Have you been eating “healthy” and going to gym regularly but haven’t seen any progress? You might actually be neglecting a key factor when it comes to reaching your goals!
Stress is something we all cannot escape. It happens to us, our friends and family, you can even sense it on the kind lady at Poke Doke making your sushi bowl because there is a massive line behind you and only two workers. It is everywhere!
Stress can be defined as a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.
Your body does not care about reaching your goals when you are stressed. To your body, nothing else matters. Does that mean you won't reach your goals? No. But, it’s a lot like running a marathon while giving your three your old a piggy back ride. You will get there, but it is way harder than it should be.
We only have so much energy and so many hours in the day. When you have to deal with stress or even the aftermath of a stressful situation, you don’t have time to focus and implement your regular healthy habits. We don’t sleep, we don’t plan our meals accordingly, we decide to skip the gym which, in return, adds even more stress.
Our bodies produce the hormones insulin and cortisol. Insulin is a hormone produced in our pancreas that allows our body to use sugar from carbohydrates in the food that we eat for energy or to store for later use. Insulin controls our blood sugar level from becoming too high or too low. When we are stressed out our bodies produce an excess amount of cortisol and insulin. Cortisol has been linked to triggering cravings for comfort food. When our insulin increases our body has a hard time burning off calories from those comfort foods. Therefore, when you are stressed and have increased cortisol and insulin levels, you go and eat a not so healthy meal and your body is going to store that as excess calories.
You highly stressed individuals are in luck. There are many ways to manage acute and chronic stress.
Eat a well-balanced, non-inflammatory diet
Sleep 7 to 9 hours a night
Meditate or do yoga
Set boundaries on work and allow yourself downtime
Don’t rely on alcohol and drugs
Say no to requests that would add excess stress in your life
Accept that there are some things in life that you cannot control
Remember you cannot control events but you can control how you react to them
Work on time management and focus prioritizing your health with your life
Seek out social support. Spend time with the ones you enjoy
Not every suggestion has to be done to be less stressed and not every stress relieving method is going to work for everybody. Begin by trying a couple and find what works best for you! You can be as healthy as