Are you an “all or nothing” type of person? Do you set your goals and crush them no matter what? Do you go go go until you’re about to drop? If you answered “yes” to any of these, you could be stressing your adrenals and causing weight gain.
Reducing stress, exposure to chemicals and toxins, following a healthy diet, including adrenal fatigue supplements and getting good sleep on a regular schedule are the best ways to lose weight with adrenal fatigue. Decreasing the stress and inflammation on the body will heal the adrenal glands and the adrenal fatigue weight gain will begin to switch to weight loss.
If you’re an overachiever or constantly on the go and can’t lose weight, you could be stressing your adrenals and hindering your weight loss. Environmental factors like chemicals and air pollution could be putting stress on your adrenal glands causing adrenal fatigue and causing a weight loss plateau or even weight gain.
We always think that motivation is the key to losing weight. We have to get motivated, stay motivated, stick to our diet, and get in those intense workouts and then we’ll lose weight, right? WRONG! We have so much stress in our lives due to technology and every day life and then we add all these stressful things associated with losing weight, totally setting ourselves up for failure. So the things you think are helping are actually causing adrenal fatigue and stalling your weight loss progress!
Below I’ll share some signs and symptoms that you might have adrenal fatigue and some ways you can reduce stress on your body and help your adrenal glands heal.
How do you know if you have adrenal fatigue without a diagnosis?
This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure here.
Common Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms
- Thyroid problems
- Decreased sex drive
- You can’t lose weight no matter what you do
- Difficulty recovering from workouts or physical activity
- Muscular weakness
- Tired in the morning
- Foggy thinking/tiredness in the afternoon with burst of energy in the evening
- Trouble sleeping
- Can’t handle stress
- Mild depression
- Lack of energy/tired all the time
- Food cravings
- Increased symptoms of PMS or menopause
- Lightheaded or dizzy when standing up from a seated or lying position
- You “need” caffeine to get through your day
- Inflammation in the body/autoimmune disease
At Home Adrenal Fatigue Test
Iris Contraction Test
In a dark room stand in front of a mirror. Shine a flashlight on your eye from the side.
Normally your pupil will contract and stay contracted for about 20 seconds, but if you have adrenal fatigue, your pupil can’t hold the contraction and will waiver between being contracted and dilated.
Does Adrenal Fatigue Cause Belly Fat?
Chronic stress causes elevated cortisol levels associated with adrenal fatigue which causes an increase in body fat around the entire abdomen.
If you measure your waist and hips and then divide the waist measurement by the hip measurement, the ratio should be below 0.85 for women and 0.9 for men.
If your waist hip ratio is higher than this, it is an indicator that adrenal fatigue is responsible for your weight gain and belly fat.
Adrenal Fatigue Recovery Tips To Help You Lose Weight
Try a plant based whole food diet plan to lose weight with adrenal fatigue
Many of the health issues we face are caused by inflammation in the body. Inflammation causes stress on the body and leads to adrenal fatigue as well as just about every other disease. What if I told you that it only takes 2 weeks to start turning your health around? Would you commit to eating plant based for 2 weeks?
A healthy vegan diet can reduce inflammation and help adrenal fatigue making it the best adrenal fatigue diet plan for weight loss.
I started this plant based diet and lost 6 pounds in my first 2 weeks. After 2 months I was down 25 pounds while struggling with adrenal fatigue and hypothyroidism. This is the eating plan that has really worked for me to lose weight since I’ve had adrenal fatigue.
Get a good night’s sleep for weight loss with adrenal fatigue.
You have to go to bed by 10pm for your circadian rhythm to be regulated. People with adrenal fatigue will most likely have trouble sleeping.
Your cortisol should be higher early in the day and then go lower in the evening when melatonin increases. In a person with adrenal fatigue, the opposite happens. Your cortisol is low in the morning and spikes in the evening suppressing melatonin and causing sleeplessness. So regulating your circadian rhythm is crucial to healing the adrenals.
If you experience sleeplessness with adrenal fatigue, a weighted blanket is so helpful. Once I got one of these I started sleeping through the night. I couldn’t believe it because I was in this crazy annoying cycle of waking up at 3am and not being able to get back to sleep. It was the most frustrating thing. The weighted blanket calms me down and relaxes me so I sleep so much better.
It’s also really soothing when you have anxiety. Just lay under it for a few minutes and you’ll feel the anxiety melt away. I love to take a few minutes after a long day at work and just let my stressful day go.
Get up at sunrise and get some sun exposure.
This is also part of regulating the circadian rhythm and getting vitamin D which many people are deficient in, especially if you have thyroid problems along with your adrenal fatigue. Many of us don’t absorb vitamin D supplements and it becomes toxic to the liver. So sunshine is the best way to get it.
Eat a healthy plant based breakfast before you start your day.
