Stress these days come in many forms, may it be financial stress, workplace stress, family stress, relationship difficulties. the list goes on. The bombardment on consistent things we all have to deal with is a contributor to the battle we are losing as a nation, that is.. obesity. In this article is wanted to quickly touch on three big points that stress leads to in my experience with my clients.
First and foremost is overeating. Everyone is always on the run with their busy schedules, which results in high calorie, high convenient food choices that taste pretty damn good. Moreover, whilst you are on the run, it is easy to eat more than your normal portion as your stomach it yet to register how much you have actually consumed (Que stomach pain for the next 3 hours).
Overeating is closely linked to its sister, emotional eating. Ever find yourself getting home, coming through the door and straight to the fridge, opening it up and starring for something to eat, and you are not even hungry? Better yet, ever find yourself at work needing a break from chaos and the first thing to come to mind is going to the kitchen for something to eat? You definitely didn't go there to eat chicken and broccoli.
Thirdly, stress will increase your cortisol hormone, which can be good if you are about to play a sport or do physical activity, but more often than not, the cause of stress is not physical. Higher levels of cortisol leads to an increase in blood sugar levels, as the body prepares itself to 'fight or flight'. Additionally, insulin levels go up and when combine with your body releasing its stored energy to 'fight or flight', your appetite increases as your body aims to replenish its stores.
Last point to touch on is stress and its negative impact on sleep and recovery. Besides the physical consequences of poor sleep and recovery, because for the majority of our clients, you do not want to become Olympic athletes, so lets talk its impact on food choices and life. Lets say you've had a stressful day, stressful week or even month (EOFY!), and your stress levels are through the roof. Every night you go to sleep and you experience broken sleep, or even light sleep because you are still mentally amped and physiologically, cortisol and adrenaline are firing through your veins. You wake up not being full replenished, and stress hits you again; the kids need food, work emails are ringing, and there is bumper to bumper traffic! This sets up an unfavourable environment to make good choices and use all the knowledge you have on nutrition.
Stress management is a whole topic in itself but what I've found people need to do better, is to manage priorities, not time.. learn to say no. Your circle of influence and your health will benefit more from a healthier, happier you, compared to a stressed out, unhealthy version of you diving into every event/problem people ask you to help out with.
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.