Manage your stress better!
Stress is a killer…and it makes you fat! Unmanaged stress makes your system more sensitive and more reactive to things that wouldn’t normally bother you.
For example, say you have a slight dairy intolerance. While on vacation, relaxing on the beach of a beautiful tropical island, you have a few pieces of cheese. The result of this laid back splurge? Nothing – no bloating, no gas, no upset stomach, no weight gain. In turn, you eat whatever you want all day, while relaxing on the beach and still manage to lose five pounds.
Now, imagine that it is three months later and you are totally stressed out at the office. You eat a piece of cheese and within minutes, you begin to feel bloated and sluggish and your stomach begins to hurt; within hours you begin to get gas. No, the cheese on the island was not healthier; you feel bad because the added stress has elevated your cortisol and other stress responses, causing your body to respond to anything you eat as dangerous.
There are two potential solutions:
1. Remove the stressor. This is not always reasonable or even possible to do (and may not be necessary if it’s short term).
2. Manage the stress better. The most basic way to minimize the effect of stress includes working out and meditating daily. The exercise does not have to be terribly difficult. In fact, during periods of very high stress, doing an easier workout is actually better (i.e. going for an hour walk). Meditating can mean going to a yoga class, reading a book, praying, practicing deep breathing, or even taking a nap.