I’m sure you’re wondering where this blog post is going to take you. Drink a glass of cold water before each meal? Green tea extract? Raspberry ketones? Rub your belly and tap your head, simultaneously?! NO! Instead, let’s take a more simple - easy to manage and integrate into your life - route. No amazon prime purchases necessary!
Stress can put weight on, relaxation can take weight off! When stress dominates our lives, whether it be bursts of high intensity stress or chronic, everyday stress…cortisol and adrenaline levels in the body increase significantly. How does the body reveal this to you? It starts to store weight, store fat, and stop building muscle. Not good times, huh?
How do we counter this? RELAX! Breathe deeply, smile, and take some time for yourself each day. This will rev up the body’s parasympathetic nervous system, which means you achieve optimal calorie burning capacity!
January 1, millions of Americans hit Amazon for the latest Paleo/gluten free/nut free/soy free cookbook, the most recent version of “Eat This/Not That,” and loaded up their Whole Foods carts with all kinds of green things they had never experienced or even seen. Excitement likely stuck around for a few days, or maybe even a few weeks for the “hardcore” individuals. What else happened?? STRESS!! The battle of beers at happy hour vs. kale, avocado, and coconut water smoothie at home is not one that many can endure for too long, before feeling like “failures” when choosing happy hour!
The solution? Just don’t do it! The chemistry that happens in the body when you’re stressed out about how on earth to pass on the things that bring you joy all the time and constantly opt for food that gives you zero pleasure is enough to keep the weight on! Not too productive when the whole goal was to shed those holiday pounds! Instead, find ways to slowly create a healthier lifestyle for yourself. Instead, relax your way into weight loss. Focus on adding healthy things to your diet (water, vegetables, lean protein), rather than removing all the goodies! Guess what’ll likely happen? You’ll probably find that you have fewer cravings for those donuts and buffalo wings, because your body is getting more of the nutrients that it needs!
Be Happy! Believe it or not, it is one of the best digestive aids out there. Ever wonder why you keep getting heartburn or other uncomfortable GI issues? When you eat during a period of stress, they’re much more likely to happen! Why? Because your body is essentially in it’s own bit of “fight or flight.” When the sympathetic nervous system (stress) kicks in, the last thing your physiological self is going to focus on is the digestion of your food. It’s so busy trying to fight off whatever angry animal is chasing it, that the digestive system shuts down, so the body and mind can focus on the fight at hand. Even if you’re chomping down on that organic lentil chickpea soup from Sweet Green, but if you’re not relaxed while you’re eating it, those nutrients are going down the tubes….literally!
How to fix? Slow down! Look, we’re all busy. Technology has created an insanely stressful, multitasking world. But….if you want to actually get the nutritional benefits of your food, and keep that metabolic engine running strong, slow down! Here’s a quick tip to make that happen: the 3’s rule. Take 3 breaths. Each breath must be a 3 second count in, hold for 3 seconds, exhale for 3 seconds, and pause for 3 seconds before your next breath. 36 seconds total. C’mon…you know you can “treat” yourself to an extra 36 seconds before eating your meal. Set the phone down, turn off the TV, breathe….then enjoy that killer meal!
So rather than stressing out about what supplements are going to be the golden ticket to kickstarting your metabolism, save your money and give yourself the opportunity to create some change from within! #yougotthis