Dietitian: These are the six warning signs you’re running on stress – and why it leads to more belly fat
- A dietitian has shared why running on stress hormones leads to weight gain
- Recommends exercising but not too heavily and going to bed earlier to reduce it
A dietitian has shared the six warning signs you’re running on stress hormones, and why it’s leading to health problems, weight gain and lack of sleep.
Leanne Ward, from Brisbane, said if you’re trying to lose weight, improve your gut health or manage your mental health, your stress levels are the single biggest thing that matters.
‘Too often, people fail to manage the small, daily stress and let it compound until it explodes or even worse, leads to complete long-term burnout,’ Leanne wrote on Instagram.
A dietitian (Leanne Ward pictured) has shared the six warning signs you’re running on stress hormones, and why it’s leading to health problems, weight gain and lack of sleep
The first warning sign is experiencing an increased heart rate regularly.
A normal resting heart rate should be between 60 and 100 beats per minute, but it can vary from minute to minute.
Your age and general health can also affect your pulse rate, so it’s important to remember that a ‘normal’ pulse can vary from person to person.
The second warning sign that you’re running on stress hormones is if you feel tired at night, but then have trouble sleeping as you’re ‘too wired’.
A good way to reduce this is to banish all blue light an hour before bed, have a warm but not overly hot shower and read before turning out the light.
Leanne also said she is a fan of guided meditation and deep belly breathing before going to sleep – and these are all good ways to relax.
The first warning sign is experiencing an increased heart rate regularly, Leanne (pictured) said; a normal resting heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute
The third sign something isn’t quite right is if you feel anxious about everyday tasks or end up feeling overwhelmed quite frequently.
Fourth on the list is ‘lots of brain fog and difficulty thinking clearly’.
For this, Leanne recommends journalling to clear the mind, or even a cold shower which has myriad health benefits including boosting your circulation, improving your metabolism and boosting your immunity.
Finally, Leanne said if you have regular sugar cravings, bloating or constipation, it’s another sign from your digestive system that something’s not quite right.
To combat this, you’re best off opting for a diet that’s rich in fibre – so think plenty of fruit and veg.
You should also watch out for hair loss, irregular periods and skin breakouts – which on their own could mean nothing, but when accompanied by some of the other symptoms could signify something bad.
Why stress makes you gain weight
* Stress can significantly impact your ability to maintain a healthy weight. It can also prevent you from losing weight.
* Researchers have long known that rises in the stress hormone cortisol can lead to weight gain. Every time you’re stressed, your adrenal glands release adrenaline and cortisol, and as a result, glucose (your primary source of energy) is released into your bloodstream.
* All of this is done to give you the energy you need to escape from a risky situation (also known as the fight or flight response).
* Because sugar supplies your body with the quick energy it thinks it needs, it’s often the first thing you reach for when you’re stressed.
* The downside to consuming so much sugar is that your body tends to store sugar, especially after stressful situations.
* This energy is stored mainly in the form of abdominal fat, which can be particularly hard to shed.
Source: Very Well Mind
When it comes to Leanne’s strategies for reducing your overall stress load, she recommends exercise but not too much – as this can paradoxically have a negative effect
When it comes to Leanne’s other strategies for reducing your overall stress load, she recommends exercise but not too much – as this can paradoxically have a negative effect.
The dietitian also said you could try guided meditation, fresh air and getting to bed half an hour earlier each night.
You should also look at your diet, and aim to make sure you’re getting a well-balanced plate for your meals and snacks.
Ideally, a plate should contain half vegetables, a quarter protein and a quarter complex carbohydrates.
You should then top it with a drizzle of healthy fats, like extra virgin olive oil or avocado.
Simple ways to reduce your stress levels
* Get outside for half an hour
* Go to bed half an hour earlier
* Exercise, but not too hard
* Try guided meditation
* Have a cold shower
* Make sure your plate comprises all the food groups
Source: Leanne Ward