Stress, Grief & Weight Gain

Researchers have found a link between emotional issues like stress, anxiety, trauma and depression, and higher body mass indexes (BMI). If you can relate to the idea of overindulging after a bad day, or to help deal with bad news, it’s time to let me help.

How can stress and emotions cause weight gain?

Stress, trauma and emotions are linked to hormonal changes that influence the rate your store and burn fuel. They also trigger disordered eating behaviours such as grazing or over indulging. Keeping a healthy mindset and establishing healthy eating patterns are the first steps towards maintaining a healthy body weight.

Examples of disordered eating

  • Alcohol intake (drinking more 2 glasses more than 2 nights per week)
  • Fasting or chronic restrained eating
  • Skipping meals
  • Binge eating or constant ‘grazing’ throughout the day
  • Self-induced vomiting
  • Restrictive dieting
  • Unbalanced eating (e.g. restricting a major food group such as ‘fatty’ foods or carbohydrates)
  • Laxative, diuretic, enema misuse
  • Steroid and creatine use – supplements designed to enhance athletic performance and alter physical appearance
  • Using diet pills

Why are disordered eating and dieting dangerous?

Fad dieting is one of the most common forms of disordered eating. Research shows that fad dieting is common among people with disordered eating patterns.

Severely restricting the amount of food you eat can be a very dangerous practice. When the body is starved of food it responds by reducing the rate at which it burns energy (the metabolic rate), this can result in overeating and binge eating behaviours that can lead to weight gain and obesity.

Feelings of guilt and failure are common in people who engage in disordered eating. These feelings can arise as a result of binge eating, ‘breaking’ a diet or weight gain. A person with disordered eating behaviours may isolate themselves for fear of socialising in situations where people will be eating. This can contribute to low self-esteem and significant emotional impairment.

Fad Diets don’t work

Contrary to popular belief, research has shown that at least one-third to two-thirds of people on diets regain more weight than they have lost within four or five years, and the true number may well be significantly higher. ‘Fad’ diets do not take people’s individual requirements into consideration and can result in a person feeling hungry, experiencing low moods, lacking in energy levels and developing poor health.

Are there risks associated with disordered eating?

There are risks associated with disordered eating. People with disordered eating may experience:

  • Weight gain
  • Osteoporosis
  • Fatigue and poor sleep quality
  • Constipation and/or diarrhoea
  • Headaches
  • Muscle cramps

Is it possible to change disordered eating and dieting behaviour?

Yes. It is possible to change eating behaviour, even if you have been engaging in disordered eating and fad dieting for many years. With the right support and treatment and a high level of personal commitment your body can learn to function to its full capacity again.

Getting in contact can assist you in reversing the adverse effects of disordered eating and restoring emotional, mental and physical health.

Are Your Microbes Making You Fat?

For years you’ve probably tried diet after diet, eat less, exercise more, count carbs, drink shakes and yet no matter what you do the scales just keep creeping up.

Ironically, most people come to me for weight loss who already eat healthy and exercise, yet they struggle for years to maintain a healthy body weight.

Statistics show a dramatic increase in rates of type 2 diabetes, yet we are investing in weight loss more than ever before. This means, we need to get to the biological causes of why our cells are becoming insulin resistant and develop new late life-interventions to slow the process down (4,7,9).

If you are gaining lots of weight or can’t lose weight even with significant changes in diet or exercise routines, fat loss resistance triggered by microbiome may be the culprit

Passionate about helping people maintain a healthy body weight, I developed MassAttack 20 years ago to determine the biomarkers of what causes weight gain and provide 100% natural strategies to stop, reverse and prevent insulin resistance.

After 20 years of researching, the results are better than what I hoped and everyone who wants to maintain a healthy body weight needs to know this information!

The Facts on Flora

Our guts contain around 100 trillion microbes, collectively known as the gut microbiota. No two people’s microbiomes look exactly the same, and they are a product of what we inherit from our mothers during birth, our diets, environment and lifestyle.

