One of the biggest problems with our modern lifestyle is that we’re often so engrossed in our work that we resort to a fight-or-flight state instead of living in harmony with our body and its biological processes.
This so-called “adrenaline dominance” is the biggest reason why millions of people feel sluggish over the course of their weekly grind, and end up putting on weight as the end result.
Luckily, there are plenty of naturopathic doctors working hard to tackle these and other health problems holistically, and Dr. Michael Platt is one of them.
In his popular book ‘Adrenaline Dominance: A Revolutionary Approach to Wellness,’ Platt discusses his bedrock principles for reversing this state of “adrenaline dominance,” and hacking your body’s overreliance on the stress hormone cortisol, which often leads to weight gain around the midsection and other sensitive areas.
The following are his eight biggest dietary rules for reducing adrenaline dominance in the body and returning to a relaxed, balanced state, even on a busy work schedule:
1. Stay Hydrated (and Ahead of the Curve)- A lot of people think they should only drink when they feel thirsty, but according to Dr. Platt that may not be the best idea.
“Your level of thirst is not a good indicator of your level of hydration,” he says. “By the time your body registers the sensation of thirst, you are already somewhat dehydrated.”
Dr. Platt recommends drinking about half your body weight (in ounces) each day, and make that your minimum level of consumption.
Continue to drink throughout the day, even if you are not thirsty (editor’s note: make sure you have a quality water filter that removes fluoride as well).
2. Avoid Four Main Foods- According to Dr. Platt, alcohol, dairy (especially of the sweetened variety), grains made with white flour, and processed sugar are all bad news for anyone on an adrenaline-reducing meal plan.
Opt for gluten-free and organic products instead of white flour and pasta, and be sure to avoid sugar as much as possible.
Alcohol has a diuretic effect on the body that will increase the loss of water through the kidneys, and it will convert to sugar in the body causing weight gain in the long run.
3. Eat Only Low-Glycemic Fruits- In order to keep the body from relying too much on direct sugar intake, you should mostly eat low-glycemic index fruits like cherries, oranges (avoid orange juice), berries, apricots, grapefruit, kiwis, peaches and pears.
Eating fruits whole will give your body the fiber it needs to digest them more slowly, and you should avoiding using too much fruit in a smoothie whenever possible.
4. Stock Up on Green Vegetables- “Green vegetables are the perfect sugar source for the brain,” Platt says in Adrenaline Dominance, recommending that people always choose organic whenever possible.
“They are an excellent source of fibrous carbohydrates, contain relatively few calories, and it is virtually impossible to overeat them.”
5. Eat These Healthy Fats- We have been trained as a culture to equate anything “low-fat” with healthy, but truly healthy plant oils like olives, olive oil, avocados, coconuts, coconut oil (make sure to go with extra virgin organic varieties) and nuts as well as wild caught fish oil and fish are all excellent for hormonal balance according to Dr. Platt, as well as weight loss. ‘
6. Pick Your Protein- According to Dr. Platt, the best sources of protein for keeping adrenaline function in balance include lean meat like beef, poultry without the skin, fish (including sardines), and seafood (from a pristine wild caught source). Eat organic and pastured whenever possible.
Vegetarians and vegans can get their full range of amino acids from vegetables, nuts, legumes and superfoods like blue-green algaes as well as nutritional yeast. Sprouts are also an excellent source.
7. Make at Least One Green Smoothie Each Day- Making green smoothies is one of the core tenets of Dr. Platt’s meal plan for people suffering from adrenaline dominance, and he recommends making leafy greens the basis of your smoothie along with some organic protein powder and water.
The low-glycemic index foods mention above are also recommended, as are green bananas if you’re truly serious about keeping sugar levels low for recovering from adrenal problems.
As a side note, you may want to consider add some watery vegetables like cucumbers or celery to the mix in order to make the smoothie more palatable. Fruit can be either fresh or frozen.
8. Eat More Complex (Low Glycemic) Carbohydrates- Cut out the sugar and white bread, and instead go for foods like mixed salads, all low-carbohydrate vegetables including sweet potatoes and yams, as well as brown rice, steel-cut oatmeal and plain yogurt or kefir for digestive benefits.
Make sure to choose these foods organic as much as possible, and go easy on the brown rice and steel-cut oatmeal because they are capable of causing inflammation in the body in excess.
Final Thoughts on The Adrenaline-Reducing Meal Plan
While sifting through dietary advice can be difficult and recovering from issues like adrenal fatigue and adrenaline dominance can be difficult, there’s a specialist out there for every type of health challenge.
For more information, you can check out my full interview with Dr. Platt (including his top 8 foods for adrenal fatigue) by clicking here, and you can also pick up a copy of his book ‘Adrenaline Dominance’ here.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Consult a doctor for more information; see our full disclaimer here. You can also sign up for more articles like these in your inbox by clicking here.