Manage stress before diet (always!)
If you are stressed its highly likely that you will put on weight and much of that will be in the form of excess water (water retention) not just body fat… and water is heavy, so you will get even heavier!
When you’re stressed you will accumulate ‘visceral’ fat around the mid section of your body.
Add in bloating and you will very quickly have a considerably bigger belly.
So what can you do about this?
First you MUST understand a few ‘hormone’ basics.
Your body has a natural stress response and different kinds of hormones are released to help you manage stress ie: stressful situations.
When you first undergo stress, your body enters a ‘Fight, Flight or Freeze‘ state and corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH) shoots into your bloodstream.
You are now primed to take action – just like an animal confronting a predator in the wild.
Your appetite diminishes, and your body immediately breaks down fat to use as fuel.
So far so good, fat is being burnt!
However once your stressful situation subsides, your body then releases the hormone ‘cortisol‘ and this makes your appetite return so you can replenish your glucose and fat stores.
Cortisol stays in your system longer than CRH and herein lies the problem…
…if you are in a continuously getting stressed – for example, from a difficult job, relationship, financial worries etc – your cortisol levels remain HIGH.
And one common consequence of too much circulating cortisol is overeating and weight gain…
…because the foods you crave are high-fat, high-sugar ‘comfort’ or ‘reward’ foods.
Ok back to ‘So what can you do about this? and how can you manage stress?
You do this very easily by ‘focusing’ on your breathing.
Focus on deep belly breathing – 5 seconds to breath in, 5 second hold, 5 seconds to breath out and 5 second hold.
Build up to this – 2 seconds, then 3 seconds and practice until you can do 5 seconds for each part of the breathing cycle
So you only take 3 full breathes every minute and do this for 3 to 5 minutes and focus completely on your breathing with your eyes closed and no distractions.
To manage stress do this morning and evening and before you eat and before any important meeetings or other situations that you know will be high stress.
Deep belly breathing induces the relexation response and your body will immediately clear your system of cortisol as well as getting rid of retained water and you will get more oxygen into your systyem which will energise and relax you.
You are now primed to get maximum nutritional value from you food… and for fat burning NOT fat storage.
To your success,
P.S. Looking for some help achieving your goals and making changes in your life?
Then set up a 10 minute strategy call and let me help you put a plan in place.