The Secret Weight Loss Saboteur – Fight Or Flight in the Modern World
Here’s a scenario I see over and over-busy women who complain that, even though they exercise and try to eat right, still cannot seem to lose weight. They are frustrated and up the effort without avail. What’s going on? New research now supports what nutritionists and naturopaths have known for years-up to 80% of adult Americans suffer from some level of adrenal exhaustion and this is impacting our physical and emotional health, causing everything from weight gain to an impaired immune system and insomnia. So what are the adrenals, how do they figure into our weight and health problems, and what can we do to heal them today?
The adrenals are star shaped endocrine glands that sit on top of the kidneys and regulate several hormones-the two most important being cortisol (the stress hormone) and adrenaline (the fight or flight hormone). These hormones evolved to deal with short-term stress. If our ancestors had to run from a predator, for example, the adrenals would boost adreneline, to sharpen the senses and make us super focused on survival, and cortisol, to increase the rate protein is converted to energy and release sugar so that our bodies could respond quickly and strongly to danger. All in all, the adrenals increase heart rate, decrease metabolism, and tense our muscles so that we are lean, mean fighting (or fleeing) machines. When the danger passes okinawa flat belly tonic our bodies return to normal fairly quickly. The problem, however, is that our bodies, and our adrenals, are not adapted to the chronic, unrelenting stress of our modern world. Constant stress is put on our adrenals every single day-everything from chaotic traffic and schedules, lack of sleep (the adrenals restore themselves from eleven at night until nine in the morning), to the emotional stress caused by financial, job, and relationships responsibilities.
When we are so chronically stressed, our adrenals are pumping out too much cortisol and adrenaline. Studies have shown that increased cortisol in the body leads to weight gain, especially around the stomach area. When the adrenals become exhausted it can lead to low thyroid as well, which also causes weight gain. In addition, adrenal exhaustion leads to poor immune function, poor hormone regulation, insomnia, and chronic fatigue.
How do you test for adrenal exhaustion? Obviously a doctor can figure this out for you to be sure, but here are some common symptoms:
* Pattern of being groggy and not fully waking up for several hours. A dip in energy level between 2-5 in the afternoon and again around 9-10 in the evening.
* Craving high amounts of salt and fat.
* A high frequency of cold and flu
* Weight gain around the middle and/or inability to lose weight
* Lightheaded feeling when standing from a lying down or sitting position
* Increased symptoms of PMS in women
* Trembling when upset
Although it may take some time to bring your adrenals back to health, it is entirely possible with a balanced and natural approach. Taking care of your adrenals is all about taking care of You-a five pronged approach
Sleep: Since the adrenals restore themselves between eleven at night and nine in the morning, it is important to sleep during this time and for as long as you can. If you cannot, try to spend your awake time doing things that are gentle on the body and emotions-listen to tranquil music, stretch lightly, avoid arguments.