Train for Weight Loss in Thailand at Tiger Muay Thai
Tiger Muay Thai & MMA Training Camp in Phuket, Thailand.Welcome to Weight-Loss Thailand a blogsite brought to you by
Here you will be able to read blog-posts from people that comes to Thailand to train to lose weight. Follow their journey as they do Muay Thai, Cross-Training, Fitness, MMA, BJJ and Yoga training for Weight Loss in Thailand.
In between guest bloggers we will also post testimonials and success stories from some of the people that left the camp being way slimmer and healthier then when they came.
I’ve been looking forward to writing this article for some time now as Masayuki, or Masa as he is affectionately known to all is not just another story to me but became a very good friend and source of inspiration to me on my own journey.
I remember the first time I saw Masa. He was a neighbor of mine in the early part of me arriving here in Phuket although we never really knew each other then other than a passing hello. I remember thinking that although he was a big guy I was impressed by the fact that he brought his own wake board to Thailand with him and respect for not letting his size hold him back from doing something he was obviously passionate about.
I continued to see Masa around Tiger Muay Thai camp grounds and he kind of became this evolving charachter to me. I would sit and watch in amazement as on top of taking part in classes I would see him take part in his own training making sure to be constantly pushing forwards. The craziest to me watching him put on jogging bottoms and a hoody on top of the 2 or 3 T-shirts and singlets he would usually wear in 40 degree heat and drag a weighted car tyre around the camp for 10 laps or so turning him into a human sponge of sweat!
As happens quite frequently over here, injuries creep in and Masa started to get bad knees but rather than let that be an obstacle, he walked around it…or rather rowed in this case. I began to see Masa in the same place whilst stretching or doing my own training. I’d watch him drag out a rower, prepare for about half an hour taping himself up, stretching himself out and carefully selecting music and preparing electrolytes and proceed to row for what seemed like an hour and it was really around this time we properly met. We’d talk and joke whilst he prepared and I asked him what he was doing on the rower. “10k” he’d casually reply and off he’d go. The next week I’d ask the same thing. “11K” was the casual reply this time. The following week I’m not sure where my head was head but I asked if I could join him and there began our friendship and tortuous few months of ever increasing rows. 12k, 13k, 14k, 15k…Pushing each other every day right up to the point of us doing a 22k half marathon row taking over 90 minutes!
Masa was quite the popular guy of camp. Extremely approachable and polite with an almighty sense of humor and always had time to stop for a talk and inspire many others on their similar journeys so it was my privilege to be able to sit down and talk with him about his life changing journey.
Just seeing this amazing before and after photos should be enough to inspire even the most jaded person. Many of these shots taken wearing the same clothing before he lost the weight. What a transformation! Especially in the size of the smile!
Masa, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a chef from Denmark. My mother is from Finland and my father from Japan. I turned 31 whilst in Phuket.
How did you find out about Tiger Muay Thai and choose to train there?
A good friend of mine was talking and planning training Muay Thai up in Chang Mai and I thought it sounded like an awesome idea so I thought well if he can do it then so can I!. I felt leaving home and doing this whilst immersed in the culture would help me and give constant reminders of why I was there so that I would never slip backwards.
How long have you been at Tiger?
I arrived on October 22nd 2013 and was originally due to go home May 18th 2014 but after seeing how far I had already come and with help from Tiger and Will Elliott (general manager of Tiger) I was able to extend my stay until July 9th.
What were your goals?
My main goal was obviously to lose weight but most importantly to get my health back. Most people these days only start looking after themselves when it’s too late or they have already had health scares from their Doctors. Well I didn’t want this to happen to me. I was just so tired of simply not fitting in to society anymore or at least not feeling as though I was. I was tired of being the big guy when it came to family or friends or whatever social events I was attending. There was always a smile on the mask but sadness behind it. But mainly what hit home most was my sister saying to me that my niece needs her uncle in her life for at least another sixty years! Family is the most important thing in life and I want to be around for them for a long time to come!
Your visual results are just incredible! What was the final result after all your hard work?
I actually lost 30% overall mass. On day one I stepped on the scales at 154.6kg and today I am leaving at 108.2kg so a 46.4kg drop (that’s just over 7 stone for you Brits reading!) My goal after a while of being here was to see if I could hit the 100 pounds mark and I did it with a few weeks to spare!
