Let’s face it -- In the presence of a global pandemic, economic turmoil, finance hardships, and problems in and out of the household, stress is all around us.

And stress, inevitably, is part of being a human. However, long-term stress really does wreck havoc on our bodies. 

And when it comes to weight, it can definitely cause the scale to stagger, or show a higher number than we’re used to.

So...let’s dissect HOW stress causes weight gain.

When we’re stressed, it’s easy to forget water, skip meals, overeat, consume unhealthy meals, try fad diets, decrease sleep, mess with our hormones, and more.

And if our stress hormone cortisol is activated more than it should be, it also causes us to retain weight. 

Now, let’s talk about how we can BREAK this cycle of stress and weight gain:

- Make exercise a priority. I mean it! Exercising is a critical component to reducing stress and managing weight. It will make you feel better overall. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy -- it can be going for a walk on your lunch break, hitting it hard in the gym, or even taking 10 minutes out of your day to do a few repetitive exercises.
- Keep a food journal. Pay attention to your habits. Managing your weight will become easier if you monitor what you’re taking in.
- Drink more water. This is a big one! Water flushes us out, keeps us energized, and keeps everything functioning properly. Plus, it helps keep you fuller! If you’re drinking water constantly and consistently throughout the day, you won’t confused being thirsty with being hungry.
- Practice mindful eating. Focus on what you’re eating, without distractions. This will help keep emotional eating tendencies at bay, and aid in de-stressing your mind as well. When we focus on one thing (especially a physical act such as eating) and block out the noise, we can help lower our cortisol levels.
- Find a stress-relieving strategy that works for you. This can begin with breathing. Take deep breaths when you feel yourself stressed out. Try and remove yourself from stressful situations if you can, even if it means just taking a two-minute walk or meditating. You can pick up yoga, dive into a good book, or listen to music. When possible, find ways to decrease stress in your life.

I hope these tips can help, FIRSTNAME. The best way to address stress in our lives is to get to the root and find out how we can change our circumstances. 

But if we don’t have the power to change the outside circumstance, we must work to change our response to it.

And if you need some help with your health, genetic testing, supplements, and one-on-one support, then it might be helpful for you to schedule a free, no-strings virtual conversation with one of our health coaches. 

Remember: We’re here to help, which means supporting you in your stress, too.

March 10, 2021 — Dr. Jason Olafsson