Weight Loss & Cortisol


By: Dr. Sybille Buchwald-Werner

Did you follow a strict diet plan and did you carry out lots of physical exercise but unfortunately you didn't see any results for weight loss?

You are sad and disappointed but you are not alone with this feeling. Because, besides diet and physical activity, biological factors influence your metabolism and body weight. One of these important biological factors is the endogenic substance called Cortisol, which is known as a stress hormone that, when increased, may trigger weight gain.

Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is secreted by the adrenal glands. It can regulate blood pressure, help control blood sugar and lipid levels, and it’s important for energy homeostasis and metabolism. Your body releases Cortisol when you are under stress. Continuously high Cortisol levels as a response to stress, like long working hours, intense training or family issues, has a negative impact on health.

The body’s negative responses to stress are high blood pressure, sleep disorders, anxiety, and a metabolism in favour of glucose delivery. Glucose supplies quick energy, which is necessary if you need to run away in a life threatening situation. This is what our body learned to do evolutionally. However, if glucose is high, insulin is secreted and consequently, we are start craving more glucose, like carbohydrates or sweets. On top of this, Cortisol blocks fat metabolism, which means limited fat burning. In the end, under stress, weight gain is programmed.

Losing weight can be extremely difficult if our Cortisol levels are high and that may be the reason why we don’t reach our weight loss goals, even though we are trying hard. So first, we have to find a way to help reduce our Cortisol levels and deal with stress in order to be ready for a successful diet.

Try HydroxyBurn® with Bluenesse®. Bluenesse® may help reduce Cortisol levels and therefore help reduce the negative impacts of stress on your body.

Bluenesse® - an innovative, exclusive Melissa officinalis (L.) - supports your cognitive health and helps improve your ability to cope with stress. Bluenesse® delivers high, consistent and defined quality. It is scientifically researched and IP protected. Find clinical levels of Bluenesse® in Body Science HydroxyBurn® Clinical.


Ketogenic Diet 101: 8 Things You Need To Know

Ketogenic-Diet-Cover (1)

The Ketogenic Diet has been doing the rounds on the blogosphere lately, and for good reason.

In all corners of the interwebs, you'll see "keto" this and "keto" that flying around, with some seriously astounding health claims, all stemming from eating copious amounts of butter, bacon, eggs, coconut oil and steak?!

So what is this crazy diet, and is it just another fad diet, or something more?
We've rolled out our 8 things you need to know to induct you into the world of Ketosis, and to find out if it holds up to the hype!


#1: What Is Keto?

"Keto", the "Ketogenic Diet", or being in Ketosis, refers to an altered metabolic state, where the body burns ketones, rather than glucose, for fuel.

"Ketones", the byproduct of the liver processing fatty acids, act as an alternate source of fuel for the body and brain. If you've ever fasted for a long period of time you might have even entered a low level of ketosis at some point in your life!

Once you go long enough without eating, and the body runs through all its stored glucose, it needs another energy source to continue to survive. We all know that "hangry" feeling when we haven't eaten after a few hours, but deep down, we all know that it won't kill us if we don't eat every 3-4 hours, right?! In fact, the human race most certainly wouldn't be here today if we had to eat that often in order to stay alive.

If you'd like a little more of the science behind how ketosis occurs within the body, these videos sum it up much better than we ever could!

  • Thomas Delaurer Keto Crash Course:

  • Domanic D'Agostino Joe Rogan Experience:


#2 What Is The Ketogenic Diet?

The ketogenic diet is a nifty way to manipulate your body's metabolic state to stay in ketosis, while still consuming ample calories to live a healthy, productive, day to day life. There is conjecture over the specific macronutrient ratio and carb allowances which will allow for long term ketosis, check these out.

Strict Medical Ketogenic Diet
90% Fat, 8% Protein, 2% Carbs (woah!)