What are you most proud of?
I was extremely happy to hit that 100 pounds loss target but really I am not proud of myself at all for getting into this condition in the first place. I feel awful about doing this to myself but I guess I can be proud of the fact that I didn’t back down from when I first decided to come to Thailand to train this way. The best feeling that I have from all of this is that I made my parents proud of me for achieving this and following it through. I won’t say followed through to the end because I am still continuing this journey but I will never allow myself to fall back to old habits. This is now my new way of life.
Did you face any setbacks on the way?
Sure there were many hurdles along the way but hurdles are there to be jumped. Carrying a heavy load will take it’s toll on your joints and I suffered quite a few times with problems in my legs, ankles, knees, shins etc but I always had great trainers at Tiger to adjust certain exercises so I could still take part in the class. One of my favorite trainers Jenna “Barney” Barnard always kept me motivated and even the times when I didn’t feel like it she would order me to do it anyway so I was always pushed but never dangerously. Right at the start of my journey I injured my tricep and chest trying to do a pull up which meant I could only use the cycles there so that there was no impact at all. I would spend up to 4 and a half hours a day just using the bikes so I never stopped working. Also coming down to my last few weeks here on the night of my Birthday. Ironically giving myself a very rare treat of ice-cream, on the very first spoonful I bit into a chunk of chocolate which completely shattered one of my teeth so I had to cut back on training for my final few weeks due to getting dental surgery! Perhaps it was meant to be though as dentists in Thailand are about 1/8th the price of Denmark!
Do you have any advice for those that might be thinking of following this same kind of journey?
Well, hopefully I won’t get sued by Nike here but Just do it! Don’t think of any of the “what if’s” or let fear creep in and stop you. It’s an adventure! If you put in the effort then people are going to be cheering for you the whole way. Put on your blinkers and DO NOT take your eye off that goal. My main rule was “Don’t cheat on the street!” and never ever look at the back page of the menu!
What was your training regime?
Well I originally came with the intention of losing weight through Muay Thai but I was realistic with myself at the start. I knew I was too big to be doing proper Muay Thai to begin with so I promised myself to lose some weight first to take off the load and then revisit it later on. Tiger had so much to offer on the program schedule though that I had no fear of not finding anything to do. I didn’t want to get bored of doing anything so I really mixed up my training and tried to keep momentum going forwards. I did a big mix of classes which was the Bodyfit, Cross training and Yoga and then did my own thing during the middle or end of the day that was in the form of either rowing, weighted tyre drags, exercise bike or the indoor weights gym. I tried to do something 3 times a day but just listened to how my body felt. Even then though I’d most likely tell it to shut up and train anyway!
What was your most memorable moment?
It’s all been one big memorable moment really but I guess things that stick out are, walking up Big Buddha hill for the first time…and also for the last time! Those of you that have climbed it will know what I’m talking about. the hill that never quits!
Did you prepare yourself before coming out to take on such a big feat?
Sure! Absolutely…I think I hit the gym about 8 times in the months leading up to me coming over but celebrated the hour of “intense” training by rewarding myself with pizza and Coca Cola! I should have prepared more I know but I actually felt selfish for leaving everyone for such a long time so with all the people I left behind there were goodbye dinners etc and right before I left I had a huge going away party with a live band. I guess my mindset was still stuck in old ways and having big blow outs was a way of saying goodbye to my old ways.
What was your favorite exercise?
Rowing I would say was my favorite exercise as I used to be a rowing coach but over here at Tiger what started out as my worst and least favorite exercise turned into my most likeable! Running was not something I was built for. Certainly not back then and not even now. I’m never going to be a runner but the more weight I lost, the easier it became and because I couldn’t really do it before it made it that much better and meaningful to me that i could do it now without any problems.
What have you learned from all of this to take home with you?
Hopefully that this has changed my mindset and lifestyle forever. I didn’t come here to do all of this and go back to bad habits so I hope my stubbornness for being good stays with me now. Also as I hope to go back to being a chef when I get home that all of the knowledge of nutrition and what works with food and doesn’t work translates into my career and that I can create tasty and nourishing good healthy food. Just because it’s healthy does not mean it has to taste bad!
Are you hoping to come back again?
