Keep calm and carry on is the new Xmas challenge!

27th November 2017

WELL, the 30 day challenge is almost over and there’s less than four weeks to go until Christmas…the busiest and most stressful time of the year for a lot of us. Mums have enough on their plates throughout the year and then it gets 10 times busier.  So many people have been doing really well with their healthy habits during the past 30 days so don’t let it all go to the wall now!  Sustainable weight loss is about continuity and putting an end to the yo-yo dieting stuff!

However, because we’re heading into this ridiculously busy time of year, your mind and body will need a little extra help to stay on track and today I thought I’d give you some advice on how to deal with the effects that stress can have on your body.

It’s a scientific fact that the more stressed we are, the more sugary things we eat. And the more of them we eat, the more stressed we become. That’s the most vicious circle imaginable.

It’s a bit like the old riddle about the chicken and the egg: what comes first, the sugar or the stress?

Stress changes how you eat and the choices you make. It makes you reach for the comforting sugary foods and a recent study suggests this seems to affect women more than men.

Stress means our bodies are awash with  hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, which makes our blood sugar level go up and down like a rollercoaster.

We’re surrounded on all sides by sugar-packed comfort food so it’s easy for us to reach for a quick fix. But the stress which makes us go for the sugar produces more cortisol and we can become resistant to the insulin which controls our blood-sugar levels.

One of the effects of excess cortisol is that far more sugar is then stored as fat than is burnt as energy. And cortisol makes us store the fat around our middles, so that it is closer to the vital organs which might need it.

Constant stress means cortisol levels are high all the time – and you put on more and more weight.

So here’s my tips for keeping calm and carrying on as Christmas approaches.

  1. Avoid sugary breakfast cereals. They make your body react in such a way that the  the old cortisol/insulin battle starts up.
  2. Too much caffeine raises your blood sugar level just like sugar does. So go for decaff tea and coffee. Tastes just the same, does you more good.
  3. Exercise. Go for a walk, go to the gym, go swimming, talk the dog out, go for a jog. Whatever works for you will help reduce the stress hormones whizzing around inside you.
  4. Things you can eat to lower stress include berries, which are full of vitamin C, green vegetables, which contain so many nutrients, and nuts to give you the B vitamins your immune system needs.
  5. Sleep!  Make sure you’re getting enough of it! It’s been scientifically proven that lack of sleep is a huge contributor to weight gain and it’s one of the first things that suffers when we’re stressed. 

If you need a bit of extra help right now, our Chillpod is a fabulous stressbuster.  It calms everything down and people rave about it.  Here’s where to get one and use this code to get 20% off: CHILLSAVE

Let me know below if you notice that stress makes you eat more sugary stuff. How are you going to counteract Xmas stress by using your new healthy habits?

What do you think? Please leave a comment

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Caro McAdam

I clicked on the Chillpod link but the website doesn’t say how much it costs and won’t let me buy one!

Chris Tester

There was a technical glitch for a few minutes Caro – all fixed now. Apologies for the inconvenience.

Wanda Scott

Added to all the usual Christmas prep, I’m working Christmas eve, Christmas day and a night shift on boxing day, so I will have to be really organised this year!


I have already changed to either porridge or shredded wheat for breakfast cereal & at home I drink decaf tea & coffee. Guilty of not taking enough exercise I’m afraid. I’ll try to get more exercise & eat more berries/nuts. At night I have started taking a hot drink made with milk & I find I do get a better sleep.

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