Standard Ketogenic Diet
80% Fat, 15% Protein, 5% Carbs

Modified Atkins Diet
65%-70% Fat, 30-35% Protein, 5% Carbs

what is the ketogenic diet

As you can see, the common denominator here is the borderline lack of carbohydrates all together. By keeping your net carbs (Total Carbs - Fibre) to between 20g-50g, depending on activity level, you can keep your body in this "fat burning" state to reap the benefits! The difference, between the amounts of fat and protein depend ultimately on who you ask, your goals and how your body individually responds to being in ketosis. For medical reasons, an extremely high fat content is encouraged, as excess protein can convert into glucose via a process called gluconegenesis.

However, for fitness, longevity and general wellbeing, more ample protein amounts (around 20-25% is a good start!) will keep you in a state of nutritional ketosis, without impacting performance or causing muscle wastage.


#3 Why On Earth Would I Eliminate Carbs?

Well, it depends on the individual. See, some of us absolutely thrive on carbs. Carbohydrates provide us with a quick, powerful source of energy which fuels the body's metabolism and keeps us functioning in tip-top shape!

Others, on the other hand, are not so lucky. Some of us run much better, or even thrive on a fat-for-fuel diet. If you're feeling sluggish and not at your best, notice whether carbohydrates tend to trigger an energy rollercoaster for you. You might do better cutting down, or even eliminating them all together!


#4 What's The Difference Between Ketosis and Low Carb?

Low Carb diets, again, depending on who you ask, will generally allow for 10-20% of daily calorie intake from carbohydrate sources.

This may cause the individual to cycle in and out of a state of mild ketosis throughout the day, depending on how they distribute their carbohydrates, but generally, the body will be fueled via a combination of fatty acids and glucose.

Therefore, ketosis is actually very different, as it's an entirely different metabolic process all together, in which your body becomes conditioned to.


#5 Can I Gain Muscle On A Ketogenic Diet?

can i still put on muscle in ketosis

Absolutely. However, it is a slower and more gradual process than a carbohydrate rich diet. 

One thing that ketogainers often note, is that while muscle gain is a bit slower, it comes without the added fat, or the need for bulking and cutting cycles.

As it takes a while for the body to become "keto adapted", it's not uncommon to see a loss of strength and performance in the gym for the first few months, as the body has to build an entirely new metabolic pathway for the utilisation of energy.

However, once this pathway is established, users often report increased strength, performance and endurance.


#6 How Do I Get Into Ketosis

There are three ways to enter Ketosis:

  1. Nutritional Ketosis. By eliminating carbohydrates and keeping protein modest (100g-150g max), the average individual will enter ketosis within 3-7 days. This is a murky experience as the body will go through sugar withdrawal, and the user will often experience "keto flu", which is a combination of sugar withdrawal and low electrolytes.

  2.  Fasting. By completely eliminating ALL calories, Ketosis will be entered within 24-48 hours, with deeper ketosis achieved at around the 60 hour mark. This will be dificult if your body is not conditioned for fasting, which is why we recommend:

  3. Keto SupplementsIf you want to get a taste of what Ketosis has to offer, we reccomend consuming ONLY fats for a period of 24-48 hours with very minimal protein, as well as a ketone salt supplement. This will accelerate your body into deep ketosis, and will provide the fuel you need until your body catches up, and begins to produce ketones on its own accord!


#7 What Do I Eat On The Ketogenic Diet?

Generally, you want to focus on foods and meals which have a minimum of a 2:1 ratio of fat to protein + carbs. 

Keeping your carbs to around 20g on rest days and 50g max on training days can be tricky, but you generally want to avoid any sugars, grains, fruits and starches. Eating out can be tricky, so we recommend planning ahead when eating out, otherwise prepping your meals at home.

Fortunately, there are plenty of delicious foods which you can enjoy in abundance on a ketogenic diet! Our favourite keto friendly meals include:

  • Steak smothered in butter, served with salad with your choice of high-fat dressing

  • Whole egg omelette served with avocado, organic sausage and mushrooms

  • Chocolate protein shake with organic coconut milk

  • Blueberries with heavy whipping cream

  • Coconut chicken curry with cauliflower rice

  • Big Breakfast with fried eggs in butter, bacon, chorizo and spinach

  • Coffee blended with butter/ghee + coconut oil

  • Ketogenic Meal Replacement Supplement


What Do I Eat On The Ketogenic Diet?


