It’s My Hormones

Hi. I hope you are doing well. 

I want to give you tips on how to take care of your hormone health. 

  1. Have breakfast within 30 minutes of getting up. In the morning our cortisol levels spike so in order to bring them back to safe level, eat food and nourish your body. 
  2. Have coffee after breakfast. The reason for this is that caffeine can cause your cortisol levels to spike, so by eating before you drink coffee, you can prevent this. 
  3. Ensure you have your dietary fats and micronutrients. These are vital for helping your body function so eat them. 
  4. Get 7-9 hours sleep. Sleep is so important. Not enough sleep can affect our mood and also cause us to eat the wrong types of food. Your sleep matters.
  5. Control your stress levels. High stress is normally the main cause of hormonal imbalances. Take time out to de-stress. Move your body, meditate, watch a show you like, whatever helps you, do it, within reason. 

All The Best,
Live Like KK x


I Am So Tired

Hi. I hope your week is going well.

Are you feeling very tired? This is a common problem, so the main thing is to understand the reasons why you don’t have energy.

Let us talk about the root causes of fatigue.

  1. Hormonal. This could be anything ranging from, High or low oestrogen, insulin resistance, low cortisol and low testosterone.
  2. Nutrient deficiencies. These could be a lack of, Iron, Magnesium, B Vitamins and Vitamin D.
  3. Environmental factors may also play a part. This could be due to poor diet, stress, medication and trauma.
  4. Other factors may be inflammation, infections or even gut imbalances.

Aside from the above, other causes of tiredness may be:

  • Alcohol consumption
  • Food intolerances
  • Mould exposure
  • Postpartum

Remember, why you feel tired may be completely different to the next person. On a day to day basis how tired would you say you feel?

All The Best,

Live Like KK x

Here Are Our Happy Hormones


I hope you are having a great weekend.

Hormones play a part in the running of our day to day lives, so when it comes to our feel good/ happy hormones, how do we hack them?

Oxytocin is the love hormone. Hug someone you love, show affection, spend time with those that make you feel good.

Serotonin is the hormone that affects our good mood. To combat this, do exercise, meditate and eat well.

Dopamine is to do with rewards. Get creative, try something new or tick something off your to do list.

Endorphins are like our pain relief. Try laughing, doing art and having a nice bath.

Next time you find yourself struggling, try these hacks and notice how quickly you begin to feel good.

All The Best,

Live Like KK x

Give In Or Resist?

In last blogs post, we talked about what specific cravings mean. So today, we will touch upon what to do when the cravings actually hit us and how we deal with this?

The human body is very clever and can tell us when we aren’t getting enough of a certain nutrient, or we eat because we are stressed and other times its just due to circumstances where we are bored or tired.

Cravings are inevitable. It is all part of the running of the human body.

I will start by saying it IS OKAY to give into cravings every now and again, we just can’t be eating 5 packets of crisps or a pizza every time we feel like it as this will hinder our progress. This may be losing weight, gaining muscle or even maintaining, because in order to be successful our body requires us to be consistent with our nutrition. 

There are things that we can do to help us get through the cravings. 

  1. Fit a treat into your nutrition plan. As I track my macros, this makes the treat element a lot easier. If I want to have a slice of cake, I will track this into my food first then plan the rest of my meals around this and according to how much of each, protein, carbohydrates and fat I have left. That way you didn’t fall of the bandwagon. 
  2. Look online and find a macro friendly version of the treat that you want. It may require more effort than popping to the shops and picking up a ready made option of what you want but it will definitely be worth it to stay on track. I find most of my options on Instagram.
  3. Have drinks. Sometimes I can’t fit in a sweet treat, so I have drinks. I have a coffee with syrup, or the occasional fizzy drink. None of this will hurt.
  4. Explore what other things may be going on in your life. Are you sleeping enough, are you stressed out? Write these things down and remove yourself from this. Make an effort to sleep enough by going to bed slightly earlier and deal with the stresses in a proactive way. This may be talking to someone or keeping a diary. Anything that can help, do it. 
  5. Keep busy. How many times have you snacked because you are bored? Sometimes keeping busy is the best thing that you can do. Go out for a walk, meet up with friends or family, read a book etc. More often than not, these cravings will all disappear. 

