It was 2007 and I was bartending in Maryland.
A guy rushed over to grab a seat at the bar and promptly ordered a bottle of Coors light and a shot of Jager.
He didn’t take his coat off or anything, tossed back the shot, and asked for another.
Finally, he settled in after a couple of beers and 3 shots in about 15 mins.
We started chatting and I’ll never forget his words …
“Wanna know the quickest way to lose weight? Get a divorce. I’m down like 40 lbs. since dealing with this shit.”
Damn man, I’m really sorry to hear that.
I was 22 or 23 at the time and certainly didn’t think too much about what he was going through, but those words echoed in my head for some reason.
Little did I know that approximately 10 years later, I’d be going through the exact same thing.
During my divorce, I didn’t have 40 lbs. to lose but I was withering away.
I barely ate, I kept training to keep my sanity, and I was dangerously lean.
This is actually quite common.
Chronic stress can affect your weight
Most people think of stress as a quick way to gain weight, which it’s not.
In the long term … absolutely.
In the acute sense … not so much.
Remember that cortisol has many functions in the body and one of those main functions is to mobilize stored energy.
So, literally pulling stored fat or glycogen out of the cells and into the blood stream so there’s enough energy to handle whatever stressor you’re being faced with.
Your body doesn’t know the difference between the source of stress. Divorce or dumbbells are basically treated the same.
However, with dumbbells and training, the stress response should be shut down right after the session.
With divorce or any other chronic stressor, you can remain in fight or flight mode for quite some time.
This is why it leads to weight gain in the long run because over time, your body will adapt by down regulating metabolism, suppressing immune function, lowering thyroid and sex hormones, and increasing hunger/cravings.
However, in the short term, you’re mobilizing stored energy and increasing adrenaline, which can be an appetite suppressant for many.
I would strongly advise against chronic stress because the long term damage is not fun.
I share this because many people believe that the key to weight loss is eating less and exercising more.
And, they often pursue that method for years … decades, even.
Which is the equivalent of going through a decades long divorce with food.
It may have worked in the very short term, but as a long term approach, it’s wildly ineffective.
Yet, here we are … still seeing the same message being shilled out by the same industry despite mountains of evidence to the contrary.
Dieting is a stressor.
Training is a stressor.
We need more balance. We need more recovery.
How about a better way to lose weight?
It’s amazing the difference that happens when we put our clients through our Metabolic Priming process.
Not only do they feel a million times better, but they often realize just how unnecessary all those years of restriction truly were.
Because they’re able to stay more consistent long term and actually make more progress while eating more food and having more energy.
And, who doesn’t want that?
Then, we make sure to align their plan with their personality type to help further reduce stress by working with their nature vs. fighting against it.
This is important because they begin to connect the dots as to what food choices and macro ratios make them feel their best, which leads to better decisions across the board.
Next, we make sure to align their training and nutrition to support better performance and recovery, which also helps to improve body composition.
We also integrate the lifestyle factors that are important for each of our clients. Things like date nights, restaurant meals, and alcohol so they can still have fun while pursuing their goals.
Lastly, we keep an eye on daily stressors and habits that will allow them to make progress for life. This is not a quick fix. We emphasize a sustainable solution that ends years of failed dieting and gives them the gift of food freedom plus the body they desire.
This all happens in our 6-month, 1:1 coaching program: The POP Method.
It’s perfect for individuals who want to get leaner but feel like nothing has ever worked and are tired of the miserable, restrictive, and obsessive protocols.
If you want to see if the POP Method is a good fit for you, just shoot me a private message on FB.