Using your menstrual cycle to your fat burning and muscle building advantage

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Hello Fat Burning Babes worldwide! I am so excited to share this post with you as it's something I've been working on the past few months with fantastic results. I hope it will do the same for those of you still in the pre-menopausal stage.

Before we get started, some quick housekeeping:


For all you Fat Burning Babes already enrolled, be on the lookout for a starter/welcome email early next week. I am so proud of the women who have committed to being a part of the community and I hope I'll see you there, too. Grab a fat burning buddy and take the journey to transformation.

It is never too late to turn things around. It's my passion, pleasure and honor to show you the proven strategies, step-by-step to achieve your body composition goals, resetting neural associations with food and exercise, and most of all sharing with you everything I know to help you achieve your health and fitness goals at any age.

Fat loss, improved mood, energy, outlook, performance, and empowerment will never be so fun.

You want to change. We can help. Don't miss this opportunity to achieve all you desire beginning August 1.

And now, onto the main event!

Hacking Aunt Flo for Fat Loss and Lean Muscle Gain 

We're going to be talking about the Big Three hormones of a woman's average 28-day cycle:
    1. Estrogen: Increased energy, cognitive function, improved metabolism via better insulin sensitivity, less hunger. Highest in the second week of your cycle right before ovulation.
    2.  Progesterone: Increases appetite and blood sugar. Dominant 12-14 days of the last half of our cycle.
Average Hormone Levels 28 Day Cycle

3. Testosterone: A very important hormone for women highest just before ovulation along with estrogen. When acting in concert with estrogen, libido increases along with energy, fat loss and decreased acne when leveraged appropriately. Testosterone in the absence -- or with low levels of estrogen -- can have the opposite effect. 
     Based on this I've built my workouts and deload weeks around this to my muscle building and fat burning advantage. I've also come to schedule my work and commitments around this, too.

    Here's what it looks like: 

    WEEK ONE (start of period): Now that I've gotten my period regulated through proper macro and micro nutritient timing, my period is like clockwork and lasts three days. During the last three days of the luteal phase (the end of PMS) and the three days of my cycle, I take a deload week. I do this for a couple reasons:

    • Fatigue. Because of the nosedive in all of the Big Three hormones, I'm much less energetic and focused than usual. 
      • Many studies have show that women are significantly more inclined to experience injury (including ACL tears) during the first two days of menses. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC164356/)

      • Moreover, taking a deload week/reduced training frequency during the latter luteal phase and menses results in maximum strength gains and overall fat loss for women.

      • VERY HELPFUL PMS HACK
        • A study in Complementary Therapies in Medicine revealed a decrease in PMS symptoms by 60% by supplementing with curcumin. This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial. 
        • When to take it: 2x/day. 12 hours apart. Begin seven days before your period and the first three days during menses.
        • How much to take: 100mg a serving. Amazon.com sells a bunch of brands.
        • WARNING: not recommended for those with diabetes or bleeding disorders. 
    Day 4 of cycle:  Estrogen begins to rise while appetite decreases. I resume my regular resistance training.

    WEEK TWO: Days 8-14 (pre-ovulation): This is when I train the hardest and go for the heaviest lifts. I also get a lot more work done and tend to make my commitments (if I can) for around this time. This is when our  energy, confidence, creativity, elevated moods, and libido will be leading the charge. Testosterone and estrogen will be high and working together. This is when to make your biggest strength gains and burn the most fat.