What Message Are Your Cravings Telling You?

Today we are going to explore what these cravings mean because, when we crave certain foods it may in fact be telling us something about our physical wellbeing. 

Craving that chocolate bar tells you something different to when you crave that bag of crisps. Are you interested in finding out more? Yes, then read below. 

If you crave carbs such as bread, pasta and cereal, it could mean that your body has a lack of the amino acid Tryptophan. This is used to help produce serotonin which is our mood regulating hormone. The lack of carbs can cause low moods and energy from our tryptophan deficiency.  If you do have serious carb cravings, maybe look at what is going on in your life that could potentially be causing this. 

Fatty Foods
That fried chicken, takeaway pizza and nut butters etc. all have something in common, they are high in fats. If you find that you are craving these types of foods more often than not, it is most likely that you need energy. Fat out of all our macronutrients has the highest calories, and if you are over exerting yourself by training too hard, or even the other way round and restricting calories, your body is simply looking for more to help it function better. 

Salty Foods
You walk past the shop and think to yourself, I could really do with a bag of crisps or that salted popcorn, but why do you crave salt? The reason for this could be that you are dehydrated. It sounds odd to think, but when you look at the science behind it, maybe not. The role of sodium is to pull water into our cells and ensure water stays in our body long enough to keep us hydrated. So, if you are dehydrated, the body will try and retain as much salt in order to keep the electrolytes balanced. 

Sugary Foods
We are all human and every once in a while a doughnut, cake or bar of chocolate sounds like a treat. However, craving these foods could be an indication of high cortisol (stress) levels or an imbalance in blood sugar levels. The lack of sleep can also be a cause. Sugar gives us a quick boost of energy (followed by a huge crash, if you go too crazy with it) and your body knows this so it will ask for it.

If you are craving these on a regular basis, it may be worth looking at how you are managing stress, practice good eating habits by getting in all your macro and micronutrients as opposed to the artificial foods, along with ensuring you get enough sleep. 

How Do Your Hormones Work?

How does your body know you are hungry, thirsty or tired? It’s all through hormones. When we hear the word hormones, we immediately think about the menstrual cycle, testosterone or having bouts of adrenaline, however there is so much more to consider when talking about hormones.
Hormones are the chemical substances that control and coordinate activity around parts of the body. In short, they are messengers. The brain and the small intestine spark a response from a signal such as to contract a muscle or cause excess sweating etc..
When we workout though, the exercise causes our body to produce both anabolic and catabolic hormones which aid growth and development. These are the two hormones that we shall be discussing in this email.
Anabolic Hormones
Firstly, anabolic hormones aid protein synthesis and the growth of muscles. Our body produces these hormones naturally but the one that is most important is insulin. Insulin helps us to increase our physical performance by transporting glycogen and protein to the muscles that we have energised through our workouts. Alongside this, insulin carries amino acids which help to repair damaged muscle tissue. The final thing about insulin is that it works against catabolic hormones (which cause our muscle to tissue to breakdown), by causing our blood flow to increase. This is the reason why it is important to fuel our body with fast digesting carbohydrates and protein prior to our workout to ensure that we get the full benefit of insulin during our workout.
Catabolic Hormones
Catabolic hormones cause the breakdown of our muscle. The most important catabolic hormones are cortisol and epinephrine which is more formerly known as adrenaline.
Cortisol is our stress hormone that breaks down the protein in our muscles causing muscle fatigue. Epinephrine causes elevated heart rates. Both of these hormones are valuable but only in small quantities. They both allow our bodies to escape from situations that require immediate action by drawing energy from whatever source it can find and by shutting off non-essential bodily functions such as digestion in order to boost functions that are needed for the current situation (such as elevation of heart rate etc.).
If you have high levels of cortisol and adrenaline release, this will eventually lead to an energy loss in other bodily systems which inhibit the body’s ability to intake nutrients properly and recover appropriately.
The End Game
There are other anabolic and catabolic hormones that can be analysed such as testosterone, norepinephrine etc. but the ones listed above are the crucial hormones that are worth being aware of.

