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How A Bad Economy Can Make You Fat:
And What You Can Do About It
By now, there's no doubt that you've been affected by the declining economy in some form or another. Whether you want to admit it or not, our personal financial position in life does impact how we feel overall and when things are not where we'd like to see them, we feel stressed.
And what's the one thing far too many people do when they get stressed? They open that cupboard or fridge and look for comfort.
Comfort eating in times of stress is a double whammy because not only does it cause you to eat calories that you likely don't need, which then causes you to gain weight, but the fact that your body is in a stressed out situation only tilts your hormones in favor of turning these calories directly to body fat.
The big problem with stress comfort eating is that stress releases a hormone in the body, which then makes you want to eat more carbohydrates, causes you to feel fatigued, and increases the chance that you begin to accumulate body fat, particularly in the abdominal region.
So essentially, if you are going to choose a time to overeat, choosing to do so when coupled with high levels of stress is pretty much the worst thing you could do when trying to battle fat gain.
Keeping this fact in mind and then arming yourself with the tools to fight back is going to be your best defense in this time of financial and economic crisis.
Here's what you need to know.
Smart Stress Skills
The first thing you need to equip yourself with is a set of smart stress skills. Most of us already know when we're feeling stressed, it's that we don't know how to deal with this stress that causes the problems we encounter.
We don't have productive coping mechanisms, thus we turn to ones that may feel good initially but are not healthy in the long run.
Dr. David Ryan
The first skill you need then is a way to clearly identify what's causing you stress. Sometimes feelings of stress can creep up on us, or they may just attack at once.
Identifying this stressor though is the first step you need to take.
Then, you need to also assess whether it's something you can in fact control, or whether it's something that's out of your control.
This distinction is essential because it will allow you to somewhat disconnect with the stress if it is in fact out of your control. Far too many of us get worked up on a continual basis over things we have no power to change, which only serves to hinder our health.
While much of what's going on right now you likely can't control, being sure that you're doing whatever you can to control the things you do have power over will certainly help your overall stress levels.
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Third, once you've identified clearly what is stressing you and which of those factors you do have control over, your next step will be to find more productive ways of dealing with this stress.
This could be immersing yourself in an activity you tend to 'lose yourself in', focusing on working towards areas in your life that are going well (side business, hobbies, relationships, etc), taking up a yoga or meditation class that serves to reduce stress levels in itself, or even seeing a counselor about the issues that are stressing you.
Obviously exercise should also be forthright on the list of things to be doing as it's a terrific stress killer as well. Unfortunately though, exercise is often the thing we tend to neglect in times of stress.
Which brings us to our next section, how to stick with your workout program during these times.
Making Exercise A Priority
In addition to the comfort eating that's going on lately, you might also be skipping a few too many workouts.
One thing to keep in mind here is that if you had to cancel your current gym membership due to your finances, this does not mean your workouts need to fall by the wayside.
There are plenty of different options you can do in the comfort of your own home to help increase your fitness level and keep you motivated.
Even if you aren't going to reach any personal bests at this time, simply sticking with it will be a huge step forward as far as being able to maintain your focus when you are able to get back into the gym.
Often people who take large layoffs may not find their fitness level tends to decrease, but rather, it's their desire to actually workout. Be sure this doesn't happen to you.
Whether you choose to purchase a set of cost effective dumbbells to use, perform body weight exercises, or switch gears and focus on building your cardiovascular base by running outside, just make sure you're doing something.
Maintaining a regular exercise schedule will also help to ward off some of the effects that a not so welcome hormone is going to have on you.
Choosing The Best Eats
Finally, despite your extreme likelihood to want to reach for comfort food, you really do need to make an effort to make sure the food you do choose is following certain guidelines.
The problem with high carbohydrate comfort foods when stressed is that these carbohydrates will increase insulin levels, which tends to promote fat storage as well. When you couple this with your high stressed state, again, you really are asking for trouble.
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This may be hard considering most people prefer carbohydrates for comfort, but even if you can find slight modifications to your typical comfort foods that boost protein content it will really help.
An example of this could be adding some sliced chicken breast to your comfort food or Kraft dinner. Sure, it will still have some carbs, but by adding the protein you'll not only reduce the total carb count (assuming you eat less, of course), but you'll also change the entire macronutrient percentage composition - one that will better favor maintaining your weight loss.
To add to this fact, when you eat straight carbohydrate foods, you're body is going to go through huge energy highs followed by energy lows, which will further increase the natural stress you experience, just aggravating the entire situation.
So, be sure you are keeping these factors in mind during this difficult time. Taking care of your health should be a top priority, but it is something so many people are neglecting right now.
Once your body stops feeling well, you'll find your mental energy will decline as well, decreasing the levels of hope you have for the future outlook.
Click Image To Enlarge.
Once Your Body Stops Feeling Well, You'll
Find Your Mental Energy Will Decline As Well.
Maintaining a positive state of mind will be heavily influenced by how you're eating and how much you're exercising, so do try and make the most out of it.
As stress levels increase, so does free radical damage so be sure to take adequate supplements to maintain a healthy immune system. Glutamine, a Multivitamin/Mineral formula and Vitamin C can all combat stress hormones to make sure you remain healthy in frustrating economy, and with a fast approaching winter around the corner, better be safe than sick.