Jun 18, 2013

Is Stress Making Me Fat?!

Hate to break it to you babes, but stress is the number one reason for health problems. These problems include illness, disease and it all starts with.... you guessed it, weight gain.

According these smarty pants doctors, the biggest stressors in life include death, marriage, separation or divorce, work, school, children, holidays and even vacation! Whether good or bad, it seems that change seems to be the biggest cause of stress on our lives.

You may or may not know that I've been going through some major changes. My husband Chad and I moved from LA to Orange County a few months ago. This was a good change! I am thrilled to be back at the beach, however, included in this change was moving, changes in my work schedule, financial changes, and wait for it, we moved in with my parents while we are looking (and saving) to buy a house! Eek! Major changes.

I noticed that over the course of the past few months I was feeling bloated and a little heavier than usual. I couldn't figure out why until I realized that my body was reacting to all of the stress I was under. When we are under stress, our body over produces the cortisol hormone. This hormone is important to regulate energy, however cortisol also has the ability to control how we store fat.... Studies have shown that under high levels of stress our body's cortisol levels cause us to store fat in our deep abdominal tissue.... oh no, a stress belly!

So how do we combat the feelings of stress? It's virtually impossible to avoid stress. Not to sound morbid but, everyone dies, everyone gets older, things change. No matter what. But, here are my top five suggestions to relieve stress:
  • Get More Sleep: I confess, I'm a total TV junkie. I love to stay up late watching my fav shows, but times when I'm susceptible to stress it's even more important to get a good nights sleep. Have you read my post, Get your zzzs?
  • Eat Healthy Foods: Think healthy fats (like avocados), protein, and vegetables.
  • Breathe: These breathing tips can immediately reduce your heart rate and promote a sense of well being
  • Workout: Try taking a Yoga class and remember my post, Happy People Don't Shoot their Husbands?
  • Take a Day Off: Sometimes it seems like the absolute last thing you should do. But when you get away from whatever situation is causing stress, you will be able to see the big picture. 
Overall, we must learn to accept the things we cannot change and have faith that everything will work the way it's supposed to. I believe in a God who has an awesome plan for my life. A plan that's far beyond anything I could ever imagine. And don't worry babes, when you reduce your stress levels with a healthy diet and workout plan, you're belly will be back to beach babe in no time. 

Keep calm and work it out, babes. xo

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