72 Days until the end of the decade, and 72 days to lose the gut challenge… — Day 23

It’s Wednesday — Happy Hump day! Are you ready to sink your junk-yard dog teeth firmly into temptation’s ass and not let go? I hope so because we’re just getting started. Over the next few days, I will be introducing the adjustments we’re going to make to our training and diet so that you can hit the ground running by next Monday.

Fast

I had lunch with a friend yesterday. It was the first meal, post-fast day, and it was glorious. We both went to our respective ways and later he contacted me, saying that he just was not hungry. I was experiencing exactly the same thing. I should have been ravenous but was not hungry in the slightest. While this does represent a catch 22 because you need to feed your body, especially if you’re breaking down your muscles in the gym. When you’re on a calorie-restricted diet, your body secretes leptin. Leptin is produced by the body, to keep your hunger at bay. It is called the anti starvation hormone. It’s what slows the body’s metabolism down when food becomes scarce.

This means that elevated leptin decreases your hunger. That’s great for survival, but it creates a pretty clear fat-loss catch-22: you need to eat less to burn fat, but eating less compromises your body’s ability to produce leptin. And the less leptin you produce, the hungrier you become and the more likely you are to eat more than you need. All of this means that if you want to keep making progress, you need to keep leptin levels elevated while you’re in a caloric deficit

For now, keep these leptin-boosting tactics in mind:

• Fast at least sixteen hours a day.

• Include strategic cheat meals (maximum of one day per week).

• Perform resistance training.

• Perform long-distance cardiovascular training.

• Eat a high-protein diet.

• Don’t eat too much fructose.

• Don’t drop your calories too low on a diet (at most, drop 500– 600 calories per week).

Oestrogen

We’ve spoken about the importance of testosterone in a man’s life, (and in the woman whose man she hopes is producing a lot of it, because it leads to great sex)

And then there’s the flip side OESTROGEN

You may know estrogen and the female sex hormone that is partially responsible for her menstrual cycle and for her biological love for chocolate.

It’s also responsible for the development of breasts, and who doesn’t love those?! All those things are awesome… in women. Men also need estrogen in their systems but in the right amounts. When men have high estrogen levels, this can wreak havoc in men’s bodies and would result in decreased libido, the growth of man boobs and depression.

Oestrogen is a very interesting hormone because, without it, men would not produce sperm. When you become too fat, the enzyme aromatase will convert your testosterone to estrogen, and that’s when things get out of whack.

Here are some tips to keep your estrogen levels low:

• Soy will give you manboobs, so don’t go there…

• Limit stress.

• Stay happy (depression increases estrogen production).

• Don’t eat too much bran or too many legumes.

• Watch out for toxins from plastics (translation: avoid eating out of plastic containers).

• Eat pesticide-free or organic produce.

• Eat lots of broccoli and cauliflower.

• Limit alcohol.

• Eat red meat.

Move

If you’re following the workout schedule as initially mentioned, then today is your day off from resistance training. It’s important that you give your muscles some rest. Actually there is a lot going on with your muscles, especially during the post-workout recovery phase. This is what makes training with weights so effective. Your training elevated your metabolism whilst in the gym, but it remains active long after you’re thrown your towel in the wash basket. Muscle repair is your friend, because it burns more calories and builds more muscle. The more muscle you have on you, the more they need to be fed and the more you can eat, — It’s a glorious vicious cycle.

If you have all the energy in the world, and just feel weird, not exercising today, then I’d recommend doing some cardio. Go for a walk with a friend. A brisk walk will do wonders for melting those fat levels.

Sleep

Because sleep is such a neglected part of most people’s health regime, I want you to keep addressing this area. As we get older, our sleep patterns become more fragile. People start to get frustrated with their monkey minds, keeping them up at night, and they reach for a sleeping tablet. The sleep you get from a tablet is not proper sleep. During healthy sleep, cortisol and other hormones are very active in the brain, literally washing through it, restoring and processing, so that we feel restored when we wake up. Taking a sleeping pill is like pulling the plug out of the wall. There’s a disconnect in the brain, literally ceasing all activity needed from sleep. You’ve gone off-line and even though you’re not cognizant, you’re actually not in restorative sleep. My advice would be for you to master your sleep routine so that you can train yourself to fall asleep when you want to. If you’re not embarrassed about it, try a 10-minute yoga meditation. The regulated breathing and detachment from reality will help you to quieten the mind. Over time, your neuropathways will be sufficiently formed for you to turn over and hit the snooze button in your head. — No more battles with monkeys required. — Just a slow soft immersion into the warm bath that is dreamland.

I personally use the following meditation from Sadh Guru

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjOVyCIXvXU

It will take all of 14 minutes out of your life, but the returns are priceless. You will feel more centered, rested and you may even find yourself smiling at strangers for no apparent reason.

One of the peeps who accepted the Challenge, Kim, had the following to contribute:

Can I give a tip for better sleep. I had a slump in Vit D a year back and happened to take the first supplement before bedtime and slept like a baby. That is my go to now for having a great nights sleep and also your body absorbs it better. So if you are struggling with sleep pop them at night. I use metagenics D3 5000 from wellness. I take 2. Literally in 20 minutes you fall asleep
  1. Thank you Kim!!

See you tomorrow. Stick with the basics of this challenge and you will succeed. If you find yourself wavering, remember that life is tough and you should be too… I’d like to recommend a book to you tomorrow.

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