Jake Berman

"Health Tips From Personal Trainer and Nutrition Specialist Jenni & Jake Berman..."

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Is Your Meal Plan Causing the Majority of Your Symptoms?

  • Are you tired 3 or more days per week throughout the day? 
  • Are you frustrated by abdominal fat? 
  • Are you gaining weight despite your best efforts of dieting and exercising? 
  • Are you stressed 3 or more days per week? 
  • Are you waking up throughout the night or having trouble falling asleep? 
  • Are you crashing around 2-3pm in the afternoon? 
  • Are you frustrated with feeling that your patience is just GONE? 
  • Have you been told your blood sugar level is borderline or increasing? 


If you answered yes to 2 or more of these questions… keep reading. If you didn’t answer yes to 2 or more of these questions… keep reading because you are going to learn something that will help you regardless and you will certainly learn something that could help someone close to you. 

Let ME Tell YOU… 

Feeling tired throughout the day, having less energy than you used to, and getting the “muffin-top” around your midsection or the “apple belly” is not part of the normal aging process.  Waking up at night, having difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, and having less patience is not part of the normal aging process. Feeling more stressed, anxious, and frustrated is not part of the normal aging process. 

And you should not be increasing the amount of medications and pills you are taking just to treat these symptoms you are having. Yes, you are experiencing symptoms. We need to identify the cause of these things you are feeling and treat this to see success. 

So, let’s dive into it and unpack what we are actually trying to say… 

If you are struggling with weight loss, there are three main areas to look at initially.  Once these three areas have been analyzed, then it is time to dig deeper, deeper, and deeper until you find the route cause of the weight component. 

  1. Blood Sugar Stability 
  2. Cortisol Hormone 
  3. Gut Health → Vitamin Levels

Blood Sugar Stability 

Blood Sugar – Many individuals have heard these terms used together before. It is the marker on the blood test that doctors often use to tell you if you’re becoming prediabetic or diabetic.  Blood Sugar Stability, meaning, how stable your blood sugar is throughout the day and night is vital to your metabolism, mood, sleep, stress control, energy, strength, and ultimately how efficiently your body is functioning.  Blood sugar stability is basically the dictator of your quality of life. How do you know if your blood sugar is stable throughout the day and night?  Well, I am glad you asked.  The one blood test that looks at your glucose level is not enough to determine your blood sugar stability.  Other blood tests like a Hemoglobin A1c, Serum Insulin, Triglyceride Level, and HDL (Good Cholesterol) level can help to determine your risk factors of a metabolic dysfunction called Insulin Resistance. Insulin Resistance occurs before Prediabetes and means that your body is not metabolizing food efficiently – specifically carbohydrates and sugar.  Long story short, this is what starts to cause the symptoms you are feeling and that were disclosed above. 

Insulin Resistance is most affected by too many carbohydrates, sugar, and alcohol in the diet with not enough lean proteins in the diet.  The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging reports 1 in 3 of Americans aged 50+ are consuming diets that are protein deficient. Protein is a main building block to the cells in our body. It is vital to break down sugars and to stabilize our blood sugar level.  If our meal plan does not have the proper ratio of carbohydrates, healthy fats, and proteins in our diet, our blood sugar becomes unstable.  To say it simply: the blood sugar rising and falling throughout the day and night classifies as unstable blood sugar. You typically will not feel this happening as it is happening inside your body.  This instability of the blood sugar is causing the body to store food which is converted to sugar.  Stored sugar is then turned to adipose (fat) tissue in our body.  Blood sugar instability is a primary cause of your weight gain.  This should be evaluated deeper from within by checking your blood tests. 

