Have you ever felt the crushing weight of a busy day on your chest or shoulders? You have so many things that you need to do from getting the kids to school to finishing that project at work and let’s not forget needing to get a workout in while you juggle what to eat throughout the day!
With this type of daily pressure on ourselves it’s no surprise to see numbers of obesity and weight gain be at an all time high! When we put ourselves into stressed situations our bodies react the way they’re supposed to by releasing hormones like epinephrine, norepinephrine and cortisol that are designed to help us fight or flee from danger!
Here is the issue, when we are in the stress regulated state known as fight or flight, our blood sugar levels immediately rise due to the release of these hormones so that your body can access immediate energy in the form of glucose. Yet, when we don’t use that glucose because we are not running away from danger or fighting it off, then that glucose will not be used and eventually the body will re-balance it’s blood sugar levels by storing that excess glucose as fat.
Don’t believe me? Check out this chart from one of our clients who uses a Continuous Glucose Monitor that gives them real time feedback of their glucose levels throughout the day. What you will notice is the large spike at 11:16am in which their glucose level jumped to 141.
What caused this spike? Was it having a drink of their favorite coffee with extra cream? Did they finish their half eaten protein bar while driving to work? Neither, it was caused from running into a person they used to date that they could have gone without seeing again. The stress of seeing that person caused their body to go into fight or flight, which then released all the stress hormones and their glucose levels spiked and stayed elevated.
Does this mean that we shouldn’t feel stress at all? No, just the thought of “I shouldn’t be stressed” is going to cause you stress! Yet it is important to recognize that if we stay in a stressed state day in and day out then slowly and surely we will not only put on weight but we will also make it harder to get it off!
So how do we manage stress so that we can keep our glucose levels balanced and start losing that stubborn body fat? Here are 3 quick tips that you can start utilizing today to manage your stress!
- Change “have to” and “need to” to “get to”: By restructuring the way you see daily tasks it will give you an appreciation for what you “get to do” instead of the pressure of what you “have to do”. There is a big difference between “I have to go to the grocery store” and “I get to go to the grocery store and provide myself and my family with a meal”. By creating more gratitude you will naturally relax making those “chores” feel like opportunities!
- Breathe through your nose throughout the day: Most people breathe through their mouths which creates shallow breathing and causes tight shoulders, a tight neck and those oh so famous stress headaches. Start off by taking a few deep breaths through your nose at certain times of the day such as right before you eat, before you start work or before you get into bed. By bringing awareness to your breath you will naturally put yourself in a more relaxed state and keep those blood sugar levels stable!
- Get 7-8 hours of sleep EVERY NIGHT: Sleep is the elixir of life and is the best medicine for balancing your hormones and reducing daily stress. When your body is lacking proper sleep you put your recovery in a deficit which means your body has to work even harder to keep up to the demands of daily stress. By creating a schedule that allows for 7-8 hours of sleep you will naturally stress less because your body is recovered meaning less blood sugar spikes throughout the day!
Want to learn more about how your lifestyle can affect your weight gain, energy and overall health? Check out our latest episode of The Proclivity Podcast! Want to dive even deeper into creating a healthier body and happier life? Book a FREE coaching call with Emily and Joel by clicking here.