Adrenal Fatigue Diet

July 5, 2022

By Chelsea Potter

Adrenal Fatigue is a state of total burnout.

So many of us women know it well…

The morning is a struggle and requires a big cup of coffee. Skipping breakfast in an anxious rush, you get yourself to work.

You push through a busy day, until afternoon fatigue hits hard…so another cup or two of coffee it is to fuel more productivity.

Maybe you eat a salad as a “healthy” choice and then once you get home from work you raid the cabinets craving something sweet.

You get take out for dinner because you are so tired you can’t even think about cooking. Then after dinner all you have energy for is scrolling and watching TV.

Sound familiar?

This type of day is a chronic state of “fight or flight”,

where your adrenal glands are pumping out stress hormones as if you are needing to run for your life. This is a state of major wear and tear in your body and on the other end… yep you guessed it- major fatigue and burnout.

You see, your adrenals respond to both physical and emotional stressors to produce cortisol. The more we identify and work on our individual stressors, the faster we can get our energy & health back.

My job is to help you decrease the physical stressors in particular that over activate our stress hormones, diet plays a big role in that.

There are the 5 pillars of the Adrenal Fatigue Diet (In this order):

  1. Honoring Imperfection
  2. Intuitive & Mindful Eating
  3. Blood Sugar Balancing
  4. Anti-Inflammatory
  5. Intentionally Nutrient Dense

Working on these in a step like fashion helps us decrease physical stress on the body Long story short- we feel like ourselves again!

Let’s over each pillar in detail…

1. It’s Imperfect

Full disclosure, I kind of despise the word diet these days. It conjures up visions of restriction, deprivation, and chronic guilt when we fall short of perfection.

This is NOT that kind of diet.

This is a way of eating that values progress over perfection (Let’s be real, striving toward perfection is part of what got us into burnout).

And values consistency over intensity (the real key to success).

Mantras for this pillar: “Perfection is not possible or necessary.” “Perfection mindset keeps me stuck where I don’t want to be.”

2. It’s Intuitive

I want you to envision a life where you have food freedom, where you are intimately connected with your body’s needs and you feel skilled at using your intuition to fulfill those needs. YES, its possible.

A big part of intuitive eating is making sure we relearn to listen to our hunger and fullness.

I know this seems so simple, but eating enough is key to getting enough energy. We cannot bust through the burnout until we learn to listen and respond to our hunger and fullness.

And it’s actually really common for women to be under eating either calories or essential macro nutrients. This can either be intentional (chronic dieting, food fears, etc.), or unintentional (super common).

Mantras for this pillar: “It is a non negotiable to fuel my body regardless body size.” “I take the time to eat because I am worth it”

3. It’s Blood Sugar Balanced

The ups and downs in blood sugar we all experience on a daily basis can be very stressful on the body. Literally a reason your adrenals would pump out more stress hormones.

Everyone’s journey here is different, we want to find that balance between protein, carbs, fat and fiber that feels the best for your body.

Here’s what works for a lot of women at meal time:

Other Burnout Blood Sugar Balancing Basics:

-Eat every 3-4 hours (~3 meals and 2 snacks)

-Don’t skip meals

-No fasting

-Choose high protein &/or high fat snacks

-Don’t skip any macronutrients

Mantras for this pillar: “Balance is possible” “I am in balance”

4. It’s Anti-Inflammatory

Inflammation is another stressor on the body. And of course, diet plays a big role here.

The term “Anti-inflammatory diet” is tossed around like a beach ball at a Nickleback concert (if you get that reference we will be instant BFFs).

But WTF does it actually mean?! So much conflicting info on the web, but here’s the basics:

Of course, letting go of perfection mindset still stands here.

Mantras for this pillar: “My body deserves the upmost care and attention” “My body is resilient and strong”

5. It’s Intentionally Nutrient Dense

Once we get to a space of burnout, we can be quite nutrient depleted. So, in order to heal we must be specific and intentional in replacing those vitamins and minerals.

I use supplements often with my clients, but only after a solid effort is made with increasing nutrient density of the diet.

Mantras for this pillar: “I am deeply nourished & fufilled”