Evidence-Based, Simplified Nutrition and Lifestyle Strategies


Microblog: Acute vs Chronic Stress

Our bodies are designed to handle acute stressors, not chronic stressors. When we are constantly stressed out, our health takes a hit.⠀


🥴Chronic stress not only puts you in a constant flight or fight state which then impacts your ability to properly digest and absorb anything, but the hormones to manage stress also take priority over other functions in the body.⠀


🤕We hear that stress causes us to gain weight.⠀


💣Increased cortisol in circulation INITIATES fat deposits in fat tissue, thus weight gain is common with excess cortisol. Yes, the cortisol that’s increased by 100% with just one day of sleep deprivation.⠀


💦Cortisol is a stress hormone from the adrenals and two of its primary functions are to anti-stress and anti-inflame. Yes, it causes the body to SUPPRESS the immune system and stop responding to a stimulus. (hello cortisone, prednisone).⠀


🩸Cortisol also STIMULATES the breakdown of protein and INHIBITS protein synthesis. Then the amino acids in muscle tissues (and from consumed proteins) can be used to create sugar via gluconeogenesis.⠀


🏃🏻‍♀️Makes sense. We need energy to run from the bear. Nowadays most of our stress is PERCEIVED while sitting in our office chairs and from eating too many processed carbs and seed oils. Yes, even inflammation from foods can increase cortisol.⠀


📖In one study, they found that cortisol increases visceral fat (fat around organs) NOT the subcutaneous fat that you can pinch. If you have a layer of fat that hides your abs, don’t blame that on stress. But its visceral fat that is associated with heart disease, metabolic disease and insulin resistance.⠀


💡There are no known benefits of suet over beef muscle fat. No need to seek out suet unless you’re cooking at higher temps. For nutrient-dense fats, bone marrow is ideal.⠀


🔬This study also talks about how the HPA axis is hypersensitive and that sex hormones and growth hormones are INHIBITED in obesity, specifically with high visceral fat. Yet we keep overstimulating the HPA axis to have elevated secretions of cortisol, low sex hormones, and low GH.


Exogenous hormone creams likely won’t solve the problem.


Nutrition with Judy


  • yvette blackstone
    July 15, 2023 at 11:02 am

    My husband was in the military for 26 years and throughout that time he deployed 6 times, one of those was a one year deployment. I know that I am not unique to that lifestyle but, it seemed that if something went wrong with the house, the kids, or in our extended family, it always happened while he was deployed. I was left to care for the interior and exterior of the house, the kids and their school (for many of those years we did homeschool), all the problems that occurred fell on me to handle, and then the worry for my husband’s safety (which I did realize I had no control over but I still worried). All those years of living in high stress situations made me unhealthy, well, that and the lack of education I had on proper eating habits. I joined gyms over those years, and took advantage of military gyms for exercise because prior to getting married I had been a gym rat-it was what I did for fun- and I could never get the strength and toned look to my body during my months of effort at the gym. Eventually I gave up, I got tired of going to the gym and not seeing any results. I feel like all those years of stress put my body in a fight or flight pattern and I am now insulin resistant. What labs can I get to see if that is the case? How can I find the path for changing that now? My husband is now retired, I am in my 50’s and have been in menopause for 3 years.

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