#8 Is The Ketogenic Diet Bad For Me?


It's actually incredibly healthy, when performed correctly. While there are questions relating to long term usage of the ketogenic diet, it's a fantastic tool to improve your metabolism, decrease stored body fat, and improve cognitive function.

While it will take some getting used to as we've been conditioned to think eating fat makes us fat, a big dose of healthy fats in the absence of carbohydrates (namely sugar) is an incredible source of energy, hormone precursors and fat soluble vitamins.

The healthiest sources of fats on a ketogenic diet (or just in general!) are:

  • Macadamia Nuts

  • Olive Oil

  • Avocados & Avocado Oil

  • Coconut Cream, Milk, Flesh & Oil

  • Grass-fed Butter & Ghee

  • Animal Fat

  • Fatty Fish

So there you have it! Now that you know everything there is to know about all things Keto, are you ready to drop the carbs and up the fat?

Want To Eat Healthy On A Budget? Steal These 16 Shortcuts


Eating healthy sucks, right?

It's bland, it involves giving up the majority of your weekend to arduously pack the same monotonous grub into a mountain of Tupperwear week in, week out...

...or does it?

Here at ASN, we like to think, nay, we KNOW that eating healthy doesn't have to be a death sentence for flavoursome, delicious and satisfying meals!

So pull up a chair young padawan, because we're about to lay on you our 16 Secret Shortcuts to eat healthy while keeping your sanity and not blowing the bank!

Here we go...

eating healthy sucks


1. Plan, plan, then go ahead and plan some more.

Once you've got your macros and micros dialled (think protein, fat and carbs + vitamins and minerals), it's time to map out your meal plan for the week.

We highly recommend only planning 5-6 days per week, to give yourself a bit of freedom on the weekend of course! Gotta live it up, ya know.

How many meals per day are you going to eat? Do you need to leave room for eating out in the evening? How many snacks do you eat per day? What will said snacks comprise of?

Once you work out a plan, things will make a lot more sense and become a little easier. Our top tip is to save some calories for the evening, so that you can enjoy a heartier meal or some healthy dessert, without blowing your calories!

Patrick planning


2. Buy in bulk

The more you buy, the cheaper it is!

Got a freezer? Of course you do. Use it.

Buy in bulk


3. Shop around

Shopping exclusively for groceries at IGA? You're gonna have a bad time.

Shop around between Coles, Woolies and the farmers markets to get some bargains and stock up! 

shop around w patrick


4. Eat seasonally

Do you know what fruits and vegetables are in season, right now?

If you plan your meals (see step 1 incase you've already forgotten) around imported fruits and vegetables, you can expect the number on your grocery receipt to climb way higher than expected.

Stick to what's in season locally, shape your meals accordingly and save!


5. Hug the outside walls of the grocery store

The easiest tip to treat yo' body right is to only shop around the edge of the shopping centre.

The closer your venture into the middle, the more processed junk you'll come by.

Sure, the canned packaged stuff may be cheaper on the wallet, but your body is paying the price!


6. Invest in a slow cooker

Slow cookers are seriously freakin' legit when it comes to eating healthy on a budget.

Why? Well, aside from delicious, fall-in-your-mouth tender meats, you'll be able to stock up on cheaper cuts of meat and have them be absolutely delectable.

Scotch fillet steak every night would be dandy, but if you slow cook some brisket or tri-tip at the start of the week, you'll save plenty of hard earned moolah and your taste buds will be in flavour heaven!

invest in a slow cooker


7. Be a leftover legend

Hate meal prepping on the weekend? We feel you!

Our fave alternative? Cook a big, healthy meal for dinner and enjoy the leftovers for lunch the next day!

This will ensure that all important variety, plus you'll be practicing those master chef skills on the daily!

