HIIT&Dairy and...ACNE?

Many know, I've talked about it (reluctantly) before. I have had bad acne since college. Like, can't smile because it hurts, feel like a monster, needles in the face type.  I had a great doc in college and about 12 years ago they suggested it was my iodine sensitivity and refined sugars...wasn't going to work longterm for me.  I needed more answers and when I found out I had celiac it got better, not 100%, but better. I also found out that dairy can cause it...but what was worse, and true for me, dairy and celiac plus lifestyle together made for the perfect storm.  But guess how I've been able to eat some dairy here and there and be ok for a few months now. And I contribute my change to the HIIT workouts of my StressLess FatLoss workouts plus... some nutrition limits:

I'm always searching for things to help me keep my protein in my shaker cup and cheese on my plate!

I began my own workouts to the StressLess FatLoss program back in March, and over this last year I've been telling everyone who asks that I haven't had a breakout let alone an injection in my face since...March. It JUST dawned on me. My health turned around all at the same time....and I haven't looked back. Until now.

I love proof, mostly scientific proof, not just anecdotal proof form bloggers...so I did some research. And it all ended up with insulin and mTOR.  (Muscle building and acne linked by this protein activated gene?)

Dairy and acne:
Many of us have heard and read that dairy causes acne, and that's not wrong, but as I said, I want to keep the dairy in my day and if I can at least find a limit for my gut to be ok, then I can also find a way to not get acne either.
"Acne should be regarded as an mTor-driven disease of civilization, like obesity, type 2 diabetes and cancer induced by the western diet." - Pubmed.gov, Department of Dermatology, University of Osnabruuk, Germany

Casein is a protein in dairy (the other is whey) and many believe casein is the root of most people's problems with dairy. But I'm like a 2 year old so I asked why? Well, casein has been found to potentially cause inflammation in some people.  But it also stimulates insulin and mTOR is activated by insulin.  mTOR also activagtes sebum, keratin and inflammation.  This becomes a problem with its OVERACTIVATED. --Guess what else is caused by over-activated mTOR, PCOS and diabetes (Dr. Lara Briden (www.larabriden.com/insight-into-acne-dairy-sugar/) .
SO, it turns out insulin response to dairy, combined with inflammation response to dairy may be what causes the acne...therefore, you may actually be able to find your own limit of dairy intake if you really want to test it.
"Giving up all dairy can work but not for all. And it is really the type of casein (casein A)" - Dr. Lara Briden
Which is probably why I've seen success when cutting and limiting (it varies) dairy, not all animal milk is created equal, I eat goat cheese like it's going out of style, it has a different type of casein protein than typical American cow's milk (namely, holstein cows).   I think two shakes a week and I've been ok both in the gut and on the skin. 2 shakes have not over-activated my insulin or inflammation response too much yet to cause problems. But I'm always testing it.

...So now how can we workout without over-activating mTOR?

Workouts and acne:
Sweat does not help acne...sufferers know this! But we still need to workout right? Solution: we can choose the RIGHT workout for acne sufferers.

You've read about the HIIT workouts of StressLess FatLoss and how they help balance your hormones; female, hunger and stress. But there's more to HIIT than that, it's about the specific hormones that are activated while doing HIIT, and afterwards.  Fitness pros like HIIT because it activates mTOR (can activate muscle cell growth), it's quick and it builds muscle and burns fat nearly simultaneously.  Long duration workouts increase cortisol, we don't want that if we're trying to lose fat (or cut acne). But elevated cortisol also inhibits mTOR...hense why HIIT is loved so much, because it'll activate the mTOR after the workout is over.

But when it comes to acne don't we want mTOR inhibited? Yes, but we still need it.  HIIT makes mTOR activate later when the workout is over and for a shorter amount of time, unlike long bouts of cardio.  So we do a HIIT workout which keeps cortisol lower and helps grow muscles...and doesn't cause long term exposure to mTOR so acne can be kept at bay.

My conclusion:
Everything you do affects your body and your acne... and what I found in my weeks of research are good evidence..but dairy is the factor that is DIFFERENT for EVERYONE (and one thing we love to eat..but don't NEED to *stay tuned for the why blog on that one).
Hiit is so much more effective for fitness and health but it can also be effective in controlling your acne based on the hormone response.  Dairy can be an inflammatory agent  and affect hormones (insulin) as well, so you'll need to decided what your own limit on protein powder is and go from there. Both HIIT and Dairy consumption will affect your body and it's really a personal decision as to how much of each  you can tolerate!

#IIFWhyI'mNotdoingIt... for now (IIFYM)

It's been almost a year since I stopped logging all food...ALL food (except carbs for a week or so to make sure I was at a decent level for myself).

I had to take a break! I logged for so many years, learning about it in college when learning how to calculate nutrition, and then doing it for muscle building and fat loss over many different phases. A few competitions of calculating and weighing and stressing and playing Tetris with my food (which I actually really found fun most of the time, yes, I'm weird)...I was done.

I logged for a few weeks post-competition because I had accountability to my coach and I didn't want to blow up (...see below!)  but over 3 weeks I began to relax, and my mind wasn't there anymore. I had a 4 year old and a 10 month old, I was traveling for a few weeks, I had 2 holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas no less!) and I just needed to take time off of weighing food and myself. I could feel my body going nuts, my hormones were going out of whack.. I had night sweats, my hair was falling out and my skin was so dry...among other things. I was still nursing but that didn't have anything to do with it because I was fine the rest of the time. It was my cortisol and thyroid, I thought, turned out it was low by blood test, but really I had adrenal fatigue.   I've written about that before... many people who live high stress, busy lives with kids and jobs and friends and family and... (you get the point!) can have it. It's fairly common, and fixable.

I took my doc's advice and paired it with the knowledge I had from my education in nutrition and fitness and got to work. BAM! #StressLessFatLoss was born and 1 year later, I still haven't logged food and I'm in a better place mentally and so much better physically.
** The final picture below is after a 12 week round and then round 2 which incorporates heavy lifting days again..woo hoo!)

Counting macros was so helpful when I was "bulking" and putting on muscle, and it was great for "cutting" rapidly...but for me, a busy mom, I needed to do something different and just be happy with who I am, where my body is and my health.

If you're a regular person, and not a bodybuilder/competitor, then you get this. It's about health first, then looks, or at least it should be. If you work on health first, the fat loss comes SO much EASIER.


1 year of  not weighing a morsel
The best part: not sucking in in the last picture,
sucking in the middle one (see: face)

Went from this to THAT ---> in 2 months

StressLess Fat Loss is a style of fitness and health that I've used with many clients, those with goals that it is similar to. Most of my clients still log food (IIFYM) because it's a WONDERFUL tool to help you learn what to eat, how much and a good balance. Because, let's be honest, many people don't really know WHAT they eat on a weekly basis. But when something that is supposed to be helpful, isn't...there's your sign.

Check out the StressLess FatLoss Program I have online, it's a revolving door so you can start when you can and follow the video workouts in order, using the calendar and the nutrition advice e-book and video and our FB group.  It's all about balancing time, energy and hormones. So Protein and Veggies are the main focus for most of the program with the theory that you will learn to eat the right foods that are NUTRIENT DENSE and you'll fill up. Then over time, cravings for sugary/starchy things will subside and you can go back to eating Protein and veggies while mixing in fun foods on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. But i'm honest here, it takes TIME. Look at how long it took me, and I'm in nutrition and fitness for life. 

YOU CAN DO IT. I'D LOVE TO HELP.