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One of the (many) reasons, you're not losing weight. Anabolism VS Catabolism

Hi there ladies and gentlemen. 

Maybe some of you have heard of this phenomenon, but I can imagine that the majority here has never heard of it. So, in this post I will explain it to you, and also why these words could be one of the reasons that you're struggling to lose those last pounds of fat.  


The term anabolism stands for all the processes in our body that has to do with energy consumption and building aspects of the body (building as in, molecules, bones, muscles and so on). While catabolism stands for all the energy producing and body breaking aspects (like breaking of molecules, bones and muscles).  

The people who are already familiar with the word catabolism usually aren't a big fan of the word and the meaning behind it, because in the world of body building and fitness it is also known as the process what makes you gain fat and break down muscles, while anabolic processes makes you shredded (leaner) and build muscles. So, it sounds like the angel and demon on your shoulders. And to be honest, I think that the most part of this is true, but if you have read my earlier post, then you should know by now that we need to break muscles before we can make them stronger and better. So, we need a little bit of catabolism in order to be in an anabolic state.  

But if we make this a black and white picture then you could (and have to) say that we are better off in an anabolic state then a catabolic state. So alright, now we know that an anabolic state makes you stronger, muscular and leaner while a catabolic state makes you fatter and less muscular, so how do we accomplish on being in that state then? Well first I have to introduce you to some (mixed feeling) friends of mine, and by the way, you know these friends too!    

 I'm talking about the next 3 hormones in our body's:

 - Testosterone

 - Estrogen 

 - Cortisol  


Testosterone is the primary male (sex) hormone and an anabolic steroid. (But females have this hormone as well!)  


Is the primary female (sex) hormone. (But men have this hormone as well!)


Is well known for being the stress hormone, and this is the fat maker of the three. (And both sexes have this hormone)  

Testosterone is the only hormone of the three that 'pushes' you more in the anabolic state (the good one) while the Estrogen and the Cortisol (especially this last one) are pushing you more into the catabolic state (the bad one).  

This doesn't mean that all the females are ****** now (you now, because Estrogen is the primary female sex hormone and this pushes you more into the catabolic state), but this is in fact, one of the many reasons why females are having a higher fat percentage than men.  

So, what to do now? Well, first let’s make it clear that everybody in this world should be more into anabolic state then the catabolic state. And with that being said, if we want that to happen then we know we need to get more of the testosterone hormone and less of the estrogen and cortisol hormone.  

And how do we accomplish that? Well, there are a lot of things you could do, but if you want a few simple tips, then I got four steps where you could begin with!   

Step 1: Lower your cortisol!  

- Make sure you sleep enough! And with enough I mean at least 7-8 hours of good quality sleep. (This really makes a difference)

- Try to lower your stress from work or at home. Stress triggers this hormone and makes you gain fat.

- Try to eat regular, like every 3 hours a little meal. If your already on the heavy side, eat something small and lean, like protein of vegetables or a piece of fruit. When your skinny, eat large meals, but not to large or fat.

- Maybe some supplements can help, like vitamin D or a good supplement B-complex.  


Step 2: Watch out with the cardio  

Weirdly enough I’m saying here, watch out with the cardio. Some of you will now be like 'huh what? but how do I need to work-out then?' Well you can still do cardio, and to be honest if you're in the obesity category, you should be doing cardio (and off course weight training), but there is a little bit of a problem with cardio.  

After different studies it has been proved that cardio and other endurance sports make cortisol production go through the roof! Same thing can be said for overtraining with weights. So, if you’re going to the gym, make sure your workout doesn't take any longer than one and half hour. (and with workout I mean really workout, not training for an hour and talking half an hour).   

Step 3: Lower your estrogen!  

So, as I told here before, Estrogen is the primary key female (sex) hormone, but that doesn't mean that men don't have it. A part of the male testosterone is being switched to estrogen and the same counts for females who are getting a little bit of testosterone. Men who are having a lot of estrogen are pretty easy to pick out from the crowd, because they are getting 'men-boobs' and with 'men-boobs' I mean the fatty kind, not the muscle kind.   

So how do we get the estrogen levels down then? well, what I’m going to tell you now isn't the most fun to read so prepare yourselves: The estrogen levels can go up by a few number of food kinds and unfortunately it is wise to avoid them as much as possible if you want your estrogen levels to go down. The food kinds you want to avoid are these:  

- Animal fats (such as pork and anything that is animal related and not lean) Except for fat fish! like salmon and so on.  

- Fat rich dairy products, like cream and full fat milk.  

For the record, I’m not saying you should quit on these products (but it will make a world of a difference if you do!) but try to eat them as less as you can.   


Step 4: Eat enough protein   


Our muscles are made of protein (at least the most part of it). When you are training, you will break them and when you rest and eat enough of protein you will repair them and make them better and stronger. So, you could help your body a little bit by eating enough of protein. (at least your weight in protein a day when you train). But, make sure you eat the right kind of proteins. So, the lean kind of meat, and the lean kind of dairy products.  




Well people, I hope you have enjoyed this post! In the future I will be posting more articles about these kinds of topics. I you have a question, or a request let me know in the comments and I will see if I can write something about that!

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