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Mac Nutrition Uni – Learning Vlog7 – Hormones and Balance

Mac Nutrition Uni – Learning Vlog7 – Hormones and Balance

Finding a balanced approach to energy balance.

And recognising your successes along the way.

I managed to catch up on the last part of last weeks lecture on our endocrine system. Thats the part of our body that releases hormones. Hormones are basically like our bodies internal messaging system. They switch things on, switch things off, and allow messages to be sent. It is ridiculously complex.

Several years ago I got influenced by the wrong crowd in the fitness industry. You know the type…the sort that would probably send you home if you didn’t have your post workout protein shake. Yes they exist. I got caught up in the hormone side of nutrition and training, in particular insulin. It was the bad guy. The hormone that made people gain weight. Low carb dieting was my go to for every client.

They lost weight because they ate less calories. Not because of any effects on insulin or not! I even wrote a few thousand words on insulin at the time, some of it accurate, some of it I look back now and it shows my lack of understanding. Either way there isnt a great deal we need to know as trainers about hormones. A working knowledge helps for certain conditions, or if communicating with a clients doctor. Any more than that and its really outside the scope of responsibility for a trainer or nutritionist.

hormone memeThis weeks Mac Nutrition Uni lecture was on Energy Balance. Martin presented about a few things I was already clued up on in relation to what can influence the energy going into our body, and the energy going out.

We looked at energy systems also, and it bought back my memories of learning about the Krebs cycle at uni. To this day I still remember the crazy picture that helped me learn this.

I drew a picture of a pirate (pyruvate)  pouring a kettle (alpha ketoglutarate), and adding lemon juice (citric acid). Completely pointless I know!

However it is useful as a memory tool to draw a crazy picture, turn it into a story with parts of the picture serving as words that remind you of what you want to learn. By engaging our brain in different ways we build the pathways that allow us to remember things. I may do a video on this at some point as learning how to learn is a pretty cool area! Anyway…

We also went into fasted cardio – so that is training without food (often done before breakfast). It got me reflecting on the side of the fitness industry I am glad I am not a part of. The overly macho culture. Its just not me, its just not useful for the majority of clients, certainly not those I enjoy training. I cover some of my thoughts in the vlog.

I also cover an area I feel gets missed. That of finding balance in our attitudes to energy balance. There are too many people putting unnecessary pressure on themselves, possibly influenced by the macho culture social media throughout this industry. Fortunately this culture is changing as more people adopt a client-centered evidence based approach to nutrition and training. Finding balance is really about recognising that you can choose to deviate from your nutrition plan and that choice does not mean you failed. It might still mean you had 20 successes that week! You might still be 20kg less in body weigh over the year! We need to encourage people to consider their actions in the context of their whole week….not the one snack, or the one meal. Because energy balance is afterall the sum total of all your actions over a period of time, not the actions of one event in isolation.

You can check out my rambling video here:


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Steve Bridgeman Personal Training
Phone: 07730609165
Location: Gym and Tonic, Bredon, Tewkesbury