After taking the Food Sensitivity Test with EverlyWell and really loving seeing the results in action, I decided to give the Metabolism test a try. Weight gain and weight loss have been a reoccurring experience throughout my life. And it’s even something I still struggle with today. My metabolism is constantly changing depending on my eating habits, my lifestyle, my travel schedule and my sleep and stress. So it’s always on my mind as I try to find the balance between happiness and healthiness every day of my life.
I first heard the word metabolism when I was 12 years old after I hit puberty. I went through a few years of constant weight gain, jeans tearing, and my stomach folding over my jeans. This was something I hadn’t experienced before and I didn’t understand what was truly happening. That’s when I heard from others that my metabolism was slowing since I was a little older. It was a rude awakening.
Little did I know that rude awakening would occur year after year in this body of mine. Stupid metabolism.
I think pretty much all of us have said the word metabolism at some point. But you may not know what that fully means. Well, metabolism is the process within your body that converts food to energy. The speed of your metabolism affects energy levels, weight, body composition, and even your mood. Your metabolism, can be in turn influenced by your thyroid function (TSH), whether or not your body is building muscle and burning fat (Testosterone), and your stress levels (Cortisol).*
When I was competing in CrossFit years ago, I went through a stage of consistent weight gain and I didn’t understand why. I was doing what I was always taught – I was working out multiple times per day and limiting my caloric intake. All my classes throughout school had always said that burning more calories than you take in will always lead to weight loss. But there I was, gaining more weight every week. That’s when I started doing some research and started seeing words like thyroid, testosterone and most of all, cortisol. And what I learned about cortisol is that it all has to do with stress. And when you put your body through more stress, it will in turn increase your cortisol and that may also lead to weight gain. And you know what working out is? It’s stress.
So there I was, stressing every single day about my weight (increasing my cortisol), working out multiple times per day (increasing my cortisol) and not sleeping much because I was working at 5 gyms at the time (increasing my cortisol). I was also messing with my testosterone levels with the constant heavy weight lifting I was doing day after day. Until one day, I threw it all out the window. I stopped competing in CrossFit, I took 2 rest days a week, I started lifting much lighter than before, and most of all, I stopped hating myself. At the end of the day, I cut all my stress down by probably 85% and my body was finally able to heal. I was able to lower my cortisol and my testosterone levels and finally balance out my metabolism that was in a constant state of stress.
Now let’s get into my test results with EverlyWell. If you didn’t read my first post about their Food Sensitivity Test, I’ll give you the quick breakdown about EverlyWell. EverlyWell offers health testing in the comfort of your own home. When you check out the EverlyWell website, you’ll find a ton of different tests that they offer. You can test food sensitivity, heavy metals, sleep and stress, STDs, thyroid, metabolism, and a ton of others. Once you decide on the test you would like to take and place your order, you will be sent a package in the mail with the test kit. Each kit includes detailed instructions, collection tools, secure sample container, and a pre-paid shipping package to return your kit in after you’ve collected the sample. Once you send your kit back, you’ll receive results in about 5 business days. It’s that easy! It completely removes any of the hassle of having to go to the doctor, pay the co-pay fee, get a referral, go somewhere to take the test, wait to hear back from the doctor, and all the other inconvenient steps along the way. Best of all, once you have your results, you can always download and take them straight to your doctor to review the results with them!
The Metabolism at home test was super easy! First thing in the morning, before eating or drinking, I used the lancet to collect drops of blood on the collection card. Then I also collected a saliva sample. That was it! I packed it up and sent it out and had results back in 5 business days! So let’s talk through those metabolism results that break down cortisol, thyroid and testosterone!
Cortisol – Cortisol is the body’s main stress hormone. During acute stresses, cortisol’s effects can be helpful, such as raising blood pressure to increase blood flow to muscles and away from the gut, and increasing blood sugar to supply energy. With persistent chronic stress, these effects can be more damaging, increasing risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, ulcers, and suppression of the immune system.* Even though cortisol is needed, if you’re exposing your body to constant stress and keeping those cortisol levels elevated constantly, the body will be impacted. That may show in the form of weight gain, diabetes, and/or gastrointestinal issues.
Here’s a look at my own results! My cortisol levels come in at 3.1 ng/mL which is in the normal range for cortisol levels. Not surprised by this at all. I feel pretty normal when it comes to my cortisol at this point. I’m putting my body through normal stress on a regular basis and if I ever feel like stress is getting out of hand, I analyze what is going on in my life so I can reduce that stress as soon as possible.
TSH – The thyroid gland is one of the main influences on metabolism, with low levels of thyroid hormone, or hypothyroidism, slowing metabolism which can cause fatigue and weight gain. Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH) is often used as a screening test for thyroid function, with a high TSH indicating hypothyroidism, and a low TSH indicating hyperthyroidism. Excess thyroid hormone, or hyperthyroidism, can increase metabolism, causing hyperactivity and undesired weight loss. When thyroid hormone levels are high, the brain produces less TSH. When thyroid hormone levels are low, the brain responds by producing higher amounts of TSH.* If issues are occurring with the thyroid, it may result brain fog, sluggishness and weight gain.
Here’s a look at my own results! Pretty normal at 2.2, right in the middle of the normal scale.
Testosterone – We often think that testosterone is only in females, but it’s actually needed in both sexes. Testosterone influences metabolism, including fat burning and muscle development. Low levels of testosterone in men can cause male infertility, in addition to increased fat and decreased muscle building. High testosterone levels in women can be associated with female infertility.*
Here’s a look at my own results! Just like the others, pretty normal, even on the lower side compared to the others. I really wish I would have had this test years ago to compare to now. I know that my testosterone was definitely much higher when I was competing and it led to some funk things within my body.
Just like I mentioned in my Food Sensitivity Test results, I really wish I would have had these EverlyWell tests available when I was going through such a challenging time in my body during my competition days. I would have had a better understanding of the foods that were creating such turmoil inside my body, and I also would have been able to see what was happening with my cortisol levels while putting my body through such stress in and outside the gym. It would have been quite eye opening to see test results at that point in my life. But instead, I had to spend 3-4 years figuring it out on my own.
And as I enter my 30’s, I’m seeing my metabolism change once again. Before I use to blame my genetics and pout away, but now I always take a step back and try to look at the bigger picture – what stress am I going through at the moment, am I overexercising, am I enjoying alcohol too much, am I eating too many sweets, am I lifting too heavy? These are all things I think about because I know all these moving parts will cause my metabolism to change and they all need to be addressed. No more blaming genetics – it’s all about choices. Having these EverlyWell test results years ago would have put me on the path to healing my body quicker and understanding it more and how those choices were truly changing metabolism every day.
If you’ve been trying to figure out your own metabolism and what changes your body may be going through at this point, EverlyWell is a great starting point! And right now, EverlyWell is offering PaleOMG readers a special discount to try out their kits in the convenience of their own home! When you use code PALEOMG at checkout, you’ll get 15% off your test order! That means you can test your food sensitivity or Vitamin D or even DHA all at a discount! Click here to see all the tests and get your discount before it’s gone! Can’t wait to hear what you guys think of your own test results! Leave a comment below once you try it out and let me know what your own Metabolism test results look like! And if you took the food sensitivity last time when I talked about it on the blog, I’d love to hear what your results looked like and what maybe surprised you!
This post is brought to you by EverlyWell, but all opinions are my own. This compensation helps with expenses to keep this blog up and running! Thank you for all your support!
*Information found on EverlyWell