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THE LONG AND SHORT OF STRESS

Stress


Stress is the body’s response to biological stimulus - also not all press is bad!


Thin of training we put the body under a stress to gain cardiovascular fitness and or muscle strength & size.


Each person has a different level of tolerance to stress based on the environment & genetic factors.


Stress - physical or psychological - releases chemicals into our body to help us cope. Think Flight or Fight.


Stress can affect - brain function depending on the intensity & duration which can lead to memory disorders and decline of memory, the other hand it can also temporarily improve brain function & memory. It can also manifest behavioural, cognitive & mood disorders.


Let’s look at stress and how it affects our weight loss


Stress affects the DIGESTIVE SYSYEM It has an adverse affect on the GI track. A few of the side affects can include:

  • IBDSs (Inflammatory Bowel Diseases)

  • CD (Chrohns Disease)

  • UC (Ulcerative Colitis )

  • IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)


Stress negatively impacts the digestive system in a number of ways which is one of the main reasons people who are chronically under physical or emotional stress develop infalmmattory diseases of the GI track.

HOW CAN WE MANAGE STRESS?


SLEEP - Did you know a nap as short as 10 mins restores wakefulness& improves performance and learning. Naps longer than 30 mins = loss of productivity & sleep inertia “the transitional state between sleep and wake”


How can we improve sleep?

  • Limit naps

  • Avoid stimulants near bed time

  • Limit alcohol (you may think it helps you sleep, but doing the second half of the night the body begins to process the alcohol)

  • Avoid strenuous workouts near bed time

  • Steer clear of really rich or heavy/fatty meals

  • Get enough Vitamin D (sunlight!) during the day

  • Regular bed time routine - warm shower, switch phone off, read a book, listen to music (reduce all screen time)

  • Relaxing bedroom environment: comfortable pillow, mattress. Studies show your room temp should be around 15-19 degrees.

  • White noise machines, ensure room is dark


Great Sleep = improved moods, health, cognitive function, performance, recovery, productivity, and body composition.


BLOOD SUGAR - Ensure you eat small meals regularly (avoid the peaks and troughs of blood sugar)

  • Eat Low GI foods - these take a while to be Brocken down and the sugars are released slower not the blood stream

  • Exercise regularly - Exercise has an impact on blood glucose, a combination of both cardio and resistance training.

  • Control carb intake ie we don’t want to have a high carbs meal then low carbs - blood sugar (glucose) spike and fall again. Studies have shown that Low GI diets, Mediterranean diet and hight protein Diest are affectinve for improving GI control. When we add fibre, fat & protein to a meal it slows down the glucose going into the blood stream = stable blood sugars!


FIBRE - Increase your fibre intake. AS per above increase fibre slows down glucose entering blood stream. RDI = 14g for every 1000 calories consumed.


HYDRATION - keep hydrated. Daily water intake should be around about 1ml per calorie. So If my nutritional intake is 2,500 calories I should be drinking 2.5L (min) and then more as I train - which is 500-600ml water 2-3 hours prior to exercise, 200-300ml every 1-20 minutes before and during exercise! HOW MUCH DO YOU DRINK?


EAT REGULARLY - Overall there is not clear evidence about meal frequency but some studies show that eating smaller more frequent meals was associated with improved glycemic control & lower hunger and greater fullness - winning :)

So really avoid snacking and skipping meals, plan meals that suit your lifestyle and how you feel in regards to hunger. (Again planning is key to having nutritious filling food in the house to avoid high sugary snacking). Statistics also show that waiting until later in the day to consume calories could increase risk of obesity, inflammation, and metabolic syndrome - Ideally studies suggest each breakfast within 2 hours of waking lunch before 1pm and dinner no later than 2 hours before bed.


ADEQUATE MICRONUTRIENT INTAKE - Macros are Proteins, Fats & Carbs. Micros are your vitamins & minerals . A good multivitamin is a great addition to your nutrition - as well as consuming a balanced nutritional lifestyle including 5 servings of fruits/vegetables a day!


ADD VINEGAR TO MEALS - helps reduce high blood sugars, high Blood Pressure, obesity & high levels of fat in the blood system. Also helps our gut microderm, has an antioxidant affect and antitumor effect. Lucky those Apple Cider vinegar gummies are out in the shops!



CINNAMON - works by mimicking action of insulin & delays the ingestion of carbohydrates in the small intestine. It has been found to have cognitive enhancing effects, anti - microbial effects, antioxidant properties, anti-inflammatory effects & reduce BP.


REDUCE CHRONIC INFLAMMATION - These include diabetes, CV diseases, arthritis, allergies & chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. How can we reduce these?


Intake of anti-inflammatory foods ie whole grains, natural foods, fruits & vegetables such as avocado, cherries, kale & fatty fish (salmon). Reduce simple sugars, refined carbohydrates, high GI foods, trans saturated fatty foods, and hydrogenated oils.


Reduce Antibiotics, antacids and NSAIDS (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) as they can cause harm to the gut walls = leaky gut


Exercise regularly (thanks Bootcamps & PT!) Obesity & high levels of adipose tissue induces low level systemic inflammation,


Sleep Longer - (hell yes!) Ideally 7-8 hours and don’t forget those little power naps of 10 mins - these stimulate HGH and testosterone which helps the body repair and rebuild (this is where the gains happen)


Stress Less - Chronic psychological stress is linked to higher levels of depression, Heart doses & the body’s natural ability to decrease inflammation and defend agains common colds. Strategies like meditation & yoga helps reduce stress. If you attended Maryanne’s session remember there are many types of MINDFULNESS - meditation is one


Last point to take away and as just mentioned briefly - MEDITATION to reduce STRESS. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea- but finding something to quieten the mind, reduce the noise around you and slow you down.

Benefits include:

  • Reduced stress

  • Reduced blood pressure and heart rate

  • Reduced anxiety and depression

  • Reduced physical and psychological pain Improved memorY

  • Improved breathing pattern

  • Improved oxygen utilization

  • Improved skin resistance

  • Improved blood flow to the brain.





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