An Illusion of Separation

Integrated Processes Form A Single Momentum


When an athlete is in motion, movement is not an illusion from an infinite number of isolated states that somehow reside outside of time. Those states are abstractions that have been plucked out of a single momentum of activity. Similarly, the repeating cycles of our circadian rhythm and all of the hormonal & neuronal processes that arise from it during sleep and wake comprise a single fabric of interwoven processes that undergo coherent transitions. That rich, dynamic fabric of processes we call physiology, and it also includes the physiological processes that participate in movement, memory, emotion, cognition and thought. Movement is but one component of an active life.

But all of that living activity must be paid for. That is the role of nutrition as you will learn in the Fuel Use Sequential Steps (F.U.S.S.) module. Your unique capacity to develop novel variations to those activities requires sleep-dependent processes, as discussed on the Nourish Sleep learning platform. On this platform, you will learn that it is not merely movement, but also your mental and emotional health that requires exercise, in tandem with adequate sleep quality. This integration is widely misunderstood in health management and performance circles, as are the nutrient-use principles that dictate the body's determination of WHICH mix of fuels it will burn at any given moment.
We usually presume that all of the sources of food-energy (in Calories) that we consume can be simply combined and compared to the sum total of energy that we "burn" throughout our day. Recently, many have pointed out that the lion's share of energy that we burn goes into running the basic organs for life, and not the amount that we think that we burn for physical activity. However, a more important consideration is which fuels are available for metabolism at any given time. Fuels that are rapidly shunted into storage based on post-ingestion conditions are not equally available for burning relative to blood glucose, the common currency of the body. When blood glucose (blood sugar) diminishes, we get hungry and we eat, regardless of the abundance of stored fat energy that we may carry. In the F.U.S.S. Module, we will see how that is the real driver of the caloric energy imbalance that leads to weight-gain.

What's The Fuss?

The TriNourish Fuel Use Sequential Steps (F.U.S.S.) learning module provides critical insight into a widely misunderstood organizing sequence that the body deploys when provided macronutrient combinations in diverse situations. The most important lesson is that the caloric energy budget (calories consumed minus calories burned) is not the only consideration for weight-management and performance. The diverse availability of our nutrients during specific situations is the REAL DRIVER of our weight-management difficulties, as well as the principle factor that determines the quality of our performance.

Nutrition Expertise.

The educational information presented on this site and in the learning module has been adapted from a TriNourish Provider series for program staff training. It has been authored with the assistance of credentialed nutritionists and registered dietitians with sports, cardiovascular and nutrition expertise. By virtue of our fundamental goal to contextualize nutrition, exercise, and sleep advice, we make the same in-depth information available to members of this platform, however, we strongly advise that participants seek a personalized nutrition consultation through a registered dietitian or credentialed nutrition expert for a real-world, easy to follow plan. They are the experts who understand the situation-dependent nature of metabolism, but they can turn that knowledge into a simple "To Do" list for you. Check with the host entity that has provided you a membership benefit to this learning platform to contact a participating nutrition expert.

Context Matters.


Poor Sleep Obesity & Diabetes

When sleep is poor, lean muscle tissue is preferentially torn down, as opposed to the fat we want to burn. This has been demonstrated even for young, healthy athletes that exercise consistently. Poor sleep impacts fuel-use dynamics and increases hunger hormones. Moreover, even a modest shift in our circadian rhythm can impact our metabolic performance and skew our physiology toward weight gain.


Circadian Rhythm & Performance

Athletic performance can vary over 25% simply due to the ebb-and-flow of our circadian rhythm. Training regimens that seek to capitalize on the different characteristics of these peaks tend to schedule dexterity, agility and fine-motor skill movements during the mid-morning peak and large muscle-recruitment strength or power training during the core body temperature rise in the afternoon.


The Sedentary Brain is A Bully

Active muscle serves as a  reservoir to utilize insulin-mediated blood sugar. This is not a trivial role, as the alarming rate of diabetes discloses about a sedentary lifestyle. Because stored fat does not readily cross the blood-brain barrier to "feed the brain", the sedentary brain's priority is to frequently make you hungry so it can access blood sugar. Active muscle can mobilize and burn stored fat instead of ignoring its inflation.


Exercise Is Not For Weight Loss

Physical activity is a product that many of our core physiological processes anticipate. A lack of activity has profound consequences on basic metabolic functioning. The flip-side of an efficient , necessary movement system is that, on its own, exercise is not the most efficient weight-loss measure. Nonetheless, to suppose that physical activity is merely a weight-loss choice is radically and dangerously wrong-headed.

