How are you doing today? Are you feeling okay? I ask because if you're not you should definitely do something about it! It's something that's been on my mind lately because it's been popping up everywhere! And by everywhere I mean in the research!
Stress is something we all experience from time to time and a lot of us experience stress constantly. So often that we don't even know it or realize it.
Do you ever feel like you've gone through a crazy day without breathing? Or do you clench your teeth? Or become so focused you forget to eat or drink? (That's stress).
You just power through it. You know how to get your mindset in check to keep you going in on the toughest days. You keep convincing yourself you just have to get through today and you'll rest tomorrow.
Well this is me too! And the universe kept telling me to slow down and I didn't listen. . . so it slapped me in the face and I had a shingles outbreak!!! If you don't know, that's a rash caused by the chicken pox virus that becomes active when your immune system plummets (i.e. not enough rest, not enough sleep, and stress (that never ending to-do list). Now look I eat really well! I eat whole foods, I eat lots of fruits and vegetables. . . . and let me tell you in the face of stress it makes no difference.
Today, I'm going to share with you a few different ways that stress effects our bodies and most specifically those related to metabolism, weight gain, eating habits and digestion.
Stress impacts a few different hormones and body functions related to weight. It increases adrenaline, cortisol, ghrelin (hunger hormone) and can affect thyroid function and blood sugar metabolism and regulation.
So let's get to it:
1. Adrenaline - being stressed increases adrenaline, having too much adrenaline in our system puts us in fight-or-flight mode and stops the production of hydrochloric acid in our digestive tract. What does that lead to? A bunch of undigested or poorly digested food in our digestive tract, that causes bloating, stomach pain, and poor excretion.
2. Cortisol - This is the stress hormone. This chemical in our body also puts us in fight-or-flight mode. Cortisol increases blood sugar, without eating sweets. You're also more likely to sleep poorly which causes insulin resistance (i.e. your blood sugar doesn't decrease after you eat).
3. Ghrelin - stress actually increases the hunger hormone. So you guessed it, you're actually going to feel more hungry and want to eat more food! Your body can't be resisted.
4. Thyroid function - Stress messes with your thyroid, which is responsible for your metabolism. So it can slow down all of our body functions!
Last, but not least stress increases inflammation in your body even if you're eating a healthy diet. A recent study published compared the inflammation levels of people who ate a high saturated fat diet (produces lots of inflammation) vs. a low saturated fat diet, taking into account their stress levels. People who were stressed and were eating a low saturated fat diet had the same amount of inflammation as those who ate a high saturated fat diet!
The moral of the story, stress is a big component of staying well and in our weight loss journey. Your diet contributes to staying well, but it's not everything!
So I leave you with this question, what are you going to do today to relax and de-stress?
Lots of love,