“I’m so stressed and I can’t seem to lose any weight.” “I eat when I get stressed.” “I’m training six days a week plus cardio, hitting 20k steps a day and don’t seem to be losing any weight.”
Is this you?
Chronically stressed? Working 9-5pm? Coming home and still having to play parent? Eating minimal calories? Busting yourself in the gym? Dreaming of the day you look in the mirror and like what you see?
I get it. You’re exhausted, you’re stressed, you have so much on your plate and to top it off, your body seems to be working against you. All this work and nothing to show for it! So let’s take a moment to discuss what’s potentially at play.
When training in the gym, or eating in a deficit (below maintenance level calories), your body’s natural response is to ramp up the secretion of CORTISOL. Cortisol is our stress hormone and it plays a number of roles in our body, to name a few:
It makes energy readily available (by breaking down substrates, aka tissue) Wakes us up in the morning (even on the weekends when our alarms aren’t set) and, back in the caveman days, would give us the immediate fuel to sprint away from a tiger.
So…that sounds wonderful. Fuel ready for us to move? GREAT! That means weight loss, right? Well…sadly, more often than not, no. You see, in the short term and in isolation, cortisol absolutely works like that. Unfortunately, in modern day society our cortisol response is abused by busy schedules, social media, phones, internet, work, dieting, stimulants (yes, even your coffee affects this!) and so many other bits and pieces. This constant state of alert arousal leads to a chronic secretion of cortisol which triggers the ‘backfire’ effects of the stress hormone.
This ‘backfire’ effect can lead to a slowed metabolism, difficulty falling/staying asleep (tired and wired), no response to stimulants, weight gain (especially around the stomach and face), blood sugar disregulation (the munchies), irregular menstrual cycles, erectile dysfunction, low libido, even changes in vision!
So how can we manage this important hormone? Here’s my top #5 tips.
When dieting, take regular diet breaks/refeeds: This is a period spent at maintenancecalories or even a slight surplus.
When training, program in regular deloads: This is usually a week spent at a lowervolume or intensity, allowing your body to recover.
Prioritise your sleep: Sleep is the most underrated recovery tool! It affects EVERYSINGLE HORMONE in your endocrine system.
Implement stress relief techniques: Meditation, time with friends, journalling,20minute walks in the sunshine.
Eat regular meals throughout the day: Intermittent fasting increases cortisol secretion which is far from ideal when trying to manage stress. Insulin is the shut off signal for cortisol, so make sure you are eating enough carbohydrates to keep your levels in check.
To check cortisol levels, you need to do a salivary test. Samples will be taken 3-4 times a day, usually 3-4 hours apart to determine your ‘cortisol curve.’ A healthy curve should spike in the morning, and taper off in the evening. Blood tests are only a snapshot of a specific time of the day, so they are not an accurate representation of your overall cortisol health.
So, eat the food, sleep plenty, take time out for you, and train with a coach who knows what they are doing!
I cannot recommend or speak highly enough of Tim and his team at Bodyseek Personal Training, they are quite literally beyond compare!
Tim's knowledge and execution of training, nutrition, and supplement programs to suit a person’s age, background and lifestyle, and secure amazing results, is brilliant.
As is the case with anything somewhat difficult to attain, a fair amount of grit and determination are required from yourself as an individual, but to have the support of Tim and his team maximises every minute spent in the gym, every meal decision made, and ensures profound results..
Sick of all the advice so called 'people in the know' bang on about yet leaves you without a result? Give the guys at Bodyseek Personal Training a call and see what makes them so different.
Have never been fitter, healthier, or happier in my life as I am now, and I am well into my fifties..
TeamMates / TMA ClubJan 2023
I have been attending Bodyseek for 6 months. The gym has excellent equipment and is very clean and well maintained. I have been training with Lucas since joining and I have benefited from his rehabilitation knowledge and training expertise in that time. I arrived with a number of issues with my knees and walked with a limp and was in varying degrees of pain most days. Lucas has built a progressive training plan for me focusing on building the strength stability and mobility of my knees and overall body strength and we have achieved great results. My mobility and movement have improved noticeably. I look forward to continuing my journey with the Bodyseek team.
Jacqui VDec 2022
Personal training with Lucas is as elite as it can get. You’re provided with knowledge about the specifics of what you’re training to prevent injury, gain strength and nutrition on your wellness journey. Definitely moneys worth.
Helen PanayiNov 2022
Awesome place to train great facilities and coaches Lucas Lim is an amazing coach very professional.
Stephen MorrisNov 2022
Chris is a wonderful coach he always pushes me to do better. The whole team have become like family a great fun and supportive environment to work towards your fitness goals.
Ange SNov 2022
If you want to change your life around through wellness one can't look past Chris and Bodyseek. I could write in detail how great the work and ability for transformation to positively effect all facets of one's life but I can't recommend Chris and the work from Bodyseek enough so I'm encouraging anyone reading this review to try them and see it for yourself. It's no run of the mill gym or programme. The service here is completely personal where you're made to feel a part of the team and the results can be incredible if you're willing to put the work in.
Chochy KileenNov 2022
Joining BodySeek almost six months ago is one of the best decisions I've made this year. BodySeek provides a highly personalised and professional personal training service.
I had never stepped foot in a gym prior to BodySeek and so was somewhat apprehensive and unsure of what to expect. However, the process to date has been seamless and transformational for my physical and mental health. Joining is easy and the gym is well-equipped, private and low pressure (but high intensity!).
My trainer, Kevin, is a legend. He's fantastic at inducting new people to the gym and made an amateur like me feel completely comfortable learning and growing throughout the initial 12-week programme. I also did one session with Jack when Kevin was away and he was also excellent and insightful - the amount you can learn from these guys is immense! I have ended up staying on as I've enjoyed it so much. I've made great progress and I'm looking forward to continuing!
Nic PopeOct 2022
Both Kevin and Tim (the owner), are invested in your progress and success. I've found them to be available and highly knowledgeable and have learnt a lot about technique, physical fitness and nutrition.
Tim has a real focus on excellence and ensuring that BodySeek delivers a best-in-class training service. If you're looking for a personalised PT & gym I recommend giving them a go!
Nic PopeOct 2022
Best decision to join Bodyseek six months ago!! Very professional group of trainers. I was so apprehensive about getting a PT for years… but Kevin is an absolute legend, he’s helped me get through the initial challenges and to a stage where I actually quite like training and want to do even better (and so I have added an extra session!) Tim the owner is super knowledgeable and will help you stay on track and supported with any overall life and nutrition changes needed so that you can achieve something sustainable 🙂
Alison ClarkeOct 2022
I am so glad that I chose Bodyseek when I was looking for help to strengthen my bad back, lose some weight and sort out my bad eating and drinking habits.
I had never had a personal trainer before, but I believe it's worth the money for the attention that you get.
My trainer Kevin has pushed me way beyond any limit that I thought I could do, while teaching me good technique to avoid injury.
Tim is fantastic with sorting out nutrition and is incredibly knowledgeable with supporting any health issues.
I have enjoyed it so much that I have just completed my 12 week block and have stayed on for another round. That says a lot because I'm not a 'gym person'.
I'm loving how strong I am becoming and my over 50's body is going to look awesome this summer!
Cyndi BriggsOct 2022
1 train 3 days a week with Dasha l love how she challenges me to do better and because of her help l am keeping up my Flexibility and mobility which is so important as you get older without my training l would struggle day to day.