Reduce Stress And Lose Weight
The Christmas holidays are a time to celebrate and be merry, but what happens after the event? We often find that we have gained weight through all the excess, maybe now we have a muffin top, and our favourite jeans just will no do up any more – its enough to make you go mad!!!
Don’t let your post christmas stress get the better of you, there is damning evidence that the more we stress out about our weight gain, the harder it is to lose it.
We can all react to stress in varying ways, some of us will simply become fretful and cry at the slightest thing, others will catch every cold and cough going, most of us will feel lethargic and depressed.
This is where the problem starts, not only does feeling this way make us seek the instant energy boosts that usually come from high calorie snacks, but it also makes getting rid of that Christmas weight that little bit harder
Excess Stress Hormones Promote Unwanted Fat Storage
If you are stressed when you try to lose weight, you are more than likely to fail, the first thing you have to do is to try and pinpoint your stress type.
If you answer is yes to two or more in any of the sections, that is more than likely your stress type.
Bloated And Stressed
- Do you feel bloated after eating
- Do you suffer from IBS type symptoms
- Are you sensitive to any foods
- Are you on any long term medication such as steroids, or antibiotics
- Do suffer from headaches
- Does your diet include sugar and refined carbohydrates
If you have answered three or more to the above, the problem may well lie in having insufficient good bacteria in your digestive system. Low levels of these are known to cause sugar cravings and problems such as IBS and weight gain
What To Do
Increase your intake of good biotics, vegetables are a good source of these and include artichokes, bananas, garlic, onions, chicory and leeks. There are also some rather good supplements and drinks that can help redress the shortfall.
Cut down on your intake of Caffeine, sugars and alcohol, as all of these can reduce the good bacterial.
Eat and chew slowly and if the problem persists, get checked for food intolerances.
Wired And Stressed
- Are you on constant alert
- Do you overreact to stressful events
- Find it hard to relax
- Unable to cope with things
- Have mood swings
This one of the most common stress types and can be the most harmful as it puts a great strain on the mental and physical systems. The stress hormones are controlled by the adrenal glands and when these are overdrive can trigger food cravings and ultimately weight gain..
What To Do
Ensure that you intake plenty of protein, along with healthy fats and vegetables. (which are known to relieve stress) Eggs, fish and most meats are a good source of protein. Eat Fruit or take supplements high in Iron, Vitamins B and C, along with zinc and magnesium as these are often lost from the body when stressed.
If you exercise, reduce the regime slightly, avoid anything competitive and relax properly before going to bed
Feeling Cold And Stressed
- Do you always feel cold
- Are your hands and feet always cold
- Do you bloat
- Is your hair any thinner
- Find it hard to concentrate
- Feel lethargic
- Croaky or hoarse voice
- Wake up still feeling tired
These signs of stress are often caused by reduced operation of your thyroid gland (this is the gland that controls metabolism). By slowing things down to save energy it can slow your body’s natural fat burning processes, leading again to weight gain.
What To Do
Ensure that your blood sugar levels are kept balanced, cut back on sugar and refined carbohydrates, eat plenty of protein and good fats with each meal. Reduce coffee and alcohol intake and take plenty of exercise as it helps to re-stimulate a sluggish thyroid gland
Eat Leafy greens as these are known to reinvigorate the metabolism, yet avoid things like raw cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower as these have been known to interfere with the function of the thyroid. Foods that warm you are great, try including chilli, ginger, tumeric and green tea into your diet.
Foods such as Mackerel, Cod, and various shell fish are high in iron, zinc, selenium, or take supplements as these are all known to stimulate the thyroid and the metabolism.
Ill And Stressed
- Are you prone to asthma, arthritis, psoriasis or hay fever
- Do you suffer from frequent ear and throat infections
- Does your weight fluctuate
- Get headaches
- Have joint problems
These could indicate that your immune system is overactive, this suppresses the appetite satisfaction hormones (leptin and ghrelin) and saps energy. These combined can really affect our trying to lose weight.
What To Do
Reduce sugar intake as it can cause harmful inflammatory reactions.
Boost your diet with an increased intake of vitamins C and E along with beta-carotene. The best source of these is brightly coloured vegetables such as Carrots. Various spices along with garlic and green teas are all known to help reduce sugar levels.
Make sure that you remain fully hydrated at all times, vegetables are a great source of fluid and actually the water in vegetables can actually enter the cells quicker that just drinking water.
Low levels of Omega 3 can also make certain conditions worse, which can bring on more stress, take a supplement containing omega 3 such as acai berry or eat plenty of oily fish to redress the levels.
Tired And Stressed
- Do you wake up still feeling tired
- Have energy dips
- Feel fuzzy headed and cannot concentrate
- Rely on sugar or caffeine drinks to give you a boost
- Not sleep very well
- Have fluid retention
The inability to rest properly will leave you and your body unable to function correctly without taking an unhealthy boost of sugar or caffeine
What To Do
Eat more red meat, fish and eggs, try and boost the levels of iron, vitamins B and C and magnesium. The resulting increase in energy will leave you feeling less stressed and the body will function more normally. These increased energy levels will also help with natural fat burning, meaning that less is stored on your hips, bum and tummy.
Demotivated And Stressed
- Do you feel as if you cannot be bothered with anything
- Feel depressed
- Over eat or binge for that sugar rush
- Sleep badly
- Are you prone to SAD (seasonable affective disorder)
Its not willpower that you lack, it is stress that has lowered the body’s natural level of serotonin (the feel good hormone) It has been proven that reduced serotonin levels are linked to depression and also the urge to binge on high sugar foods, which leads to weight gain.
What To Do
Take Supplements high in Omega 3 which increases serotonin levels, eat plenty of protein to provide energy to the brain. Cut back on sugar intake and take probiotic drinks or yoghurts to boost levels of good bacteria.
Above all –
Enjoy your self, take exercise, listen to music and have sex. These natural highs provide the body with natural opioids that help to reduce stress levels.