Right now I’m really looking forward to going home and seeing my family and friends and surprising them with how I now look but yes one day I would really love to come back even if it’s just for small holidays. I am responsible for my transformation but immersing yourself with surroundings that remind you every minute of the day why you are here is what made all the difference.
Masa, thank you for your time, your friendship and for becoming inspiration to all around you including myself. Be very very proud of yourself. I know I am of you…
First, tell us a little about yourself. Who you are, where you’re from, how old you are, what you do back home?
Sarah Jean Bradbury is a 36 year old Administrative worker from Toronto Ontario. Duane is 37 years old and is an Agile Coach (software development) working for the Canadian Government.
How did you find out about Tiger?
D: Reading about the success stories of extreme weight loss is what really made up our minds on coming to Tiger. Seeing the before and after pictures of others that had achieved amazing transformations had a real impact on me.
D: A few months before we set off I had a dream that I was in Thailand training and losing weight. As soon as I woke up I told Sarah that we were coming to Thailand to train! We didn’t know how we were going to be able to do it, but we pulled it off and were on that plane here before we knew it!
How long have you been at Tiger Muay Thai and how much longer are you planning on staying?
S: We got to camp on our 5th Anniversary, February 14th, and are staying for 3 months.
Did you set any goals for yourself while training here?
D: We both wanted to kick start a new, healthier lifestyle to continue at home. We also wanted to up our fitness level and lose as much weight as possible. Also, as odd as it may sound, I wanted to be able to fit in public seating. I would love to go to a hockey game and not ‘overflow’ the seat. Larger people would understand this.
How did you do at meeting those goals?
S: I think we have done really well! Our bodies have completely changed! Together we have lost 60 pounds and gained a lot of muscle!
D: Most importantly we have learned about a different, healthier life style that we can try to replicate back home.
What accomplishment have you achieved while you were here that you’re most proud of?
S: When we first arrived I could not do 4 burpees in a row. I did 75 the other day (50 straight!)
D: I am proud to see how we have progressed along the way. The other day we redid a previous workout from when we first started working with our personal trainer and smashed our first times.
What kinds of challenges of setbacks did you face along the way?
S: When trying to lose weight the numbers can be daunting. You think you’ve had a fantastic week of exercise and were eating really well – you think you’ve lost 3kg…and you are up 500g. Progress pictures and really looking at how your clothes are fitting can be a better indicator of how your body is changing!
Do you have any advice for someone who might be looking at TMT for fitness or weight loss?
S: Tiger is a great place to get a good mix of Fitness and Muay Thai. Coming into this adventure I had not done a minute of Muay Thai but figured if I couldn’t pick that up easily I could always fill my time with Yoga and Fitness classes. Reaching our goals had a lot to do with having the grill on site and knowing that the choices we had would be healthier options than what we could find on the street.
D: It is nice to be in an environment where everyone is there to reach a goal (even though it may be different from your own). It can be very encouraging and inspiring. I enjoy TMT because you just don’t have the fitness classes but also Muay Thai. I really enjoy Muay Thai training but when it is so much fun is it still a workout?
Which classes did you attend and what did you find the most exciting or challenging about them?
S: We started out just doing Muay Thai for the first month. We were then matched up with an amazing fitness trainer and started doing personal sessions with her and that is when we really started to see our fitness grow.
D: We are now doing fitness privates, bodyfit classes, Muay Thai privates and are walking up the Big Buddha hill as many times as we can. Each session pushes us in different ways. In Muay Thai you have to have your brain turned on to know which move to do next, in Bodyfit it is a different mental challenge to keep myself moving and not to rest!
What surprised you the most about Tiger?
D: How friendly all the people are! Everyone has their own goals and they seem to want to help the next person achieve theirs. There are no outcasts here!
Tell me about one fun memorable thing that happened to you during your time at Tiger.
S: There are so many to choose from! The beach Muay Thai class on BBQ Beatdown day was pretty fun and memorable – during the swim break before leaving I got caught in a few big waves and got pretty pummelled. The next day my trainer was asking me about it, she was asked if she ‘knew Sarah, from Duane and Sarah’ like we were a t.v. show!
How would you recommend someone prepare before coming to Tiger?
