Is A Busy Lifestyle Ruining Your Health?

by Metabolic Meals

by Metabolic Meals

Updated Feb 27, 2024

Reading Time:

We get it; schedules are jam-packed these days. Whether managing a family of five or it’s just you and your dog, there’s far more stress than free time for everyone. Health is a top priority, so we’ve compiled some actionable tips to navigate the chaos while improving your well-being. 

We’ve all heard that stress negatively influences physical and mental health, but let’s look at why that is. Exposure to stress raises the hormone cortisol as a natural response. While that’s beneficial for energy in small amounts, the frequent and long bouts of elevated cortisol can cause chronic adverse effects. 

Chronic Stress: A Recipe For Inflammation, Weight Gain & Illness

World-renowned strength coach Charles Poliquin was known for his ability to help Olympic athletes and the general population improve their performance and body composition in record time. According to Charles, “too much cortisol for too long of a period and the body starts to break down muscle, fat storage increases and tissues get oxidized.” 

Here are some of the top reasons you want to keep cortisol levels in check: 

Cortisol breaks down body tissues. It does this to supply glucose to the brain and muscles during stressful situations.  

Memory gets impaired, and conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia are more likely develop if left unchecked. 

Key nutrients like Vitamin C, E, and B5 can rapidly deplete during times of stress, leading to impaired immune function. 

The gut lining is compromised and increased permeability makes it more difficult to defend against pathogens. 

Increased body fat accumulation around the abdominals and hips from hormonal imbalances restrict the conversion of thyroid hormone T4 to the active thyroid hormone T3. 

Reset Your Stress Response In 3 Steps

Step 1: Fix Your Nutrition 

Stress and a busy schedule often leave us craving unhealthy foods designed for comfort and convenience. Luckily, some minor changes can make healthy eating more manageable and more impactful than you might think. 

Prioritize protein - 25-35g of protein per meal from quality sources helps you feel satiated and builds/maintains muscle mass, which helps boost your metabolism even at rest. Protein is also key in rebuilding the immune system, detoxifying the body, and building neurotransmitters. 

Have healthy snacks on hand - Consider stocking fresh fruit, carrots, hard-boiled eggs, nuts, or hummus so that you can grab and go. 

Plan Ahead - Consider using a healthy, ready-made meal service for your lunches and dinners. This means the nutrition is taken care of, and you only have to consult your fridge. 

Step 2: HIIT a Quick Workout 

 High-intensity interval Training (HIIT) workouts are great for busy schedules and calorie burning both. They’re short bouts of intense exercise that keep your metabolism up for up to 48 hours post-workout. These training sessions can be done at home, outside, or at the gym. They can often be performed with minimal equipment or even your body weight. Interested in some sample HIIT routines? 

Step 3: Mindfulness in Minutes  

As simple as it sounds, pausing long enough to be present and breathe can make a huge difference in your mental state. James Nestor recently wrote a fascinating book called BREATH – The New Science and Lost Art of … you guessed it, breathing. The book explores multiple cultures and studies that focus on the power of daily deep breathing practices. Every healthy cell in the body is fueled by oxygen. The efficient transport of O2 and offloading of CO2 through proper breathing has enormous benefits to the metabolism, inflammatory markers, athletic performance, and sense of well-being. 

Nester advocates a daily 6-6-5: 

Inhale deeply through your nose for 6 seconds. 

Exhale through your nose fully for 6 seconds. 

Repeat this for 5 minutes. 

Navigating the chaos of our busy lives requires a conscious effort to prioritize health. By addressing the negative impacts of stress and implementing practical fixes like nutritional planning, exercise, and mindfulness, we can reclaim control over our well-being — even in the absence of time. 

Find the nutrition you need on this week’s menu.

Pin It on Pinterest