“Stress Solutions: Part 1” by Strong Nutrition
If I had a dollar for every client who came in with zero “stress” in their life… I’d be broke.
“Stress” is ever present in our lives – busy schedules, busy homes, money and medical woes are just a few of the reasons why one might experience stress on a day to day basis. In my nutritional practice, one of the first questions I ask new clients is about “stress” levels. This gives me a sense of their lifestyle, how they cope, how their body is coping with change and how successful they will be with weight loss.
Generally, clients rate their stress levels low to average, or between 1-6 on the scale below. My theory is that many people claim low stress levels because it’s all they know, and so it simply seems normal.
When it comes to your health, even if you think you are dong everything else right but you still experience nasty symptoms or stubborn belly fat, stress could be the culprit. When you are stressed your body produces a hormone called cortisol and one of the main functions of cortisol is to signal your body to store fat. This is in fact a survival mechanism built into our genetics from caveman days, yet in this day in age, it is wreaking havoc on many of our bodies.
So, how stressed are you? Take this quiz and find out!
The Stress Test
Step 1: On a scale of 1-10, where 1 represents little to no stress and 10 represents high, unbearable, chronic stress, where would you rate yourself on average through the day?
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Step 2: Once you have given yourself a rating, complete the following “stress” questionnaire.
Put a check mark beside each description that applies to you:
- I get gassy, bloated or experience heartburn through the day especially after meals.
- I have a hard time falling and or staying asleep.
- I wake up tired and un-refreshed.
- I have a difficult time losing weight despite changes to diet and lifestyle
- I have belly fat
- I experience cravings for sweet and or salty foods most days
- I have poor muscle tone or have a difficult time building lean muscle mass
- I get dizzy upon standing or kneeling
- I have a general feeling of weakness and fatigue through the day
- I have little or no sex drive.
- I have a hard time concentrating, I get distracted easily
- I tend to have low motivation and or trouble making decisions
- I do not deal with stress well
- I end up with colds and infections easily
- My bowels are often either too loose or constipated
Putting It Together
In my opinion, a score of 5 or higher suggests you are under some type of stress. Something as seemingly simple as gas and bloating is extremely stressful to the body. In this state, undigested food is fermenting or putrefying not only perpetuating inflammation in the body but also interfering with absorption of vital nutrients our bodies need. If a person lacks nutrients, their bodies will be under a constant state of undernourishment- something that is tough for the body to cope with over long periods of time.
What Can Be Done?
First of all, acknowledging potential stress is the first step. If you are aware that your system is suffering than you are more likely to do something about it.
“A man ninety years old was asked to what he attributed his longevity. ‘I recon,’ he said with a twinkle in his eye, ‘It’s because most nights I went to bed and slept when I should have sat up and worried”
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