The High Price Of Stress Eating (and what you can do about it)
By Linda Celauro
Are you ready to have your mind blow?
Desserts spelled backwards is STRESSED.
February is the month of LOVE. Flowers, dining out, chocolate and delectable confectionaries are part of many celebrations this time of the year. This includes sweets and other processed foods that are less healthy and may lead to weight gain.
For many people, stress eating is a frustrating cycle and can be so hard to break. And unfortunately, it can take a hefty toll on your health!
Many people spend enormous amounts of money on gym memberships, trainers and diets but achieve minimal results. More than just a problem of metabolism and food intake, recent studies show that stress and anxiety might be among the top reasons why people have a hard time losing weight.
The good news is that when you understand what is going on with stress eating and more importantly, take effective steps to overcome stress and the urge to stress eat, you can start to break out of that vicious cycle and start feeling much better.
Hormones Play A Huge Role When It Comes To Stress and Weight!
The human body actually responds to stressful situations by releasing two hormones – adrenaline and cortisol. This “fight or flight” reaction dates back to caveman days.
Adrenaline initiates a burst of energy, which increases metabolic rates and blood flow. That’s what helped give our ancestors the fuel they needed to fight off the attacker or run at the speed of light. Once the stress was over, adrenaline would subside pretty quickly, but cortisol – the “stress hormone” – would hang around for a while to help refuel the body and bring it back to balance.
One of the ways cortisol does this is by giving you a huge appetite that drives you to replace the carbs and fats you used up in the process of fighting or fleeing. So it makes sense that you have those intense cravings during stressful times, especially for carbohydrates, particularly, simple carbs (cookies, cakes, bread, pasta – junk, essentially).
Cortisol is an important hormone in the human body because it is used by the body for proper glucose metabolism, regulation of blood pressure, immune system function and inflammatory response. But as you can see, high levels of cortisol do more harm than good. When people become stressed, the adrenal glands produce more cortisol, which release sugar in the blood, leading to additional weight gain. Sugar from refined carbs feeds the harmful bacteria in your intestinal tract, which can wreak havoc on your digestive system (i.e.: bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea.)
When you are under chronic stress, your cortisol levels are raised and remain high. This creates a buildup of abdominal fat (our primitive emergency energy supply) — and there you have it, hello muffin-top!
While modern day stresses are much different, the body’s hormonal reaction to those stresses is the same.
The following methods have been proven to be very beneficial in relaxing the mind and the body to keep stress levels under control:
- Keep a journal
- Exercise (especially yoga and tai chi)
- Listen to music
- Mindful Eating
- Getting enough zzzz’s
Maintaining a stress-free lifestyle and the practice of stress management techniques play a complementary role in losing weight and can lead to a healthier, happier life – and YOU!
Certified Holistic Health Coach, Certified Weight Loss Specialist, Detoxification Specialist, and Motivational Speaker
at Savour Wellness
Linda Celauro is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, Certified Weight Loss Specialist, Detoxification Specialist and motivational speaker. She is also the author of “Healthy Eating Manifesto.”
Linda helps her clients nourish their mind and body for weight loss, optimal health and sustainable wellness transformations, by focusing on their uniqueness. She is a member of AADP and IAHC, where she is regarded as an expert in her field. To receive her healthy tips and newsletter, connect with her on her website.
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