How Stress, Immunity and Weight Gain go Hand in Hand
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How Stress and Weight Gain go Hand in Hand

How Stress and Weight Gain go Hand in Hand

Stress occurs when life events surpass your abilities to cope.

Stress is sometimes a motivator that helps you rise to the occasion. At other times, it’s simply overwhelming. Whatever the case, if it’s chronic, it can take a toll on your immune system.

Stress, weight gain and cortisol levels: Understanding its Connection

Unfortunately, excess stress can lead to an increase in weight.

And whether the extra weight is a result of overeating and unhealthy food choices, or your body’s response to increased levels of cortisol, getting a handle on stress is a priority if you want to prevent stress-related weight gain.

The body responds to stress by increasing levels of cortisol.

Cortisol is a stress hormone that increases in response to a threat. When you no longer perceive a threat, cortisol levels return to normal. (no big deal)

But if stress is always present, you can experience an overexposure to cortisol, which is a problem since cortisol is also a significant appetite stimulant.

This is the reason so many people respond to stress by going for comfort food

A few tips to combat stress-related weight gain:

  1. If you’re tempted to eat when you’re not hungry, find a distraction.
  2. Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast. If you’re in a hurry, grab a piece of fruit and nuts on the way out the door.
  3. Eat a healthy diet, such as whole grains and a variety of fruits and vegetables. Aim to include most food groups in your meals.
  4. Identify comfort foods and keep them out of your home or office

How Stress effects our Immune System

When we’re stressed, the immune system’s ability to fight off antigens is reduced. That is why we are more susceptible to infections.

Ongoing stress makes us susceptible to illness and disease.

Some experts claim that stress is responsible for as much as 90% of all illnesses and diseases, including cancer and heart disease.

Here are some tips to lower cortisol levels, which will help keep your immunity high

  1. Tend to Your Spirituality
    1. Developing and growing your faith (prayer, devotion, studying) is associated with reduced anxiety and depression
  2. Get the Right Amount of Sleep
    1. Timing, length and quality of sleep all influence cortisol
  3. Exercise, but Not Too Much
    1. Have balance and variety in exercise with rest days. Refrain from all HIIT and heavy lifting every day
  4. Learn to Recognize Stressful Thinking
    1. Stressful thoughts are an important signal for cortisol release.
  5. Have Fun and keep maintain healthy Relationships
  6. Eat Healthy Foods (from all 5 food groups)
    1. Nutrition can influence cortisol for the better or worse

Additional Tips for reducing stress

  1. Keep a positive attitude. This is essential and makes all the other tips easy to follow!
  2. Accept that there are events that you cannot control.
  3. Learn and practice relaxation techniques; try meditation, yoga, or tai-chi.
  4. Learn to manage your time more effectively.
  5. Set limits appropriately and say no to requests that would create excessive stress in your life.
  6. Make time for hobbies and interests.

Summary

Stress occurs when life events surpass your abilities to cope.  It causes your body to produce greater levels of the stress hormone cortisol. In short spurts, cortisol can boost your immunity by limiting inflammation. But over time, your body can get used to having too much cortisol in your blood. And this opens the door for more inflammation.

How to Combat the Quarantine-Related Weight Gain…

(A proactive approach)

During this time of quarantine and social distancing, many are concerned with gaining weight due to simply being at home all day!

From time to time in my practice I have the ability to offer a “30-Minute Nutrition Breakthrough Session.” Now this is typically valued at $125.00, but I’d truly love to gift you one of these sessions! We will have the change to address:

  • What is the best foods for you to eat
  • Boosting energy levels
  • Jump start you weight loss

Now is the perfect time to get personalized recommendations to help you to ramp up your immune function ensure, you’re getting all of the vitamins and nutrients you need, and prevent quarantine-related weight gain.

Excited stuff! Is that something you’d like to do?

Simply ‘send me a message’ and mention you want a “personalized nutrition assessment” to get the process started!

Here is just a snapshot of what will occur during the call, we’ll.

• Define a crystal clear vision of your specific nutrition/weight loss path

• Uncover the hidden challenges and unconscious self-sabotage that’s been holding you back from losing weight and keeping it off

•You’ll leave the session not only inspired, but also with tangible next steps to  finally start seeing results from all your hard work! 

Simply hit reply and mention you want a “personalized nutrition assessment” to get the process started!

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