If you start going without giving your body any fuel, your body gets stressed and so do your adrenals. You want to eat breakfast no later than 20 minutes after you get up for the best results.
If your adrenals are stressed, intermittent fasting is not good. It adds an additional stress to your already taxed adrenal glands.
Get in a low intensity workout in the morning to lose weight with adrenal fatigue.
If you’re struggling with adrenal fatigue, you will want to keep your workouts calm. No running, no HIIT, no high intensity. The goal is to not get your heart rate up too much because this will create a stress response in the body.
Yoga, pilates, walking, and time under tension weight training (very slow movements with lighter weights) are all acceptable ways to workout with adrenal fatigue. I know this may go against everything you believe about exercise, but if you want your adrenals to get better, you have to keep from having the stress response.
Avoid caffeine for adrenal health.
Caffeine stresses the adrenals and gives you a false sense of energy by forcing your body to do something it doesn’t have the energy to do naturally. You may feel like you need it, but as your adrenals begin to heal, that will stop.
If you love coffee and want to drink it for the taste without the caffeine (be sure to get the decaf), this coffee is amazing! It’s better for your body because it’s lower acid and caffeine free, but it tastes just like regular coffee. If you want to cut out coffee completely but still want the taste, this herbal replacement tastes surprisingly like the real thing.
Use adrenal fatigue homeopathic remedies and supplements.
The best adrenal support supplements are adaptogenic herbs like ashwaganda help the adrenals heal. Also you may have vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
For me, taking a methylated vitamin B complex helped me drastically. I don’t tolerate a lot of vitamin supplements very well, but my body loves this particular one.
If you have thyroid problems, a kelp supplement will help you get iodine and selenium that thyroid sufferers are deficient in. Magnesium is hugely important in healing the adrenals and is a calming mineral. Vitamin C is also important if you have a deficiency.
Avoid toxins as much as possible to heal the adrenal glands.
We are surrounded by toxins and they stress the body and adrenals. If you really stop and think about how many toxins you come in contact with each day, it’s astounding.
Just a few examples are the pesticides on our foods, the pollution from cars, our soaps and laundry detergents, perfume, processed food chemicals, cleaning products, body products like lotions, and the list goes on and on.
I changed many of my toxic products to natural solutions and it really reduced the inflammation in my body. This post explains which products I changed and which are the best. Cutting as many of the toxins out that you can will take a ton of stress off of your body and allow it to heal.
Avoid as much stress as possible to lose weight with adrenal fatigue.
Try to disconnect from stress. I am a reactive person when it comes to stress. Learning to walk away and not react to stressful situations will help your health and adrenals.
Take a minute to just think about it and realize that having a stress response doesn’t help the situation. Take some deep breaths and calm yourself.
Deep breathing from your diaphragm helps with adrenal fatigue weight loss.
Start your day and end your day by taking a couple of minutes to take some deep breaths. This gets more oxygen into the body which it needs and helps to calm you.
I do this first thing in the morning to get my mind right and while I’m laying in bed before I fall asleep at night to calm me and I usually fall right to sleep when I finish. It doesn’t take long and will make you feel amazing. Take 25 to 30 deep breaths. If you want, you can repeat it a few times.
Wear blue light blocking glasses at night for adrenal fatigue recovery.
The blue light and EMFs from our devices stresses the adrenals. Wearing these glasses will block the harmful blue light and keep the stress response down. It will help get your circadian rhythm regulated and allow you to sleep better.
Relax before you go to bed to heal the adrenal glands.
Turn off all technology. This would be a great time to take a bath with epsom salt to relax and get your magnesium in or to spend a little time meditating and deep breathing.
Give yourself about 30 minutes before you go to bed. The goal is to get into a deep sleep where you enter REM sleep and remember your dreams. During the first half of your sleep your body is repairing and during the second half of your sleep cycle your mind is repairing. So you can see why sleep is a very important factor in healing your adrenals and your body as a whole.
Holding onto old grudges can really harm your health. If you find you’re spending a lot of time thinking about things that hurt you in the past, you’re putting unnecessary stress on your adrenal glands.
You may need to forgive someone else or yourself. The best way I find to do this is to write a letter.
Start out by writing “Dear _________,”
Then write out everything that hurt you, how you felt at the time, how you feel now, and why you feel that way. Get everything out that you need to. Write all the things that you’re too afraid to say or unable to say.
Once you’ve got everything on paper, burn it. As the flames engulf the paper, say “I release all the pain of my past. I forgive you, ______.”
An important thing to understand about people hurting us is that it’s in most cases not intentional. People act in a way that comes from their experiences and beliefs. They’re making what they think is the best decision at the time based on what they know to be true.
Releasing these things that are weighing you down emotionally will help you release the extra pounds that are weighing you down physically.
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