Is Stress Making You Fat?

Life is filled with opportunities to be stressed.  Job, spouse, kids, friends, in-laws... the list goes on!

The questions is, is this stress causing you to hold on to more fat?  The answer is most likely, YES!

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When we have an elevated amount of cortisol (stress hormone) in our system, we tend to eat foods higher in sugar and fat, which over time will affect our weight.  Your body may begin to store this fat around your mid-section.  Additional weight gain starts a vicious cycle of being even more stressed due to the extra pounds you are now holding on to.  Before you know it, your metabolism is shot because you are now eating too much, or potentially not eating enough.  

How do we fix this?

1. Take time to identify what is causing you stress.  Find resources and professionals that can help you eliminate one stressor at a time.

2. Practice diaphragmatic breathing.  At Bodymass, we start each training session with a breathing technique that allows one to breath in through their nose for 4-5 seconds to fill up the belly, pausing at the top of the breath, then pressing the air out for another 4-5 seconds.

3. Get sleep.  It is recommended that individuals get 8 hours of sleep a night -- many don't get half of that.  

4. Take a rest day.  Your workouts can cause stress on the body, you need to make sure to incorporate active recovery or stretching into your weekly routine.

5. Improve your nutrition.  Aim to get 5-6 smaller meals throughout your day, with a source of protein at each meal.  This will help you stay fuller, longer, and help get your metabolism back on track.

Written by: Megan Osysko