Stress causes weight gain. And that just sucks.
The minute you start thinking about, what do you do? Well, it’s tough to get rid of the stress in your life. You can’t just wave a magic wand and make it go away. So what do you do?
You stress the stress. And that just leads to more weight gain.
Why does stress cause weight gain? Well, there are a number of factors. When you’re stressed, your body releases a number of hormones, including adrenalin and cortisol. While adrenalin causes your appetite to lessen in the short run, cortisol causes it to increase in the long run.
And that’s just the chemical side of things. How many of us tend to emotionally eat when we’re unhappy?
It’s a social thing too. When things get tough, we’re socially trained to turn to chocolate, ice cream, or potato chips. That’s just what we do, right?
So how do you battle all that?
Well, I could go on and on about the mind games involved with avoiding emotional or social eating. Instead, I’d like to talk about what we can do to help our bodies control the stress in our lives. I can’t say I’m perfect at this, but I will say that these two methods have definitely helped myself and my family a lot.
Method 1: Exercise
There are studies upon studies that show exercise helps with stress management. Leave it to Legally Blond to put it the best: “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t kill their husbands.”
So there’s a chemical response (the endorphins) and that puts you in a better mood. There’s a psychological response too. You’re likely to feel better about yourself after working out, especially if you do it regularly. You’ll have more energy, and hopefully you’ll be happier with your appearance. And since exercise keeps your body in a general state of well being, you’re less likely to get sick.
Think about the word disease. Break it down. Dis-ease. Stress. There are a lot of studies that show exercise can help you avoid diseases, such as cancer, and I firmly believe that’s because exercise helps your body control the stress in your life.
Afraid of getting started? Read my article: Having a Hard Time Getting Started? Try a Pedometer
Personally, I like to go walking when I can’t talk myself into a tougher workout. But to really burn the calories and tone up, I love to Zumba. More on that in a later post.
Method 2: Take Adrenal Supplements
Since your adrenal glands are in charge of releasing the hormones in charge of your stress response, having good, healthy glands is important. I’ve personally discovered that Natural Source Raw Adrenals supplements give you the boost your body needs when things get tough.
I found out about these from my local health food store. Apparently it’s their best selling product…probably because everyone is dealing with stress in one way or another.
I actually went there when I was feeling dizzy a couple of months ago. I thought it was allergies, and even blogged about it in Allergies and Asparagus: ‘Tis the Season. Turns out I was wrong about the source of the dizziness. The health food store told me that my prenatal vitamin had a source of iron in it that my body was working really hard to digest (because the iron was in rock form). I argued with the guy at first. After all, I had been taking this prescription prenatal for over a year. He explained that it’s very common for the body to be able to handle something for a while, but that takes work. Then, digesting something that the body isn’t really equipped to digest suddenly begins to stress us out, and finally the body gives us signals that something is wrong. I.e., the dizziness.
So he recommend a prenatal vitamin with a plant based iron source, and then told me to take the raw adrenal supplements for two weeks. He suggested taking two adrenal tablets in the morning with breakfast. Then use the supplements as needed, such as a groggy morning, or when something really stressful is happening in my life.
I kid you not: it worked like a charm. In just a couple of days, the dizziness stopped.
So of course I started recommending it to other family members. I don’t want to name them directly, because I don’t know if they’d want this made public. But I will say that I know it has helped their stress level and overall mood.
You can take these for a week, a month, a year…whatever you need. You can purchase them online (HerbsPro has a great price. See Natural Source Raw Adrenals). Or, if you’re in Danville, you can get them from the Country Store Health Foods. Make sure you ask for them at the counter. They’re apparently so popular that the shop had a number of bottles stolen, and now keeps them under lock and key.
I don’t know about other brands because this is the only kind I’ve used. So I really can’t recommend any other adrenal support. But this, combined with a good exercise routine, should drastically improve your stress level. You’ll probably sleep better too, and you won’t be so inclined to feed your woes with food. You know what all that means? Easier weight loss. Now how can you beat that?