“I didn’t mean to gain weight. It happened by snaccident.” –Cindy Kranzie Newman
I meet a lot of people who are told to eat every two hours to address their “adrenal fatigue” The idea behind this suggestion is to help stabilize your blood sugar to allow your adrenal glands to rest. Unfortunately, this solution only works like a band aide for your symptoms, rather than addressing the problem at its root.
When blood sugar levels drop too quickly from eating processed foods, the adrenal glands release cortisol to raise your blood sugar. You end up feeling sluggish or your energy crashes several times a day, until you raise your blood sugar levels again.
This can result in a metabolic roller coaster that creates exhaustion in your entire endocrine system, not just your adrenal glands. It stems from the stress and inflammation of eating a diet high in carbohydrates, like sugar, rice, white flour, alcohol, and pasta.
This concept of adrenal fatigue, which seems to be all the rage right now, is really endocrine fatigue. Nothing exists in isolation. If one gland is struggling, they all are. As far as snacking goes, eating every two hours may not be the best approach.
We need to call snacking what it is: a compensatory behavior. A healthy body does not need food this frequently.
A temporary crutch? Yes.
A way of living? No.
Here’s the scoop…we are not designed to have food in our stomachs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Insulin, for instance, is a hormone released from the pancreas that puts sugar into your cells for fuel. While insulin plays an important role in our metabolism, in excess it is a major problem. Insulin means “insulate.” You cannot burn fat if insulin is present.
Remember, insulin is a hormone and all of your hormones dance together. Think of your hormonal system as an orchestra. When you feel good, you hear Mozart and flow through your day in perfect sync with life. But when you feel bad, your hormones are like the high school band that can’t find its tune, and you feel off. You just can’t find the flow of sustained energy.
In the context of snacking for blood sugar regulation, I want to focus on insulin’s relationship to growth hormone. Growth hormone comes from the pituitary, and it’s your “burn fat and build lean muscle” hormone. This is the opposite effect of insulin.