We can all agree that stress is bad.

Excess stress can cause headaches, muscle tension, digestive problems, sleep
disturbances, depression, and research shows it may also wreak havoc on metabolism.
We have known for some time that stress is connected to weight gain
because a high level of the stress hormone cortisol has been shown to up appetite, drive
cravings for lots of unhealthy foods, and make it oh so much easier to accumulate belly

And the older we get the more our metabolism slows down, we tend to eat more and then
the pounds pack on.

Most people gain an average of 5 to 10 pounds per year the older than get. That may not
seem like much, but overtime it adds up.
And yes that can be a little discouraging, but knowing this is actually a huge advantage.
Even if you can’t fix the causes of our stress, you can make small changes to the onset of
its effects.

Which then can reduce the amount of stress you are enduring.

Here are five daily tweaks to help you beat stress-induced weight gain.

Choose your fats wisely

If stress causes your body to burn less of the fat you eat (making it more likely to be
stored) aim to include some healthy fat in your meal but avoid doubling up on them.

Example, many clients tell me they order a healthy salad for lunch, but the toppings
include both olive oil and avocado.

Or they might snack on nuts alongside popcorn that has been cooked in oil. I’m not saying
you should eat low-fat meals: fat is important for safety and its one of your body’s key
building blocks.

But to keep it in balance, choose only one high-fat item per meal.
Example, if you want avocado on your salad, dress your greens with balsamic vinegar rather
than an oil-based vinaigrette.

Adjust your meal proportions

If there is a chance that you’ll burn fewer calories in the hours after eating due to stress,
shift your servings a bit to slash calories without having to eat less food.

Example, eating one and a half cups of mixed veggies and a half cup of brown rice instead
of one cup of each can save you 60-75 calories.

Or instead of 1 cup of quinoa, mix half of that with half a cup of spinach to save about 100

I think you see where I’m going with this trading in a portion of your dense grains, even
healthy ones, for low cal, fiber and water rich veggies is the easiest way to accomplish a
quick calorie savings that doesn’t require sacrificing volume.

Add metabolic boosters

Certain foods truly have been shown in research to raise your metabolic rate, and while
the effects aren’t astronomical, they may just counter some stress-induced metabolism

One of my favorite natural metabolic boosters is hot peppers.

Try adding chili pepper or cayenne to steamed or sauted veggies, or if you can handle a
little more heat, garnish your dishes with a sliced jalapeno.

Bonus: hot peppers have also been shown to boost immunity and lower cholesterol. We
could all use immune health right now.

Breathe before you eat

We continuously breathe without thinking about it, but research shows that relaxed,
controlled breathing can effectively reduce cortisol levels.

Just breathe. I tell my clients this all the time. Breathe breathe breathe!

Before each meal, take a few minutes to sit comfortably in a chair, and spend a few
minutes focusing on breathing, slowly and deeply, in through your nose and out through
your mouth.

You may be amazed how quickly this technique can help relieve muscle tension and shift
your mindset.

Take a quick post-meal walk

Whenever possible, try to build in a brisk 15-minute walk after meals. This habit helped
normalize blood sugar levels for up to three hours after eating.

Can’t fit in 15 minutes? Go for 10, even five, just breaking a sitting pattern and getting
your blood pumping can shift your metabolism.

A post-meal walk can also serve as a little you time to unwind, clear your head, connect
with nature, or catch up with a walking buddy, all of which can help reduce feelings of

There are really a lot more ways for combating stress induced weight gain, these are just
my 5 most popular ones.

If any of these content you are struggling with and or you may need even more fine tuning
of reducing stress, reach out to me today.