The combination of the bodies energy systems and increases in hormone release before, during and after exercise produces changes in our body that all have a huge implication for our physical performance and progress. We need to be clever about providing our body with the right fuel and also ensure we get a sufficient amount of rest and recovery to ensure that our anabolic and catabolic hormones function at their greatest so we can make those gains.

It’s Not A Race, It’s A Journey

Calorie cycling more commonly known as calorie shifting is an eating pattern that allows us to go from low calorie and high calorie periods. 

Calorie shifting enables you to eat all the foods that you want to, it is just the number of calories that you eat on certain days differ. 

Calorie cycling can help to improve our weight loss goals, feel less hungry and actually enable us to stick to our goals. 

If you did a conventional diet, it is most likely you will fail. This is because once you come off the diet, you return to your previous habits. Also, alongside this, diets actually cause a negative impact on metabolism. This occurs because your body believes that it is in a dangerous state and wants to survive and save energy.

Dieting increases our hunger hormone ghrelin and decreases the hormone leptin that makes us feel fuller and satisfied. Through calorie shifting, this can reduce the negative impact on our hormones. 

One way to implement calorie cycling is to have higher calorie days each week. This could be 6 days low calorie, 1 day high calorie or 5 days low calorie, 2 days high calorie. Some may prefer to have routines. This may be to add more higher calorie days following a few weeks of lower calorie days. It all depends on how your body responds. 

If this is combined with exercise, then higher calorie days should be on the days you train more intensely and the lower calories for when you have less strenuous workouts. 

Many people do well with structure when it comes to weight loss but change is always good. The main ingredient is to choose wisely when it comes to eating extra calories. 

Sleep Is The Best Meditation

Let’s all ask ourselves the question, how long do you sleep at night? I will be honest here and say it’s not very often I get more than 7 hours. Working shift work makes it hard for me to get enough sleep, especially when I am on an early shift, meaning a 4.30am wake up call. Regardless of this I should prioritise sleep as it is vital to our wellbeing.

Our bodies go through different stages of sleep, from light to deep, then back to light and into REM (rapid eye movements). This all occurs naturally.

We are normally awake between 10-30 times each night although these are so subtle we don’t in fact notice this.

REM happens mainly very late at night during our sleep. This is known to help with boosting our moods. We may also notice that our dreams are more clearer at this period of time.

We may think that when we sleep lightly, this means we haven’t had a good quality sleep, when in fact light sleep is beneficial. It is the bulk of our sleep at night and helps with mental and physical restoration in our body.

I know for sure I am not in deep sleep a lot, however deep sleep does help with our physical recovery from the daily activities we take part in. If you do wake up feeling very refreshed from your deep sleep, you probably were in this period of sleep for a lot of the time.

Why then is sleep important for weight loss?

When we are sleep deprived, we may find it harder to lose weight and keep the weight off even if we stick to a consistent diet. Having a lack of sleep triggers hormones. Our bodies over produce our hunger hormones leptin and ghrelin. By having more of these hormones in our body, this may cause us to over eat.

On top of this, if we do not have enough sleep, our glucose levels may rise, even if we are healthy individuals. This is because our bodies fat cells do not produce insulin properly. The body will actually produce more insulin in order to function correctly causing us to gain weight.

The last point is that when we don’t sleep enough, we feel on edge and stressed out. When this is the case, our hunger hormone ghrelin is produced under these situations causing us to over eat.

Not sleeping properly can have a huge impact on our performance at work or even in the gym. It can also affect our recovery. It is difficult to get the required hours of sleep, 7-9 hours when you lead a busy life, however if we want to lead a healthy lifestyle and keep the weight off in the future we should ensure that we make sleep a priority.