Stressed and gaining weight? How to avoid gaining weight from stress

Stress has been known to make people add weight through several ways. One of the ways is cortisol which is a stress hormone. When one is under stress, a fight response is triggered in the body causing a release of various hormones.

Our bodies react to stress as if we are harmed and we need to fight for our bodies. The body hereby experiences a burst of energy, shifts in metabolism, and blood flow changes amongst other changes during stress. If one remains in a prolonged state of chronic stress, the body general health is at risk. Excessive weight gain is one of those risks.

However, one can avoid weight gain through avoiding these habits:-

  1. Watch out for signs of stress e.g. anxiety and muscle tension. Research has shown that constantly thinking about a stressful event occurring in the future can cause one to eat more by increasing the levels of a hunger hormone called ghrelin. Therefore, people tend to eat more during these moments. People are advised to focus more on what they are doing at present rather than thinking about what happened long ago or what is going to happen in future. By understanding that one is getting stressed, one can be able to react accordingly.
  2. Emotional eating. Increased levels of hormone cortisol in the blood raises the crave for unhealthy food. The excessive nervous energy will cause one to eat more than they normally would. Many times people scour in the kitchen for a snack or munching on junk food due to stress but not really hunger. Social eating is a form of emotional eating whereby stressed people especially women tend to eat a nice meal in a group. Crying on friends shoulders over a couple of hot fudge sundaes, a plate of fried appetizers or a bowl of chips are all social forms of emotional eating.
  3. Avoid fast foods. Research has shown that stressed people are too busy to make healthy dinners at home and often opt to get fast foods in the nearest restaurant.
  4. Forgetting to eat. Amid an endless to-do list, people may be too busy to eat and this slows down the metabolism which makes one to eat much more in future. Low blood sugar level due to failure to eat makes work more difficult and stressful.
  5. Not getting enough sleep. Economising sleep causes weight gain by promoting unhealthy body metabolism. Acquiring enough sleep not only helps to deal with stress the next day, but also prevents the body from storing too much fat and boosting one’s self control.
  6. Poor food choice should be avoided. Under stressful state, one is likely to buy more fries at a supermarket according to Harvard research. People should make good shopping list before going shopping in order to make informed choices.
  7. Excessive caffeine has been blamed by researchers for causing weight gain and insulin complications. Coffee drinks are normally filled with sugar and creams which have quant some calories. Less than 5 cups of coffee are recommended per day to maintain weight.
  8. Reducing a workout time is likely to cause weight gain through increased anxiety and stress. A sweat session will burn calories needed to maintain steady weight despite stress.

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No More Bridezilla

Planning your wedding can be stressful. Trying to balance your vision of the wedding with those of your family and the groom’s family can bring out the worst bridezillas. A bride has a lot to do, think about and plan for this momentous occasion. Here are a couple of tips to help keep the stress down during wedding planning. Make sure you start off with communicating with your soon to be husband so you are both on the same page. This will help with keeping stress to a minimum right off the bat.

Work on a budget. This is one of the most important days of your life and you want it to be perfect. There are ways to get what you want for your wedding but pay less. Make a reasonable budget for your wedding and stick to it. This is a great way to plan your wedding. It allows you to know exactly what you can spend on each aspect of your wedding. You will then have no regrets that you impulsively splurged on one item and made yourself short in another area. Check out websites for help with budget worksheets.

It is a huge time and stress saver to book your locations way in advance. The earlier you can book a place, the more chance you have of getting the date you want. Some popular locations will book up several years in advance. This is even more true if you plan your wedding for popular times like June and July. As soon as you have picked your date, book your church and reception hall.

One of the most important choices you will make for your wedding day will be booking a photographer. Photos will be the memories of your special day. Ensure that you choose a photographer that knows how to capture those candid moments. When you meet with your photographer, it is very important that you are clear about your expectations so that you will end up with the perfect photos of your event.

