How Stress Can Derail Your Weight
Loss Efforts And What To Do About It
Everyone has a sad story, so I'm going
to tell you about mine.
It was November, 1994. I had been on the Meltdown weight loss program
for two years and had miraculously lost four inches off each thigh,
my natural fat storage deposit area. For the first time in my life,
I looked terrific in a bathing suit. Watch out, Shalom and Kate!
And then the #$@%Y& hit the fan.
Do you remember when Houston was flooded by torrential rains? That
day in November, when Houston got deluged, Dallas got nine inches
of rain in five minutes. I own a 1933 gingerbread house that I rent.
The house had flooded before, so I had already installed a costly
However, no drainage system could handle that volume of water. So,
the house flooded again. But this time, water was ankle deep. The
tenants called me immediately. I called the insurance company only
to learn floods are not included in a Texas homeowner's policy. So
the $13,000 worth of repairs were going to have to come out of my
own pocket. Trust me, this was not a good day.
I proudly fix things instantaneously, but this time, I had a harder
time rounding up $13K. The two tenants were unhappy with my progress.
They made unreasonable demands. Then, one threatened to burn down
the house if I didn't do what she asked. I called the Fire Marshall,
who promptly paid her a visit, since that kind of threat turns out
to be a third degree felony. During my next visit, the woman smacked
me in the mouth to punish me for calling the Fire Marshall. The impact
loosened two teeth and sent some others through the inside of my
cheek. I needed emergency dental surgery.
And then the IRS called. Time for an audit, they said. Ninety days
later they said we'll take 10% of your net worth or one of your rent
houses. You get to pick!
Oh, did I mention the boy toy dumped me right before Christmas?
Needless to say, I was under a great deal of stress during those
90 days. I worked out. I followed my Tissue Mineral Analysis eating
plan religiously. I thought I was doing OK. Yet I gained seven pounds!
Can stress affect your weight loss efforts?
You bet. Stress is the body's physical, mental and chemical reaction
to circumstances that frighten, confuse, irritate or endanger us.
Supreme stress makes biochemical changes that demand a response if
we are going to return to the health. It can permanently alter our
bodies -- and our brains.
Unfortunately for us weight conscious folk, stress activates a primitive
area of the brain that also controls eating and metabolic rates.
This sector of the brain is called the hypothalamus, a grape-sized
area located in the spot where the spine enters the skull. The hypothalamus
releases hormones that trigger the pituitary gland into action. The
pituitary gland, in turn, tells the adrenal glands, sitting atop
your kidneys, to get going.
It is the adrenal glands that cause all the trouble in the weight
loss department. Stress can cause the adrenal glands to produce too
little of a hormone called cortisol. The result: obesity and osteoporosis.
And those glands can also put out too much of two other chemicals:
adrenaline and noradrenaline. These can cause the body to develop
a calcium utilization problem: the bloodstream takes calcium out
of the bones, where it is needed, and mistakenly deposits it in the
soft tissues. This improper use of calcium slows the metabolism,
making it impossible to lose weight no matter how much you work out
or cut calories.
In my case, my calcium reading went through the roof. When I started
the program, my calcium reading was 148. (Normal is 32 to 56.) My
calcium was in the mid-40's when disaster struck and I considered
changing my name to Job. My Tissue Mineral Analysis in January, 1995
(a lab test which charts 37 different heavy metals and trace elements)
showed a calcium reading of 248, 100 points more than I'd ever been.
Thanks, adrenal glands.
For the record, the report showed a biochemical profile completely
different from any of my previous reports. This supreme stress had
significantly altered my biochemical make up.
Since I had followed my customized eating plan (also a part of the
TMA) exactly during my trials, my metabolic type didn't change. But
many of my customers actually switch from a slow to a fast metabolizer.
The hallmark of a fast metabolizer is overactive adrenal glands.
Slow metabolizers, of course, have poky adrenal glands. When the
adrenal glands go haywire in a slow metabolizer, it's common for
them to go AC/DC in the metabolism department.
For example, one client became a fast metabolizer when her mother
was diagnosed with inoperable cancer the week after her husband lost
his job. In another case, the client's adrenal glands went wild when
his wife left him for another....woman. (That would certainly do
Slow metabolizers eat one way; fast metabolizers eat another way.
There's no way to look in the mirror and know what metabolic type
you are today. Your current eating habits may be hurting your ability
to deal with that stress.
So what should you do when this kind of extreme stress occurs? First,
have a Tissue Mineral Analysis at your earliest opportunity. The
report will tell you exactly what to eat and what foods to avoid
as well as what vitamins to take and when. There is no time more
critical (except pregnancy) than now to optimize your nutritional
needs. Putting the best fuel into your body during times of alarm
stress is one of the kindest things you can do to your physical plant.
This is true even if you've already had a TMA. Because everything
changes in the aftermath of the attack. What you did yesterday can
be harmful based on what happened today. In my case, two years of
hard work was washed away in the flood. But you pick up and start
Once you're eating optimally, you will have the physical strength
to gain control over the situation. I evicted the assaulting tenants,
rebuilt the house, had oral surgery (which helped my periodontist
buy a new Mercedes), and paid off the IRS. (Didn't replace the boy
toy, though. Any volunteers?) Then things became deliciously boring.
However, it took six months for the adrenaline coursing through my
veins to dissipate. One morning in June, 1995, those seven pounds
just vanished. Now, both me and my gingerbread house look better
P.S. I hope nothing horrible ever happens to you. But if it does,
I'm here to help.