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Five ways to manage stress, hormones and weight gain with the help of experts Lorna Vanderhaeghe and Dr. Cobi Slater
“Stress reduction is absolutely key if you’re trying to lose weight,” says Lorna Vanderhaeghe, one of Canada’s leading women’s health experts, who has been researching nutritional medicine for over 30 years.
Stress is a contributor to increased cortisol affecting weight gain. Founder of Essential Health Natural Wellness Clinic, Registered Herbal Therapist and Nutritionist, Dr. Cobi Slater says “abdominal fat cells have more receptors for cortisol than any other cells of the body.”
According to Vanderhaeghe, “chronically high levels of cortisol are literally changing the shape of abdominal fat cells creating the kind of body fat that is very hard to get rid of.”
In addition, elevated estrogen is a significant factor in weight management. Bringing estrogen levels to a normal range is paramount for weight reduction and good health.
Here are our top 5 ways to manage stress, hormones and weight gain with the help of experts Lorna Vanderhaeghe and Dr. Cobi Slater.
We all have a unique set of genetics and internal circumstances that will dictate our body’s ability or inability to achieve a healthy weight.
Dr. Cobi Slater explains that weight loss resistance occurs when the body’s internal balancing system is thrown off by a variety of hidden roadblocks that hinder the body from purging its protective layer. These roadblocks can include a poorly functioning liver, chronic stress, food allergies, estrogen dominance, adrenal fatigue, low thyroid function, insulin resistance, poor sleep and certain medications, all of which can prevent a person from achieving weight loss.
Discovering and conquering roadblocks that are the underlying cause of weight loss resistance is the key to living a completely balanced and healthy lifestyle.
In this day and age, stress levels have reached an all-time high. People are facing continual stress from the demands of our fast-paced lifestyle and our adrenal glands are relentlessly preparing for disaster.
Dr. Cobi Slater notes that the adrenal glands are responsible for governing our stress response by secreting hormones in order for us to respond to the stressors. When the adrenal glands are overworked, fat and calories are stored, energy is conserved and weight accumulates as our bodies prepare for adversity.
As the adrenals continue to battle the daily ongoing stressors, appetite greatly increases as the body craves extra fuel and stores this as fat around the abdomen, commonly referred to as belly fat. The brain sends a message to the adrenals to release cortisol as our blood sugar levels drop and we begin to feel hungry. Our body is fuelled with energy until we eat as cortisol activates glucose, fats and amino acids to maintain balance.
When stress becomes chronic, both insulin and cortisol remain elevated in the blood and the extra glucose is stored as fat, mostly in the abdomen.
Vanderhaeghe explains that women are being bombarded by environmental estrogens in everything from cosmetics to pesticides in our food, to chronic stress which elevates our internal estrogen levels. This estrogen exposure leads to breast lumps, breast pain, endometriosis, heavy periods, infertility, ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids, uterine polyps, ultimately increasing our risk of estrogen related cancers. This doesn’t just mean women, but men too are being affected by too much estrogen with beer bellies, breasts and erectile dysfunction.
Female conditions are often treated with the birth control pill, which contains seven times the amount of estrogen we would give to post-menopausal women. My last visit to the doctor’s office left me feeling very frustrated and incredibly surprised at the fact that when I addressed irregular periods and a breast lump it was recommended that my only option was to go on the pill. Needless to say I sought out other avenues.
Vanderhaeghe also makes note that 14-year-olds are put on the birth control pill for acne and most don’t come off until they’re 32 and then experience difficulties when trying to become pregnant.
Vanderhaeghe recommends that you bring estrogen levels to a normal range which will also aid in the inability to lose weight and recommends one of her own products.
“Everyone should be on ESTROsmart from the time girls turn 12 for the rest of their lives. I am proud of this product as it changes lives: periods become effortless, acne disappears and it helps stop cancer cells from converting into cancer-causing estrogen and abnormal cell growth.”
Eating nutritious foods at the right times throughout the day will keep hormones in check—and help you manage stress and weight.
“Chronic stress negatively affects the adrenal glands. In women, the adrenals are the back-up hormone system because they make estrogen, progesterone, DHEAs and testosterone when the the ovaries take a much needed rest at menopause. Women who have good functioning adrenals have virtually no menopause symptoms. If your adrenals are tired, you just can’t deal with stress, you develop belly fat weight gain, you fall asleep fine but wake up several hours later and can’t fall back to sleep until 4 a.m. and you need coffee to keep going,” says Vanderhaeghe.
Conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) have been found to help with weight loss even if people don’t change their diet. Vanderhaeghe’s Women’s Whey is a very fast and effective weight-loss supplement.
Women’s Whey contains CLA which burns fat. The recommended daily protein intake is 30g, which most women have a hard time reaching. To put it in perspective, an egg only has 6g of protein. Without changing your diet and incorporating two scoops a day with 40g of protein, Women’s Whey is guaranteed to help you lose weight. CLA also stops fat from coming back once dieting stops.
She also recommends that women take vitamin D3, a multivitamin, magnesium and fatty acids.
“Everyone is on a fish oil kick, but fish oil does not contain gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is the fatty acid for beautiful skin. As we get closer to 50, we stop being able to make GLA from our food, and our skin loses that youthful luminosity. These supplements provide a foundation, but if you have other problems, we need to add to that.”
For more of an in-depth look at this topic, I would recommend reading A to Z Women’s Guide to Vibrant Health by Lorna Vanderhaeghe and The Ultimate Metabolic Plan by Dr. Cobi Slater.
Always consult your family physician before seeking alternative medical treatment.