In a pilot study, 26 participants went on a lower-calorie diet high in fruit and vegetables, and some didn’t lose as much weight as others. Analysis of their gut bacteria found participants had different levels of two particular types of bacteria, and one, Dialister, that hindered weight loss.

Many factors can affect your ability to lose weight, including certain health conditions, your dieting and weight loss history, age-related changes and your mother’s diet during pregnancy.

What researchers also found was that some for some people, eating tomatoes can make them fat! This is because tomatoes are one food that spikes insulin levels quite a lot for some people and they need to control the amount they eat. What this means is, the key to long term weight maintenance is to know your microbiome DNA. This is why I’m so excited – these insulin spikes trigger other hormonal problems linked to weight gain it’s a compounded effect and no matter what you do to try to lose weight, your body will fight you all the way. The good news is, you have access to the technology to find out if this is you!

The 3 key steps to turn back the scales are:

  1. Remove the stimulating factors
  2. Identify genetic causes
  3. Inhibit biological changes

1. Remove stimulating factors

Accelerated weight gain in both men and women is triggered by over 120 hidden factors that are modifiable – BUT the current structure for managing weight currently does not screen for these!

Having just one hidden factor can increase body weight by a steady 5kg per year and 1 in 5 people have at least one hidden factor.

This is why I developed the MassAttack assessment screen – an affordable, accessible way to put the stops on hidden factors accelerating biological weight gain.

2. Identify genetic causes

Getting assessed is the first step to take. Knowing how to fix these problems is next and DNA testing provides answers.

Perhaps you’ve already had some genetic testing done through your specialist for genetic mutations like MTHFR or thyroid conditions. What you are unlikely to have been tested for is the interaction between your genes, your diet and how this affects your biological metabolic age.

Microbiome health influences metabolic health in both men and women. It is also implicated in foetal development and impaired diversity is linked to autism spectrum disorder (16).  For starters it influences over 30 genes involved in the uptake and metabolism of nutrients needed for the prevention of conditions linked to weight gain like PCOS, endometriosis and thyroid disorders (1).  This includes the metabolism of vitamins A, C, D and B12 as well as folate, glutathione and coenzyme Q10 (5).  

Other genes play a role in how rapidly your metabolism ages primarily due to their influence on conditions that influence energy conversion like inflammation, mitochondrial function, digestive problems, hormone related conditions and autoimmunity.

In addition, exciting new microbiome DNA testing identifies the influence of specific digestive flora on estrogen production, insulin regulation and thyroid health – all key triggers for accelerated metabolic aging. This means, depending on your microbiome balance, taking an over the counter probiotic or eating more fermented foods could potentially be making things worse.

It also means, whatever you do to improve your metabolism, including dietary choices, taking vitamins or managing your health, can become more effective if you match it to your DNA.

DNA testing is an exciting NEW strategy for rapidly reversing the rate of metabolic decline. Tailoring your diet to your DNA can literally shed around 5 kg per year without trying.

3. Inhibit cellular changes damaging your metabolism

Finally, (this is new information that can make a big difference to conceiving) an amazing researcher at Princeton University – Coleen Murphy discovered cathepsin B proteases increase metabolic aging.

The super exciting part is, advances in genomic herbal therapeutics means you can inhibit, reverse and slow this process.

If you have been trying to lose weight, it’s time to take a new approach. My 3 new and exciting discoveries means you can not only slow metabolic aging but turn back time! It’s exciting. It’s new. People struggling to lose weight should know this!

Remember, the approaches currently promoted to people are eat less, exercise more and decrease carbohydrate intake. It’s far too simplistic and collectively we need to stop thinking this way. Simply waiting for it to happen naturally, following a healthy lifestyle or taking over the counter herbs or vitamins is in some cases helpful, but only skimming the surface and in some cases potentially making things worse.