D: Break your goal down into smaller ‘to do’ items and slowly complete each one and chip away at the mountain. Also ensure you are serious about your goals because it is a true journey, and will last a life time. We took 1 month to adjust, the next month is to kill the old habits and the 3rd month to form new healthy habits to bring home with us.
S: After you arrive go at your own pace! Listen to your body. We came from a cold climate and tried to jump right into it. We needed to take time to adjust to the heat and time difference and get over our jet lag! Know that everyone has their own pace and as long as you are constantly pushing yourself out of your comfort zone your fitness will improve!
What are your favorite and least favorite exercises you encountered at Tiger?
S: I have liked doing bag work with the Muay Thai trainers. A good mix of cardio, Muay Thai and lots of laughs. There is not a lot of enjoyment to be had when dragging a weighted tire around camp at 2pm on a hotter than hot day!
What tip did you learn at Tiger that you’ll integrate into your life back home?
D: We hope to integrate so many things into our lives back home including regular exercise and healthy eating habits
Do you think you’ll come back to Tiger?
S: We have been thinking of plans on how to get ourselves back here since week 4! We will be back as soon as we can!
Since the writing of this article, recently back in Canada Sarah suffered a very serious leg injury. All of us at Tiger wish her the speediest of recoveries and wish her well. Also thinking of Duane who no doubt will be running around like a headless chicken after her! Luckily he is now more than fit enough to be able to do this! Best wishes to the both of you!
“If you are searching for that one person that will change your life, take a look in the mirror”
You may remember Ajay from our original article back in January of this year. Ajay performed one of the most incredible transformations that Tiger has ever seen dropping from 129KG to a staggering 72KG and in the process completely changing his life. It was my privilege to be able to meet with Ajay to talk with him about his continuing journey and where life has taken him in the past 6 months.
To be open with you I thought Ajay’s story was simply going to be just another success story. Of course he had done an absolutely amazing job but I’ve seen many stories of triumph. Of others losing a huge amount of weight, and Ajay at dropping 57KG was no exception but after ten minutes in his company I knew that this guy was very different. He wasn’t just happy because of dropping weight but truly a changed man right down to the very essence of his being. You only need to look at the picture above to see that change was not only on the outside but on the inside too. On the left to me stands a man feeling awkward at having his photo taken. No smile and a hint of lifes tiredness behind those eyes but on the right stands a man full of pride and accomplishment. Chin held high with the belief he can take on anything.
I’ll admit to not being a very spiritual individual. I’m not adverse to posting an inspirational quotation on Facebook every now and again that I felt has inspired me and in turn I hoped would inspire you but Ajay truly inspired me to want to be a better me and this is the person that he has now become. One of his goals in life is to be able to share and inspire so that you too can find the inner belief and happiness he now carries with him every day.
Ajay attributes this success to Thailand. His birthplace as he now calls it. Where it all began and where he will continue to return too as often as he can to pay respect to the Monks country that shaped his future and to Tiger Muay Thai trainer Phet and GM Will Elliott who continues to support him whenever he returns.
I caught up with Ajay at his Phuket home of Cocoville to see how life was going after our first article.
Ajay, welcome back and thank you for taking the time to speak to me about your continuing journey. What brings you back this time around?
After my original challenge and with the impending release of my book, many of the media companies were keen to see that I was the genuine article. A leading men’s health publication then set me a further challenge. Could I do this again? Am I really all i say that I am and can I prove this? Not to myself but to those inevitable skeptics. So this time around I purposely gained 15 KG of weight with the simple goal in mind to lose it yet again using the same methods that I employed from the day I left the Monastery. The hardest part of the challenge was actually having to force my mindset to go back to not training as I have been and eating the wrong kinds of foods.
That’s a big challenge to take on and extremely brave in my eyes after that great loss. How did you get on?
Going from obese to athlete was not easy but reversing the process was even harder. To limit my training and gorging myself in order to gain fat was totally against my new mindset but it was that same mind that told me I could do it. I was given 12 weeks to undertake this challenge. I completed the task and in only 10 weeks. Actually dropping 17 KG in the process but having used an indoor gym to gain muscle I brought myself back up in weight where I am now at a lean 75Kg so I went down to 7oKG and added 5KG of muscle to my frame.
Have you changed anything in your preparation this time?