When it comes to wedding planning, it may seem as though everyone has an opinion on how things should be done. you may feel pressured to do something you don’t want to. Do not succumb to this pressure. It’s your day. you and the groom are the ones getting married and you have every right to stick to your guns. Feel free to ask someone to back off (politely). Thank them for the wedding suggestion and let them know that you’re going another route with the planning.

Remain organized. Try to stick to a schedule and get things done early so you aren’t leaving everything to the last minute and building your stress up even more. Delegate some tasks to the bridal party or parents. Things that don’t have to be done by the bride can be given to others to finish. You’ll be able to feel a little more relaxed if you have some help.

If you can, hire a wedding planner. A good wedding planner can really cut down on the level of stress. The coordinator will see to the photography, flowers, transportation, catering, wedding dress and videography so you don’t have to. As long are you are up front and let them know exactly how you envision your day, they can help you achieve your perfect day and let you feel more relaxed so you can enjoy the occasion.

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Fan Stress

Are you a die-hard fan of a professional team? Does your face get all red when you’re watching do-or-die moments of your team in the finals? Are you a ball of nerves as the clock ticks down the last seconds of the game and your team is close to the win? It is important to know that sometimes fans of sports teams experience more stress than the players on the team.

People become so committed to and supportive of their favorite team, they can experience stress from watching the games. Especially when it comes to playoffs or championships, the do-or-die moments in games will send heart rates of fans through the roof.

No matter the level of the sport, fans get extremely emotionally connected to the team they are supporting. What happens is there is a sympathetic surge that occurs in the fans. The body’s reaction to stress is controlled by the sympathetic nervous system and this system is kicked into high gear during games. Heart rates and blood pressure will go up causing the increase in the demand of oxygen on the heart and an actual decrease in the oxygen that is being delivered.

Here are some ways to cope during or after the game:

  1. Stay positive and keep positive thoughts
  2. Exercise has been proven to be a great stress reliever.
  3. Listen to music.
  4. Reminisce on happy moments in your life.
  5. Use a stress ball to help work out some of your stress and gain some hand strength in the process.
  6. Meditate. Use breathing practices to calm you and find your inner peace.
  7. Vent. Communicate your frustrations with a friend with similar interests. Get it out to help you feel better.
  8. Laughter is the best medicine. Watch a comedy show or spend time with a fun friend.
    Some sports teams are even marketing on fan stress by developing stress relieving balls, dolls or toys with team logos on them, such as NBA Basketball Fan Stress-Relieving Dammit Dolls in team logos and colours.

    It’s important to remember that although you are strongly connected with the team, you are not on the team and cannot influence the results of the game. It’s hard to believe while you’re watching the game but it really isn’t a life or death moment so it’s best to put things into perspective. Enjoy the excitement and drama of the game but try not to get too wrapped up in the result. Sports are for our entertainment and shouldn’t be causing more stress in our lives.

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Supplements for Women

Women today find themselves bombarded with all types of daily stress. The stress to be wife, mother, breadwinner, and so much more, leads many women to ignore their diets and put themselves in nutritional danger. Many ladies face the dangers of heart disease, cancer, joint problems, and a myriad of other problems mainly because they are not getting the right foods to help keep up with the demands of their lives. Even those that do eat right may not be getting enough nutrients because of the highly processed and refined foods that make up so much of the Western diet these days. Taking supplements either in individual form or combined into multivitamins can take some of the stress out of your life.

The top supplements that women should take are:

A Quality Multivitamin – A high quality multivitamin that includes iron is the number one best supplement for a busy woman. It will provide most of the vitamins and minerals you need to protect yourself from the stresses of daily life. Make sure you choose a quality manufacturer where the source of the nutrients can be researched. You also want to find a vitamin that does not cause you gastric upset and is easily digested.

