How to Keep Stress from Sticking

With every client walking through our doors, we set three priorities to help keep the client and our team focused. Every executive has stress as one of those three priorities.

How is it affecting you? It’s impairing your judgment at work, your ability to focus, it’s making you age more quickly, and forcing fat storage onto your belly. It is also considered to be the foundation for many modern diseases including age-related problems like Alzheimer’s.

However, you’re not going to get rid of those stressors anytime soon. We can’t ask you to walk away from the responsibilities of your business or personal life, or take a couple of hours a day to unwind, get a massage or relax—it’s just not practical.

Resiliency is the answer. How can you absorb your stress and minimize the impact? Therein lies the practical solution. The first step is to understand your “stress style.”

We like to organize clients into three different “styles” of stress:

1) You can’t fall asleep and can’t stay asleep–stressed and wired
2) You need coffee, red bulls (anything with caffeine), but if you sit down and watch a movie you will fall asleep. You’re always tired and crave a lot of sugar or anything to help pick you up and keep you going—stressed and tired.
3) You need coffee in the morning to get going and then alcohol in the evenings to help calm down and fall asleep—a combination

For each of these “styles” there are different solutions:

1) Stressed and wired: because you are producing too much cortisol (your stress hormone—it’s why you are wired), you are on your way to stressed and tired. The first step is to avoid caffeine. Next, do whatever you have to at night to calm yourself down without alcohol or drugs. Create a dimmer environment at the end of the day and stop checking emails after 8 pm. Meditate. If you need to exercise, do yoga. You need sleep to recharge or you will crash. Carbohydrates with dinner to will help release serotonin and gabba in the brain further helping to calm you down. You can also take magnesium and melatonin to help calm you down and sleep more soundly, which are very effective, natural sleep aids with no side effects.
2) Stressed and tired: you need a lot of energy. Carbs early in the day is a disaster for you. The perfect breakfast consists of proteins (see my previous blog called Breakfast 2.0) and fats. Within a week you’ll have more energy and be more clear-headed. A little caffeine early in the day is fine as well as exercise to get you moving.
3) Combination: a little caffeine is fine to help wake the body up in the morning followed by a workout is ideal; don’t workout too late in the day because it will stimulate you too much. When you need alcohol or sugar in the evenings to help you calm down, it’s a typical sign of serotonin deficiency. You can use 5htp and carbs at dinner to help with that. They will help bring your energy down at night and sleep better.

These simple tips will help increase your resiliency to stress.

Remember, it’s your health–man up!


60 Second Tip: When to Eat the Last Meal of the Day for Fat Loss

In this blog we’re going to focus on when to eat the last meal of the day for optimum fat loss and why.

Two to three hours before bed time, stop eating. Immediately following a meal, your insulin rises; conversely, your growth hormone and testosterone drop. It takes two to three hours for your insulin to come back down and, therefore, your growth hormone and testosterone to rise again. You’ll get the biggest boost to those hormones while you sleep, and those hormones are critical to fat loss.

Remember, it’s your health. . . . man up!


How to Prepare a Super Model for a Pageant

How to Prepare a Super Model for a Pageant

This blog is for women. Are you having a hard time with the last 5 – 10 lbs. in the difficult areas?

Natalie Pack was already lean and already looked great. However, to compete in the Miss USA Pageant, she needed her legs to be leaner, needed to look better in swimsuit, and needed to lift her butt a little. Everything we did was very focused on getting those results.

On Natalie’s first day at Stark, her hamstring measurement was high: 14mm. By the time we finished with her it was down to 4 mm; she was also storing some fat around her umbilicus (the area around your belly button), as well as her quadriceps; both areas showed measurable improvement. To make such drastic changes in such a short period of time, we focused on her diet, her supplementation and her training.

Nutrition:
We put her on a strict Paleo style diet without nuts because of potential food allergies: a lot of fish, turkey and wild game – foods not found in ‘everyday’ meals for Americans, also for the purpose of eliminating potential, minor, food allergies which can result in fat storage. The fats in her diet were all oil based. Breakfast consisted mainly of protein and fish oil; lunch included protein, vegetables and coconut oil, and dinner was the same as lunch but with olive oil. For snacks, we allowed her two pieces of fruit.