    WEEK THREE: Days 15-22 (first half of luteal phase). I call the beginning of week three "mini-pms." Estrogen and testosterone take a dip for the first part of the week. If you feel like knocking someone out around this time or crying for no reason, now you know why.  I resume my regular training here. Put in the hard work but not as intense as the week before. 
    • Estrogen rises again in the second half of this week. But so does progesterone. Depending on your progesterone sensitivity (and the quality of your nutrition and its timing), you may feel fatigued, crave crappy food, lose your sex drive, feel a bit in a fog, and depressed.
    • Let me say this again: proper nutrition and its timing is everything. Sugar, alcohol, soy, gluten, dairy are not your friends when it comes to getting control over this. 
    WEEK FOUR: Days 23 -28 (last half of luteal phase). I begin supplementing with curcumin here as well as extra omega 3's, plenty of extra sleep (can't stress this enough), allowing myself some extra safe starches at night for the serotonin, quality dark chocolate, long walks instead of HIIT (one to two hours while listening to something positive like Tara Brach). I begin deloading around day 25. This doesn't mean less intensity but less weight, a time to work on form, etc. The Big Three all take a nosedive during this time; however, you can greatly control its impact on you with nutrition, proper timing and exercise that boosts hormones instead of frying out your endocrine and central nervous systems.

    So far, it's been a smart method for serious strength gains and sustainable body composition without turning Aunt Flo into the enemy. It's a lot easier to work with the body than against it. 

    MAKE FRIENDS WITH AUNT FLO USING FOLIC ACID

    Before I sign off, I want to leave you with another awesome hack to leverage and elongate the first half of your cycle when estrogen is high along with your mood, productivity and fitness gains. It's actually the first half of your cycle that determines how long or short your whole cycle is. If you want more of the "good" cycle, a study in The Annals of Epidemiology showed that over 5000 women (18-40 years old) who took 400 mcg. folic acid daily were able to elongate their cycles (increasing the length of the "happy" half) as well as reducing the risk of irregular cycles. 

    Hope you found this helpful and that this finds you happy, healthy and crushing it!

    Remember, you are not a damsel in distress. You're the hero of your story,
    Michelle
    @michelleburleson

    P.S
    You may know we're accepting participants in the 4 Weeks to Fat Loss beginning Aug 1 -31, 2015. Space is limited so grab a fat burning buddy for accountability and join! Kim Kelly and R.N. from the Spring Kick Fat in the Ass Challenge will be part of the private community, too! I'm so excited about the women we have joining. This is going to be an amazing time of transformation and empowerment!

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    What a difference one month can make.

    Register today for the 4 Weeks to Fat Loss online coaching and community journey.*

    $225    August 1 - 31, 2015

    *Very limited space available. Results will vary. Not for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
    Don't miss this opportunity to join an exclusive, private community of women journeying towards ultimate achievements in health, strength and empowerment.

     Enroll today to secure your slot for 4 Weeks to Fat Loss! Closes July 26, 2015, Noon PST or when the last 9 slots are filled.

    The 4 Weeks to Fat Loss  journey is strategically designed to get your body, heart and mind primed for permanent No Fail Fat Burning, muscle gain and victory over habits that have held you back in challenging areas of your life. 

    Your breakthrough transformation can begin August 1, 2015!
    Why wait to unleash the amazing woman you know you are?

    ACCOUNTABILITY + PREPARATION + RESILIENCE = RESULTS

    Grab a fat burning bestie, get accountable and commit to connecting to the protocol and community with passion and courage.

    It's not enough to feed our bodies better. Sustainable fat loss and health begins with what we feed our hearts and minds.

    Beginning day one we start laying the foundation to achieving your goals with proven science and methodologies. Sometimes all it takes is minor tweaks for major changes. Keep in mind: it didn't take you one month to become overweight and fall into bad habits. For most it takes many months -- sometimes more -- to achieve their goals. But by the end of these four weeks you won't recognize the woman you've become because you'll be empowered with the tools to change your circumstances, your habits.... and as a result, your body. 

    Ready to get the best fat burning tools for real results? Enroll now.

    THIS ISN'T A WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM. 

    Kim Kelly  and R.N. from the Kick Fat in the Ass Spring Challenge will be joining and helping the community in August!
    No Fail Fat Burning for Women is about mobilizing body fat to be burned for fuel, gaining lean muscle (that will help you stay in 24/7 fat burning mode, especially after menopause), and empowering women to take the wheel of their health with science, not dangerous gimmicks. We don't go by the scale numbers, we go by inches lost, muscle gained and fat burned.

