At the moment I know a lot of people are pretty worried about the effect being stuck indoors is going to have on their waistline. Let’s face it all this sitting around and boredom snacking isn’t going to make us any slimmer.
There is however a more insidious threat to our waistlines which no one’s really talking about…
This is, for many of us, one of the most stressful times of our lives. You may or may not be working, but you’ll certainly be worried about loved ones and what the future holds in general.
Now stress itself is one of the biggest contributors to weight gain there is.
On a simple (and slightly oversimplified) biological level, stress raises cortisol levels, which raises blood sugar which causes you to store more food as fat.
So we want to avoid it as much as possible if we are to stay trim.
Now, most of us, when we think of stress in this time will think about the financial stress, the psychological stress caused by the uncertainty of our situation…
But stress comes in many forms.
Being indoors itself is stressful to our system.
Wifi, lack of sunlight, lack of contact with the earth, lack of nature, lack of forced temperature adaption, mould in our houses, social isolation, loneliness, lack of laughter and too much screen time all contribute to the underlying stress levels felt in the body, even if they are only subconsciously felt…
And the body only has one response to stress:
Dump cortisol, raise blood sugar and store fat…
So anything we can do to lower stress levels in this time is going to do both our mental health and our waistlines the world of good.
Luckily for us there are some things you can do right now, really simple things which will help you to control stress levels, feel better and have a positive impact on your waistline.
Now I’m not for one minute suggesting that your not maintaining your daily hygiene but there is one thing you can do when you’re in the shower which can really help you reduce stress and boost your immune system at the same time (get your minds out of the gutter gents!).
The benefits of cold water have been known for a while now. Cold water exposure leads to the creation of an increased amount of white blood cells, those internal warriors who protect you from viruses. But it also has a up regulating effect on our parasympathetic nervous system…that part of the nervous system which (quite literally in this case) chills us out and de stresses us.
So at the end of your shower just turn the temperate all the way down for 30 seconds before you hop out.
30 seconds is enough to reap the benefits and I guarantee you’ll feel amazing afterwards.
A word to the wise.
The first few times you do this it may feel pretty unpleasant but the body reacts very quickly and within a few days you might even start to enjoy them, finding that when you don’t finish your shower this way you feel sluggish and over heated all day.
We know Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) effect us. Heck we and every other living thing on the planet emit a EMF field and these fields are constantly interacting in a complex pattern we do not fully understand as of yet.
What we do know is these fields have a significant impact on our health and wellbeing.
Scientists are starting to suspect quite strongly the electromagnetic fields emitted by our computers, our TV’s and most powerful of all, our wifi routers interfere with our own electromagnetic field and are very likely doing us harm by raising internal stress levels and down regulating the immune system.
So whenever you can over the coming weeks, turn off any electrical items. If you are using the internet try to plug your computer into the network and turn off the wifi so your not being exposed to it and turn your wifi of at night when you sleep.
Even if you think this is all hogwash…it can’t do you any harm to not have the internet on at night!
For those of you who have a garden this is a great one. Remember how we talked about EMF? Well the earth has the biggest EMF field of all and we are specifically attuned to it, to the point where it has a healing effect on us. It works to rebalance our own EMF fields and acts as protection against the toxic EMF emitted by our electrical devices and WIfi.
Bizarre to think that all those tree huggers were actually on to something (trees have EMF fields too).
This ones really easy, simply take your shoes and socks off and prance around in your garden for 5 – 10 minutes, preferably do this in the sunlight with some skin exposed to reap the benefits of…
If you can manage it, get some sunlight on your skin (without sun protection) and into your eyes (don’t look directly at the sun, just be outside without sunglasses).
Now for some of you you may not be able to get outside much at all these days but simply standing in front of a window will help. It doesn’t even really need to be sunny. What you want is the intensity of light only provided by that big ball of fire in the sky, even if it’s through clouds its still a hell of a lot better than any light bulb.
Natural light has a calming effect the body as opposed to electrical light which almost always causes stress and the vitamin D it forces the body to generate is going to do you the world of good these days.
Preferably do this first thing in the morning as that way it has a resetting effect on your internal clock which will aid you in sleeping better as well.
FORCED TEMPERATURE REGULATION
Human beings were actually designed to live across quite a wide range of temperatures. Back in our days of chasing buffalo across the savanna, we would wake up shivering and as the sun came up and rose to its zenith would most likely be sweating buckets by midday.
Believe it or not being forced to adapt to temperature variations throughout the day is actually very good for us.
The problem especially at the moment is we are locked inside, most probably in our central heated houses which maintain the temperature at a perfect 18 degrees (or whatever you have it at in your house). This completely over rides our bodies need to adapt to changing temperature, which over time actually causes stress on the system.
So anything you can do to un regulate this (is that a word?) from time to time will help. Now I’m not saying go and give your self heat stroke or hypothermia but forcing your body to adapt to subtle temperature changes can do you the world of good.
Wear a t-shirt when you’d normally be wearing a jumper, take that cold shower, prance around bare foot outside in your pants (you’ll also give you neighbours a laugh and laughter is a great de stressor!) or put on an extra jumper and sweat a bit.
Just by doing a few of these things you’ll have an effect on your bodies stress response. You’ll not only feel better but you’ll be helping your waistline as well.
If you are worried about being stuck inside, not moving enough and snacking too much, I’d invite you to WhatsApp me so I can help you lose 20 kilos in 6 weeks without EVER counting calories, points or macros, going hungry or spending hours at the gym.