How to avoid stress and unnecessary weight gain
If stress were a person, he would look a lot like how 2020 felt to most people. And, not to beat a dead horse, but this year was one for the books in the worst possible way! We often say that hindsight is 2020, and I am positive that no one saw this coming. Except for President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and never mind, this is not a conspiracy theory blog! Anyways, stress is a part of human life from young to old. It is unavoidable and unmanageable for many people!
When it comes to stress and sickness, their relationship is incestuous and toxic. Most doctors will link stress to common health problems. Someone who has a Type A, high-strung personality is more prone to stress out and have high blood pressure. You know those headaches you get from time to time? Also stress. Poor stress management conditions like obesity, diabetes, and even Alzheimer’s disease. So, when someone tells you to calm down, it is for your health.
Now that you know stress underlies common health issues, how does this relate to food? For starters, you are what you eat. That is a fact. Second, there is this thing called cortisol. It is your body’s worst enemy if you do not manage your stress.
What is cortisol?
When your body is under stress, it goes into fight or flight mode. During that time, it does what it needs to do to help you survive. If you are anxious from sitting in Nassau traffic for too long, that can cause a reaction in your body. Why? Because cortisol kicks in under anxiety. Also known as the stress hormone, cortisol rises during tension-filled times.
Why is cortisol connected to diet and nutrition?
When cortisol rises, your blood sugar decreases, and your insulin increases. These changes lead to food cravings. And not for food that is good for you either! Have you ever noticed that all you want is a greasy thigh snack from Bamboo Shack after a long, hard day at work? That is the result of high cortisol levels! When it is high, cortisol causes an intense craving for fatty, sugary foods.
Why is increased cortisol levels bad for you?
Well, bad is subjective, right? We are not here to shame you about your weight or food choices. If you like eating a greasy thigh snack from Bamboo Shack on a regular day, then that is fine. This is a healthy, nutty space, so for continuity purposes, we want to encourage you to eat healthy, always. Anyway, what happens if you often stress and give in to your fatty, sugary food cravings? You will gain weight! That is the least of the issues that you will encounter. Weight gain can impact you in so many ways including:
Strained relationships (if you are married, especially)
High cholesterol levels
The list can go on, but you get the point. Uncontrollable weight gain is never good for anyone.
4 ways to cope while under stress
As always, there are solutions to your health issues! We will never tell you to stop stressing out. As mentioned earlier, stress is a part of the human experience. We encourage you to remain present and check-in with yourself when stressed. By staying present, you can feel your emotions and control them before they control you. Here are a few other ways to manage stress:
Instead of eating fatty, greasy foods, choose healthy snacks. We offer an assortment of guilt-free healthy snacks that can get you through your most stressful moments!
Pause everything that you are doing and talk yourself off that ledge! In moments of stress, life tends to move faster than we can keep up. Pausing helps slow things down and bring you to a place of awareness. By practicing awareness, you realize that your stress is a fleeting moment in time. This realization is great for de-stressing.
Listen to music. The right music can feel therapeutic in a stressful situation. Melancholic, emotional music is not the way either! Opt for songs with an uptempo and clean, wholesome lyrics about life!
Talk to someone that you trust. Sharing stress with others can be further stressful yet helpful. Reach out to a loved one and ask if they can save space for you to share whatever is stressing you out. No one likes someone who dumps without warning - that is inconsiderate. People who care about you would appreciate you asking for permission to vent. When you hear yourself talk out loud and receive sound feedback, your mood and outlook improve. Oh yea, do not call your ghetto friend or relative who always wants to fight. That type of energy will lead to more stress, chaos, and a court case!
To round up, we know that 2020 did a number on most people! We are not exempt. The good news is that you made it to the end, which means there is still a chance for you to do the things you love in the New Year! The next time you are under stress, consider the things we said, then take simple steps to control stress.