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Stress holds us back from being the best we can be

It’s fair to assume you currently have some stress in your life. It’s important

to know what we can do nutritionally to support our health and reduce negative impacts from stress. I’ll outline some of the key points to consider

below:




Eat small and often

In times of stress your body is burning through more carbohydrates for

energy. It’s therefore common for those under stress to experience low

blood sugar levels, as demand for glucose is higher.

This can result in hypoglycemia, or at the very least, to increased cravings

for sugar. Those with high stress levels are typically on a constant blood

sugar rollercoaster and always looking for their next sugar fix. On top

of this, they rely on stimulants such as coffee and sodas to see them

throughout the day.

These uncontrollable food urges are likely to cause overeating, as the body

constantly strives for homeostasis to balance blood sugar levels. And that

overeating generally leads to weight gain.

It is important for those with a sweet tooth to eat regularly throughout

the day, with consistent meal timings. The goal should be to never go

hypoglycaemic.

Meals should be nutritionally balanced with adequate protein, fats and

carbs from high quality food sources. Sugary food, caffeine and alcohol

should be limited as these have a negative effect on blood sugar levels.


Don’t Fast (YET)

Intermittent fasting (IF) has become one of the most debated modern

nutrition protocols, and rightfully so because it breaks a lot of rules. For decades we have been told to eat every 2-3 hours and to eat breakfast upon

waking to ‘kick-start’ our metabolism for optimal body composition and

health. IF goes against this by reducing meal frequency and delaying breakfast.

Many fasting protocols suggest eating less during the day and feasting at

night.

Fasting isn’t a tool I’d recommend for those with high stress levels as

it puts even more pressure on the adrenals to maintain a level of blood

glucose.

When recommending IF protocols it’s important for the user to be in a good

state of health, already eating whole unprocessed foods, getting sufficient

sleep, managing stress and exercising well. It should therefore be used as

an addition to an already effective and consistent training and nutrition

strategy.


Eat Carbs

Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of energy, and this becomes

more apparent during times of stress. To provide the energy to support

recovery from the stress, follow a higher carbohydrate diet.


Don’t Starve

A low calorie intake during stressful times or recovery from high stress will

only heighten the depletion of glycogen, breakdown of muscle tissue and

put more demand on the adrenals.

Therefore you should look to eat at ‘calorie maintenance’ level or a slight

surplus during stressful times.



Ready to start reducing your stress just a little?

Collab with me for a few minutes 10 minute before the weekend and see how Coach V's 2-Week Habit-based Nutrition Coaching Series can help you.

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© 2018 Victoria Schoffner

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