Why just cutting calories is NOT the answer

Uncategorized Sep 22, 2020


One of our new members shared with us how her approach to losing weight would play out on the regular:

"Be good" about eating all week. Consume pizza and alcohol through the weekend. Start over on Monday by cutting calories.

Potentially, if she was in a caloric deficit each week, shouldn't she still lose weight? Maybe at first. But over-restricting and then binge eating each day or in the span of a week can wreak havoc on your hormones and make it harder for you to maintain a healthy body weight over time.

Hence, the yo-yo effect.

How much, when, and what you eat impacts your hormones. Concurrently, your hormones regulate your hunger, satiety, metabolism, and energy levels, all of which contribute to your body composition.

So, what does the term regulated hormones even mean? 

Think about it like this: the body uses hormones to support its effort of constantly striving to find homeostasis. This is why losing those last 10 pounds can be maddening because your hormones will start pumping out new signals to keep you from accidentally starving.

Reducing body fat is complex and nuanced, and it's time we stop beating ourselves up for not understanding the power that hormones have on... well, everything!

This is why blindly trying to drop pounds by slashing calories or going on the latest fad diet almost always backfires... and why we both found nutrition coaches years ago when we started our own personal journeys toward health.

As part of our continued education and researching on ourselves (i.e. testing out various protocols and tracking changes), it never ceases to amaze us that the expert recommendations for health and longevity mirror the basic foundation of our signature program. The following healthy behaviors also support happy, regulated hormones:

Consistent sleep

Weight training + adequate protein

Increased organic, free-range, and pesticide-free vegetables, grains, and proteins 

Stress management 

Reduced alcohol and drug consumption

Reduced consumption of refined sugar and processed carbohydrates

[Before we share more about hormones, please consult your physician if you have symptoms of hormonal imbalance. This is not medical advice or a prescription.]



The Endocrine System is made up of glands that secrete hormones to provide a balanced environment for the body, including: the Pineal Gland, Adrenal Gland, and Thyroid Gland. The Pituitary Gland, or Master Gland, sends signals to some of the other glands in the body to release their respective hormones.

The Role of the Pituitary Gland:

  • Growth hormone production
  • Production of hormones that act on other endocrine glands
  • Production of hormones that act on the muscles and kidneys
  • Endocrine function regulation
  • Storage of hormones produced by the hypothalamus

Human Growth Hormone (HGH)

As it relates to body composition and lean muscle mass, we are most fascinated by one hormone in particular that is regulated by the Pituitary Gland: Human Growth Hormone (HGH).

You've likely heard of HGH, which we produced in abundance during youth and which many adults are now seeking for its anti-aging properties. 

HGH stimulates growth, cell reproduction, and cell regeneration. That means it will help with muscle growth, performance, fat loss, and recovery when combined with a strength training protocol and balanced nutrition. 

Sounds amazing, right? But you don't need to cross the Australian border like Sylvester Stallone with an arsenal of synthetic HGH just because we stopped producing it en masse as adults. Studies have shown that the following promote healthy levels of HGH naturally: 


1. Lose belly fat: the more belly fat we have, the less HGH we will produce

2. Fasting intermittently: fasting even 8-10 hours per day significantly improves HGH levelssleeping counts and is enough! 

3. Reduce sugar intake: regular spikes of insulin will disrupt the secretion of HGH, so limiting the sugar spikes may support the pituitary gland to secrete HGH more regularly

4. Consume protein drinks immediately following strength training: consuming protein after workouts can boost HGH levels whereas consuming protein beforehand can have the opposite effect

5. Stop eating within 2-3 hours before bed time: although we will release a large amount of daily HGH during sleep, insulin release disrupts the secretion of HGH so skipping the midnight snacks may support higher levels of HGH during sleep as well as support a better nights rest overall

6. Get adequate, consistent, and uninterrupted sleep: the majority of HGH is released in pulses when we sleep, a large portion before midnight, and another smaller portion early in the morning

7. Lift weights and/or exercise at high intensity: strength training and HIIT training are two of the most effective ways to raise HGH levels in the body. Not to mention these types of training will reduce overall body fat thus supporting further increase of HGH outside of the training time itself. It's no coincidence that the modalities are the foundation of our live and on demand workouts! Notice that steady state cardio is NOT on this list. There is a time and place for cardio, but it is not the standalone answer to a lean, healthy body.

Because hormones are such a big topic, we will continue to drip feed the information in easily digestible bites over the next few weeks. 


In the meantime, if you or someone you know want to support your HGH levels and increase accountability while exercising at home, sign up for or share our two-week free trial!


This all-access pass offers you strength training, HIIT, stretching, and yoga classes LIVE nearly every day of the week. You can also watch replays on demand to fit your schedule.


We will bring the intensity and expert coaching - all you have to do is show up! 

P.S. Looking for more nutrition, health, and training support? Here are 3 ways we can help you: 


(1) GET LEAN → If you’re ready to permanently lose at least 10 pounds in as little as 8 weeks or want to maximize your performance and muscle tone, then book a call with us. Our clients are still seeing incredible results, even in a pandemic! 


(2) WORKOUT AT HOME → no gym, limited equipment, no problem! The full-body workouts in our training app are designed to help you burn body fat all over, increase your metabolism, and build lean muscle mass.


(3) WATCH OUR FREE MASTERCLASS → discover the 3-step system in our Diet Ditching Method Masterclass that helps you activate your natural weight loss code without restricting your favorite foods or exercising excessively!

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