Chances are, you are feeling the stress and burnout right now. You might even be so overwhelmed that your body is showing all the signs of high cortisol and adrenal overload…

😴 You are tired no matter how much sleep you are getting or coffee you are drinking…

😧 You are overwhelmed by daily tasks and you feel you can’t take it anymore…

😖 You feel inflamed, bloated, puffy, and uncomfortable in your body…

🥱 You are exhausted every night but struggling to get enough sleep…

Every expert says that the only way to balance stress is to de-stress. But easier said than done right?

Is it really adrenal fatigue? Or is it that you are chronically under-eating and your body is stressed AF?

In integrative nutrition, we focus on the stressors in life that we can control.

The number one cause of chronic stress, adrenal overload, and overwhelm (drumroll here 🥁)…

Not eating enough.

Under-eating is the number one cause of stress and adrenal overload, but it is also the number one thing you CAN control.

Your body’s sole purpose is to keep you alive and well. To do that, it needs fuel to get through the day. If it does not have enough fuel, that puts the alarm on.

As a result, stress levels increase, increasing cortisol. Cortisol leads to disruption in blood sugar, those erratic spikes and drops throw you on an energy roller coaster, and you are left in a terrible stress cycle.

Your body actually interprets high blood sugar levels as a stressor that stimulates the release of cortisol. When too much cortisol is released, your body is in flight or fight mode. For women, the long-term effects of stress are often hormone imbalance.

Kick stress by nourishing your systems!

When you give your body the fuel that it needs to function, your body can do the job it is designed to do! Pretty amazing right?

There is one big problem working against you though…diet culture has completely skewed what the perception of nutrition is.

Meaning, that you might be intentionally under-eating or restricting thinking that it is actually healthy. Which can leave you frustrated because you feel you are doing it all “right” but still struggling with symptoms.

Signs of Metabolic Down-Regulation

When you are under chronic stress, your metabolic function can be compromised as a result. I have coined this term “metabolic down-regulation”. This is when metabolic rate slows and your body goes into a conservatory state to ensure you have what you need to survive. Basically it’s the primal “fight or flight” mode. 

Common signs include: 

  • Feeling tired even after sleeping 8-10 hours 
  • Not feeling hungry 
  • Getting “hangry”
  • Getting shaky or lightheaded 
  • Thinning hair and nails 
  • Feeling cold or having trouble thermoregulating 
  • Inability to lose weight 
  • Weight gain (especially in the abdomen)

Eating More To Kick Stress

As crazy as it sounds, but eating more is your ticket to reducing stress and improving your stress response. 

Remember, your body wants to keep you alive, happy, and healthy. Your body needs energy to do that. 

The more fuel your body has the right energy to meet these demands, the more it can do the job it was designed to do and LOVES to do. 

This process can feel really daunting if you are never hungry or are fearful about the “adverse” effects. So focus on implementing these three key strategies to kickstart your journey:

Timely Meals for Blood Sugar Regulation 

Eating at regular intervals helps to stabilize your cortisol response and limit the highs and lows of your blood sugar. Meaning, that the longer you go between meals, the more likely that your body is going to become stressed. Which puts you on that insane blood sugar roller coaster and can lead to decreased insulin function over time. 

Focus on eating every 3-4 hours to help nourish your body. You might not feel hungry initially, but this is okay. Even just introducing the food helps your body “rebuild trust” with your body. You will find that when you consistently do this, it will improve your hunger hormone (ghrelin) and your hunger cues will come back!

Protein-Packed Power

One of the most effective ways to improve metabolic rate and stabilize blood sugar – protein. Protein helps to slow digestion, which regulates the release of sugar into your blood. Protein helps to build lean mass, and for every 1 lb of lean mass you burn ~50 more calories at rest, protein is rarely converted into a carb in the body for energy due to molecular structure – so it is very unlikely that your body will convert it to fat.

This is why when you prioritize eating more, especially protein, you will see immediate changes in your energy, mood, and sleep, and you will lose inches even though you are eating more.

Focus on eating lean protein every 3-4 hours with your carbs. My go-to lean protein options include:

  • Egg whites
  • Chicken
  • Chickpeas
  • Lean Ground Beef
  • Ground Turkey
  • Low-Fat Cottage Cheese
  • Low-Fat Greek Yogurt

Understand YOUR Energy Needs

You are unique, how your body responds to food is unique, your insulin reactivity is unique, and your life and commitments are UNIQUE. So you are likely getting the theme that how you nourish your body requires a unique approach.

Textbook “healthy” often does not work because of your uniqueness. In integrative nutrition, we call this “bio-individuality”.

Your genetic code, medical history, hormone profile, lifestyle, preferences, activity level, and so much more influence how your body responds to nutrition and what it will thrive from. So using generic macro calculations or following cookie-cutter programs often leaves you “eating healthy” but still struggling due to huge energy and nutrient gaps.

When you start eating for your unique metabolic and hormone needs, your body will self-regulate, blood sugar will balance, and you will find you are nourished and maintaining a healthy weight effortlessly.

Ensuring that you are getting the right ratio of protein, fats, and carbs is vital for hormonal harmony, energy, and weight.

This is best calculated by looking at the following factors:

  • Understanding your current hormonal imbalances. I recommend starting with my free hormone assessment here!
  • Identifying your Current Metabolic Threshold (CMT). This is the current energy intake and distribution that your body is operating at and assessing the level of stress incurred as a result.
  • Conduct a Nutrient Mapping Assessment to identify how your dietary patterns are impacting hormones so you can select the proper interventions to kickstart hormone and metabolic function. I have an entire Masterclass on it here!

Unlock the Health You Deserve!

Stress is inevitable, but it does not have to control you or hold you back. When you learn how to nourish and support your body, you can show up confidently and authentically in every single aspect of your life.

And that is how you go from struggling day in and out…

…to energized, symptom-free, confident, and thriving.

My FREE Masterclass: How to Reclaim Your Health Through Hormone Balance maps out the three core strategies you can implement to kick stress, boost energy, and transform your health. You can tune in here!

If you are ready for real change and want to dive head first into success, book a discovery call 📞 to start your journey and get connected to the best program for you!

If you have any questions, be sure to share them below or reach out to me personally.

Tasha

Tasha is an Integrative Clinical Nutritionist, B.S. and Founder of Happy Hormone Health. She has coached 2000 women in reclaiming their energy, living symptom-free and transforming their health through hormone balance nutrition. Start your hormone balance journey with her free hormone assessment to get tailored strategies.

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