Yikes! Stress Derails your Metabolism

Keep weight in check by managing stress

Here’s an unfortunate fact: women who experience stress burn fewer calories after eating meals than those who don’t.

I know. It’s not fair. But fairness and truth don’t always line up.

Researchers from Ohio State University, whose study was published in Biological Psychiatry, found that stress and depression affect your body on a cellular level, slowing down your metabolism.  The scientists showed that stressed out women burn 104 fewer calories after eating than their stress-free counterparts. With a low resting metabolic rate, these women will gain approximately 11 pounds a year.

Ouch. We all experience stress on some level every day. What can we do to avoid the bloat?

Here are a few tips for managing stress:
  1. Learn to say “no.” Manage your schedule carefully and be selfish with your time. You don’t have to work full time, manage the kids’ schedule, make every meal from scratch, organize date nights, clean the house, and volunteer at the PTO. You simply can’t do everything.
  2. Carve out time to decompress. If you have to, schedule baths, reading time, and an hour to sip a cup of tea.
  3. Get out with your friends. Book time to socialize and let loose.
  4. Pour yourself into your work to get things done, but try to compartmentalize as much as possible. Don’t be the stressed out mom texting, talking on the phone, and managing crises as you cook and help your kids with their homework.
  5. Go out with your significant other.
  6. Exercise.
  7. Whenever possible, take work breaks to walk around the block and drink up the fresh air.
  8.  Ask for help when you need it. Don’t be the one-woman warrior who’s going to “do it all.” I guarantee you can’t and then you’ll be the exhausted, cranky, stressed out woman who feels like a failure.
  9.  Breathe. This may sound funny, but many of us forget this. Deep breaths immediately relax the body and force us to pause and gather ourselves. It can help us refocus, make a plan, and move on with the day.

Stress is everywhere.  It’s difficult to manage, which is why we all suffer from it. Do your best and remember if you fail, tomorrow is another day.

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