How Stress May Be Hurting Your Waistline & 5 Tips To Reduce It


Blog, Weight Loss Tips
  • By Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN on
  • April 9th, 2014

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How Stress May Be Hurting Your Waistline & 5 Tips To Reduce It

When am I not stressed out? Recently, I was trying to think of a day when I did not feel tense and anxious. Sadly, I came up with nothing! My daily frazzle comes from having so many obligations, deadlines, and tasks to do, that I literally can’t think of a way to complete them all in the 18 hours I’m awake. When I don’t complete everything on my list, I feel stressed and I feel like a failure.

Stress isn’t good for your waistline, either. Cortisol, the stress hormone, elevates in your body when you experience stress. This nasty hormone increases your blood sugars, glucose. With all this excess blood sugar roaming around, your body is trying to regulate it and your waistline is affected. Besides the physical factor of stress affecting your waistline, you may also overeat, get cravings, have poor sleep patterns, and feel exhausted. Ugh! No Bueno!

Time to stop stressing out and start remembering what life feels like to be footloose and fancy free. I’m ready for some R&R, are you? Here are 5 simple tips to reduce your stress and experience relaxation and focus.

#1. Breath! The simple task of taking 5 deep breaths can do Wonders for the mind and soul! That’s only 30 seconds of your time! You can breathe deeply anywhere, too!  This surefire tip instantly realigns your mind, body, and soul to have a clear, focused vision and kick stress out the door.

#2. Smile & Laugh! Laughter does wonders for the soul and decreases cortisol! Laughter boosts your happy hormones which brighten your mood. Find a video that makes you laugh and save the link in your phone. Or call a friend that will get you rolling on the ground with a good joke.

#3. Fresh Air! I tell clients to take the smokeless smoke break and go outside for a moment to decompress and breathe in some fresh air! Smokers shouldn’t be the only people allowed a break outside! Everyone can take one! By detaching yourself from the stress at hand, you can re-focus and rejuvenate.

#4. Music! Music is super powerful when dealing with stress reduction. Many studies show how listening to music can decrease anxiety. Make a playlist of your favorite songs or nature sounds. Put on your headphones for a moment and listen while you work.

#5. Get Up & Move! Movement is huge with stress reduction. If you can’t go to the gym during that hectic business meeting, can you get up and walk to the water fountain to rehydrate? Do you have time to stretch? Raise those arms above your head and release some tension. Movement and stretching can be a quick trick to reduce cortisol levels.

Call to Action: We ALL have hectic lives. Comment below and let me know your favorite tip for instantly reducing and managing your stress.

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12 responses to “How Stress May Be Hurting Your Waistline & 5 Tips To Reduce It”

  1. Elise says:

    Hi Sarah! Thank you for all these simple reminders that yield huge stress-reducing results. My tow favorite ways to manage my stress are hanging with my dogs or playing loud music while whipping up some delicious dishes in my kitchen.

    • Sarah Koszyk, RD, MA says:

      Hi Elise! Furry friends are the BEST stress relievers ever! I also enjoy cooking. It’s relaxing for me, too. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Stacey says:

    Oh my, how I can identify! Breathing is so critical to help reset those stress hormones…hope you are remembering to breathe these days 🙂

    • Sarah Koszyk, RD, MA says:

      Hi Stacey! Yes! I’m still remembering to breathe. However, I have to make a conscious effort when I’m stressed. Deep breathing doesn’t come naturally to me in times of stress. But it works and I love it!

  3. Sara Harrier says:

    Ahhhhh, relaxation. Sometimes I find that letting out a big scream (if I’m stressing out alone in the comfort of my own home) can be hugely helpful. Of course, it’s best when followed up with some breathing.

    I also love just getting present – listening to the sounds around me, noticing the air on my skin, feeling my breath in and out. :: sigh :: I feel more relaxed already! <3

    • Sarah Koszyk, RD, MA says:

      I love those 2 ideas! Getting that tension off your chest with a scream truly does feel invigorating! And gotta love being mindful and present. Spot on! Thanks for sharing Sara!

  4. Melissa says:

    I totally agree! Stress has so much negative impact on our lives. Learning to reduce it as best you can is key to not only a smaller waist but overall health as well. Thanks for sharing these great tips! I especially love the laughing part. Gotta have that 😉 I’ll make sure I pass it on.

  5. nichole says:

    WoW Sarah, what great post! Taking a few deep breaths always seems to do the trick for me, gets me grounded in no time. It’s amazing how simple tricks like that can have such a powerful impact on our well being. Thank you for sharing.

    • Sarah Koszyk, RD, MA says:

      Thank you, Nichole! Yes…I forget about the basics a lot….Breathing is 1 of them. Breathing helps me de-stress so much! Thanks for your feedback! PS: I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog, too!!! Quality information!!!

  6. Silvia says:

    Sarah, I try and stop…just stop for a moment and connect to my Real Self…defenseless in my peace, love and innocence. In that space, whatever I’m stressing about is not only unimportant…but an illusion. And then I can laugh about it!

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