Deal With Stress

The Link Between Stress and Weight Gain

Stress-Weight-GainStress will always be a natural part of your life, but if your under stress to much it can have some really damaging effects on your health one being weight gain. What is the link between stress and weight gain though? The answer is cortisol. Cortisol typically works to fix any imbalances in your body but if you have excess amounts of it can slow down your metabolism and affect your blood sugar levels.

Cortisol plays an important role in your blood stream and is always present as it helps to regulate your blood pressure, maintain proper glucose metabolism, fight disease, and it also assist in maintain correct insulin levels within the body. This may lead you to wonder that if it’s so important, and performs all of those different purposes, how can it harm you and your weight?

Your body will always react the same when it’s put under high levels of stress, whether it’s a hectic lifestyle or a life and death situation. It triggers your fight or flight instinct which works by shutting down your metabolism for a short period and producing cortisol which all gives you a small boost in energy. Unfortunately though if you aren’t using that extra energy it produces it all gets turned into fat and because your digestive system is being shut down your metabolism slows right down.

It was a long time ago where we found ourselves in constant life or death situations, so these days if we find ourselves under stress it usually does involve burning off energy which means it all just gets turned into fat. This is a problem if you have a sedentary job like an office job which usually involves a high level of stress because you have no outlet for the energy. This along with your metabolism being slowed down leads to weight gain.

Here are some of the big factors that cause weight gain from stress:

  • The simplest affects of stress is emotional eating and food cravings. This is why planning is important because it can usually lead to a lot of unnecessary and unhealthy food choices.
  • Excess levels of cortisol slow your metabolism right down which means you burn less energy throughout the day.
  • A prolonged state of stress also affects your blood sugar which can lead to mood swings, a loss in energy, and a number of other major health concerns.

There are some simple things you can do though that will help you balance your stress.

The first and most important thing you can do when under constant levels of stress is make sure your eating healthy. Making sure you have a balanced diet will help fix any of the imbalances that are caused by the increased cortisol levels.

The best thing you can do to maintain healthy eating habits is to have a realistic and well structured plan. If you plan your weekly meals and stick to them you should have no problem maintaining your eating habits, and avoid any unnecessary trips to the store.

So the main thing you need to keep in mind when it comes to stress is to maintain a healthy eating plan. A well structured healthy eating plan will help prevent most of the negative side effects of the cortisol.

Personal Trainer Seattle Cody has 12 years experience as a personal trainer. He started his career at the University of Washington as an instructor. He was in charge of running a beginning weightlifting class and was the creator of many new classes because of the demand for his knowledge and leadership skills. From there he trained at a corporate gym while gaining knowledge in the studies of human movement. He now has his own business with numerous pleased and fulfilled clients.

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Beat Depression

Form a Habit of Forgiveness to Beat Depression and Stress

Have you listened to your self-talk lately?If you are depressed or under stress, does the mention of forgiveness sound like old news? Do you think, yeah I did that, and I still feel under siege? Well, what we all sometimes forget is that forgiveness is not a onetime remedy. One good bout of forgiving our past does not inoculate us against becoming hurt, angry, or annoyed or building new resentments all over again. To beat our stress and depression, forgiveness needs to become a habit, whether we are forgiving others or forgiving ourselves.

Forgiveness can transform us

Forgiveness is basically a choice. Am I going to let this situation tie me up inside, raise my blood pressure and stress hormones, or am I going to decide not to feel wounded, and simply let it go? Oddly enough, we often get just as upset over tiny disruptions as we do to major conflicts. And since we are likely to have far more little upsets in a day than big ones, the more automatic our ability to slough off minor irritations, the better we will feel.

Clearly some of us are far better at this letting go than others. Author Ted Dekker wrote recently that for the most of us, “our lives are run by grievance.” If we are anxious, he explained, we feel a grievance toward the uncertainty of the future. If we are unhappy with how we look or feel, we can become ill and depressed, because we have a grievance against ourselves. We cling to our grievances, it’s true, but learning to forgive and let go, Dekker says, can cause radical transformations. Letting go of all these grievances is what forgiveness is all about.

Give us this day.

The idea of continual forgiveness is certainly nothing new. Christians pray “give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us…as we forgive.” If we say the words too fast, or without thinking, we could miss that the forgiving part is in the same sentence as our daily bread. The thoughts are linked. Forgiveness must be a daily need, just like having enough to eat. After all, every day we make new mistakes, and we need others to overlook our faults, and also to be willing to cut everyone, and ourselves, some slack.

Practice makes perfect.

Whenever we forgive, we reap health benefits that grow over time. As soon as we let go, we can breathe easier, and feel the weight of resentment slipping away. Our mood lifts, and we feel more at peace. With daily practice, we get better at forgiveness, and the feelings of wellbeing continue to increase. More time forgiving means less time dwelling on stressful situations, and less time beating ourselves up for not living up to arbitrary ideals.

Being a more forgiving person also makes us much nicer to be around. What may feel to us like a perfectly justified rant about some perceived injustice to our egos, probably just strikes others as a tantrum. No one likes to be around a grouch.

Tips to practice

Thinking thoughts of forgiveness during meditation can be a very effective tool. Not all our grievances are toward people who have harmed or slighted us, or simply invaded our space. We may feel aggrieved at life in general for not turning out how we wanted it to. Or we may feel bitter at institutions, our government, or even weather that upsets our plans.

Let yourself be aware of things that bother you then release the hold they have over your emotions. You might even imagine yourself being set free.

As you go through your day, if you drop something or make a mistake, don’t call yourself clumsy or deride yourself. Remind yourself that mistakes happen, and minor spills and mishaps are a part of normal life. Find humor in life’s minor pitfalls, and find joy in the people who share your life.

The more you work toward making forgiveness a habit, the less you will feel stress from your imagined grievances, and the more your depression can lift away.

To read Ted Dekker’s entire post about forgiveness, and his new novel Water Walker, visit

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