Stress can make you sick and fat
For most of us, stress is a fact of life. Especially if we live with a chronic condition.
Unfortunately, research reveals that it’s also a fact of fat. “Even if you usually eat well and exercise, chronic high stress can prevent you from losing weight or even add pounds.
according to the book author and doctor-
Pamela Peeke, MD, author of Body for Life for Women.
Here’s what happens: Your body responds to all stress in exactly the same way. So every time you have a stressful day, your brain instructs your cells to release potent hormones. You get a burst of adrenaline, which taps stored energy so you can fight or flee.
At the same time, you get a surge of cortisol, which tells your body to replenish that energy even though you haven’t used very many calories.
This can make you hungry…very very hungry. And your body keeps on pumping out that cortisol as long as the stress continues. (Balance your hormones and lose up to 15 pounds in just 3 weeks by learning how to reset your hormones!
But few of us reach for carrots in these situations. I try to go for cucumbers or salad but hey …I also go for the chips which is a no no.
Instead, we crave salty, sweet, or high-fat foods because they stimulate the brain to release pleasure chemicals that reduce tension,
This soothing effect becomes addicting, so every time you’re anxious, you want to run to the fattening foods.
Cortisol also encourages your body to store fat especially visceral fat, which is particularly dangerous because it surrounds vital organs and releases fatty acids into your blood, raising our cholesterol and insulin levels and paving the way for heart disease and diabetes.
Unfortunately their is no getting rid of all the anxiety in our life.
But here are a few steps that can help you ease the stress, and that can help get your cortisol levels and your weight under control and improve your health.
Sleep it off.
The most effective stress-reduction strategy of all: Get enough shut-eye. “Your body perceives sleep deprivation as a major stressor,”
A University of Chicago study found that getting an average of 6½ hours each night can increase cortisol, appetite, and weight gain.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7 to 9 hours. As if that weren’t enough, other research shows that lack of sleep also raises levels of ghrelin, a hunger-boosting hormone. In one study, appetite particularly for sweet and salty foods increased by 23% in people who lacked sleep. M
The good news: A few nights of solid sleep can bring all this back into balance, and getting enough regularly helps keep it there. Says Talbott, “You’ll eat less, and you’ll feel better, too.”
Eat a healthy breakfast.
Deficiencies in B vitamins, vitamin C, calcium, and magnesium are stressful to your body. And these deficiencies can lead to increased cortisol levels and food cravings.
But you can gain control by adding some OJ, a grapefruit, or a large handful of strawberries to supply vitamin C; 6 to 8 ounces of low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese, which contains calcium and magnesium; and a piece of Ezekiel bread or toast it and add a bit of peanut butter.
Whole grains are bursting with B vitamins, while peanut butter contains fatty acids that can decrease the production of stress hormones.
Walk in Nature
Being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings. Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones. So get outside talk a walk or hike if you can.
Go slowly at meals.
Under stress, we tend to scarf down even healthy food. In fact, research has linked this behavior to bigger portions and more belly fat. But Epel hypothesizes that slowing down, savoring each bite, and paying attention to feelings of fullness may lower cortisol levels along with decreasing the amount of food you eat, thereby shifting the distribution of fat away from the belly.
Put your girl down in between bites. Use a small fork.
And probably the most important
Any type of meditation will reduce anxiety and lower cortisol levels. Simply taking a few deep breaths engages the Vagus nerve which triggers a signal within your nervous system to slow heart rate, lower blood pressure, and decrease cortisol
Study after study has shown that regular physical activity helps prevent or relieve stress, anxiety and depression. One study focused on people with depression that was being treated with antidepressants. After pedaling a stationary bike for just 15 minutes, their level of cortisol, a stress-hormone, declined.
So walk ride a bike lift weights do whatever you can to get some form of exercise daily.
Meditation Link https://youtu.be/hAvrhxZ5Zvc
Link on how to balance hormones https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/balance-hormones