In part one of this post, I explained how diet and exercise may not be enough to achieve weight loss. I also explained that the human body is under more stress than it can handle.
In this post, I will explain why stress is an issue, why this often requires patience and what you need to do about it.
The human body responds to any stress in exactly the same way regardless of the type of stress. So whether it is a marriage breakup, losing your job, a 10-mile run, or a gut infection, the physiological response in the body is the same.
There are two main responses that we are aware of. One is on the autonomic nervous system , the other is on the hormonal system.
When we are under stress, the body responds by stimulating the sympathetic side of the autonomic nervous system and releases stress hormones in the blood stream. This ‘stress’ response enables us to ‘fight or flight’. This is great if you are about to be run over by a bus as it enables you to move quickly away from danger. This response has enabled animals for millions of years to hunt and avoid predators.
However, when living in the wild, we had much less stress and after a ‘stressful’ event our autonomic and hormonal systems would return to normal levels.
This stress response is still very important to us today, but the challenge we have is that many people are chronically stressed or have been under more stress than they can handle for a long period of time. So many people are in a state of ‘stress’ constantly.
So how does this affect weight loss?
When we are in a state of stress our autonomic nervous system and hormonal systems are constantly over-working, a bit like constantly revving your car’s accelerator whilst breaking. In this stressed state blood flows from the internal organs of the body to the arms and legs to enable fight or flight. In addition, it creates what is called Pregnenolone Steal in the hormonal system.
What this leads to is a down-regulation of the workings of the internal organs, so digestion, detoxification and the immune don’t work effectively, which can lead to over-eating, constipation, auto-intoxication and an increased susceptibility to infections. It also leads to a reduction in the production of steroid hormones such as dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), testosterone, estrogen and growth hormone.
This leads to a reduction in lean body mass and a lowering of metabolic rate. It also causes inhibition of the production of thyroid hormones and the conversion to the active form of the thyroid hormone causing a further slowing of metabolic rate as well as cause many other health issues.
Here’s the Knock Out…
So if you just exercise more or exercise more intensely or eat less, you further stress the body. Further increasing the imbalances of the autonomic nervous system and hormonal system. So, working out more or more intensely can do more harm than good.
Many processes in the body require you to have a good balance of Cortisol to DHEA otherwise they do not work effectively. Processes such as fat and protein metabolism, thyroid hormone, carbohydrate metabolism, detoxification, all processes that are involved in storing or using body fat.
So What To Do Next?
It is imperative you identify all the causes of stress in your body and one by one reduce or eliminate them. I often get my clients to run lab tests to identify what we call ‘hidden stressors’. Often times, you just don’t know they’re there. Things like intestinal infections, heavy metals, environmental toxins etc.
Then it is essential to follow a programme that includes:
- Setting clearly defined goals
- Taking time out each day to switch off completely without any thoughts and focus on breathing
- Ensure you are fully hydrated (reduce/eliminate caffeine and alcohol)
- Eat a diet that is right for your metabolic type® that is organic and non-processed
- Avoid foods you are sensitive to.
- Introduce a heavy metal detox protocol (with professional guidance)
- Eliminate any intestinal infections and rebuild your intestinal barrier
- Get the right kind and amount of exercise once someone has assessed your autonomic nervous system and hormonal levels.
- Get to bed as soon after dark as possible and get at least 8-hours sleep per night.
From my experience and the experience of many other experts, detoxifying the body and rebalancing hormones can take 18-24 months. So you might need to be persistent, consistent and patient.
Losing weight fast might not only stress the body further and put more weight on in the long run, but release toxins into the body causing other more serious health problems.
As I’ve said before, you have to get healthy to lose weight, not lose weight to get healthy. Balance your bodily systems and your body weight will normalise.