Be a leftover legend


8. DIY frozen meals

Pulled a late night at the office, roll in the front door at 7:30pm, and you feel the UberEats app calling you from your home screen...

Don't blow $30 on a calorie dense feast that will blow your budget and have you feeling lousy come the AM! Next time you've got some surplus leftovers, pop a serve in the freezer in case of emergencies! 


9. Eat more vegetables


Do we sound like your mum yet?

It sounds boring we know, but not only are veggies chock-a-block with micronutrients, they're cheap, filling and can be prepared a variety of ways to keep you satisfied!

Eat more veg = save more dollars. Easiest equation ever.

eat vegetables


10. Give Boost Juice a run for their money

Smoothies are what you make them!

Go beyond the scoop of protein + water + banana and make these bad-boys something to look forward to, and keep your body and mind fuelled!

Get creative and think greens, veggies, yoghurt, avocado, coconut oil, fruit, juices and much more!

The possibilities are endless, and it's easy to whip up an incredibly healthy and nutritious liquid meal for cents on the dollar.

Give Boost Juice a run for their money


11. Promote satiety

Did you know that calories consumed and satiety (the feeling of fullness and satisfaction) don't go hand in hand?

It's important to consume fat (yes, you heard us) with every meal in order to promote satisfaction and to quell your appetite.

If you're eating clean, try finishing your chicken and broc' with a handful of almonds or macadamias, or don't shy away from a bit of olive oil here and there on your salad.

Your rumbling tummy will thank you, we promise.


12. Try fasting

Intermittent fasting is all the rage, haven't you heard?

While it may not be for everyone, limiting your "feeding window" to only 8 hours a day takes a lot of the guess work out of a day's worth of eating, and can save you some serious dollars once you remove that morning latte and protein bar.

Give it a whirl!


13. Cut down on sugar

Sugar isn't all bad. It's delicous, provides fast burning energy, and makes a lot of people very happy!

However, sugar is also extremely addictive.

The more sugar consumed in a meal, the less satiety and the more you'll crave more and be hankering for dessert once you've cleaned your plate. If you're struggling with portion control, here's your culprit!

cutdown on sugar


14. Eat out less

Who DOESN'T love a meal out here and there?

Whether it's a date night dinner or Sunday morning big-brekkie, we all look forward to having someone else do the cooking, and indulging in a seriously awesome bite to eat.

But here's the problem: For a healthy, nutritious dish, you're looking at at least double, if not triple the cost of cooking yourself!

Plus you don't know what the chef is putting into the dish, so don't expect it to be too macro friendly, and always account for some extra calories in the sauce!

eat out less


15. Sneaky snacks, done right

Make. Your. Own. Snacks.

Protein balls are absolutely wicked. They're quick, easy, delicious, freezer friendly and (depending on your choice of ingredients) guilt free!

Stuff playing $5 for one when you're out, stock up and save!


16. Don't forget to indulge

These tips are all well and good, but don't forget, you've gotta live a little!

Enjoy a cheat meal, or day here and there depending on your goals, and don't ever be "that guy" who will only eat out of their tupperwear container! Food is one of life's greatest pleasures after all, so don't deprive yourself and enjoy a healthy lifestyle balance! 



5 Fitness Tips For Blokes Who Want To Get Ripped, But Can't Get Started...


The first step is always the hardest. Fact.

Whether it's joining your first gym, rocking up for your first group fitness class, or even dusting off your old runners and smashing a run for the first time in yonks, it's seriously intimidating stuff.

Especially as dudes, even the idea of this isn't fun at all. 

There's nothing worse than sizing yourself up against the other guys in the gym, worrying you're not going to make it through the boot camp class or even overcoming the mental barrier of not being able to run as fast, as far, or for as long as you used to.

But do you know what everyone has in common? We were all beginners once!

We're not going to lie. It isn't easy. But do you know what it is? Humbling and rewarding.

Anything in life worth having takes work, and fitness is one of the best examples. Here's 5 tips to help you take the first step on your fitness journey.



1. Start Small

If it's been a few years since your last gym session, or you haven't done any cardio since footy in high school, it's probably not the wisest thing to jump straight into your buddy's gruelling power-lifting program.


