According to a study done in 2003, links between stress and weight gain were linked. The authors stated that over time the release of stress hormones, like cortisol, can do three major things to cause weight gain:
1. It excites the central nucleus of the amygdale, which is a major part of the emotional brain.
2. It magnifies our satisfaction from pleasurable or compulsive activities, such as EATING SUGAR
(which can actually act like a drug in some people).
3. It increases the amount of fat deposited in the abdomen.
#3 is the truest with women that have adrenal imbalance. I have been having this problem for so long, now I am starting to understand WHY I couldn’t drop weight like I use to.
OK! We now know that we can “heal” the adrenals by “light “exercises and by better eating habits. AND it is also important not to let ourselves get too hungry. Remember, my doctor had told me not to go 2 hours without eating when I first wake up in the mornings? Here’s why:
Low blood sugar by itself puts stress on our bodies and can tax our adrenals. Even as we sleep, our bodies constantly need energy. The primary adrenal hormone cortisol serves as a kind of moderator in making sure our blood sugars between meals, especially during the night, stays adequate. Long periods without food make the adrenals work harder by requiring them to release more cortisol to keep our bodies functioning normally.
It seems that cortisol has a natural cycle that works with our circadian rhythm. Normally, it begins to rise around 6:00 AM and reaches its highest peak around 8:00 AM, then throughout the day it gradually declines, with small upward bumps at meal times, in preparation for nighttime rest. So it’s important to work with the natural cycle to avoid dramatic ups and downs. Eat the majority of foods earlier in the day, and eat an early dinner making it the lightest one of the day. The “night-eating” habit is due to the appetite-stimulating effects of residual cortisol, which unfortunately disturbs our hormone axis…So try to cut out that night time eating.
Giving our bodies the support it needs through natural rhythms by timing meals not only prevents dips in blood sugar, but also minimizes cortisol output and frees up our adrenals to perform their functions and gives us more sustained energy throughout the day!! And life becomes more enjoyable when we have the energy we need!!