One of the most important steps in reversing adrenal fatigue is changing when you eat. Adrenal fatigue happens when your body can’t make adequate amounts of “the get up and go” hormone cortisol and you reach the bottom of your fuel tank.
The best way to fill your fuel tank is to eat regularly. Never allow yourself to get too hungry. When you skip meals or wait too long between meals your blood sugar becomes low and your body produces cortisol to push it back up.
You want to reserve as much cortisol as possible for getting through your busy day. Don’t waste it on balancing your blood sugar levels!
- ating 3 meals and 2 - 3 snacks throughout the day will balance your blood sugar levels and lessen the burden on your already exhausted adrenal glands:
- Eat a balanced breakfast within an hour of waking up to restore blood sugar levels after your body has been relying on stored energy during the night
- Eat a small nutritious snack around 9:00AM, especially if you eat your breakfast early
- Eat a balanced lunch between 11:00 AM and noon Eat a small snack between 2:00 and 3:00 PM to prevent that mid-afternoon slump
- Eat a balanced dinner by 6:00 PM, and make this your lightest meal of the day
- Eat a small snack about an hour before bed to help balance your blood sugar levels as you sleep
Ok, I know that some of you already have some questions forming now. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions I get from my clients with adrenal fatigue when I recommend eating this way:
“I don’t feel hungry, especially first thing in the morning”
People often don’t feel hungry in the morning because they have sluggish liver function which can often accompany adrenal fatigue. Try having a glass of water with ½ a lemon squeezed into it, first thing in the morning and then eat a little later. You may also need to retrain yourself to eat breakfast. Start with something small with some protein – e.g. a smoothie made with some fruit, milk and protein powder.
“I forget to eat”
When we are young we instinctively know how to regulate our blood sugar. Your child tells you when they are hungry and then they eat. It’s natural for them to eat small amounts of food regularly to balance their blood sugar. That’s why these little Energizer bunnies have so much energy! Why should it be any different for adults? If you want more energy, take a leaf out of your child’s book and eat when you feel hungry. Also, when your body has become accustomed to not eating regularly, you may mistake hunger as a caffeine craving. Instead of having that cup of tea or coffee, sit down and have a small snack with your child.
“I’m too busy to prepare all those meals for myself”
Most mums tell me they spend a lot of time lovingly prepare nutritious meals for the kids and then don’t have time to sit down and eat themselves. My answer to this is to ask yourself the following question – “why wouldn’t I eat what I give my children to eat?” You serve healthy meals for your kids – make enough for you too and sit down eat with your kids at every meal and snack time. Not only will you save time by only making one meal, you also get to enjoy sharing a lovely meal together with your children.
“Won’t I put on weight if I eat that often?”
When you skip meals or wait a long time between meals your body pumps out cortisol all day long to balance your blood sugar levels. Cortisol encourages your body to conserve all energy in the form of fat, particularly around your waistline. Eating smaller meals more regularly means your body doesn’t need to use cortisol to balance blood sugar. Many people actually find they lose weight, particularly that hard to shift spare tyre. You should also eat less at night time when your energy requirements are lower.
“What should I eat?”
Yes, that’s a great question! My next blog is about what foods to eat to nourish your adrenal glands and refuel your tank, stay tuned! …