This approach to improving metabolic outcomes is an absolute game changer. It’s a 100% natural way to stop, reverse and restore the effects of accelerated metabolic aging and if you apply these steps you really can change your path to maintaining a healthy body weight. It’s time to start believing it really is your time to be slim!

Narelle Stegehuis MHSc HM.

Narelle Stegehuis is a leading natural health provider.  Helping people be healthy for over 20 years, Narelle is passionate about natural accelerated age reversal and environmental metabolic health. Narelle provides specialised content for Torrens University and media publications such as New Idea, Woman’s Day and Women’s Fitness magazines. Narelle strives to create community awareness and affordable programs for the management of complex health disorders.

  1. Dadachanji, R., Shaikh, N., & Mukherjee, S. (2018). Genetic Variants Associated with Hyperandrogenemia in PCOS Pathophysiology. Genetics research international, 2018, 7624932. doi:10.1155/2018/7624932
  2. Enciso M, Sarasa J, Xanthopoulou L, et al. Polymorphisms in the MTHFR gene influence embryo viability and the incidence of aneuploidy. Hum Genet 2016; 135(5):555-568
  3. Kollerová J, Koller T, Hlavatý T, Payer J. Vnitr Lek. Hormonal changes in inflammatory bowel disease 2015 Dec;61(12 Suppl 5):5S35-9. Slovak. PMID:27124970
  4. Lauretta, R., Sansone, A., Sansone, M., Romanelli, F., & Appetecchia, M. (2019). Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals: Effects on Endocrine Glands. Frontiers in endocrinology, 10, 178. doi:10.3389/fendo.2019.00178
  5. Nazki FH, Sameer AS, Ganaie BA. Folate: metabolism, genes, polymorphisms and the associated diseases. Gene 2014; 533(1):11-20
  6. Poppe K, Velkeniers B, Glinoer D. Thyroid disease and female reproduction. Clinical Endocrinology [serial online]. March 2007;66(3):309-321. Accessed July 19, 2017
  7. Shah S, Leffler D. Celiac disease: An underappreciated issue in women’s health. Womens Health (Lond Engl) 2010;6:753-766.
  8. Templeman N, Lou S, Kaletsky R, Ashraf J, Keyes W, Murphy C. Insulin Signalling Regulates Oocyte Quality maintenance with Age via Cathepsin B Activity. Current Biology March, 2018.
  9. Baker JM, Al-Nakkash L, Herbst-Kralovetz MM. Estrogen-gut microbiome axis: Physiological and clinical implications. Maturitas. 2017 Sep;103:45-53. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2017.06.025. Epub 2017 Jun 23. Review.
  10. Lee CJ, Sears CL, Maruthur N. Ann N Y  Gut microbiome and its role in obesity and insulin resistance. Acad Sci. 2019 May 14. doi: 10.1111/nyas.14107. [Epub ahead of print] Review.
  11. Jin Y, Wu S, Zeng Z, Fu Z. Effects of environmental pollutants on gut microbiota. Environ Pollut. 2017 Mar;222:1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2016.11.045. Epub 2017 Jan 11. Review.

The effect of antibiotics on weight gain

Antibiotics are a very important part of current medical treatment, but science is discovering the overuse can have unintended consequences that can impact gut health and trigger weight gain in some people.

Antibiotics have saved millions of lives by reducing or removing pathogenic bacteria. However, we are now learning that overuse of antibiotics can have the unintended consequence of also reducing or removing resident bacteria, important for gut health, metabolic functioning and the way we metabolize our food. This can lead to resistant weight gain, – meaning you just keep gaining weight.

35 percent of people give up on their #weightlossgoal before the month ends – not due to a lack of time or willpower – they are weight loss resistant. With the right help they can beat it.

