Stress does not directly cause weight gain but chronic stress may contribute to it more than you think.
Stress is an adaptation humans have acquired over millions of years of evolution.
Stress is very important. When we are stressed our body produces hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. These are what give you your fight or flight instinct when you are in danger.
Our bodies react the same to any stressors be it running away from a bear or trying to reach work deadline.
In modern day society stress is working against us.
Normally stress shuttles glycogen and fat into the bloodstream to be used for energy for our survival but when stress becomes chronic, fat is spared and muscle is used as energy.
This eventually becomes detrimental as the less muscle you have the less calories you burn each and every day!!
What you need to do:
1 .SLEEP MORE- quality non disrupted sleep will release hormones that will subside the stress releasing hormones. No phones, computers, tvs etc before bedtime as the light travels through the back of the eye and delays the release of the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin.
2 .MOVE – short Intense exercise will trigger hormones such as testosterone and human growth hormone to help combat the adrenaline and cortisol
3 EAT MORE PROTEIN- increased protein intake will spare muscles from breaking down and therefore allowing us to burn more calories every day. Fish, steak, chicken, eggs, milk, yogurt, flax seeds are some good examples of a healthy protein sources.
4 . RELAX- deep breaths, listening to music, taking time for yourself. Whatever it is, find out what calms you down.