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 this is your personality type, you could be stressing your adrenals and hindering your weight loss. Even if that’s not your personality type, a lot of environmental factors could be putting stress on your adrenal glands 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?
This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure here.
Here are some symptoms. However, adrenal fatigue can show up in so many forms because the adrenals affect many areas of our bodies.
- 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
So what can you do to help your body heal and lose weight with adrenal fatigue?
- Try a plant based whole food diet for 2 weeks and see the amazing changes in your body. 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? If you want to get started with a plant based whole foods diet, this is an easy way to begin.
- Go to bed early. 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.
- 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. 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.
- After breakfast get a low intensity workout in. 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.
- Don’t have any caffeine. 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, 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.
- Take vitamins, minerals, and herbs to help. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.
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