Antibiotic effects on the gut microbiome and resistant fat

Antibiotics come in many different forms, some targeting a wide range of bacteria (broad-spectrum), while others targeting only a few types of bacteria (narrow-spectrum). Broad-spectrum antibiotics are the most commonly prescribed and their use has been observed to have several impacts on gut health, and resistant fat including:

  • reducing microbial diversity in the gut1–5 involved in glucose metabolism
  • reducing protective species such as Bifidobacterium spp.1,2,6 triggering inflammatory cell release associated with fat cell production.
  • promoting the colonisation of opportunistic pathogens such as Clostridium difficile that can cause antibiotic-associated diarrhea7–9

In infants and young children, antibiotic use can be linked to an increased risk of asthma and weight gain1,10.

In a healthy gut microbiome, the resident microorganisms help protect against invasion by opportunistic pathogens through a process called colonisation resistance. This involves different methods to inhibit pathogens, such as:

  • producing anti-microbial compounds
  • outcompeting pathogens for space in the gut
  • maintaining the mucus layer so pathogens cannot reach intestinal cells
  • training the immune system to respond to pathogens11,12

When the resident gut microorganisms are reduced during antibiotic use, these protective functions may stop occurring and provide an opportunity for pathogenic bacteria to colonise which triggers a cascade of metabolic problems linked to weight gain.

Recovery of the gut microbiome

After an antibiotic course, recovery of the gut microbiome can take some time 2,3,13–16. However, these studies have also shown that even after two to four years, some bacterial groups do not recover completely and antibacterial resistance genes can also persist at increased levels for at least one to two years following antibiotic use13,14,16,17 creating metabolic changes that cause weight gain. Therefore, even a short course of antibiotics can have long-term effects on the gut microbiome and make maintaining a healthy body weight challenging.

Improving gut health after antibiotics to fix your metabolism

A good general strategy to improve gut health is to make sure you feed your gut microbiome foods that will allow your beneficial resident microbiota to grow back. This means eating a wide variety of foods that are high in fibre and plant polyphenols such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains22.

If you have gained weight after taking antibiotics or struggle to #loseweight you need a targeted approach to accelerate weight loss

Most people who struggle relentlessly with their weight are dealing with a systemic imbalance that is physiologically blocking weight loss. This is known as weight loss resistance, which urges your body to hang on to extra weight – no matter what diet or exercise measures you take. We know this situation is extremely frustrating, and while there is good reason for it, there are also effective solutions.

I became ill with a chest infection on my holiday and needed antibiotics. They did their job which was great. However, I gained 20kg in 12 months and couldn’t get it off. It was frightening. Working with Narelle was the only way I could get back on track again. I’m back to my 72kg, healthy and happy.

Marina Stogianis – Melbourne

References

  1. Katri Korpela, Anne Salonen, Lauri J. Virta, Riina A. Kekkonen, Kristoffer Forslund, Peer Bork & Willem M. de Vos Intestinal microbiome is related to lifetime antibiotic use in Finnish pre-school children Nature Communications volume 7, Article number: 10410 (2016)
  2. Mamun-Ur Rashid, Egijia Zaura, Mark J. Buijs, Bart J. F. Keijser, Wim ard, Carl Erik Nord, Andrej Weintraub Determining the Long-term Effect of Antibiotic Administration on the Human Normal Intestinal Microbiota Using Culture and Pyrosequencing Methods Clinical Infectious Diseases, Volume 60, Issue suppl_2, 15 May 2015, Pages S77–S84, https://doi.org/10.1093/cid/civ137
  3. Egija Zaura, Bernd W. Brandt, M. Joost Teixeira de Mattos, Mark J. Buijs, Martien P. M. Caspers, Mamun-Ur Rashid, Andrej Weintraub, Carl Erik Nord, Ann Savell, Yanmin Hu, Antony R. Coates, Mike Hubank, David A. Spratt, Michael Wilson, Bart J. F. Keijser, Wim Crielaard Same Exposure but Two Radically Different Responses to Antibiotics: Resilience of the Salivary Microbiome versus Long-Term Microbial Shifts in Feces Amarican Society for Microbiology 10th November, 2015 DOI: 10.1128/mBio.01693-15