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How To Break The Stress-Fat Connection

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The road to stress relief should not include a rest stop at the vending machine or ice cream shop. Best-selling author Dr. Pamela Peeke has some great tips to help break the stress-fat connection that can literally be a killer.

Hello, I’m Dr. Pamela Peeke. I’m the author of Fight Fat after Forty: the Stress-Fat Connection. Now take a piece of paper and a pencil. Write out the word: stressed. Now, spell it backwards. There’s a reason why the word stressed spelled backwards is desserts. I’m going to help you make the stress-fat connection because I can guarantee you, you do some very self-destructive things under stress, and it usually involves sticking your head in a fridge somewhere. Whenever we look at any daily stress and we then associate it with helplessness, hopelessness, and defeat, it becomes toxic stress. Toxic stress leads to self-destructive habits like over-eating for women, and over-drinking alcohol for men. And where do those extra calories get packed on? You guessed it. It the worst place in the human body: deep inside the belly. Now remember that fat deep inside the belly, if it becomes excessive, is highly associated with heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. And therefore you want to avoid that.

What are you going to do with all of this information? Well here are some tips. Number one: men and women do this differently. Now, women, you wake up every single morning and you write that little how-to list and what do I want to be able to do to solve my problems? By three o’clock the whole thing fell apart. You know what I’m saying. You did fine, you ate well, you probably got in a little bit of exercise, but by three o’clock you’re beaten up, you’re overwhelmed. If one more cell phone goes off you become homicidal. How do you fight the urge to self-destruct? Well the first thing you want to do is you want to have a plan. When you feel stress right about that time you want to have a great snack because it’s time to eat after all. You’re eating every three to four hours. So have a balanced snack. Something that’s satisfying, ahh, calms you down. Don’t head for the vending machine. Already have that snack in front of you. It could be something simple: reduced fat crunchy peanut butter and some whole grain crackers. How about a couple of low fat string cheese and an apple? Great combination and it’s all in balance and it’s satisfying. Still feel irritated and stress out? Get up and move. Science has shown that when you do that you mix it up those wonderful brain chemicals such that, ahh…You have a better mood, you don’t feel quite as depressed. And when you get back to your seat again you say, well I may not have solved the ills of the world, but I feel better and less self-destructive. That’s the key.

And remember make a list of all of those things that stress you out. Look at that list hard. Why do you allow that to happen? Change up that job. What about that relationship? You gotta sit down and do your homework. Once you’ve done that due diligence, why, you’re not going to be doing that knee-jerking to the fridge. Instead, I don’t know, those sneakers look pretty good. And so does that healthy snack. So there you have it: the stress-fat connection.

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