“I don’t feel like myself on the inside, and I don’t look like myself on the outside.
I’m tired and snappy at my friends and family, and I’ve gained so much weight around my middle.
I just feel so uncomfortable all the time – I don’t know what’s happening to me!”
Do you relate at all?
This is a very common complaint we hear – daily. Today I want to explain the WHY behind the problem in some detail.
Our Clients TOP 3 Goals
Weight loss, mood support, and increasing energy are the top 3 goals patients have when they book an appointment with a Lucy Rose practitioner. A lot of our patients are miffed with why they are following a (mostly) healthy diet and are exercising – yet they are still not getting the rewards for their efforts.
Digging deeper, we often find that chronic stress is a key driver that has been flying under the radar for far too long. This is especially the case for women over the age of 40.
Here is why.
Cortisol dysregulation – too much or too little affects our mood and our waistline!
Cortisol has many actions in the body, and one ultimate goal of cortisol secretion is the provision of energy for the body.
Cortisol stimulates fat and carbohydrate metabolism for fast energy, in addition to stimulating insulin release and maintenance of blood sugar levels. The end result of these actions is an increase in appetite. Therefore, chronic stress, or poorly managed stress, may lead to elevated cortisol levels that stimulate your appetite, causes weight gain, and difficulty losing unwanted kilos.
Cortisol directly affects SLEEP
Getting good quality and sufficient amounts of sleep are essential for fat and muscle mass regulation, as well as harmonizing hormones, replenishing cortisol, allowing the liver to detoxify, and ensuring correct energy through the day.
If balancing your moods and weight is your concern, you must address your sleep.
This is what healthy sleep looks like:
Lay in bed, settle in, close eyes. Asleep in 5-15 minutes. Sleep right through without waking. Wake 8.25 hours later feeling refreshed and motivated, hop out of bed ready to start the day.
How does your sleep rate?
Chronic stress will disturb the night-time cortisol/melatonin balance and can lead to significant issues resulting in fatigue, brain fog, and the thing we hate the most – BELLY FAT!
If you want to get this sorted once and for all, book a call and we will get you sleeping like a baby in no time!
Stress and movement
When we’re stressed, we feel less inclined to exercise. This means we’re not getting that lovely rush of endorphins that comes along with a good exercise session, and we’re not working to build fat-burning muscle. Being stagnant tends to lead to lower energy, a lower metabolic rate, higher blood sugars, and you guessed it – weight gain.
Poor food choices
When you go through a period of prolonged stress your energy eventually becomes inconsistent. Without the energy to prepare a delicious, nutritious meal, it’s easy to fall into the trap of picking up some fast food on the way home, or ordering in. Stress also has a tendency to make food feel more rewarding or comforting, and subsequently we can rely on food to ease our stress.
Be mindful of when you’re eating to alleviate stress or when you’re eating because you’re hungry. Typically, the types of food you want will be the clue here- not many people who are stressed crave a big bowl of broccoli!
Why our mood changes
Our mood is largely controlled by the neurotransmitters Dopamine, Serotonin, and GABA. For your body to make these hormones, it needs key nutrients. Gut bacteria also play an important role in neurotransmitter production, so any gut issues should be treated if this is a concern for you.
When under stress, our sympathetic nervous system gets stuck in the on mode – called the Fight, Flight and Freeze response. This shuttles all available nutrition to the production of noradrenaline and adrenaline – at the expense of feel good hormone production. Hence we end up with low levels of Dopamine (makes us prone to emotional ‘reward’ eating habits), Serotonin (leads to depression and low motivation) and GABA (leads to anxiety and panic attacks)
Once nutritional status is improved, mood also improves!
How to find the right treatment
Managing stress levels is always multifaceted, as different people have different needs (and experience different triggers!)
To find the answers, you need good, thorough pathology, a practitioner with experience in this field, and often other therapies are beneficial, such as counselling, cognitive behaviour training, fitness coaching, and more.
From a functional medicine approach, we first need to understand the state of your hormones and glands, your nutritional status, and your thyroid & adrenal function. Then we can build a personalised treatment to get you feeling great again!
If you are over 40 and struggling with energy, weight and brain fog, it’s time to invest in thorough pathology to get the real answers to WHY you are exhibiting these signs.
Our adrenal and sleep profile covers sensitive markers to show us your cortisol pattern and your melatonin production. Depending on the stage of fatigue and your pathology results, you will get different therapeutic recommendations including high dose corrective nutraceuticals, herbal medicine and the right advice on diet and lifestyle – not whatever the is the latest trend!
For a science based approach to health using your own biochemical markers, with experts to guide you to your ultimate wellness, book your first call to get started!