Here’s the thing about stress: everyone seems to attribute negativity to it without realising what it actually is. So let’s start there.
Stress isn’t just some feeling or emotion. What gets you frazzled and exhausted is not external pressure from other people. Stress is internal body chemistry reacting to a situation that you perceive as danger to your well-being. When you’re under stress to perform at your job, take care of kids or deal with relationship trouble, your body goes into a reactive “fight or flight mode”. This mode induces the production of cortisol, the stress hormone that gives you a surge of adrenaline and allows you to tap into energy stores. All things said and done, cortisol puts you into “survival mode”.
Your body is able to sustain this “survival mode” for months – and this occurrence is highly possible in our modern day lives where stress doesn’t come in bouts. Instead, modern-day stress is sustained, and that means your body is consistently tapping into energy stores, making you hungry all the time.
That’s when the classic “I eat because I’m stressed” reaction happens!
How do you counter the effects of cortisol?
Cortisol makes you crave fatty, sugary foods. The logic behind this craving is that our primitive ancestors often went into this “survival mode” for long periods at a time, often under life-or-death conditions. Sustenance was scarce, and so they had to seek out the most calorie-dense foods.
The solution? Eat differently! Here’s what you can do to make sure you won’t gain stress-induced weight:
- Throw out all sodas, sweet drinks or chips at home
- Clear your work desk of candy bars and replace them with these food items at work
- Bring a tumbler to the office and filled it with only water to avoid drinking too much soda or sugary drinks.
- Swap out noodles and white rice, for brown rice! It keeps you full, for longer
- Order salads in, and try to pack your own lunches if you can
- Sleep earlier to lower stress levels as best as you can
Besides that, you can also keep to quick exercise routines that help release endorphins to counter-balance the cortisol.
It’s tough to get up and keep going, especially when the ceaselessly spinning of our island economy mounts an infinite amount of pressure on us. We just want to remind everyone that while there’s work to be done, we only really get that one chance at life. YOLO isn’t a state of mind, it’s a reality, and you’re living it. So take care of your health, so that you can handle your wealth!