SNOOZE YOUR WAY TO A LEANER YOU

SNOOZE YOUR WAY TO A
LEANER YOU
December 7, 2015
by ASP Admin

Together with food, water, oxygen and protection from the elements sleep is one of the basic needs necessary for our survival. It’s a wonder then why something so fundamental has become one of the most under-prioritised aspects of our lives. We sacrifice sleep for our work, TV, phones, social media, computer games and much more, all without realising that getting adequate sleep each night is one of the keys to optimal body composition and having a leaner physique. It is a common-known fact that sleep is necessary for recovery, but “recovery” involves so much more than just recharging your batteries for the next day. Recovery also involves the regulation of specific hormones that promote improved body fat levels, reduction in stress levels, improvements in muscle mass and overall physical and psychogenic repair. Without adequate sleep people will tend to store more fat and find it harder to put on muscle.

HERE ARE SOME OF THE WAYS SLEEP CAN HELP YOU ACHIEVE THE BODY YOU’RE AFTER:

SLEEP IMPROVES GROWTH HORMONE AND INSULIN-LIKE GROWTH FACTOR 1 PRODUCTION

Growth hormone (GH) is one of the most significant hormones in regulating anabolism in the body; it contributes to cell repair, cell reproduction and overall growth. Growth hormone is also a precursor to the production of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in the liver which promotes muscle growth and cognitive function. From a fat loss perspective optimising GH production has been found lower body fat.

The significance of sleep in relation to GH is that the majority of GH is released by the pituitary as you sleep. Without adequate sleep GH production is supressed which, in turn, results in supressed production of IGF-1. Studies have found that individuals who consistently suppress GH production by not prioritising sleep generally have much lower muscle mass and higher body fat. Supressing GH production also translates to wasted efforts at the gym. Strenuous physical activity at the gym results in micro damage to muscles which must be repair adequately to prevent continual breakdown.

SLEEP LOWERS CORTISOL LEVELS AND INFLAMMATION

Cortisol is the primary stress hormone which, in excess amounts can have drastic negative effects on body composition. Individuals who place their bodies under chronic stress (whether it’s physical stress or emotional stress) will tend to store more fat, especially around the front of the tummy. This is an especially big problem in the corporate world where the stress of deadlines and productivity take over health and well-being.

One way to elevate cortisol levels (something you don’t want) is to sleep less. Studies have found that individuals who have sleep problems or average 5 hours or less of sleep store more body fat and also find it harder to lose body fat.

From the perspective of inflammation poor sleep increases inflammation in the body which not only increases physical stress—thus ramping up cortisol even more and increasing fat storage—but is also a major contributor to many diseases and overall poor health. In addition to this inflammation supresses recovery from training which can lead to decreased strength, poor muscle repair and impeded fat loss efforts.

SLEEP HELPS LOWER CRAVINGS FOR CARBS AND REFINED SUGAR

Increased cortisol from a poor night’s sleep can have an effect on food consumption the day after. The reason for this is because when cortisol increases another hormone, insulin, tends to make its way in the picture. Insulin is responsible for storing nutrients, but is also commonly called “the fat storing hormone” since constantly elevated insulin levels contribute to fat storage. Cortisol and insulin are antagonistic hormones; when one goes up, the other goes down.

In times of stress (or elevated cortisol levels) one way to lower cortisol is to increase insulin, and one simple way of doing this is to eat refined carbs. This is one major reason why people tend to choose refined carbs or lollies when they stress eat. It’s never a celery stick with some nut butter.

If you want to be able to make better food choices throughout the day and prevent unwanted carb cravings then managing stress levels by improving sleep is a great way to do so.

All-in-all, sleep is an incredibly crucial factor in getting the physique you’re after. Keep in mind that the points above are only a few of the benefits of sleep in relation to fat loss and hypertrophy. The negative effects of under-prioritising sleep extend beyond the above points. Under-sleeping can lead to lowered testosterone levels, overall increased appetite, poor cardiovascular health, poor cognitive function, insulin resistance and much more.

It’s important to note that getting enough sleep means getting enough sleep each night. Most people are in the habit of neglecting sleep during the week and then “catching up” over the weekend. This up and down in sleep patterns is enough to disrupt circadian rhythms which results in diminished benefits of sleep, and can even increase physical stress. If possible it is ideal to maintain a similar sleeping pattern even on the weekends.

Stay tuned for Part 2 for tips on how to get a better night’s sleep! In the meantime, sleep tight!

Bringing Sexy Back! Five Ways To Increase Your Sex Drive

BRINGING SEXY BACK! FIVE
WAYS TO INCREASE YOUR
SEX DRIVE
November 15, 2013
by ASP Admin

In our modern technological age, with televisions, computers and phones dictating every waking minute of our lives, it’s quite common to find ourselves with increased feelings of stress or tiredness. We now place less importance on the healthy, stress relieving habits that keep our psyches in balance; like sex! Our libidos are extremely important energies and are also prime indicators of both psychological and physical stress. Here we share a few great tips from ASP to get you back in balance and naturally bringing sexy back!

1. Sleep is Critical

Sleep is vital for optimal energy production and a great training session. But restless nights don’t only affect your daily activity, they can also take their toll on bedroom antics! To ensure a good night sleep, make an effort to remove yourself from the television or computer screen a good 30 minutes before bed. This allows your mind to wind down and dissipate the adrenaline built up from it’s flashing, bright lights.

Sleep in a dark room with no lights (includes phones or television standby lights), as the receptors on your skin may keep you awake in response to the light.

Check out our Sleep Remedies post for more tips on gaining a better night’s sleep.

