Have you taken a good look at what is happening around you? I mean things that trigger your emotions making you sad or tired in the mind body and spirit? I am referring to things and situations like your job are hanging by a thread probably the board is currently discussing your dismissal, your teenage boy is becoming unruly and he is threatening quitting school for no reason are we together now? These are things that cause us to be very much stressed with life. Irrespective of how you look at it dear reader, stress is actually a way of life in this 21st century. Because of the effects of stress many people are affected in different ways and the effects often go beyond feelings of anxiety and discomfort. For instance have you found yourself eating heavily junk food while trying to beat certain work deadline? Or endlessly stocking and eating cookies in your car while driving and many similar behaviors! Stress is a force which can rearrange your daily programs. It (stress) will increase your appetite causing you to be holding onto fats which interferes with your ability to live a healthy lifestyle. How then does stress leads to weight gain?
When your brain senses the presence of any threat whether it is burning fire, irritating employer or an accumulation of debts with no expectation of income to foot the bills, it will triggers the release of adrenaline, CRH (corticotrophin releasing hormone), and cortisol. With the release of these chemicals, your body and brain position themselves to handle the threats by causing you to be more alert and ready to take action and contain any injury which may arise. For a while the adrenaline will help you feel less hungry as your blood flows away from the internal organs and to your large muscles to be ready for fight or flight. However, once the effects of adrenaline wear off, cortisol, known as the stress hormone, stays around and begins signaling the body to replenish your food supply.
In the days when our ancestors were fighting off tigers and famine, their bodies adapted by learning to store fat supplies for the long haul. The unfortunate result for you and me is that when we are chronically stressed by life crises and work-life demands, we are prone to getting an extra layer of “visceral fat” deep in our bellies. Your belly has an ample supply of blood vessels and cortisol receptors to make the whole process flow more efficiently.
The downside is that excess belly fat is unhealthy and difficult to get rid of. The fat releases chemicals triggering inflammation, which increases the likelihood that we will develop heart disease or diabetes. And it can make it more difficult to fit into those lovely jeans you splurged on, leading to more stress about money wasted! Unfortunately, excess cortisol also slows down your metabolism, because your body wants to maintain an adequate supply of glucose for all that hard mental and physical work dealing with the threat.
When we have a surge of adrenaline as part of our fight/flight response, we get fidgety and activated. Adrenaline is the reason for the “wired up” feeling we get when we’re stressed. While we may burn off some extra calories fidgeting or running around cleaning because we can’t sit still, anxiety can also trigger “emotional eating.” Overeating or eating unhealthy foods in response to stress or as a way to calm down is a very common response. Anxiety can also make you eat more “mindlessly” as you churn around worrying thoughts in your head, not even focusing on the taste of the food, how much you’ve eaten, or when you are feeling full.
When we are chronically stressed, we crave for junk foods which tend to be easy to eat, highly processed, and high in fat, sugar, or salt. We crave these foods for both biological and psychological reasons. Stress may mess up our brain’s reward system or cortisol may cause us to crave more fat and sugar. When we are stressed, we also may be more likely to drive through the Fast Food place, rather than taking the time and mental energy to plan and cook a meal.
Take some time and have adequate sleep. It actually causes you nothing to sleep well yet the benefit is life changing, don’t occupy your mind with the worries of life, they are the reasons why you have insomnia. Even if you’re to sit an exam still read but ensures you have enough sleep because sleep is a powerful factor influencing weight gain or loss. Lack of sleep may disrupt the functioning of ghrelin and leptin—chemicals that control appetite.
Excessive weight is certainly not good for your health and the best you can do for yourself is to make effort of cutting down on your weight. The following are some of the ways you can use to reduce your weight for a better health ahead of you.
Aerobic exercise has a one-two punch. It can decrease cortisol and trigger release of chemicals that relieve pain and improve mood. It can also help speed your metabolism so you burn off the Learn Mindful Eating
Mindful Eating programs train you in meditation, which helps you cope with stress, and change your consciousness around eating. You learn to slow down and tune in to your sensory experience of the food, including its sight, texture or smell. You also learn to tune into your subjective feelings of hunger or fullness, rather than eating just because it’s a mealtime or because there is food in front of you. A well-designed study of binge-eaters showed that participating in a Mindful Eating program led to fewer binges and reduced depression.
It is true that food can keep you busy but this would be a very poor option especially when you’re making effort to cutting down on your weight and managing stress. Therefore finding activities like hiking, reading, attending yoga class, getting a massage, patting your dog, or making time for friends and family can help to relieve stress without adding on the pounds.
Although you may feel that you don’t have time for leisure activities with looming deadlines, taking time to relieve stress helps you to feel refreshed, lets you think more clearly, and improves your mood, so you are less likely to overeat.
Finally writing down your healthy eating and exercise goals may make you more conscious of your desire to live a healthier lifestyle and intensify your commitment. Researchers have established that writing expressively or about life goals can improve both mood and health. Finally your good health should be your number one priority. The fact that stress is very common in our day today life is not reason enough to have you get to other life complications relating to weight gain and obesity. It will be necessary that you talk to Dr. Dalal Akoury, Founder of AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center, a professional in her own right and have been of help to many in the same situation. Doctor Akoury has been in practice for the last 20years offering her exclusive NER Recovery Treatment to everyone including other physicians and health care professionals through training, clinical apprenticeships, webinars and seminars. Just like qualified professional are calling her for help in their desire to manage their stress and weight you can also do the same and get your life back on the recovery path for a long and fulfilling life a head of you.