Is Stress Affecting My Waist Line?

We are all well aware of the effect that stress has on our lives. It can cause issues with our body, mood and behavior if we are not able to contain or find ways to alleviate it. Lately it appears that there has been a spike in stress levels among friends, colleagues and clients. This does not necessarily come as a surprise. Amidst disconcerting world news and then continued panic with the coronavirus, it is easy to find ourselves in a cycle of stress, worry and maybe even some alarm at times. This can start to add up on top of every day stressors at home and within families. Along with higher levels of anxiety, complaints about excess weight gain have come up as well. Many people find that stressful periods cause them to overeat or consume foods that do not align with their health goals. And while we often just liken this to “stress eating,” there is a powerful link between mind and body that many people do not always realize.

The Link Between Stress & Weight Gain

There are several processes that happen when a stress response is elicited. Your body is designed to protect and take care of itself so it does the following: As a stressful event occurs and you become panicked, you excrete two hormones, adrenaline and cortisol. This results in glucose being released into the bloodstream which is intended to give you energy to get away from the supposed threat. This is what is called the “Fight or Flight Response.” Once you relax and the stress of the situation has been removed (or at least put on hold), the adrenaline wears off and your blood sugar drops. This creates cravings to replenish that “needed” energy. Many times this causes a person to reach for foods that will quickly address that “need” such as sugar, salt or foods loaded down in calories.

But here is the kicker, cortisol is known to slow down your metabolism as well. So even if you are reaching for foods that are not necessarily loaded down with sugar, salt or high in calories, stress is not helping your waist line regardless!

Natural Approaches To Alleviating Stress

There are hundreds of ideas on how to eliminate stress, but that does not necessarily mean they are always safe or healthy approaches. Let’s take a look at some of my favorite ways to find peace of mind.

Start Eating Really Well

I always start with food. Why? Because it is something we utilize every day. Look at your diet. What are you eating? Start limiting or even eliminating, if possible sugar, fried foods, caffeine and alcohol from your regime. These foods can have a negative impact on your energy and cortisol levels. Implement whole foods into your diet such as fruits and vegetables, and be sure you are drinking 64 oz of water daily.

Get Moving

It is a well-known fact that exercise is a great way to release stress and anxiety. Once you start doing a physical activity, it releases endorphins that elevates mood, relaxes you and increases energy after several sessions. You do not necessarily have to do anything strenuous. Find what works for you. Make it enjoyable and be sure that it fits into your lifestyle.

Supplement Your Body If Need Be

Supplementation is always a great option with some guidance. I often like to look at B Vitamins to encourage energy and lower stress. L-Theanine is also a great option to promote calmness and better sleep. There are many great nutraceuticals linked to relaxation. Consult your doctor before starting a new supplementation program to make sure it is right for you.

Are you interested in starting the last half of the year off right? Dr. Catherine Oseni’s 12- week weight loss program has helped many people not only lose their excess weight, but has also helped to address reasons behind weight gain in the first place, such as stress. This evidence-based program includes individualized weight management protocols intended to help keep clients accountable, lose the weight and keep it off and do it in natural and holistic way. This program now includes an online group intended to assist with accountability, additional assistance and peer support. Call Alpha Care Wellness Center at 817-550-6332 to schedule your weight loss consultation today! Conveniently located at 1200 Clear Lake Dr. in Weatherford, TX 76086, Dr. Catherine can see you in person or via a virtual platform.




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