Cortisol Hormone

Cortisol is a stress hormone within our body. It is released from the adrenal glands which are organs that sit just above our kidneys in the abdomen.  The Cortisol Hormone is a steroid.  The release of Cortisol is important in acute stress situations like running away from an alligator chasing you, escaping from a fire, and other dangerous situations.  It is the “Fight or Flight” Hormone.  Cortisol should naturally rise at 6am and arouse individuals in the morning. It should help to wake us up and provide energy throughout the day.  It then should trend down throughout the day, with the exception of the acute stress situations as described above.  Cortisol should naturally reach its lowest point at midnight to allow the individual to sleep and rest. The problem with cortisol is this: when individuals have chronic stress like high stress jobs or home-life, the cortisol hormone is being released consistently and “chronically”.  Chronic release of this stress hormone can cause the body to hold onto adipose tissue (fat tissue) and redistribute this to the abdominal area, leading to belly fat.  The next issue with chronic release of cortisol: the more cortisol released, the higher the blood sugar level is. If you remember from the last section, the higher the blood sugar, the less efficient our cells are to break down our food for energy and food is stored as fat.  Chronic cortisol release also interrupts the circadian rhythm, sleep, and cellular recovery. Sleep is its own entity when it comes to our body being efficient, but it is largely impacted by our blood sugar instability and cortisol levels! We have to correct these two items first.  Many times, improving these two components will cure our sleep disorders.  Yes, seriously.  Another issue with chronic release of cortisol is it is a steroid that actually breaks down our gut lining and leads to Leaky Gut Syndrome, Autoimmune Syndrome, and Vitamin Deficiencies.  

Gut Health → Vitamin Levels

It was just mentioned that chronic release of cortisol can damage our gut lining and lead to Leaky Gut Syndrome or Gut Permeability.  Leaky Gut means your intestinal lining is not healthy, broken down, and is allowing food particles, bacteria, and toxins to leave the intestinal tract (gut) and penetrate into tissues and the bloodstream.  The problem with toxins getting into your tissues and bloodstream: it is not normal and the immune system reacts to this. In addition, when the gut lining is broken down and unhealthy, vitamins and minerals from our food (or supplements) are not well absorbed due to the damage of the intestinal structures. Now, we have the immune system reacting at a high level consistently and we are deficient in vital nutrients and minerals which make our organs function properly.  Lets breakdown the top 5 concerns with leaky gut and vitamin deficiencies: 

  1. The immune system is at a heightened state which is leading to Autoimmune Disease. 
  2. Inflammation is high and the metabolism is not the main priority for your organs. 
  3. The immune system is worn out, the body is working hard, and your cells are tired. 
  4. Vital nutrients like Vitamin D, B12, Magnesium, and Iron become deficient because they are not being absorbed well which increases the risk of Insulin Resistance, Blood Sugar Stability, and Weight Gain 
  5. The immune system is fighting which is increasing stress internally, releasing more of the cortisol hormone (and we already know the effects of this… vicious cycle!)

Leaky Gut needs a lot of attention, but some of the most common causes of leaky gut are in fact related to the foods you are consuming.  Many individuals have food sensitivities that they don’t know about. Food sensitivities can present deep into adulthood, oftentimes after a trauma or stressor on our body. They can also present in infancy or childhood and change throughout our lives.  Sugar is inflammatory and can break down our gut lining as well. 

The good news is, blood sugar instability, chronically high cortisol levels, and leaky gut syndrome are all treatable and reversible with the right foods for your body, the right balance of your macronutrients, and the right gut healing techniques.  Working with a professional can be life changing for you. 

Jenni Berman

Jenni Berman

Jenni, owner of Berman Health and Wellness, works alongside Berman Physical Therapy to help individuals get back in shape, improve their gut health, and to stay feeling young so they can stay in the game! After graduating from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology, she went on to obtain a Master’s of Physician Assistant Studies. She has a passion for helping individuals to feel better than they thought imaginable through natural approaches, nutrition, and whole body treatment. She is also a Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Specialist. When she is not working with patients or with clients, you can find Jenni on the boat, in the sun, enjoying time with her husband, Jake,her daughter Stella June, spending time in Jacksonville with her family, or playing with her [CUTE!] pups!!
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