2. Learn to Relax

All too often the built up stress from the daily grind can deplete the production of sex hormones like testosterone and DHEA, and this can diminish one’s sex drive. Supplementing with magnesium and taurine often helps to reduce anxiety and ease the mind.

3. The Brain is the Sexiest Organ in the Human Body!

Now, although that may come down to a matter of opinion, there’s no disputing that having an increased concentration span and a positive, motivated attitude throughout the day is a great start to feeling sexy all over again. Supplementing with up to 600mg of Alpha-GPC per day has also been shown to be highly effective in enhancing brain cognition and mood.

4. Take a Quality Electrolyte Daily

Sweating and/or a diet high in ‘convenience foods and sodas’ can lead to the depleting of the body from much needed salts like sodium, magnesium and potassium, which are critical to optimal energy and health. Because energy is often a limiting factor to a healthy sex drive, more energy means you can now bring your sexy back! A quality electrolyte is ‘Electrolyte PX’ developed by Dr Mark Schauss, and will help give you that boost you’re after.

5. No One Feels Sexy When Bloated

Let’s face it, there’s no feeling good when you’re poorly digesting your dinner, yet nowadays we are constantly bloated because of the foods we consume. This can often be due to intolerances to foods like homogenised and pasturised diary, nuts, gluten (in breads and pastas), or even eggs. Apart from cutting out these foods from your diet, use a good pre and pro-biotic to aid nutrient absorption and dissipate that uncomfortable bloated feeling. There’s no greater aphrodisiac than feeling sexy in your skin!

HOW TO TRY DIETING AND NOT DIE TRYING

HOW TO TRY DIETING AND
NOT DIE TRYING
December 12, 2012
by ASP Admin

Diets are the latest trend in our weight conscious society. With everything from shakes and calories, restrictive plans to pills and celebrity fads, diets aim to make you slimmer, healthier and happier. Yet a ‘Die-It’ as the name suggest, appears to be merely a painful means to an end rather than a sustainable and satisfying solution.

Recent statistics have shown that while Australians spend up to one million dollars per day on dieting products, they are likely to regain one to two thirds of their lost weight within the year, and almost, if not all of the lost weight within five years. The question then remains, why are diets so ineffective? Here are some tips on making a diet more enjoyable and sustainable for you.

1. HAVE A LIFESTYLE OVER A “DIE-IT”

Being on a ‘die-it’ often carries an underlying belief (and often a desperate wish!) that your action is merely short term. This not only results in extreme and often harmful eating habits such as “crash-dieting”, but also ”diet-clock watching” – where an individual develops an unhealthy focus on “letting loose” at the end of the suppressed diet rather than focusing on the ultimate goal of health and wellbeing.

As such, it is common to see people reward themselves with comfort foods once they can justify that the dieting period is over. Such actions can lea to guilt and emotional overeating, causing the individual to ‘rebound’ or ‘relapse’ in an extreme way, and put on more weight than when they first started the diet.

On the other hand, by embracing your new nutritional plan as a lifestyle change, you are consciously accepting the positive change in your eating habits to be a long-term action that will be part of everyday living. This paradigm shift is not only effective in eliminating the guilt and need to emotionally eat, but also in maintaining focus on overall health and wellbeing in the long run.

2. CHOOSE A NUTRITIONAL PLAN THAT SUPPORTS YOUR INDIVIDUAL OPTIMAL HEALTH

While there are so many diets in the market, not every one will suit you. What can make someone lose fat fast can in fact help you stack on the kilos and vice versa. It is important then to consider and choose a diet that will support your individual body needs. A nutritionist or qualified Biosignature Practitioner would be able to assist you. When you’re on a nutrition plan that supports optimal health, you will find that not only does the fat melt off,

but you feel more energised, sleep better, are able to think more clearly, and also naturally start to reject the comfort food you were previously on.

3. INTRODUCE ONLY ONE CHANGE AT THE TIME AND DO NOT MOVE ON TO THE NEXT UNTIL YOU HAVE MADE THAT CHANGE

Small and steady changes are easy to introduce, remember and implement. It is how good habits are formed and built upon. For example, if you normally rush off to work with only a coffee in the morning, then having a small handful of nuts or an egg in the morning can be a great way of introducing breakfast as a habit. Once the action of eating something is cultivated, then you can look at better alternatives for the meal.

FOR EVERY THING TAKEN OUT, SUBSTITUTE IT WITH ANOTHER

A sudden removal of a regular food from your routine can cause a void and lead to cravings and constant thoughts about the removed food. Choosing to substitute the food for a similar but healthier option is a more gradual, but effective way of removing that undesired food habit. For example, if you have a habit of drinking a couple of bottles of beer or a can of sugary soft drink every night, start substituting this with a glass of iced-soda water that will still leave you quenched and refreshed, but in a better state. is text.

5. BE CREATIVE IN YOUR FOOD PREPARATION

Whoever said that healthy food had to be bland, tasteless and dull? One of the biggest problems in sustaining a diet is the lack of taste and variety in the food. This has the effect of deterring people from their new eating regimes. Be creative in introducing spices and herbs to flavor your foods. You’ll be surprised just how good healthy foods can taste!

6. IF YOU FAIL TO PLAN, YOU PLAN TO FAIL

Not planning your meals in advance can lead to bad choices in foods especially when you are hungry. When you plan in advance (e.g. stocking up your pantry with nuts rather than chocolates) or prepare healthy ready-to-go meals or snacks beforehand, you not only plan what nutrition you will be consuming but also have less of a tendency to look for other less optimal choices when hunger strikes you.