Could your unrelenting stress be the cause of not being able to lose weight?
This is an interesting topic, one that fitness guru's on instagram won't be talking about. But it happens constantly. Let's dive in to the connection between your cortisol levels, and your metabolism.
I'm going to start with this scenario. Imagine 10,000 years ago, what the human body was dealing with. It was dealing with stress - but that stress was almost always life-threatening, right? Bears, tigers, harsh living conditions, weather, food scarcity, disease. Our nervous systems are there to protect us from this threat to life, and hence cortisol increases to alert the nervous system into sympathetic nervous system mode (SNS). After cortisol and adrenalin switch SNS on, your body functions differently. It just wants to save your life. You are on edge, scanning for threats, anxious, energy and blood is being diverted away non-essential activities and being conserved and sent to organs.
Do you think that a priority at that time is to lose weight? Absolutely not, in fact the opposite happens. Your body slows your metabolism right down, inhibits your thyroid from going too fast, and ensures you have the fat storage to get you through the 'flight or fight' or famine that you may go through.
Our bodies have not changed since those days. At all. Our nervous system, our cortisol, it all works the same. So if you are struggling to lose weight, have a look at your stress levels, how stressed do you feel? We all know if we have too much stress, too much in our mental load, and not enough stress-off.
We can encourage your cortisol levels to lower with nutritional supplements and herbal remedies (within an appointment), to feel safe enough to lose weight. But you also may need to make shifts in your life, say no to things, cut down where possible, hire support, do less, rest more.
It's only when your nervous system feels safe, is when fat-burning and weight loss can occur.