Omega-3 Fish Oil – Because of the high level of stress most women of today are under, the next supplement that is important are omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish oil and contain EPA and DHA which are two building blocks for brain and heart health. Fish oil helps to reduce heart disease, lower triglycerides, control blood pressure, reduce chronic inflammation (which leads to many disease and has been linked to breast cancer), reduce memory loss, fight age related macular degeneration, and lessen episodes of depression. Fish oil is almost a miracle supplement for women. It is suggested that you take 1-3 grams of fish oil per day to gain the maximum benefit.

Calcium Citrate – Women suffer from bone loss and age related osteoporosis more than men. Taking calcium can help to stop this trend. Taking calcium citrate every day not only helps to control bone loss, but can also cut down on the physical and mental stress of your menstrual cycle.

Vitamin D – Getting a sufficient quantity of vitamin D in your diet is difficult so taking a supplement is your best bet. Vitamin D will help to fight many of the cancers such as breast, ovarian, and colon cancer.

Iron – Women who do not get enough iron can suffer from anemia, fatigue, headaches and paleness. During menstruation, a woman loses iron as well. Too much iron can be harmful, so ask your doctor what the best dose will be for you.

Magnesium – Magnesium can be very beneficial to women. Magnesium can help with PMS by decreasing premenstrual cramps and emotional upset due to hormonal changes.

The right balance of health, diet, fitness and supplements will aid in maintaining a healthy lifestyle in women.

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At Ease Soldier

Exceeding the demands of duty can inflame stress and increase your risk for burnout. Taking time to relax and regroup is not a luxury-it’s an essential part of a balanced life.It’s a contemporary cliché-the classic tale of the star performer who begins with a bang and ends with a fizzle, all that high energy and enthusiasm simply fading away.

Burnout, the feeling of being emotionally, physically and psychologically depleted, may pose a real risk, particularly to overachieving types with unrealistic goals, or people in the helping professions-medicine, teaching, social services etc.

Imbalance is usually at the heart of burnout. Sufferers typically make unreasonable investments of time, commitment and focus on career to the detriment of their personal lives and development. Problems on the job can exacerbate matters. A lack of autonomy or control, the inability to make decisions, an abusive boss or difficult colleagues, too much work and too many hours spent working or a tedious unvarying routine may all be contributing to the accumulation of harmful stress.

Disillusionment can be a precipitating factor.

There are other influences to consider as well.

“Stressors can be internal, for example, illness, poor diet, lack of sleep, smoking, excessive alcohol, etc. or external and environmental such as overcrowding, weather, noise. Social stressors include unemployment, financial worries, relationship breakdowns. Some stress can be generated by our negative self talk,” says Catherine Madigan, of Melbourne, Australia, a clinical psychologist specializing in the treatment of anxiety disorders.

Burnout can produce a wide array of symptoms, she explains.

Sleep disturbances-difficulty falling and staying asleep and feeling unrefreshed despite hours of rest-are common. Muscle tension is typical and frequently localized to the neck, shoulders and back. Uncharacteristic cynicism and bouts of impatience and irritability can signal burnout. Other symptoms include manifestations of anxiety-sweating, shaking, nausea, diarrhea, headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness, faintness, heart palpitations, chest pain, racing heartbeat and tingling in the extremities.

Feelings of disillusionment and despair, accompanied by a total absence of joy and humor, can contribute to a generalized sense of meaninglessness, the crushing hallmark of burnout.

It’s also not unusual for job performance to decline along with professional and personal relationships as sufferers withdraw emotionally and appear indifferent to family, friends and colleagues.

“If people do not engage in stress management they may find that they end up clinically depressed or developing an anxiety disorder such as panic attacks. They may also end up abusing drugs and alcohol,” comments Madigan.

Treatment requires recognition-it’s important to acknowledge that circumstances have conspired to overwhelm you-and time. You must be willing to acknowledge your complicity in burning out and establish new parameters establishing a proper balance between your work life and your personal life. Self-regulation is paramount.

