Hello my lovely friend,
Years ago, I remember I exercised every day, doing spin classes at 6am, high-intensity interval classes and working as a manager from 7am to 9pm. I suffered from lack of sleep and most of the time I made poor food choices. My life experience has taught me many things but when the science behind proves the same.
I feel that I have to keep educating my clients on three important simple things; from these three things everything unfolds easily.
I see so many people working out like I used to, or struggling to meet crazy deadlines, being up all night, sleeping 3-4 hours per day, eating generally well but putting on weight! Why?
It is simply because the body is stressed!
Stress can be positive and negative. Stress is a normal reaction to exciting events like falling in love, getting a new job, or buying a home. Stress is also a survival technique that our body uses as protection. When a stressful situation arises, the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) switches on the “fight or flight response,” which mobilizes you to take action and avoid danger.
The issue is that your body doesn’t know the difference between a bear chasing you and anxiety related to every day events. Your body’s stress response is perfectly healthy when there’s a real emergency (like a bear chase), but if your body is constantly getting stress signals for everyday issues (such as work-related anxiety), you’ll burn out over time.
When we are constantly stressed, the first fuel our body wants to use is sugar.
Sugar as you know is addictive, and it is a comfort food. So we keep eating more and more sugar to calm down, to avoid pain and to feel a bit of relief. This is just a quick fix that in a long run can ruin us as we store sugar as fat for long-term storage in case of an “emergency”. So long story short, what can we do?
“Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you”
— Jhon De Paola
These are my three important tips to manage stress and avoid gaining weight (or for when we don’t know why we are putting on weight if everything we do is ok):
1) Choose a workout you really like.
That involves breathing, relaxation and that keeps your mind connected to your body. Breathing technique is the most important tool we can use to tell our body we are safe and there is no danger around. I promise, even if you burn fewer calories than a spin class you will lose weight, because in a relaxed state the body will burn fat; it will work as it is supposed to work, like a perfect machine!
When we sleep, hormones that regulate appetite control, stress, growth, metabolism, and other bodily functions are released. People who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to gain weight over time. When we are tired we tend to consume more high-fat foods packed with sugar, drink more coffee, and eat high calorie meals in the evening.
3) Schedule some time just for you.
This is called self-care, not being selfish. This can be an activity, like a Pilates class, meditation class, a massage, a walk. But please put this in your calendar, because if it is not in your calendar, it won’t happen and I know this from personal experience.
If you want to talk more about this, please do let me know, I’d be happy to hear from you!
And if you need some help and guidance to reach your fitness and health goals, check out SHAPES – my Online Pilates and Wellness Studio!