Is stress causing you weight gain?

STRESS

Stress,Stress,Stress

We are ALL so busy.

All of the time, running around, doing things, holding down jobs, looking after the family, pursuing goals and dreams… its endless and non stop.

But stress is always there, like a dripping tap. It’s a HUGE problem for so many of us and chronic stress, which means dealing with stressful situations day after day can be seriously contributing to weight gain and ill health.

Stress is linked to Cortisol the “stress” hormone. Cortisol is a fat storing hormone but we need a little Cortisol to get us out of bed in a morning but if high levels of Cortisol are constantly flooding the body then fat around the mid section will increase. Fat around the mid section is very difficult to lose if Cortisol levels remain high.

You might be dealing with personal problems, family issues, or helping a loved one through an illness, there are a multitude of stressful situations. Or the daily low level stress that just chips away…

The negative women you sit next to at work that drains you. The morning commute. The conversation you NEED to get off your chest.The bickering at home…

You know, the daily “stuff” These “stresses” don’t go away overnight and they become chronic. It can be hard to reduce stress when you are working, managing family life and other commitments but this is when it’s crucial to look after your health. Reducing Cortisol is key to managing stress and therefore weight gain.

Excessive Cortisol can also stimulate your appetite therefore causing over eating and cravings. Long term, it will cause Type 2 Diabetes and all kinds of serious disease.

What should you be eating?

Good fats such as avocados, coconut oil, Kerrygold Butter, nuts and seeds, eat plenty of green vegetables with every meal.

Fats and Veggies have very little impact on blood sugar levels and they keep you satisfied for so much longer so you don’t need to keep snacking though the day.

Every time you eat you raise your blood sugar levels so make sure you eat plenty of veggies and fats with every meal.

What shouldn’t I be eating?

When we are stressed we often want to comfort eat. We reach for sugary and carb laden food because for a short time its makes us feel good. Serotonin and Dopamine in the brain go up and temporarily we feel better, but then the brain craves more and more meaning it’s so difficult to stop at one chocolate or one biscuit…we keep going and going to try and satisfy an insatiable craving for more and more sugar.

More Cortisol is then released. A ton of extra calories are consumed. Feelings of “being bad” and negativity add to the stress so the cycle continues.

What else can I do?

Exercise is great to reduce stress, try getting up and walking throughout the day when you have been sitting for a long time, a 10 minute HIIT workout is great too.

Simply, keep moving though the day. Get your Fitbit and do your 10,000 steps. Plan your diet and plan your food for the week. Batch cook lots of healthy meals and don’t buy sugary foods.

Bake some healthy sweet treats and snacks, I send you lots of lovely Kick Start recipes. Keep them all in a folder and have a few hours of cooking and baking ready for the week ahead.

Be kind to yourself and treat yourself like you would your best friend.

I know its easier said than done but at least you are aware and you can make little changes.

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