Camille here! I wanted to take a moment to share some powerful nutrition insights with you, particularly focusing on how understanding our bodies’ hormonal mechanisms can help us fuel our performance and achieve our fitness goals. Let’s dive into the fascinating world of insulin, glucagon, and their role in anabolic and catabolic states.
**Insulin, Glucagon and Your Body**
Insulin and glucagon are two hormones that play a critical role in managing our body’s energy use. Insulin, often called the “storage hormone,” helps cells absorb glucose from the bloodstream to be used immediately for energy or stored for later use. It primarily promotes anabolic, or building, processes in the body such as protein synthesis and fat storage.
On the other hand, glucagon works to do the opposite. It stimulates the breakdown of stored energy (like fats and glycogen) into glucose, which can then be used by our cells for energy. This is part of the body’s catabolic, or breaking down, processes.
**Anabolic and Catabolic States: What Are They?**
Anabolic and catabolic states essentially represent the two sides of your body’s metabolism. An anabolic state is when your body is building or repairing cells, like during muscle growth after a workout. A catabolic state, in contrast, is when your body is breaking down cells for energy, such as during a fast or when you’re doing cardio exercise.
**Balancing the Anabolic and Catabolic States**
Now, here’s the interesting part. To optimize our fitness results, we can strategically aim to spend most of the day in a catabolic state and switch to an anabolic state around our training window. Being in a catabolic state for most of the day can increase insulin sensitivity and promote fat burning, which is fantastic for those of us looking to shed some extra pounds.
Then, around your training window, you create an anabolic state. Consuming a balanced meal rich in proteins and carbs shortly after training can stimulate insulin production, helping to drive nutrients into the muscles for growth and repair.
By understanding these concepts, we can make more informed decisions about what to eat and when, to help us reach our goals faster.
Remember, at the end of the day, our bodies are unique, and what works best for one person might not work as well for another. Experiment, listen to your body, and find the balance that works best for you.
We get asked this all the time, “Do I really need to weigh and measure my food?”
If you’ve decided to commit to tracking your macros, then the answer is YES! Like anything in this world, the more precise you are, the more accurate you are and so it follows, the better the results! Of course, there needs to be some balance, we don’t want you to drive yourself crazy or be that guy at the restaurant with your scale on the table. But when you have access to a kitchen, we recommend you weigh and measure your food to improve the results you’ll get from tracking macros.
Three factors that are in your control can have the most significant impact on the longevity and quality of your life, outside of genetics.
Choosing to be active and train possibly the biggest factor. Building capacity in your younger years can create a buffer and slow down the inevitable decline that comes later in life. It can also help you avoid many diseases that can cut life short. Diabetes, heart disease, and cancers are the three biggest killers in westernized civilizations, all of which can have their risk factors reduced through exercise. People who are active are generally happier, suffering less from depression, sleep, and digestive issues.
How you eat also has a significant impact on your health. Food fuels all of life’s activities and can cure, reduce, or help people completely prevent diseases. Food quality and quantity are the two most significant factors when eating. Whether you are concerned with maximizing your performance or just living a happy and healthy life, food is a widely under looked and under utilized piece of the puzzle. The same way you might approach your training and tracking performance in the gym, tracking nutrition is paramount for success.
Sleep is a widely under looked factor for health and performance. Sleep helps the body recover, reduces stress, and is important for hormonal recovery. Overtraining, work stress, and nutrition all can adversely affect the length and quality of sleep. We recommend 8-10 hours of sleep a night to keep you happy healthy and performing well. Looking at the sleep environment, and understand what you need to go into a steep REM state can help improve the quality of sleep. Creating a sleep log, just like a workout or nutrition log, can help you create a roadmap to success. So spend the extra bucks on that expensive mattress because over the long term it is totally WORTH IT!
To be fierce is to be both strong & powerful but also fiercely confident in your appearance and your capacity to do anything you set your mind to! If you don’t feel this way now, you will! That’s our promise.