Weight Loss Block #6: Nervous System
Did you know that people who are in a state of stress, find it more difficult to maintain their ideal body weight, even if they eat healthy?
Is stress blocking your weight loss?
Weight loss is not always as simple as 'eat less & move more'.
There are 8 physiological blocks to weight loss that have nothing at all to do with calories or exercise.
The sixth of the 8 blocks is nervous system issues.
Let's take a sneak peek at 10 ways that nervous system imbalances can block weight loss:
1- Vagus Nerve - When 'fight or flight' is in overdrive, the vagus nerve basically goes to asleep. This sabotages digestion and weight loss at the same time.
2 - Inflammation - Vagus nerve stimulation activates anti-inflammatory pathways, but people who suffer from obesity have abnormally low vagus nerve stimulation. Thus they experience obesity-associated inflammation, leading to water retention and further stress weight gain.
3 - Break Down - Intestinal inflammation leads to systemic inflammation, which drives up cortisol, leading to breakdown of tissues. Being in a chronic sympathetic state causes muscle tissue breakdown, which further disrupts hormone balance, and slows metabolism - eventually leading to deeper imbalances, such as endocrine disorders.
4 - Digestion Pauses - Chronic stress creates imbalances in the autonomic system causing poor vagal tone, which results in an overgrowth of bad bacteria, causing gas, bloating, constipation, and IBS. When a person doesn't absorb nutrition well, they end up with cravings driven by deep nutrition deficiencies. Those cravings lead to overeating, which causes more stress, on an already stressed digestive system. This only serves to weaken digestion more.
5 - Dysbiosis - The overgrowth of bad bacteria (caused by slow digestion) causes gas and bloating, which makes a person feel fat. This is a recipe for avoiding eating healthy foods, because they are harder to digest than processed foods. The person will also crave sugar and carbs, because the bad bacteria will make them crave it (to feed and proliferate themselves).
6 - Constipation - The resulting constipation of a tense nervous state, leads to a sluggish liver that refuses to break down fat. This is to protect you, because toxins stored in fat cells have no way to exit the body, when a person isn't "going".
7 - Stimulants - In conjunction with frazzled nerves, people feel compelled to eat more sweets, treats, chips and crackers. The sweets and treats provide a quick dopamine 'hit' and the crunchy, salty, carbs give instant comfort with a nice serotonin boost to boot. Studies show that VNS (vagus nerve stimulation) helps to lessen intense food cravings, especially for sweets.
8 - Insatiable Overeating - When your nervous system is out of balance, it leads to overeating in general. With the sympathetic 'fight or flight' system dominating, a hormone called ghrelin, stimulates appetite by turning off the vagus nerve (because if you need to fight or flight, then the only thing you need is quick strength and energy).
9 - Safety & Satiety - On the other hand, in a parasympathetic nervous state (when you feel calm and relaxed), feelings of fullness & satiety are experienced. In that state, the hormone leptin is released in the gut during digestion and stimulates the vagus nerve. When you bring your nervous system back into balance, you feel satiated and safe, no longer internally compelled to overeat for unconscious physiological checks and balances.
10 - Exercise - With a balanced nervous system, exercise will help with fat loss, along with parasympathetic rest-time between workouts (that's when your muscles heal). However, when your sympathetic system (fight or flight) is dominant, the parasympathetic system (rest, digest & heal) is inhibited - and that means that you will not be able to recover from exercise- making it counter productive. Instead of helping, it hinders. In this state, exercise becomes just another source of stress causing elevated cortisol and excess insulin - which leads to more inflammation and increased fat storage, paralleled with muscle breakdown. Weight loss aside, that's a total disaster for health.
Would you like to stabilize your nervous system with deep nutrition and at the same time unblock your weight loss resistance?
Click here to learn more.
When you put your health first, the extra weight comes off naturally - as a good side effect of having achieved optimal health!
Nervous system issues are just one example of the '8 Weight Loss Blocks' that we identify to individualize your weight loss journey.
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