STRESSED ABOUT YOUR WEIGHT?

Learn how pro­longed stress can con­trib­ute to weight gain

Great Health Guide - - CON­TENTS - Kate Pol­lard

Chances are your weight may be in­creas­ing be­cause of your stress lev­els! With some plan­ning and ef­fec­tive strate­gies, you can lower your stress and im­prove your health.

Stress hor­mones in­flu­ence the fuel sources used by your body which will make it more dif­fi­cult to burn fat. When you’re in a high stress state known as ‘fight or flight’, your body is pre­par­ing to do bat­tle or run away – just like we did in ‘hunter/gath­erer’ days. To­day, the ma­jor­ity of those fac­tors that can cause stress can go un­recog­nised. Such ex­am­ples in­clude chang­ing re­la­tion­ships, health re­lated is­sues, griev­ing for past or pre­sent losses, fi­nan­cial prob­lems and work re­lated is­sues of ha­rass­ment. These sit­u­a­tions are usu­ally not re­solved by fight­ing or run­ning away which would use our phys­i­cal en­ergy. In­stead we tend to try to work through the is­sues us­ing men­tal en­ergy. When you don’t use the phys­i­cal en­ergy that your body as­signs to ‘fight or flight’ to solve these is­sues, the en­ergy is stored in­stead in the body as fat, of­ten ab­dom­i­nally, thanks to those stress hor­mones.

While there will al­ways be stress­ful mo­ments in life, recog­nis­ing them and tak­ing steps to re­duce your stress and its’ ef­fect on your body will be ben­e­fi­cial so your health can be man­aged. To as­sist with some of the stress­ful sit­u­a­tions in your life you may choose to seek sup­port from a trusted friend and guid­ance from trained pro­fes­sion­als. Also, plan­ning ahead is another great way to help re­duce stress and will al­low some of the un­pleas­ant sur­prises that may oc­cur to be less stress­ful.

IN THE HIGH STRESS STATE OF ‘FIGHT OR FLIGHT’, YOUR BODY IS PRE­PAR­ING TO DO BAT­TLE OR RUN AWAY.

WE OF­TEN DON’T RE­ALISE THE IM­PACT OF STRESS ON OUR BOD­IES AND HEALTH.

Here are a few health tips to as­sist with plan­ning ahead and can be used ev­ery day to help man­age your stress lev­els and im­prove your health:

• Plan your meals be­fore the busy week be­gins – and com­bine this with your weekly shop.

• Stock up on healthy con­ve­nient snacks, such as fruit, whole­grain crack­ers and nuts.

• Sched­ule ex­er­cise into your week and use this as a stress re­lease – why not catch up with a friend at the same time?

Kate Pol­lard is an Ac­cred­ited Prac­tis­ing Di­eti­cian and Nutri­tion­ist at the Cen­tre for In­te­gra­tive Health in Bris­bane. Kate coaches’ clients to­wards im­prov­ing their long-term health and is pas­sion­ate about as­sist­ing chronic di­eters to im­ple­ment sus­tain­able changes, de­crease weight fluc­tu­a­tions, and im­prove phys­i­cal and men­tal health. Con­tact Kate via her email kate@cfih.com.au

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.