    LEAN? STRONG? HEALTHY? 

    Your decisions determine your destiny.

    The 4 Weeks to Fat Loss online community is a secure and private group page on Facebook. No one can see the members or page except those in the program. This is a safe space of support, connection, learning and women growing stronger in every aspect of their lives. Remember that everything external began internally whether it's your body, career, creativity, relationships.... these all begin within from choice and action.  Our bellies and booties expand or tighten based on small choices we make every day that add up to big change, for better or worse.

    Keep in mind this is not one-on-one individual coaching but group strategy and development. Those who succeed are positive community participants and commit to -- and get passionate -- about the process.
    • Every day, for four weeks, I will take you step by step through your fat loss journey. 
    • There will be exercise programs designed to shred fat for beginners, intermediate, advanced. (this is where having an accountable fat burning bestie comes in handy but you'll also have the online community, too).
    • No, we will not be working out painfully for hours, counting calories, starving, and all that other non-sense that creates metabolic derangement and increased fat gain once those fads are no longer sustainable.
    • You'll receive encouragement, direction, learning, recipes, as well as physical, mental and emotional "challenges." We cannot change if we do not commit to growth. Which way would you like to grow?
    • This isn't going to be a month of deprivation and restriction. Hell no. If it's not simple it's not sustainable. This is about becoming educated, powerful, and authentically passionate about what you want to achieve while having a mentor who gets results and a community of kick ass women by your side. 
    Give yourself permission to leverage all of your potential  by deciding, taking action and committing to your highest self. It will be my honor to ride shotgun and support you with a proven protocol. 

    One short month that can change everything about how you experience your life. With the proper strategy, coaching and community you can achieve anything you desire. Following the No Fail Fat Burning for Women scientific, proven principles in this 30 day program can quickly close the gap from where your physique is today to where you want your body fat, lean muscle and fitness to be.

    Remember: decisions determine destiny. Don't let another season go by where you make excuses instead of transformation and then feel repulsed by the woman you see in the mirror. That is not authentic power or joy.

    I truly hope to see you in August and would love the honor of being in your corner every step of the way. 
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     WHAT YOU'LL NEED

    • Passion, desire, open-mindedness, a willingness to learn that long-lasting health and body composition takes time. There are a lot of hacks to jump start the process but no quick fixes.  
    • A Facebook account. Again, our page is secure and invisible to everyone but members.
    • A team-player attitude to support the other women in the community. We will all face challenges and that's where having each other's back makes a world of difference. We're in this together for four weeks.
    • A fundamental knowledge and reading of the book No Fail Fat Burning for Women available on Amazon here: http://amzn.to/1deOafM
    • An accurate body fat percentage reading via DEXA scan or hydrostatic testing. These are available almost everywhere and relatively inexpensive via mobile services. Home devices are wildly inaccurate. Google DEXA mobile body fat and/or mobile hydrostatic body fat to see what services are available in your area.
    • Body part measurements and before and after pictures (for your private progress).
    • At least a 20lb (9kg) - 35lb kettlebell and knowledge of the two-handed swing. Very easy. For instruction, check out Tracy Reifkind's "The Swing" here.
    • And, of course, consult your physician before attempting any new nutrition or exercise protocol. As each individual woman is unique, you should use proper discretion before undertaking the diet, exercise and techniques of the No Fail Fat Burning for Women protocol. Michelle Burleson, Skye St. John, et al expressly disclaim responsibility for any adverse effects that may result from the use or application of the 4 Weeks to Fat Loss protocol.

      Enroll today to secure your slot for 4 Weeks to Fat Loss! Closes July 26, 2015, Noon PST or when the last 9 slots are filled.

    The body you desire is the body you deserve.

    Yours in resilience, strength and sticks of butter,

    Michelle Burleson






     
    estrogen female sports injury and menstrual cycle menstrual cycle progesterone testosterone weightlifting and menstrual cycle

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