Take steps to introduce a proper diet, adequate rest and recreation and exercise into your daily life. Turn off your cellphone. Stop compulsively checking email. Take time off. Limit social engagements unconnected to pleasure. Develop interests that will increase your experience of the natural world, which can be highly restorative.

Failure to acknowledge the debilitating effects of burnout may result in physical or mental breakdown, prolonged episodes of depression or even disease.

If You’re Feeling the Heat:

Some recommendations from Catherine Madigan for preventing or treating the symptoms of burnout:

  • Stress management is anti-burnout. Regular aerobic exercise is great for stress relief. Exercise can be as simple as a brisk 30-minute walk. Other options include: cycling, jogging, squash etc.
  • Avoid substances, which can increase anxiety, including caffeinated drinks such as tea, coffee and soda.
  • Stop smoking or cut back.
  • Alcohol is a depressant, lowers your “people mood” and can actually increase your feelings of anxiety within hours of having a drink.
  • Experiment with relaxation techniques such as slow breathing and progressive muscle relaxation.

Being fully engaged in all aspects of your life-and that includes time set aside to relax in a lounge chair and read a good book-will significantly reduce your risk of going down in flames.

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Stress Relievers

Stress management is an important practice that most people nowadays need to learn. With a fast paced working environment, people are constantly subjected to tremendous pressure that results in unpleasant levels of stress in their lives. You need to be able to cope quickly with the amount of stress that you have to deal with since it produces several negative effects on your health. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress and there are so many options out there that everyone can find an activity that they enjoy doing but will also de-stress the body and mind.

Stress and It’s Effects
First off, stress can cause your performance to drop because of your inability to focus on the tasks at hand. Stress can also affect your health and body. Oftentimes, stress can escalate into depression or anxiety. High blood pressure, poor eating habits and lack of rest caused by high stress can also lead to worse health conditions including heart disease.

Where to Start
If you’re working long hours and stressed about balancing work and family life, it may be difficult to even start an exercise program for stress relief. Start small. Taking 20-30 minutes out of your busy day to take a walk through the park can do wonders for your stress level. Walking for half an hour a day can help kick start your fitness. It’s also a great excuse to spend time with your family. Get everyone together for a walk after dinner or take the kids and the dog to the park for a good run.

Another good starting place is a local fitness company. There are many options here in San Jose with regard to fitness:  health clubs, yoga studios, pilates studios and of, course, your local San Jose boot camp company, lifeSport Fitness!  Choose what suits your fitness style and lifestyle best and make sure you do something that you enjoy so your more likely to stick with it. Even if you decide to work out on your own, book a consultation with a fitness trainer so they can show you the proper use of the equipment and help you set your goals.

Group classes may include anything from a relaxtion yoga class to a fast paced step class. Some clubs and fitness centers have started adding Zumba Fitness classes which incorporate latin dance and aerobics moves. Find what interests you and gets you moving.

How Does Exercise Help?
You may be wondering what all this exercise is going to do to benefit your stress levels. There are a number of reasons why physical activities reduce stress. The first is the chemicals released in the brain and body when you exert yourself through physical activity. Exercise can release endorphins and seratonin which boost our mood and make us feel happier. Exercise can also help reduce stress through improving confidence and body image. The healthier we are, the more confident we become. Confidence helps us take control of our lives and in turn reduce our stress levels.

Giving yourself 30 minutes to an hour to exercise, play a sport or do a class a few times a week is also a great way to unwind and destress. Doing something for yourself can help take your mind off the stresses in life. It’s also an opportunity to concentrate on something other than work. Clearing your head of the things that are clogging your brain and causing stress can help you regroup your thoughts.

It may seem that you don’t have time to fit exercise into your busy schedule but there’s always time to do even a short activity to get your body moving and your heart pumping. Even five minutes of deep breathing at your work desk is better than nothing!

Exercise is so important for our physical health — but it’s also good for our mental health.

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