Nothing has changed as nothing needed to change. Even before that very first Kilogram dropped way back at the start of this journey it was only ever about one thing. Mindset. If you don’t have the desire and mentality to want this change more than anything else in your life then you are on a futile path. I was in the Monastery for five weeks before even lifting a finger, training my mind to accept everything that was about to come. To really want to accomplish your goal first you have to make friends with yourself. You have to be willing to forgive and let go of any or all emotion that led you to the bad place that you are and start again.
Has your training changed at all?
Other than adding in a weight training regime in order to gain muscle no. Adding muscle was important to me as growing muscle requires more energy to be expended so even at rest my body is burning away calories but the key to the formula was and always will be Muay Thai. I still train every day in the art of Muay Thai with my trainers Kru Lamsongkram and Kru Laimangkon (both trainers of UFC fighter and #1 welterweight in the world GSP Georges St-Pierre) Muay Thai will always be the most important thing to me as it is a way of giving back my thanks and respect to the people who have taught me so much. I don’t simply enter the ring to hit the pads for an hour. This is about learning the art of Muay Thai. It has taken me a long time to earn respect from Kru Phet, Kru Lam and Kru Lai and so every time I enter that ring it is to give 100% in the conventional and truest form.
How do you manage to wake up day in day out and find the motivation to train and how do you make it fun?
For me now my day has not even started until my training is done. It is now part of my everyday mindset. A day without training is a day without living. This is how passionate I am about this. I don’t have to make training fun because it already is. Training can be your church which you need to go and worship in every day. Never forget for a minute that the mind can let us go for the easy option. Our will and knowledge depends on our modes of perception and you must use all five senses to retain motivation. Without this the price is destruction. So for me now it is not a question of how. My very soul speaks to me and takes me to this place. Achievement now feels like a drug. The results are my prize and it is only then you find out what you are made of.
The most important part as we all should know is nutrition. What does your day look like?
I will eat an absolute minimum of four times a day. Good whole and clean food. Everyone deep down knows what clean food is. I don’t count calories or worry myself about carbohydrates but I will time my food cleverly and use it to nourish and fuel my body. There are no magic pills or shortcuts to getting to where you really want to be, just hard work and you must be in tune with what you put in your mouth. Food is the most important part of your life but it is your mindset that you have to change when it comes to knowing what to eat. If you want to lose weight, and I mean really lose and forever be able to keep this weight off then you need to train your mind to think of food being a necessity and not a pleasure. Being accountable for everything that you put into your body as it’s your decision and yours alone. It’s not going to be easy or quick but getting big didn’t happen overnight. It was years of bad habits or emotional eating that got you there in the first place. It was your mind saying “just one won’t make any difference” that allowed you to eat that piece of bad food and now you need to understand that it is your mind that needs to get you out of it. YOU must learn to be your own motivation…YOU are an individual.
Do you still have cheat meals?
This is such a funny word that we use today, ” the cheat meal” as it’s like a get out of jail free card. As though the food allowed on this one day will somehow be calorie free and not do you any harm. Of course I indulge sometimes. Only last night did I allow myself the pleasure of a nice curry but I don’t give myself an allotted day of the week to overindulge. If I really crave it and I have worked hard for it then yes I will allow myself but I know that I must always be in control and exercise will power but always remember that your goal overrides your cheat meal. There is a constant battle that goes on inside you and you must fight in order to beat the demons.
Ajay, you are now 41 years old. What do you have to say to anyone who thinks it is too late to make a change?
It is appearance that is important and not a number. In life we can choose to live. To feel alive or just simply be alive. We could do what unfortunately so many of us do in this life and just wait. And wait to a degree where it is too late. Time is your biggest asset but it is the only asset you really have. Everything else in this life is temporary. All that we own and cherish will eventually turn to dust. However, this vehicle which is the body we drive in every day of our lives can be changed with mindset at any given time of your life if you desire it to be so. Some choices we make in this life define us forever. So NO drama, NO victims, NO excuses! Change you and your life now because now is all you truly have…
“We are captives of our own identities living in prisons of our own creations”
Ajay closed up our interview with the desire to express his deepest thanks to the people here at Tiger Muay Thai who have helped him along his incredible journey.To Will Elliott, general manager of Tiger Muay Thai who has supported him from day one. To UFC fighter Roger Huerta for his time and advice and most importantly to Kru Lam, Kru Lai and Kru Phet who tirelessly pushed him too and beyond his limits day in day out.
