Change Your Metabolism
It’s not just that many clients overeat when they’re stressed—long-term stress changes your metabolism. That’s a medical fact. Consider what happens: As our bodies endure long-term periods of stress, our ability to process carbohydrates may decrease (please refer to my book, Healing Depression: A Holistic Guide, for an in-depth discussion of this fact). Our bodies may start to retain water, become sensitive to sodium and our ability to digest all kinds of food may become impaired. Those who ignore their bodies’ signals to slow down may go into adrenal failure. If you are deficient in zinc and/or selenium, your body starts to produce reverse T3, a hormone that actually LOWERS your metabolism. Meanwhile, because you are energetically depleted, your nutritional needs increase dramatically while your ability to digest food further deteriorates. Many clients complain that although they are eating very few calories and exercising hours every day, the scale isn’t budging. As a trainer with compassion, I have made myself an expert in nutrition, metabolism and stress in order to restore hope. Here are a few suggestions:
Ask me to help you understand which stage of stress you are in and go over the effects on your individual metabolism.
Remove as many stressors in your life as possible. Stop working ridiculous hours. Take time off. Rest daily. Take naps. Question your priorities. If you are unable to get out of situations (I.e., a challenging job or tough marriage), reframe your attitude so you realize you always have choice.
Explore adaptogens. These include supplements to support your adrenal glands—the tiny glands that sit on top of your kidneys that help you respond to stress. The older we get, the more important it is for us to have healthy, strong adrenals. Why? There’s something called the cortisol STEAL. When you endure long periods of stress, energy in your body switches over to producing mostly the cortisol hormone at the expense of other hormones. Take heed, all premenopausal and menopausal women and even men with lagging libidos—if you are exhausted, not only will your weight loss efforts be difficult, your ability to maintain a health hormonal balance will be impaired.
Exercise therapeutically—not maniacally. Use a heart rate monitor. Ask me to help you determine if you are overtraining. Certain regimens—such as running—may be contraindicated, but more often than not, it is HOW you are exercising that may be the problem.
Let Us Count the Ways Clients who have eating disorders, imbalances in the pineal gland of the brain, sugar cravings or blood sugar imbalances would do well to have their zinc level checked. Why?
Zinc is important for the maintenance of many enzyme systems, including for protein digestion, energy production, alcohol and amino acid metabolism, immune function and fight against free radicals.
Essential for protein synthesis.
Helps in the formation of insulin.
Important for maintaining the proper acid/alkaline balance in the blood.
Normalizes the prostate.
Helps the development of reproductive glands.
Important for the brain and all neurological functions.
Required for the synthesis of DNA.
Can accelerate the time for healing both internal and external wounds.
Aids in the treatment of infertility.
Can help decrease cholesterol deposits.
May protect against the toxic effects of chemical exposures.
Many people take the hormone melatonin to improve their sleep. This is a mistake, for many reasons. Since the pineal gland produces melatonin and needs zinc in order to function properly, a better alternative is to correct zinc deficiencies and get plenty of natural sunlight.
Zinc is included in natural supplements to support the thyroid. Clients under severe stress who are zinc deficient may produce reverse T3, a hormone that lowers metabolism. miracles: learn yoga breathing
Stress Lowers Your Thyroid Function
Because stress takes such a heavy toll on the thyroid and metabolism, I recommend:
Yoga, Qi Gong and Tai Chi. Not only excellent exercise, but calming for the mind.
Purchase a Mind’s Eye machine from www.powerstates.com. These machines train your brain to produce calming alpha brain waves, and contain about 50 other programs for mental fitness enhancement.
A rocking chair or hammock will balance the second chakra, the energy center in our bodies associated with pleasure.
Hike. Breathe fresh air! Sunlight stimulates the pineal gland and resets circadian rhythms, which helps balance hormones.
Evidence indicates that stress hormones influence thyroid hormone activity both at the level of hormone production, through inhibition of TSH, and through alteration of peripheral hormone metabolism, by inhibiting the conversion of T4 to T3 and favoring the conversion of T4 to rT3.” – Research reported in Endocrinology magazine