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Food & Stress Relationship

Food is all those substances that can be changed into life by digestion, and thus repair the losses that the human body suffers through the act of living.

The Physiology of Taste by Jean Brillat-Savarin

Did you know that you can radically reduce stress with certain foods?

By eating nutrient packed, low-glycemic diet that is high in protein, it’s possible to diminish the impact of pressures that beat you down. But, if you make it a habit to give in to stress-inspired cravings for foods high in sugar and fat, you spike your stress hormones, making it incredibly hard to stop eating once you start.

If you have any interest whatsoever in optimizing your body composition and losing fat, you have to do everything in your power to reduce your stress and get control of what you put in you mouth.

What most people trying to lose body fat fail to realize is that going on a diet tends to naturally raise stress rather than reduce it. Consider that the methods typically used to create a calorie deficit are inherently anxiety producing:

• Calorie restriction, or going too long between meals, is very hard for the body. When you have a calorie deficit, your body releases cortisol, w hich triggers the release of glucose to raise blood sugar and give you energy.

This would not be a game-changing problem if you had a tranquil life that was all happiness and roses. But if you’re under mad pressures every minute of the day, there’s a good chance you have an elevated cortisol curve, which does two things:

1) It leads the body to deposit fat in the abdominal area, and 2) inclines the average person to give in to food cravings, thus negating the calorie deficit.

• Counting calories makes your body feel threatened, which is what is called perceived stress. This kicks cortisol up even higher.It’s the grand flaw in weight loss plans that count calories because you get the double whammy of cortisol from lack of food and worries about your diet.

• Add in exercise—a major stressor—which, if incorrectly applied, will inhibit fat loss. Correctly applied in conjunction with nutrition, exercise will optimize hormone balance for fat loss and lean muscle gain.

It’s true that a calorie deficit is necessary for fat loss, however, how you achieve that deficit is the magic bullet.

Food is one incredibly useful tool you have to improve your ability to deal with problems. You must choose nutrition that is robust to faults and shore up your defenses against stress. This article will tell you how to do it.

What A Normal Stress Response Looks Like

When under stress, both physical and psychological, the body secretes cortisol. One of cortisol’s primary functions is to release glucose into the blood to give the body the extra energy it needs to overcome the stress.

In past times, before stress became an everyday, all day occurrence, it was usually a result of hunger, starvation, or being attacked by a predator.

The elevation in cortisol provided the energy needed to survive food shortages.

Nowadays, under constant stress, cortisol is constantly elevated, making your body think it needs to store fat around the waist so that it will have a source of easily accessible energy for the future.

How Stress Drives Food Intake

When you have cortisol pumping through you, you lose control of your ability to make sensible food choices. Lack of sleep worsens this: One study found that sleep deprivation led people to eat 300 calories more than normal.

High cortisol blunts the desire for non-carb foods that are less palatable, but increases cravings for highly palatable carbs. So you’re never going to want steak and Brussels sprouts, but you’ll be overwhelmed with a desire for a bagel, cake, or other high-carb delight when you’re stressed.

Carb cravings are worsened under times of stress because serotonin, a brain chemical that promotes fullness and satisfaction, is synthesized out of the amino acid tryptophan, which is supplied in carbohydrate foods.

Serotonin gets depleted easily because the body uses the same raw materials to make both stress hormones and serotonin. When serotonin gets low, you’ll have an overwhelming desire to eat carbs to replenish it.

What Happens When the Stress is ALL THE TIME

Poor nutrition and constant stress have a profoundability to make you sick and fat.Unfortunately, stress and the act of eating refined, high-carb foods have the same effect on hormone balance:

Both elevate blood sugar, which leads to insulin being released. The cells become less sensitive to insulin and the body stores fat. The hunger hormones, ghrelin and leptin, also get out of whack, making your brain resistant to the STOP EATING message.

And it gets worse: Insulin and cortisol together cause inflammation, which causes you to gain fat in the abdominal cavity—what we call “belly fat.” Belly fat is metabolically active and releases dangerous inflammatory signals, which further activate the stress response through the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. The whole thing is a complete health disaster, which you must take action to prevent because it’s surprisingly hard to reverse.

Make It Happen With These Ten Easy Nutrition Rules To Fight Stress & Feel GOOD

1) Choose a whole food, low-glycemic, high-protein diet and remove ALL of the processed junk. This wi