A few days has passed since our fantastic health retreat in Ibiza and the results are starting to flood in but i’ll get to that in a little while.
I wanted to give you an insight as to why, despite having a very successful weight loss program, I thought I should find the energy and time to develop it into a retreat.
The thing is despite our dedication to training and nutrition to get in shape, life takes over. We have families to look after, businesses to run, our time is not our own and so we can never really find the space to be stress free, and stress is a huge hindrance when it comes to successful weight loss and reclaiming our health.
Stress is something that most of us have identified with at some stage or another and it can impact our health and wellbeing massively. We all react to it in different ways, but there is mounting evidence that one of the most insidious side-effects of chronic stress is an infuriating inability to lose weight, which is mostly contributed to an imbalance in our hormones.
There are two types of hormones: breakdown hormones and repair hormones. Obviously when we exercise we release breakdown hormones which are responsible for the damage to our muscles and cells which we need in order to improve our muscle tone and get stronger. However, on the other side of this we also need to release repair hormones such as growth hormone, testosterone, melatonin, and DHEA, during periods of sleep and relaxation.
These critical repair hormones are needed for us to replenish our energy stores, repair muscles and cells, and if we don’t release these repair hormones we can feel tired, lethargic, and exhausted. I will talk more about the importance of sleep and relaxation for weight loss in a later blog, but first It is important for us to explore how your body deals with stress, to help you become a much calmer, and slimmer, YOU.
So why does stress make us FAT?
When we feel stressed and tired we inevitability have cravings for high calorie instant fix energy foods, but also the imbalance in hormones makes it very hard to shift unwanted FAT, especially around the middle. Most diets are doomed to fail if they are stressed, so by taking people away from their everyday lives in a restful, peaceful environment where they can work on their bodies helps to rebalance hormones, improves your ability to cope with stress and make stubborn FAT around your middle a thing of the past!
Modern life is filled with stress. We spend our lives meeting deadlines, fighting rush hour traffic, juggling family life, work and so much more. This takes its toll on our bodies and our health. One of the biggest causes of stress on our bodies is the stress of constantly eating a diet high in sugary foods. The balancing act required to keep your sugar in a safe range (3-5 teaspoons) is tiring.
Stress is intimately linked with the hormone cortisol, essentially cortisol is a good thing when all systems are running well. It gives us energy to function, however, the problem is the chronic stresses of modern life. If you’re always in a state of low grade stress, your cortisol levels will remain abnormally elevated all the time. This leads, through various mechanisms, to extra fat storage, particularly in the belly area due to the abdomen having 4 times as many receptors for cortisol than anywhere else in the body. Even worse, it can cause more fat to be stored as visceral fat around your organs. This can set you up for an entire range of diseases, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type II Diabetes. Keeping your stress levels low is something you have to work at and even if you get better it’s still always a work in progress. You really have to make time to do things that will allow you to de-stress even if it’s only something small for a short while.
The proof is in the juice!
So this retreat had a lot of R and R but we also had a lot on offer for those that wanted to get involved. Daily early morning HIIT training sessions, mid afternoon yoga stretching, hikes, and sunset Yoga flow, and the diet was focussed around my philosophy of alkaline foods and plenty of juicing.
But the magic was in the surroundings. A group of fantastic people who shared the same goals, in an idyllic location with expert coaching and guidance, which helped us record some of the best results we have ever achieved on the mattsfive programme with an average drop in bodyfat of 3% which equates to over 5lbs of fat per person in just 5 days! extraordinary 🙂
If you want to find out more about our cleanse programs, just click here or please get in touch. We would love to hear from you