Fight or Flight Mode

Did you know when the body is stressed you enter a phase of “fight or flight”? (Are you going to fight this stressor or run away from it?)

Our bodies are designed to be in this fight or flight phase for a short period of time. This phase requires lots of nutrients. Our heart rate increases, pumping blood faster to our muscles. Our digestion SHUT DOWNS. Yes, you read that right. When we are fighting a stressor or running away from it, digestion is not IMPORTANT. Let me say it again, fight or flight should be a SHORT period of time.

However, in our world today we are constantly stressed. It doesn’t matter if we’re stressing about work, about money, about relationships, etc. the body is still in a FIGHT OR FLIGHT mode and digestion is SHUT DOWN. So why do you gain weight when you are stressed? Oh yeah, because our digestive tract is turned off.

So let’s think about this…. is your high levels of constant stress causing you to gain weight? What are you doing to manage your stress?

During stressful times the body craves SWEETS because the glucose can be used to fuel our muscles for quick bursts of energy. But you are not running away from a hungry bear so this is actually the worst thing you can feed your body during this time. (Sweet processed foods cause lots of chemical stress to your body as well. – topic for another time) Your body needs NUTRIENTS! Your body needs fresh fruits and vegetables which contain vitamin B5 (all B vitamins are good too), magnesium, potassium and sodium. Protein- meat, eggs, nuts, tofu, etc. is also good to help stabilize your blood sugar. And let’s not forget WATER. Your body needs water to flush all these toxins created by stress OUT of the body!

The body needs to calm down. Everyone has different methods to help them calm down. I prefer reading, taking a bath and listening to music. Some people like going for a walk in nature or working in the garden. Others like dancing. Meditation is another great way to slow your body down. You need to find what works for you.

Take control of your stress levels. This is your life. Don’t let stress ruin it.