However, a diet low in carbs for too long can result in a slowed metabolism. So, we added a large serving of carbs to her diet, after her workout, every third day, and nothing two to three hours before bed.

Her supplementation was constructed of a basic estrogen protocol:
i5 post workout
Dimension 3
MagenSul before bed to help with sleep and insulin sensitivity
Fenugreek to help with insulin sensitivity as well

And last, but certainly not least, we ‘tweaked’ a German body composition protocol for her which included lighter weight loads, high reps, and faster tempos to help her drop body fat and maintain muscle mass.

For more information on her exercises, we’ve included the workout in this blog

Natalie Pack Phase 1 GBC A


60-Second tip: Discipline and Diet

Two simple tips on discipline and diet:

1) bring your meals with you.
2) eat before going out so you don’t eat the wrong foods while out.

A great bag idea to help with sticking to your diet: http://www.sixpackbag.com


How To Get Lean Legs

As a result of the Robb Wolf podcast (robbwolf.com/podcast) last week which focused on lowering estrogen levels, leading to leaner legs, a bunch of questions came up which I’d like to deal with here.

To summarize, Estrogen is metabolized by the liver. The liver converts excess estrogens into compounds that can be excreted by the body. There are three pathways through which estrogen can be metabolized. The pathways are basically viewed as follows:

1) 2-OH – healthy
2) 16-OH – unhealthy and can lead to cancer
3) 4-OH- unhealthy

In this case, metabolites carry the toxins out of the body (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metabolite) Because the 2-OH pathway is the healthiest and safest, it needs to be enhanced. If simply enhanced, there’s still an inherent risk in oxidation of the metabolite, that can cause problems. Thus, there needs to be a high level of antioxidants in the blood stream for prevention of oxidation.

Further, one needs to ensure the following need to be in order for the process to be effective:
1) Improved GI Health. Make sure you have good gut flora and plenty of fiber in the diet to prevent the enzyme B-glucouronidase from unbinding estrogens that are being excreted and returning them into the blood stream.
2) You need to be on a high protein diet to make sure Cytochrome P450 (helps the liver detoxify estrogens) stays active. High protein diets also supply plenty of the appropriate amino acids needed in liver detoxification.
3) Your liver must be healthy because, well, your liver has to process the toxins. Many Americans have liver-related issues preventing the benefits of an estrogen detoxification

Suggested Products for the process:
1) Estrium, which is a very complete product for estrogen metabolism. It has Aromatase inhibitors, which will keep your body from converting your testosterone to estrogen (not good while trying to lower your estrogen levels). It also enhances the c2 pathway and includes agents helping in the final stages of detoxification.

2) Dimension 3 includes primarily dim and curcumin. Dim, a plant compound found in cruciferous vegetable (although you’d have to eat many pounds of broccoli, daily, for this process to work) focuses on enhancing the c2 pathway. Curcumin (a principle ingredient found in the Indian spice, Tumeric) provides a nice dose of antioxants to make sure the c2 metabolites do not oxidize.

3) Hormone Protect is a combination of dim and sulforphane. Sulforphane is also found in cruciferous vegetables, and has been found to share anticancer, antidiabetic, and antimicrobial properties. However, for our needs in lowering estrogen, it also helps with the phase 2 part of detoxifying of the liver. Phase 2 is the conversion of fat soluble toxins to water soluble toxins so they can leave the body. Without it, the toxins will just continue to circulate and eventually re-absorbe: not healthy and a complete waste of time.

In summation, here are a small list the common symptoms associated with high estrogen levels: carrying excess fat on your thighs, and having very heavy PMS symptoms. If you experience any of these the above listed products will aid you in your journey to a healthy lean body. By lowering your estrogen levels, your legs will become leaner and those PMS symptoms have will lessen.


Leila Hurst On Young Women’s Health!

