no egg is fertilized.  With our hormones fluctuating our bodies are going to need different nutrients and things to support them at different times. We should also have highs and lows of energy at different times depending on this. For example it is better to rest during the last part of your cycle (Menstrual) vs. the beginning when you have more energy (Follicular phase).

Cycle syncing works to support these changes we should go through each month.

But what if you are irregular, have been diagnosed with any sort of disease like PCOS, amenorrhea or endometriosis to name a few.  That is even more of a reason to try this method. By supporting your cycle when these hormones should rise and fall with foods, the right workouts and movement and self care we can optimize getting these things regulated. We want to get regular, we want to reduce PMS symptoms, by doing so we will increase our ability to optimize our metabolism function among other things.

 

So now to the good stuff, how does it work with our metabolism and how can our workouts help us???

When our hormones are regulated and working efficiently we are able to absorb the right nutrients, burn more fat, and feel better with less stress on our bodies. We know that less stress leads to less inflammation like I have talked about many times before.  If we can get our workouts to aide us in this by timing them correctly within our cycle (or when we should be at x part of our cycle) then we should be able to recover better and get more out of them when timing is right.     Here is the low down on that- each phase should rotate between different focuses/energy output for the most part to help alleviate excess stress on us at the wrong times or when we are lacking certain nutrients to recover. Follicular Phase : During this beginning part of your cycle estrogen and testosterone should be on the rise so should you have more energy, meaning you can do more HIIT and intense heavy lifting. This is a time to work harder and push yourself more because you will be able to recover better. Ovulatory Phase : This is when everything is at its peak so you can really work harder here.  Luteal Phase: The first half of this cycle (it is longer almost 10 days) can be harder workouts but when hormones start to drop towards the end that is when you want to start doing more yoga, active recovery like long walks, stretching, non intense cardio to preserve your energy. Menstrual Phase – There is a reason sometimes you are fatigued during this part of your cycle.. You have lower levels of everything as your lining may shed (bleed) and if you push yourself too hard then in turn you will feel even worse during this time. Really try to use this time to lay lower doing low intensity stuff and really resting your body. When you preserve your body during this time it will allow you to have even more energy next phase (follicular) where you can go harder again. Try things like stretching, infrared sauna, gentle yoga, easy walks, massage etc. So how can you start implementing this? Easy if you are regular, just pay attention to where you are in it and start adding in these types of workouts accordingly. But what if you don’t know?? If you are like me and are irregular or have been or on birth control and have recently stopped and have no cycle then go with the moon…. yup I said moon… no this is not crazy stuff there is research behind it oddly enough. You can sync with the moon phases (follicular – first quarter , ovulation – full moon, luteal- third quarter , menstrual – new moon) and do week to week and follow those guidelines. I am working with this as a guide, and I am going to be sharing my experiences so stay tuned! Next up will be how foods affect your cycle and what can help 🙂  So if you are going to try this lets aim to have patience, start slow and work on adding in things versus restricting. Keep stress low!

If you want a free guide to help you know the right workouts for the right time of your cycle – get it below!