If you are overweight, adrenal fatigue may be the cause

Most of us overeat when we feel a lot of pressure. This happens thanks to the fight or flight response, also called survival mode – once the body has reached a certain level of stress, it does what it feels it has to do. In most cases that means overeating, which leads to being overweight. Read on because adrenal fatigue, the product of so much stress, may be the main cause.

Most of us are aware of the mind-body connection, or how what makes up our psyche can manifest itself in physical sensations and experiences. Weight gain and being overweight in relation to survival mode response is just another example of this phenomenon.

The fight or flight response is like a „survival mode“ because life depends on it. If the fight or flight response is not well tuned, you could get struck by something much faster and stronger lurking.

Today, while most of us are relatively safe from certain dangerous „wildlife,“ we still, of course, have a certain survival-type response in our brains. Instead of facing threats from wildlife or the possibility of starvation, we are faced with bad drivers, overwork, long hours and a 24/7 always compliant with society. In fact, while survival mode is activated differently, much of the effects on our body stay the same.

Here, we’ll discuss the connection between survival mode and weight gain – more specifically, five signs that this brain mechanism may be to blame for a few extra pounds. Finally, we will conclude by providing some recommendations on what we can do to address this.

What is adrenal fatigue?

All this stress that we have been talking about that causes a continuous survival mode, causes what is called adrenal fatigue. The main cause of adrenal fatigue is stress. To better understand how this whole mechanism lands on overweight, we must know how all this is generated from the beginning.

Adrenal fatigue is a collection of signs and symptoms, known as a „syndrome“ that occurs when the adrenal glands function below the necessary level. Most commonly associated with intense or prolonged stress (survival mode), it can also arise during or after acute or chronic infections, especially respiratory infections such as the flu, bronchitis, or pneumonia.

Many factors can reduce adrenal function, and it is often a build-up of these triggers over a period of time that is responsible for the syndrome known as adrenal or adrenal fatigue. As its name suggests, the primary symptom is fatigue that is not relieved by sleep, but is not an easily identifiable or diagnosable entity.

The health manifestations that adrenal fatigue can bring include arthritic pain, allergies, very low immune response, anxiety, insomnia, bad mood, premenstrual syndrome, salty and sweet cravings, and weight gain, among others. About weight gain, below we explain how this cycle is triggered.

Cortisol, the stress hormone and being overweight

When our brain is in survival mode as it is when it is cycling through adrenal fatigue, our body immediately goes on the defensive – and this work requires a great deal of energy. As such, the body „thinks“ it needs calories to compensate for this energy expenditure when it doesn’t really need them.

In this feedback state of stress, cortisol, which is precisely the „stress hormone“, is released, this causes elevated levels of insulin while our blood sugar plummets. What is the fastest way to compensate for this? You guessed it: fatty and sugary foods. Instead of a healthy option, like an apple or a banana, we will opt for cookies, ice cream, bread, cakes, sugary cravings and they can also be greasy salty.

These fatty and sugary foods cause a chemical reaction that suppresses the survival response and helps calm us down. They are very tasty, which explains how stressed people get hooked on some of these convenient or comfort foods .

The reaction is like this: “More stress = more cortisol = more appetite for junk food = more belly fat and to top it off, more fatigue.

If you want to know some of the signs that can tell you if you suffer from adrenal fatigue and with it, the consecutive overweight, read the following signs that can give you an idea to act accordingly.

5 signs you’re overweight from adrenal fatigue

Seeking solutions requires conscious knowledge on our part. Here are five signs that our survival autopilot is leading to weight gain:

1. We get fat quickly

Nothing makes us gain more pounds faster than the combination of comfort foods and stress. As mentioned, our body’s response to stress is cyclical and mechanized unless we intervene. So, if you stepped on the scale only to immediately jump back in horror, stress may be to blame.

2. Check your pantry

Do you see? A well-balanced and healthy mix of foods, or something that resembles Willy Wonka’s shopping list? If your kitchen cabinets are more like the latest, don’t worry, just acknowledge it and make a conscious decision to buy healthy, more natural foods.

3. How are things at work?

The simple fact is, about 70 percent of people in the US alone hate their jobs. Another fact is also that, about 70 percent of people also in that country, to name it as a reference, are overweight or obese. Correlation does not imply causation, but these statistics are revealing – and, on an individual level, should take us a step back to assess our work environment.

4. Lack of interest in activities that were previously enjoyable

While this may sound like a symptom related to neurological depression, adrenal fatigue caused by stress can also cause us to lose interest in activities. And we must know that we are more likely to eat when we are inactive.

5. People close to you express their concern

Sometimes we are not able to see for ourselves aspects that need to be reviewed. People who love and care about you can express their concern about your health (for example, about being overweight or about your appearance, since you seem stressed or anxious.) Listening and not discrediting other people’s comments, can Help us get out of the cycle that we find ourselves in.

Recommendations to change the pattern and lose weight

Regular meals and two snacks per day. To convince your body that it is not starving, and more importantly, that it is not in danger, you must eat regularly. Keeping the blood sugar level stable prevents large amounts of cortisol from being released and, in the long term, reduces the load on the adrenal glands.

Eat three balanced meals and two snacks a day, and these should be spread throughout the day to work with your body’s natural circadian rhythm.

Eating at the right times matters. Cortisol has a natural rhythm, which is highest in the morning, gradually decreasing as the day progresses, and is lowest at night so that restful sleep can occur. Eating tends to increase cortisol, so eating the largest meal earlier in the day is the best option for optimal well-being.

Have your favorite foods available? Many people use sugar, sugary snacks, and caffeine because they give them quick energy and are convenient and easy. Eating this way often leads to even greater energy depletion as blood sugar plummets after the initial spike. If you need energy, add protein and nutrient-dense foods that support the adrenals, foods like blueberries, broccoli, ginger, avocado, and of course lean protein.

Tip: Something extremely important to consider is the addition of a pharmaceutical grade multivitamin / mineral complex and adaptogenic herbs. When it comes to dietary supplements for stress adaptation and cortisol management, the first line of defense appears in the form of a comprehensive multivitamin / mineral supplement.

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