Does Stress Make You Put On Weight?
We're constantly told that living a stressful lifestyle is bad for us, but we never thought it could be making us put on weight!
According to new research announced today, however, women who experience high levels of stress burn 100 fewer calories a day than those who live care-free. Scientists from Ohio State University in the US also found that stress can result in increased levels of insulin in the blood which makes the body store more fat, resulting in a slower metabolic rate.
But reducing the levels of stress in your day-to-day life could be easier than you think. Simple changes to your diet as well a few exercises daily have been proven to help the mind and the body relax which, in turn, can shift those stubborn pounds. So regain control over both your mind and your body with a pick of the top stress-busting ideas:
Yoghurt - contains a host of vitamins and minerals including calcium, vitamin A, vitamin B complex and vitamin D, all of which are linked to
relief from insomnia and stress. Keep your levels topped up with three to four tablespoons throughout the day.
Sunflower seeds - both sunflower seeds and alfalfa sprouts eaten together can lower stress levels, thanks to a anxiety-lowering substance that's released into the body. As soon as you feel stress building, eat them to head it off before it really kicks in.
A Few Cherries - are one fruit known to soothe the nervous system, helping to alleviate stress. Eaten fresh, cooked in pies or desserts, the effect will be the same.
A Herb To De-stress - this idea hails from the Middle Ages, but can still be used today. Place 1/2 cup of bishop's weed in a muslin bag or sachet and tie around your neck or in your handbag to sniff at the first sign of stress. If you struggle to find bishop's weed, use rosemary or mint as a substitute.
Relax with a ginger poultice - take time out one evening with this treatment to relieve stress. Mix two tablespoons of ground ginger with enough milk to form a paste, then smooth onto your forehead and let the mixture dry. Your skin will start to feel warmer, then cooler as your facial muscles relax. Leave the mixture on for 10 to 15 minutes before washing off.
Crunch On Celery - bet you thought celery was just a good weight loss option, it turns out this veggie also contains important phytonutrients called phthalides,
which are acknowledged as sedatives and can lower feelings of stress and anxiety.
Eating Late At Night - although eating late at night isn't prescribed for those wanting to digest a big meal, it can help your stress levels by regulating blood sugar throughout the night. Cook up some pasta which is known to increase serotonin levels in the brain.
Calm Down At Bedtime - stress levels can start to increase the closer it gets to bedtime, so beat the stress factor and reduce feelings of angst with a glass of warm milk flavoured with cinnamon and honey. If warm milk isn't for you, try lavender or camomile tea instead.
The nigh-time drink to balance your mood - eating small amounts of dark chocolate has been proven to reduce the stress hormone cortisol, so why not choose a dark chocolate cocoa drink to help relax and unwind before bedtime. Be sure to choose a drink with 70% or more cocoa in and make drinking your hot chocolate a daily ritual to benefit from the effects over time.
And finally, don't forget to do a least a few exercises a day, even if it's only 5-10min. If your busy lifestyle doesn't always allow you to get to the exercise studio or a gym therefor try our elegant, body sculpting ballet workout exercise routines online: