We all experience stress; it’s impossible to prevent or avoid. City Savvy’s Tina Pace, and trainer, Feres are here to talk about what it really means to be stressed, how it may be affecting your body in worse ways than you think, and some practical things you can do about it.
WHAT IS CORTISOL?
Cortisol is the stress hormone that is made and released from the adrenal glands on the top of each kidney. Cortisol, in healthy measures allows us to wake naturally in the morning without an alarm and after a deep sleep. We need it for survival; it’s what prepares us for a fight or flight situation, making our bodies ready to take on tigers and dinosaurs. It also helps our bodies produce blood sugar from proteins.
WHEN CORTISOL SPIKES
You see, as smart as our brains are, they can’t tell the difference between emotional stress, such as a work situation, and actual danger. So, when we experience any stressful situation, cortisol increases. This is ideal if we are, in fact, fighting a tiger or a dinosaur, but the problem starts when our cortisol levels increase dramatically and frequently, due to everyday things that are not tigers and dinosaurs. This spike, which can also be caused by bad nutrition or food intolerance, causes us to have cravings for high fat, high sugar and high carbohydrate things like cookies, candy, chips and ice cream. We may feel a temporary boost in mood, but what’s actually happening is that we’re creating problems with blood sugar, leading to swings in energy, fueling the stress-cortisol release cycle. Our bodies are then driven to become more insulin resistant, which means more fat is stored than the body needs, particularly in the abdomen.
Photo Credit: Alon/flickr (file)
Cortisol is in direct competition with the thyroid hormone and it usually wins. This decreases thyroid production, causing low energy and increased body fat. Cortisol also interferes with sleep, and the results of this chronic stress can include exhaustion, cardiovascular stress, weight gain, muscle breakdown and even diabetes.
“When a client has high fat measurements in their triceps and belly and tells me that they wake during the night, particularly around 2:00 to 3:00am, this points to a problem with high cortisol. I put them on a supplement protocol for sleep, and then we work to get the adrenals functioning properly again. During their training sessions, we avoid exercises that build up lactic acid and I give them things to think about so that they’re focused on something positive and not the difficulty of the training.”
CHECK YOUR STRESS
“In a seminar I attended by James LaValle, one of world’s best in functional medicine, he gave patients the following test to understand why they have injuries and chronic diseases.”
Click on the link below for the test and add up your score. If you don’t like the number you see, it’s time to make some changes.
LOWERING CORTISOL: FERES’S TOP TIPS
“A highly stressed person will struggle to lose weight until the cortisol issue is treated,” Feres says. He offers these suggestions:
- Increase Vitamin C: Because the adrenal glands have a higher content of vitamin C than any other organ, it directly supports the production of stress hormones.
- Increase Vitamin B5: Lack of this vitamin is associated with stress.
- Magnesium and Fish Oil help against stress, but before taking any supplement, it’s important to check your gut health.
- Chill Out, Man: Switch off the news and watch something that makes you smile. I recommend Mr. Bean making a sandwich.
- Avoid negative people. Think about with whom you spend your time. Did you know that you are the average of the five people that you hang out with most?
- Don’t worry, be happy.
Photo Credit: J E Theriot/flickr (file)
“I’m a strong believer in the law of attraction,” says Feres. “Each of us are what we think about. Being positive will change your world. And if you don’t believe me, with a 30 second test, I can show you how your brain affects your body.”
Feres is offering 400 euro off of a 12 week wellness package for the first three City Savvy readers that contact him. The package includes 24 one on one training sessions, body fat measurement, hormone assessment, diet plan, blood test analysis and advanced supplements.
Feres Romdhane is a strength and conditioning coach, professional boxer, BioSignature/Bioprint practitioner, International certified Poliquin coach, and has studied under the best in the fitness industry in the areas of functional medicine, nutrition and blood analysis. His clients range from competitive athletes to those who simply want to improve their overall health and fitness. Using his expertise in BioSignature and BioPrint, Feres helps his clients meet their fitness goals through personalized nutrition and exercise plans, and has particular success with those that are obese or overly stressed.
Where: Feres trains clients at various gyms in Luxembourg, Institut National des Sports in Cents, and also does home training.
Languages: English, French, German
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, 661 488 444
Feature Photo Credit: Thomas Haynie/flickr (file) www.phlebotomytech.org.
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinions of City Savvy Luxembourg. The words and other content provided in this article, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other health care worker.