I want to thank Ajay for the interview but I also want to thank him for inspiring this guy at the keyboard too. In the short time I’ve known him he has really helped me to believe that change is possible and that it really is never too late to start a new chapter.
I look forward to reading your book and truly wish you every success….you have earned it!
Ajay has spent the last four years educating himself in fitness, weight loss, mindset and meditation and has documented his entire journey of knowledge and experience into his book “The Power Of Ferocity” which is due to be released in September 2014.
Thanks for reading…
Guest Testimonials: Ali MacKellar
I would like to start off by saying that training at Tiger Muay Thai has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. For as long as I can remember I have always struggled with my weight, for numerous reasons varying from my job, my habits and health issues that combined to make me feel as if weight loss was always going to be unattainable for me. My decision to go to Tiger Muay Thai was my last hope for achieving a healthy lifestyle.
My first class was Bodyfit and boy was it a wake up a call. I couldn’t run the warm up lap of 400 meters without stopping to gasp for air, I struggled to complete most exercises and was almost always 5 steps behind everyone else. After speaking to the trainers they helped me to adjust the exercises to meet my level of fitness, and day by day I noticed my fitness starting to improve.
It took six weeks for me to build my fitness up to the point where I could properly participate in classes, but once I was there I found that I had made a change within myself. I was no longer the miserable unfit girl who had arrived at the camp, unable to keep up with the rest of the class. Instead I began to enjoy the classes, I could not only complete them, but I could perform at the same level as everyone else. I began to enjoy being challenged and was driven to achieve more. Instead of feeling like I HAD to eat healthy to lose weight, I WANTED to eat healthy, and exercise became a welcome part of my daily routine.
I’d be lying if I said there weren’t days when I thought it was too hard, when I wanted to give up when even after all the hard work, I still wasn’t getting the results I wanted. The drive to continue came in the form of my personal trainer, Alecia, whose constant support motivated me to change my attitude and reinforced my determination to make the change I wanted to see in myself a reality.
Now at Week 12 I have a lost a total of 13.5kg, I can slam medicine balls like a machine, can do burpee’s like they’re a full time job and can run a full lap of camp without breaking a sweat. Tiger provided the perfect environment to attain the healthy lifestyle I’d always wanted, but never been able to achieve back home in Australia. This is only the start of my weight loss journey, but the passionate trainers, healthy eating plan and all the friends that I have made at the camp who formed my support system are what have made it possible for me to achieve my goals, and I would recommend it to anyone who is struggling to get started and make the change.
Every Wednesday night at Tiger Muay Thai, MMA & Fitness Camp, we offer a weekly weight loss lecture presented by a variety of guest speakers. Trainers, nutritional experts and guests from the community are just a few of the guests you might discover by attending one of the weekly presentations. Every Wednesday night at 7 P.M. on the fitness mats.
Last week’s presenter was Emily Farish. She’s a a licensed Primary Health Care provider who is also a licensed Acupuncturist, Traditional Chinese Medicine specialist, medical herbalist with herb-drug interaction training who also synthesizes a western medicine background into her practice. She is a consultant for Atmanjai wellness center which offers a “boxer detox” program for those staying at Tiger Muay Thai. Her specialty is in functional medicine, weight loss, pain management, and customizing food as medicine plans that are tailored to the individual depending on their health and wellness goals. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Here is a brief summary of what she spoke about…
How to overcome and address plateaus that can hinder from further weight loss
(Healthy, sustained weight loss)
Important things to consider: Health and fitness go hand in hand in order to address any weight loss or fitness plateaus you might be experiencing. You might be doing all the “right things” yet that pesky weight can’t seem shift no matter what you do.
Don’t be discouraged. Getting out of a weight loss plateau affects many people. Keep doing all the healthy habits that you are implementing at Tiger Muay Thai and consider the following:
Chronic long term conditions that may be keeping you at weight loss plateau:
-Insomnia, and or sleep issues. While taking a sleeping pill can be helpful for the short term, long term use of sleeping pills doesn’t address the “root” of the underlying issue which robs your body of necessary energy it needs to repair, rebuild and lose weight. Not only do we accomplish less with sleep, but one also burns less calories. The body’s long term reaction as a result of this is to hoard calories as fat, making our weight loss goals more difficult than they need to be.
