Tip of the Week: Stress Less!
Stress is a killer…and it makes you fat! Unmanaged stress makes your system more sensitive and more reactive to things that wouldn’t normally bother you.
For example, imagine that your family decides to take a vacation to a beautiful, tropical island. While you are relaxing on the beach , you have a few pieces of cheese. Your normal dairy intolerance doesn’t affect you from this laid-back splurge. In turn, you eat whatever you want all day, while relaxing on the beach and still manage to lose five pounds.
Now, imagine that it is three months later and you are totally stressed out at work. During this high-stress time, you eat a piece of cheese. Within minutes, your stomach begins to hurt and you feel bloated and sluggish. The cheese on the island was not healthier – you feel bad because the added stress has elevated your cortisol and other stress responses, causing your body to respond to anything you eat as dangerous.
1. Remove the stressor. This is not always reasonable or even possible to do (and may not be necessary if it’s short term).
2. Manage the stress better. The most basic way to minimize the effect of stress includes working out and meditating daily. The exercise does not have to be terribly difficult. In fact, during periods of very high stress, doing an easier workout is actually better (i.e. going for an hour walk). Meditating can mean going to a yoga class, reading a book, praying, practicing deep breathing, or even taking a nap.