Stress and your Metabolism

Do you suffer from bloating, burping, heart burn and or digestive upset? Did you know that when we suffer from these “tummy troubles” it’s only about 25% of what you eat vs. 75% of WHO you are being when you eat. Are you moving at warp speed, constantly eating on the go, multitasking during the meal, engaging in negative gossip? These are all ways in which we feed the stress response.

Stress is the exact opposite of relaxation. If you’ve been working to achieve a stronger metabolism without any success, stress may be the culprit – you are moving too fast. When you are moving through life too fast, we eat fast which destroys our metabolism and brings on the tummy troubles. The slower you eat, the faster you metabolize. The more relaxed you are throughout the day, the more energy you will have. Read here to slow down and practise "Sensual Eating"

You could be eating the healthiest meal on the planet, BUT if you are not in a relaxed state your digestion is drastically diminished. Your salivary enzyme content is reduced, the breakdown of protein, fat and carbs in the stomach is impaired and blood flow to the small intestines decreases as much as four times, which means decreased assimilation of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

Have you ever had the experience of eating a full meal and still being hungry? Like you just can’t get satiated no matter how much you eat? This is a good sign that the stress response is ON and your body is not assimilating nutrients.

Cortisol is a hormone that is released when we are stressed out. Studies show that increased cortisol in the system leads to fat accumulation. So, people who tend to gain weight primarily around the belly, likely experience chronic low level stress as excess cortisol production has this strange effect of fattening up the belly!

Here’s how you can trick your body into being in a relaxed state so that you are eating optimally and assimilating all of the nutrients – Conscious Breathing. That’s right. You can now eat stress free anywhere, anytime and tap into your metabolic power instantly. We simply trick the central nervous system; this shortcut to turning off stress and activating a psychological relaxation response is simply done with breath. Try the challenge below and stay tuned for a post later this week where I will walk you through a simple breathing exercise to turn on your relaxation buttons!

For the next week, I challenge you to try the 20 minute meal. That’s right. Take 20 minutes to eat every meal. Take 10 deep breaths to calm yourself down before you eat. Put your fork down at least 3 times during your meal, and time yourself. See, if by the end of the week you can make it to a full 20 minutes when eating your meals and see how your body feels by allowing this time to nourish your body slowly.