This blog is focused on young women’s health!

Our guest is Leila Hurst, a junior world champion surfer

It’s our opinion that getting skinny is killing young women, so we’re going to discuss how WE get girls healthy and fit. Leila is a validation of what we do!

Today, we’re going to focus on her training.

She works out 3 times a week, eats very well, surfs every day and goes to yoga. At Stark, she trains with weights and does non-traditional cardio.

We believe that caloric restriction along with long drawn out cardio is killing women, and it certainly doesn’t help them get leaner and healthier. As a result, we focus on growth hormone production by enhancing sleep, nutrition, and proper weight training. The reasoning is that growth hormone regulates body fat. So, if you want to lose body fat, you’ll need to increase growth hormone production.

From a training perspective, for Leila, we have her do exercises like the heavy prowler run which creates lots of lactic acid!

Next week we will focus on diet.


7 Sins Which Will Slow Your Metabolism and Crush Performance, Part VI

The connection between body fat and toxins, although indirect, is powerful. When your body is under a heavy toxic load your body temperature becomes slightly lowered. When your body temperature is low, your metabolism slows. A change from 98.6 degrees to 98 degrees, because of the metabolic change, can add as much as 10 pounds of body weight per year!

That’s why it’s time to give your liver a break! At Stark we use cleanses to do just that; when our clients begin to slow their fat loss progress, it’s usually due to toxins in their body.

Why is it so common to be toxic? Because there are 80,000 known chemicals in the U.S. to which we’re regularly exposed. The symptoms of high toxin levels in your body include fatigue, lack of concentration, headaches, and fat accumulation below the waist.

The greatest exposure to these toxins comes from products we put on or in our bodies. The easiest to change are solvents (lotions, lipstick, etc.) and sodas. See the video for further instruction on how to simply and inexpensively lower your toxicity levels!


Controlling Blood Pressure and Weight with Sleep and Hydration.

I know everyone tends to get tired of me pounding on the topics of sleep and hydration but time and time again clients success with these simple areas are staggering. Just to show you how fast and powerful focusing on these two actions can be for your health here is a great success story from one of our clients here at Stark. This gentlemen is the CEO of a large corporation and the effects of the economy on his business over the last 5 years have been horrendous, I would guess his job was probably one of the top 10 most stressful jobs in the US over this time period. He recently did an Executive Health Evaluation on every aspect of his health and the round table of white coats working on his evaluation did not like the outlook of his health trajectory. His weight was steadily increasing and his blood pressure (146/99) was registering him in the world of Hypertension. This lit a fire under him to really make some changes with his lifestyle. The first two changes he focused on were committing to sleep at least 7 hours a night (a few more hours than his average of 4 over the last 3 years) and drink at least 100oz of water daily. It’s been 9 days and this morning he showed me his daily tracking of weight and blood pressure. His weight was down 7 lbs and blood pressure has drastically dropped to 115/72. That is AWESOME in my books. The best part, he is actually more productive at work!! So there you have it if your weight and blood pressure are steadily increasing it may be time to really evaluation your hydration and sleep. Try to consume 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water daily and sleep a minimum of 7 hours a night


7 Sins Which Will Slow Your Metabolism and Crush Your Performance, Part V: Brain Abuse

Dr. Amen, one of our clients at Stark, a world-renown brain expert, told me once that the fatter you become the smaller your brain gets. Therefore, it’s important to maintain a healthy weight. Further, the cliche’ “Use it or lose it” certainly applies to your brain. Keep your brain functioning at a high level and youthful by continually learning new things: crossword puzzles; matching games. Also, eat a diet high in fats from food sources like eggs, beef, sour cream. Get more rest, and make time to ‘play’ during the day. Another tip: avoid sugar. Americans consume, on average over 150 lbs of sugar per person per year. Diabetics are 4 times as likely to suffer from dementia!


7 Sins Which Will Slow Metabolism and Crush Performance Part IV

Go ahead click play to hear my thoughts on understanding the importance, difficulty and rediculous fears associated with maintaining or building lean muscle!


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