Lack of sleep also decreases growth hormone levels. Growth hormone is a protein that helps regulate the body’s proportions of fat and muscle in adults. With less growth hormone, we reduce the ability to lose fat and grow muscle.
Consider supplements: GABA (amino acid before bed) or melatonin. Keep to a regular sleep schedule (as much as possible).
-Fatigue (are you exercising too much, and or are you just plain tired and wired?) One way to ask you self (and be honest) is if you have chronic sugar cravings, NEED to start your day with coffee, or around 4pm you MUST have coffee or some sort of sweet thing to get you through. When your body suffers from long term fatigue, it is not able to metabolize carbohydrates as well. This leads to an increased storage of fats and higher levels of blood sugar in the body which can contribute to your weight plateau.
Consider: Eating more protein throughout the day to stabilize blood sugar levels. Taking Vitamin C daily either in tablet or from food can boost your immune system and help fight fatigue (Vitamin C is an important “food” for your adrenal glands, which are responsible for synthesis of many different hormones and stress responses in the body). When you give your body the “right” source of energy, it can work for you rather than against you.
Foods high in Vitamin C: Broccoli, green, red, and yellow bell peppers, kale, papaya, strawberries, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, and kiwi (yes all of these foods have more vitamin C than oranges).
-PAIN-if your body is suffering from any chronic, acute, or long term pain (ex: injury, PMS, or structural) your body will make this a PRIORITY over your weight loss (Just like humans, immune systems also have numbered priority lists). By addressing the pain, your body can move out of “guarding” mode and into “weight loss” mode.
Consider: working with physical therapist, massage therapist, acupuncturist, and or functional medicine specialist to get you out of pain.
-EAT foods that stabilize blood sugar levels so that you don’t have food cravings, and or go into starvation mode (thus, holding onto fat). Eat more meals throughout the day so that your body has the building blocks it needs and can shift accordingly. Have heavier meals during the day, and light meal for dinner if possible.
Consider: digestive enzymes and probiotics to optimize your digestion to decrease any bloating, belching, and or gas. When you don’t digest, you go hungry, and you eat more. Your body then can store this extra energy (that is may not need to use) into your fat cells. It is what you DIGEST rather than what you EAT that matters (well yes, eating healthy matter, but if your digestion is impaired, your efforts are wasted).
-Hormonal Imbalances (this applies to men and women): Hormonal imbalances can keep your body at a plateau and even make you gain weight (particularly around the abdomen area) even if you are eating right, and exercising on a regular basis. Supplements like Omega 3, Vitamin B complex, and Vitamin D3 are helpful building blocks that all bodies need (regardless of any health issue) in order to shift a plateau. Take with meals to prevent nausea.
Current RDA values for daily amounts for vitamins or supplements intake are not set or studied at “therapeutic values.”—what does this mean? You may say “I am taking vitamins but I don’t know if they work or if they work at all,” yet the amount on the label might be too low for what your body needs.
-If you don’t know how much or what vitamin you should be taking on a daily basis, please consult a medical professional-they can customize the amounts and a health plan specifically to you.
-DON’T MINIMIZE OR IGNORE your health or any symptoms. It is your body telling you something is wrong. It can be something simple that can be fixed right away that might be hindering you from losing the weight that you want.
-Functional medicine understands that while your “lab reports” may be within normal limits, you still are not feeling well or as good as you used to. This is because many western lab reports have a very wide range of numerical values, and something is only treatable when the lab reports are at one end of the spectrum or the other (usually, but not in all cases). Functional medicine specialists look at lab reports and use their medical training as preventative care—i.e., they see where your health is going and curb it before your lab reports reflect something that is now a MAJOR health issue.
Functional medicine specialists are: Chinese Medicine Doctors, Acupuncturists who are also licensed medical herbalists (with herb and drug interaction training), Naturopaths (N.Ds), and MDs that specialize in “functional medicine”. It could take 3-10 weeks for most people to shift out of a plateau or even sooner by just a few ‘tweaks’ that help your body shift out of its plateau. You are worth it. If you don’t have your health, you can’t do much with your fitness or weight loss goals.
Thanks for the great information Emily, and we’ll see everyone this Wednesday night for another excellent presentation!