How Can Poor Sleep Cause Weight Gain?

The short answer is through STRESS. Poor sleep increases and sustains stress hormones at the wrong time the following day. Mistimed stress hormones increase lean tissue loss well before fat mobilization. In addition, undesired sympathetic nerve increases alter the normal balance of hunger and satiation hormones. Lastly, a misalignment between our circadian rhythm and hormone cycles in adipose tissue further increases a pro-weight hormonal environment. Short sleep times, truncated sleep stages, misaligned circadian rhythm, and common sleep disorders all contribute. See Nourish Sleep.

Metabolites Matter

Although fatty-acid mobilization and oxidation increase when skeletal muscles are put to work with exercise, fatty-acid mobilization and oxidation are markedly reduced relative to what they would be otherwise if a meal with significant carbohydrates is ingested, even within 6 hours of exercise. This blunting of fatty-acid utilization can occur for up to 12 hours. The demands of physical activity do invoke fatty-acid utilization to a significant degree, but the degree of fat-burning potential has more to do with the duration and intensity of exercise, and the number of hours since a meal, than it does with a total ‘switch’ to fat-burning. This topic is discussed in the main F.U.S.S. Module learning series from TriNourish.

Putting It All Together

1 - Identify any sleep disorder risk factors or maladaptive beliefs or behaviors associated with sleep by going through the Nourish Sleep assessment process.
2 - Follow up with a clinician to confirm or rule out potential sleep disorders if suspected.
3 - Optimize your sleep quality by visiting the Circadian Rhythm Introductory pages on the Nourish Sleep platform.
4 - Identify significant diet and exercise weaknesses by going through the Diet & Exercise Characterization on this platform to receive your baseline scores.
5 - Seek nutritional or fitness counseling from a credentialed expert who will contextualize your baseline scores or generate a goal-specific plan for you.
6 - If your goal is weight loss, you will have very different requirements than if your goal is athletic performance. Remember that one-size-fits-all advice is irresponsible.
7 - Work through some of the F.U.S.S. Learning material to understand the main emphasis points that will help you apply a long-term view on nutrition and/or fitness programming.
8 - The introduction of exercise into a previously sedentary lifestyle requires careful planning so that physical activity will energize you and not act as an unrealistic stressor.
9 - If you are already a fitness enthusiast or serious athlete, remain open to new learning that may assist your performance or your capacity to remain consistent. An authentic balance may be achieved by valuing training, nutrition and sleep quality optimization.
10 - Experiment, fine-tune and adjust aspects of the integrated triad together. The more you put into your healthy base the more it will deliver for you. Be patient. You can't change ingrained patterns overnight.

Nourish Sleep

The Nourish Sleep platform is a stand-alone sleep optimization and fatigue risk management solution, as well as the base of The TriNourish System integrated methodology. The assessment gateway provides the cornerstone for the 3-pronged TriFold Baseline Assessment offered by select business entities, fitness facilities, and nutrition programs as a comprehensive baseline evaluation with turn-key self-guided educational pathways.

D&E Characterization

The Diet & Exercise Characterization constitutes the diet and exercise components of the TriFold Baseline Assessment. It provides baseline grades for beliefs, behaviors, and patterns associated with these components. Upon completion you may choose to follow-up with a credentialed nutrition and fitness expert or learn more through the F.U.S.S. Learning Series before seeking assistance when warranted. The introduction of an effective fitness program that aligns with your current capacity and goals is available through your host entity. You may start with the Diet & Exercise Characterization below and contact your host for a follow-up session.


The Active Cycle.

It is not enough for you to desire adequate sleep for performance, it is also about the quality and timing of sleep, and the subsequent quality and timing of the activity and nourishment that you achieve outside of sleep. That is your domain. In that domain, nature does not take over to finish the work that you started, as it does in sleep. You must own it. But be aware that sleep-dependent processes organize their activity according to your activity, and if you do not feed them with adequate activity, training, experiences, and awareness, they will not provide you with adequate capacities. And if you do not nourish the activities that you hope to excel in, they will not nourish you. Nourishment, in this context, is both literal and physical. It occurs in nutrition and in training, but also through sleep-dependent processes on a nightly basis. When you diminish the quality of this triad, you diminish the quality of your being. Integrate Your Triad with TriNourish.

F.U.S.S. Learning Module Introduction

The Fuel Use Sequential Steps (F.U.S.S.) learning module requires your member access code. To review more information on the F.U.S.S. module content, select the button below.