Okay - it's definitely not the wisest thing.

The human body is a fickle thing, and while it adapts well to change, these changes need to be introduced gradually and sustainably.

Thinking about joining the gym for the first time? Start with a 30 minute walk every day. 

Looking at getting started with resistance training? Get into the routine of doing some push ups, squats and sit ups at home for a week beforehand.

Take everything as it comes, keep moving forward and ease your body into training. It'll thank you later!



2. Compare Yourself To Yourself

One of the most important things to realise is that you will never look like anyone else.

Everyone's body proportions are unique, and no matter how much training you do on any specific muscle groups, you'll never be able to emulate the fitness models you follow on Instagram, or Zac Effron in Bay Watch.

What you will be able to become is the best possible version of yourself.


Take regular progress photos and measurements to hold yourself accountable and so that you can start to see the results. Although they might not be visible in the mirror for a little while at first, they'll be visible on the scales and measuring tape.

Or, you might find that while your weight remains the same, the reflection staring back at you is leaner and healthier. This is because your body weight isn't the deciding factor of your fitness!

With each workout aim to one up yourself from last time, whether it's an extra rep, an extra 100m on your run, or a better sense of wellbeing at the end of the session.



3. Nutrition Is Key

If there's one thing that's going to put a road block up in front of your results, it's poor nutrition.


Processed foods, too many/too little calories (depending on your goals), inconsistency and nutritional deficiencies will stall your weightless, put a stop to your gains and will sniffle your motivation fast.

Your body is a machine and you need to fill it up with the right fuel for the best performance!

You can still enjoy burgers, but opt for a fresh, wholesome lean beef patty on a fresh wholemeal bun instead of a Big Mac. Enjoy your fish and chips, but go for the grill'd option and a few less chips. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a chocolate protein shake instead of a Mars bar!

There are plenty of ways to enjoy your favourite foods while staying accountable to your goals and not getting off track!


asn body transformation


4. Audit Your Health

As long as we're still alive at the end of the day, we're healthy, right?!

Blokes are notorious for not going to see a doctor until the problem becomes serious, so it's not uncommon to see guys let their health fall by the wayside, and then find committing to the gym to be just too difficult.

homer jiggle

And when it's just too difficult, we're inclined to throw in the towel rather than risk failing, aren't we?

Make it easy for yourself. Get 8 hours of sleep a night, try to eliminate as much stress as possible, walk as much as possible, drink plenty of water and eat plenty of lean meats and unprocessed food. Oh, and look after your mental health as well!



5. Drink Less Beer

The easiest and most instantly actionable out of all these tips, lay off the piss!


A pint of full strength beer has 200 calories on average. That means going out for a few beers with the lads after work quickly stacks up to a whopping 600 calories - and they're not good calories either.

Alcohol is one of the worst things for lean muscle gain and fat loss, so while avoidance is the best option, we don't expect you to completely give up alcohol!

Try switching to whisky neat or mixed with diet cola. There's nothing more manly than whisky.

Or for the ultimate low calorie alcoholic drink, vodka, fresh lime and soda water. But if you cop any flack from the boys, don't come crying to us!








asn body transformation


6 Fitness Shortcuts All Men Can Use To Get (And Stay) In Shape


The Dad-Bod epidemic is on the rise.

And while the temptation to embrace the belly and live the couch potato life may feel overwhelming at times, summer is just around the corner and this is the year to stop procrastinating and start making some headway on your fitness dreams.

Fortunately, we're here to help.

The world of fitness, nutrition, training and health may be daunting and a tad overwhelming at first, but we can assure you, it's definitely worth it in the long run!

We've put together our Top 6 Tips to help you get started, to make small, positive changes to your diet and lifestyle, reducing your risk of contracting the dreaded dad-bod-itis, and put you well on your way to both looking, and feeling great.



1. Audit Your Nutrition

Does your diet suck?

