WHAT IS STRESS?
Although stress is a typical response to regular pressures, it can become unhealthy if it interferes with your daily activities. It involves changes affecting nearly every system of the body. The truth is that stress doesn’t come from your boss, your spouse, your kids, health challenges, or other circumstances. It comes from your thoughts about your circumstances.” Stress has the ability to affect a person’s physical and mental health leading to changes in a person’s eating habits.
Mechanism behind Anxiety?
Adrenaline/epinephrine is a neurotransmitter and a hormone released by the sympathetic nervous system which activates the body’s fight or flight response when under stress. Adrenaline relaxes the muscle of the stomach and intestine and decreases the flow of blood to these organs and in turn slows down digestion. Chronic stress impairs the functioning of the HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) axis which affects cortisol levels causing changes in metabolism and eating habits.
Evidence: Research suggests that stress can lead to poor sleep, increased appetite, craving for unhealthy food and reduced motivation to engage in physical activity. Some patients complain of weight gain even after a disciplined diet and exercise, in such cases STRESS is something that needs to be managed and taken care of. It can ultimately affect your body physically and mentally leading to some hormonal imbalances which may be a hindrance to your weight loss journey.
Weight loss….is not a destination but a journey!
Exercise: Keep up your exercise routine as much as possible. Exercise can increase your metabolic activity and in turn improve digestion which will aid in burning extra calories. Exercise is not only important for maintaining physical health but also for maintaining a positive mind. Exercise also facilitates sleep, elevates mood, and decreases stress.
DIET: The following tips can help people maintain a diet that is good for their mental and physical health and well-being:
- Maintaining a regular schedule for eating without skipping meals, eating more fruits, and vegetables containing antioxidants.
- Having planned meals to avoid cravings and fast eating.
- Avoiding sweets in any form
- Choosing a snack that provides protein
How to reduce stress?
There is no such thing as a stress-free life. There has never been any proof offered that achieving a life devoid of stress is possible. Although stress may be controlled, decreased, and alleviated, it can never completely eliminated.
Some of the exercises which you can imbibe in order to have a relaxing de-stressed life ahead include breathing and relaxation techniques, meditating, exercising, listening to music, or reading a book. Try to get adequate sleep, try talking with your friends and family, practice mindfulness and time management techniques. Avoiding drugs and alcohol will help fasten your recovery from stress.
Controlling stress through the intake of healthy food is yet another field to be discovered. But our research suggests that eating food rich in omega-3 fatty acids helps reduce stress hormones. Food rich in magnesium helps to improve sleep quality and decrease fatigue. Vitamin C helps the immune system function properly and lowers cortisol levels in turn reducing stress. Complex carbohydrates help regulate Blood pressure and raise serotonin levels.