Stress: knowing it in order to live with it and reduce its impact. Ep. 2 "Body composition".

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In the first episode on stress, we saw how it influences our hormonal status, today we continue the analysis by looking at how it also has a direct impact on our body composition. This effect is multifaceted, affecting body weight as well as fat distribution and muscle mass.

Weight Gain and Fat AccumulationUnder chronic stress, increased cortisol levels can lead to increased fat storage, especially in the abdominal region. This visceral fat is particularly harmful, as it is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and other metabolic conditions. In addition, stress can lead to changes in eating habits, such as overeating or a preference for foods high in calories, fat and sugars, which further contributes to weight gain.

Loss of muscle massElevated cortisol can also have a catabolic effect on muscles, i.e. it can lead to the breakdown of muscle tissue. This is because the body, under stress, may start to use muscle protein as a source of energy. This loss of muscle mass not only affects body aesthetics, but also decreases strength and endurance, and can negatively affect basal metabolism.

Metabolic disturbancesStress can alter metabolism in several ways. In addition to promoting fat accumulation and muscle loss, it can interfere with hunger and satiety signals, leading to disordered eating patterns. This imbalance can result in weight fluctuations and make it difficult to maintain a healthy weight over the long term.

At consultationThe programme addresses body recomposition with an approach that goes beyond simple weight loss. It focuses on improving the relationship between fat mass and muscle mass, taking into account how stress affects these dynamics. Through a combination of personalised nutritional strategies, exercise plans and stress management techniques, it seeks to optimise each individual's body composition, thereby improving their overall health and well-being.

Proper nutrition is essential to combat stress, in addition to the foods we are all familiar with from the Mediterranean diet, there are two fundamental aspects to consider: if we want to talk about the next level of stress management: adaptogens and DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone). These components can offer additional support for stress management and hormonal balance.

What are Adaptogens?

Adaptogens are plants and herbs, from which their extract or active ingredient is extracted and standardised to achieve very similar concentrations within the same product.

David BaezaIntegrative clinical nutritionist at NeolifeThe product to buy, in this case not all of them have the same quality, purity and potency.

These adaptogens help the body to resist stressors of all kinds, whether physical, chemical or biological. These substances have a history of use in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to promote balance and homeostasis in the body.

Popular adaptogens include ginseng, ashwagandha, Rhodiola rosea and Maca. These plants have been used to improve resistance to stress, increase energy and improve concentration.

They can be an interesting tool for mild stress management or contraindications to the use of hormones, such as PCOS, hormone-dependent cancer or some very specific and concrete cases that are quite exceptional.

DHEA, on the other hand, is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands, known for its role in stress reduction and hormonal balance. It is often called the "youth hormone" because of its effects on maintaining vitality and general health.

In some cases, DHEA supplementation may be beneficial in combating the effects of stress and ageing. However, its use should be supervised by a health professional.

After assessing through precise analytical and diagnostic tests that stress is affecting your DHEA production, at neolife we will consider its implementation, trying to improve the symptoms of stress, as well as the complications associated with it.

Integration into the daily diet:

Incorporation of adaptogens and consideration of DHEA supplementation should be done under the guidance of a specialised physician and nutritionist.

Nutrition in stress management is not just about what we eat, but also about how our bodies use these nutrients. The combination of a balanced, nutrient-rich, energy and macronutrient-optimised diet, fully adapted to your routine, taste and preferences where adaptogens and other essential nutrients are used, with a healthy lifestyle and stress management techniques, and if necessary hormonal supplementation as prescribed by our doctors, offers the most effective approach to overall wellbeing.