If you're maintaining at least a moderate level of physical activity and the beer gut is growing, or if you're trying to put on some muscle and things just aren't going in your favour, your nutrition is most likely the culprit.


For a few days, input everything you consume into a calorie tracking app, such as MyFitnessPal.

It may feel a bit strange at first, but give it a go.

And when we say everything, we mean everything. Snacks, drinks, coffees, you name it. If you're consuming it, input it.

What this will do, is give you an insight into where you might be going wrong. If you're consuming way too many calories for your activity level, or your macro nutritional ratios are way out of whack, this is going to make things clear, and put you onto the right path.

Now that you know where the problem lies, move onto Tip 2...



2. Create Consistency In Your Diet

Sorry lads, but the "whatever I damn feel-like" dinners are out, and portion controlled, planned meals are here to stay.


Nutrition is a battle for a lot of us, and it's hard to even know where to start. The easiest and quickest solution is to eliminate variables.

Start by pre-planning your meals (or even preparing on a Sunday) for the week. A source of lean protein is a must, such as chicken breast or lean beef, combined with a carbohydrate source such as wholegrain pasta or sweet potato, and some greens is a great starting point.

Diversify your protein sources to prevent things getting old fast, and invest in some low sodium seasonings and low sugar sauces to make bland meals a thing of the past.



asn body transformation



3. Sleep More

Wait, what?!

You heard us. Get more ZZZ's every night to lose weight.

And no, that is NOT a permission slip to skip the early morning workout in favour of a snooze fest. It means hit the hay earlier every night and get (at least) a full, restful 8 hours.

Sleep is one of, if not the most crucial lifestyle components to a healthy body, healthy mind and staying in shape.


Once you dip into the 5-7 hour range which a lot of blokes do, your body starts to go haywire.

Not only is your mental clarity going to suffer, but your recovery is going to hit a dead end before you know it. If you're hitting the gym hard, you need to recover just as hard, and sleep is the most important time for your body to do so. Turn Netflix off, get to bed early and wake up feeling fantastic.



4. Drink More Water

And less soft drinks.

You'd be surprised how many problems can be solved just by drinking more H2O.

Seriously, it's an incredibly simple solution that reaps some fantastic results.

Blokes need to drink at least 3 litres of fluids per day. And that's before exercise. 


All fluids count towards this goal, but when you start introducing soft drinks, excessive amounts of fruit juices or other flavoured beverages, calories (in particular, sugar) start adding up fast.

Hydration is absolutely vital to human health, and being sufficiently hydrated can quell hunger, provide energy, improve cognitive function and even improve fat metabolism.



 5. Strength Training

There's lost of awesome ways to exercise and kick start your fitness journey. However, the most efficient, enjoyable and effective form of exercise for getting in shape is strength training. Most particularly, compound lifts.

Focus your training on compound exercises - multi joint movements which activate more than one muscle group at a time (as opposed to isolation exercises).


The best, go to "staple exercises" to construct your gym sessions around are the Squat, Deadlift, Bench Press and Overhead Press. Other fantastic additions include Chin Ups/Pull Ups (or Lat Pulldowns to work up to these), Leg Press, Incline Chest Press and Bent Over Rows.

Train smart, and if you can't get to the gym as often as you like, focus on full body training sessions as opposed to body-part splits, blasting your entire body at least twice per week.



6. H.I.I.T.

Say goodbye to hour long gruelling jogs, and hello to High Intensity Interval Training.

H.I.I.T. revolves around short, intense bursts of exercise, followed by a resting or low intensity recovery period.


H.I.I.T. has some amazing benefits on fat burning and cardiovascular conditioning, and the best part is that you can slog out a H.I.I.T. session in under 15 minutes, with more benefit than an hour of steady state cardio training.

Try heading down to the park and doing some sprints, or jumping on the spin bike next time you're at the gym and working with 30 seconds hard, 60 seconds recovery to get started. Perform 4-5 intervals for your first session (don't forget to give 110% during your sprints!) and aim to increase the amount of intervals you perform each session, up to 8-10. You'll feel and look great before you know it!







asn body transformation