Tuesday Tip: Don’t Stress 🤯
Stress – we all face it, but how does it affect our weight loss and how can we combat it? When stressed the amount of cortisol (stress hormone) increases, which can promote weight gain through increased appetite, and affect where body fat is stored (predominantly in the mid-section). It also causes your brain to choose foods that give instant energy – sugar, simple carbs, junk food etc. This is why it results in weight gain.
How to cope? If stress is a major issue for you then consult your Dr and consider a cortisol test (an easy blood or saliva based test to check your levels), but you can also minimise the impacts of stress with a few behavioural changes
#1 Remove the junk
Fill your cupboards with fresh food, grains and complex carbs e.g. oats, sweet potato, brown rice. These lessen the effects of cortisol on your appetite. When stress hits you’re less likely to mainline ice cream if you’re well fuelled, and if you don’t have it in the house it’s harder to eat!
One of the best scientifically proven ways to cope with stress; run, walk, cycle, do a workout – whatever works for you. If you’re stuck at work try to go for a quick walk if you can. It gives you time away from the stressful situation, and meets the body’s demand to “flee” when faced with stress burning off that energy the cortisol has caused to be released.
#3 B vits
B vitamins are vital to fuel brain cells, transport hormones around the body and provide energy. e.g B3 is linked to reduced stress, anxiety and depression due to it’s effect on blood flow and muscle tissue relaxation, and aids restful sleep. B6 reduces irritability through it’s synthesis of neurotransmitters that affect mood. Load up on whole grains, eggs, meat, legumes and dark leafy veg.
#4 Take it easy
Find time to de-stress, relax and take time out – just 15 mins a day has been shown to have a massive impact on stress levels – read a book, try some yoga, do a guided meditation (try the headspace app), deep breathing, have a bath, go for a gentle walk.