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Stressed Out & Sugar Loaded

In todays fast pace world we have a surplus of the 2 S’s - Stress and Sugar.

Ok let’s break it down.

Let’s start with stress. We get stressed out in so many ways – at work, at home and even when we are driving on the road. Yep, that road rage is a form of stress.

So what is stress?

Stress is a fact of nature in which forces from the inside or outside world affect the individual, either one's emotional or physical well-being, or both. The individual responds to stress in ways that affect the individual, as well as their environment. Due to the overabundance of stress in our modern lives, we usually think of stress as a negative experience, but from a biological point of view, stress can be a neutral, negative, or positive experience.

In general, stress is related to both external and internal factors. External factors include the physical environment, including your job, your relationships with others, your home, and all the situations, challenges, difficulties, and expectations you're confronted with on a daily basis. Internal factors determine your body's ability to respond to, and deal with, the external stress-inducing factors. Internal factors which influence your ability to handle stress include your nutritional status, overall health and fitness levels, emotional well-being, and the amount of sleep and rest you get.

So what happens when you are stressed? Your body goes into fight or flight mode. The Central Nervous System shuts down digestion and redirects blood flow from the digestive organs to the limbs and brain that would be used to fight, run and for fast thinking.

So what happens to the food that wants to be digested but isn’t because of this. Well, it gets stored as energy for later, but we don’t tend to use up that stored energy so it becomes FAT.

Not cool.

And let’s take a look at sugar…

Sugar is in practically everything we consume, even those healthy packaged products. And yes, it does occur naturally in fruits and natural sweeteners like honey as well but your body reacts the same whether you get your sugar from honey or a soda. Just look at Winnie the Pooh – he is the typical example what happens when you are living off of a pure sugar diet – a big round belly.

So what happens when we are stressed? Well most of us grab for something sweet or starchy to temporarily boost our energy and feel good hormones like serotonin.

Now, our bodies were actually designed to break sugar down into glucose and use it as fuel. However, the overload of sugar and sweeteners in our diets has thrown the body off course. The pancreas is usually producing too much insulin to pull the excess sugar, or glucose (blood sugar) out of your blood to restore balance. When you eat too much sugar, your insulin levels stay elevated. This constant high insulin level doesn’t allow the hormone leptin to do its job, which is to tell us that we have had enough food. This leads us to over eat and eat more than we really need to.

Then we are eating more than our bodies require for fuel, well what happens to that excess glucose? It gets stored in our cells for later use – but often there is no later use so it simply gets stored as FAT.

Again, not cool.

And stress lowers your dopamine and serotonin, amps up your hunger and sends your sugar cravings through the roof.

So let’s summarize.

Stress = FAT

Sugar = FAT

Stress leads to even more sugar consumption = MORE FAT

So what is the solution?

Manage stress and control sugar impact. This is where I come in.

In my health coaching practice, I help stressed out sugar cravers finally get off the sugar roller coaster, manage their stress and lose belly fat.

My 4 week Sugar Impact Program is the solution. I take you on a journey to lessen your sugar impact by choosing the right foods for energy. We work on managing life stressors and find practical solutions.

For more information, email me on

Clare Panchaud

Health & Wellness Coach

Meraki Health Coach

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