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Snooze to LOSE (…FAT)!!!

When it comes to FAT LOSS, there is one very important activity you may be missing out on: SLEEP

Insufficient quantity and quality may be the cause of you holding onto those stubborn pounds or even gaining weight.

If you are stuck on a plateu with ANY body composition goal, then sleep, stress, and cortisol (they are all related) are likely to be your biggest impediments to success.
Cortisol Background Some brief science to get you started…

Cortisol is a hormone released by the adrenal glands. Most famous for being released as part of our flight or fight response (hence described as the “stress” hormone), cortisol is a vital hormone and has import well beyond just the fight or flight response. Cortisol has important impacts on the following, to name a few:
  • Proper glucose metabolism
  • Metabolism of protein, fats and carbohydrates
  • Inflammatory response
  • Regulation of blood pressure
  • Regulation of cardiovascular function
Biggest issues of getting insufficient sleep:
  • Dramatically alters cortisol levels
  • Dramatically impacts insulin sensitivity, making you more insulin resistant… This can happen after just ONE bad night sleep!
  • Limits our ability to utilize growth hormone efficiently for fat loss
  • Insulin resistance causes us to store fat around our middles and we have issues using fat for fuel

Chronically high cortisol levels cause us to store fat around the middle and can result in elevated blood glucose, which won’t help your fat loss one bit! These high cortisol levels sabotage muscle gain and lean muscle retention when leaning out…

For Men, chronically elevated cortisol smashes testosterone (sorry romantic weekend, energetic and happy husbands) and for Women, chronically elevated levels impact collagen production- hello, wrinkles and cellulite! For both sexes, workout recovery can also become obsolete. You can be causing more harm, than good with that next workout!
If fat loss is your goal, it is CRUCIAL to get your beauty sleep! If you are chronically insulin resistant and have elevated blood glucose levels from cortisol from lack of sleep, then your insides are very similar to what they would be if you were eating a high carb diet and regularly chomping down on pasta.
“Sorry body, I wanted to give you some serious fat loss, but I couldn’t be bothered making sleep a priority.” 

Worse, if you don’t get enough sleep your ability to burn fat is effectively castrated by the negative impact poor sleep has on your hormones.  You will feel horrible, have limited sex drive, more likely die of cancer (just google it), and look old before your time.

How about some GOOD NEWS?
If you DO get plenty of quality sleep, here is what you can expect:

  • Improved cortisol levels in the body
  • Improved utilization of growth hormone for fat loss
  • More energy
  • A longer life
  • You will look younger, more refreshed
  • You will feel awesome
  • Better sex drive
  • Any health or fitness goal will begin to happen more easily
  • AND… Most importantly: you will be happier, I GUARANTEE it!
If you want to get leaner, stronger and healthier, your goal for the week:
Focus on SLEEP quality AND quantity!
Here are EIGHT basic tips to get your started, without changing a single thing to your current diet or workout routine:
1. Use black out curtains and sleep in a pitch black room
2. Stop looking at back-lit screens at LEAST two hours prior to going to sleep. That is NO TV, NO computer, NO ipad, NO smart phone! Instead read, walk, listen, or talk… to someone – especially if that someone is your significant other.
3. Whatever caffeine you consumed on average per day last week, this week- cut the amount in half!
4. Try and stop caffeine consumption within 4-5 hours of waking up. For most people, a simple rule of thumb is stop by midday. whatever you time you set, STICK to eat each day!
5. Try and go to bed at the same time each night this week
6. Don’t stuff yourself with a big meal within 2 hours of sleeping; this can cause sleep disturbances and potentially mess with growth hormone release during sleep
7. Avoid alcohol, if not totally, at least two hours prior to bed
8. And the best one: Try and wake up WITHOUT an alarm, every chance you can! If this means you have to go to bed earlier…. then what is your body telling you?…



  • Consider valerian tea, chamomile tea, as a pre-sleep beverage
  • Consider all-natural supplement, melatonin if you have real issues. Start with low, low doses under 1mg
  • Try bikram yoga in the evening, then don’t look at your phone, tv, or computer afterwards
  • A long japanese style, deep, hot bath (ofuro) with 1kg of epsom salts (watch hydration and finish this with sufficient time that you stop sweating before you get into bed).
  • One day, take the entire evening off all electronics: read, talk to someone,or get a long deep tissue massage, then pass out
  • Try to shut down your brain by not thinking about work! Meditation, reading, even coloring can relax your mind so you start to relax and not strain your eyes before sleeping.
  • Do something that makes you feel happy and relaxed- I guarantee this will assist with sweet dreams
Remember this very important Balanced Beauty Tip
Check out this awesome CHART for tips on Cortisol, Sleep and YOU!
Hi, Beauty!

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Health & Happiness,

Coach Aly