I know that I preach eating, eating, eating, but lately I’ve started to realize that I need to start emphasizing lifestyle in general. Yes eating is important, but to be healthy you have to be balanced in all areas of your life. You can eat as healthy as you want, but there are still other variables that can keep you back from the body or health that you want (which we will cover this week). You can exercise til the cows come home too, but that won’t keep the weight off and as we’ll see this week, this too be preventing your weight loss. Today is one of my other favorite subjects: STRESS. I like this:
Real or perceived threat to homeostasis that elicits an adaptive response to help maintain internal stability and ensure survival.
So we can physically stress ourselves, or mentally create stress in our lives. We are able to handle stress, but as we’ll see its the type of stress that is important. We were made to deal with acute stress. In the morning we rise with optimal cortisol that tapers off as the day wears on so by evening it is depleted and we are ‘tired’ and ready for bed. There’s a rhythm to cortisol, just like we’ll look at with sleep (circadian). Problem: we are chronic (notice how this word keep popping up, like with chronic inflammation) stressers. We don’t have little bouts of stress, rather we let everything wear on us and then we make it worse by physically stressing ourselves as well. That elevated stress in the morning let us escape from being a saber tooth’s breakfast, not to worry about what to wear today and our laundry list of things we have to get done today. Since cortisol is constantly being released, then it makes sense that other mechanisms have to shut down for this to happen. What may be effected:
- endocrine function
Further more what my happen when cortisol rhythm is thrown out of whack:
- the gut may become vulnerable: change in gastric secretion, gut motility, visceral sensitivity and mucosal blood flow
- increased blood sugar
- harder for glucose to get into your cells
- reduced ability to burn fat
- hungry/crave sugar
- less sensitive to insulin
- hormonal imbalance
- reduced DHEA, testosterone, growth hormone, and TSH levels
- increased rate of stored fat
- increased belly fat and fatty liver
- increased fatty acids and triglycerides in the blood
Notice how much this affects hormones and how it’s making you FATTER. Yep eat right and exercise, but be remain fat because you cannot just chill. Besides the constant worry and self-inflicted stress, here are some other causes:
- insomnia (sleep coming tomorrow)
- chronic infections
- autoimmune diseases
- environmental toxins
- dieting (yep dieting did you know that 50-60% of the population is dieting at any time. That means they’re worried about food restriction, counting calories and fearful of the food they’re putting in their mouth. I just want to lose the weight. Just do it, stop thinking)
- Too much exercise (yep bet you didn’t think about this either, but we’ll wait until Wednesday to debunk the exercise folly).
Simply: Acute stress fine, ready to face challenges. Chronic stress bad making you feel a hope/helpfulness. If you can’t get stress under control you will never be healthy. Breathe, relax, meditate, walk, whatever it takes to manage stress levels.