Digestive stress is about 25% what you eat and 75% who you are being while you eat. Diet theories shift the balance, source and timing of macronutrients (such as eating more proteins and less carbs or eating 5 times a day vs. 3), however there is little consideration to who we are being when we eat.
We know that stress is the opposite of relaxation. We tend to experience higher stress when we’re moving too fast. I love getting as much done as possible while my kids are in school. I often find myself moving quickly throughout the day, scarfing down lunch while responding to emails, planning or organizing.
Eating under stress is not only common, it’s socially acceptable and sometimes even a prerequisite for managing a job, a family, and making it through the day. Moving through life too fast causes us to eat too fast, which hinders our metabolism and causes digestive upset.
The slower we eat, the faster we metabolize. The opposite is also true, the faster we eat, the slower we metabolize. If you’ve worked for a stronger metabolism and have not achieved success, one reason may be that you are moving too fast!
We can eat the healthiest meal on the planet, but if we eat in a stressed out, anxious state, our ability to assimilate nutrients is dramatically diminished. If you’ve ever experienced eating a full meal and still being hungry, this may be one of the reasons why. Your body hasn’t been given the time to properly digest nutrients, therefore it doesn’t feel satisfied.
Not surprisingly, if you experience mid-afternoon slumps, one reason could be that you’re sprinting through the day without a moment to rest, leaving you with a ‘foggy-like’ brain. Chances are you don’t have much gas left in the tank to give.
When our body is reacting to stress all day it’s likely in ‘fight or flight’ mode. Here the body is preparing for action. Organs are getting ready for a physical challenge (fight) or a retreat (flight). All non-essential systems like digestion and immunity are given a much lower priority, while energy is made available to your muscles and organs.
Meanwhile, large amounts of stress hormones like cortisol are released, causing added fat accumulation in the body. Some people use stress and anxiety to motivate themselves to lose weight. For example, have you ever tried to lose 10-15lbs the month before your summer vacation? Talk about stressful, right? This may work once or twice, but long term, it’s simply not sustainable and can even be counterproductive.
rest and digest
If relaxation is the opposite of stress, then there’s also an opposite to ‘fight or flight’, called the ‘rest and digest’ system. Here the goal is homeostasis; the balance and maintenance of the body’s systems. The rest and digest’ system restores the body to a state of calm, allowing it to relax and repair. The result is long-term health, improved digestion, energy and of course weight loss.
Given that, we want to help you empower restfulness throughout the fullness of your day. How?
take a break
We used to do this, guilt free too! It’s becoming more and more rare to take a 5-10min break from our work, devices or children. During your break set aside anything that could distract you like your phone and computer. Consciously breathe deeply and slowly for 2min. Conscious breathing allows your body to adopt the deep and rhythmic pattern characteristic of being in a relaxed state. Got kids driving you crazy? Practice this with them. You both will need it!
3 2 b free
We can approach our day with a list of 15 things we want to get done and find ourselves overwhelmed and frustrated because realistically we could only get 3-5 things done. Each morning, afternoon, or for the day ask yourself: What’s urgent? What’s important? What can wait? Focusing on a top three empowers freedom for your body, mind and soul.
We are created for community with one another. How can you engage with friends and/or family? Go for a walk? Coffee? Play a game? Letting go of our phone and the things we have to do allows us to be present in the moment. This presence fuels us with joy, peace, and empowers rest for our soul.
Weight loss is a result of diet AND lifestyle. It’s not one or the other, it is both. When you allow rest, connect with others, have a top 3, AND eat a whole, balanced diet you greatly increase your success!
Do you want to lose weight, feel great, and love the skin you’re in? Could balanced meal plans and working alongside a Master Health Coach empower you to achieve your goals? If you said yes, ask us about our Spring Weight Loss Specials.
Committed to you!
Master Health Coach, EmpowerWays
Kristine Rustand is a Master Health Coach with EmpowerWays. Everything we do is about empowering you to live a healthier, happier life. Follow EmpowerWays on Facebook and Instagram. If you want to know how Health Coaching can help you live a healthier, happier life contact Kristine today. EmpowerWays@gmail.com
**Some of above information referenced from BHC training with the Health Coach Institute**