These days, when two incomes barely make ends meet, you may be leading the kind of hectic life where coffee is all you make time to “eat” during the day. Unfair as it is, this black coffee stress diet can lead to weight gain. Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent “stress bloat.”

One reason behind stress-related weight gain has been well-documented in major nutritional and endocrinology journals. You see, elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol (associated with long-term chronic stress) have potentially nasty consequences. These run the gamut from increased belly fat to insulin resistance and, in time, even Type II diabetes and heart disease.

Even when you can’t remove the causes of stress in your life, you may be able change the way your body responds to them and avoid those consequences. So subtract high-glycemic carbs from your diet and add more protein and lots of vegetables. Remember to exercise, and try meditation. And then consider taking nutritional supplements shown to help keep cortisol levels in check – Relora and Rhodiola, for example.

[Ed. Note: Stress may be a fact of life – but it doesn’t have to ruin your health. By modifying your diet, medications, lifestyle, and exercise habits, and with nutritional supplementation, your health is largely in your control. James B. LaValle, RPh, ND, CCN. – founder of the LaValle Metabolic Institute and a nationally recognized expert on natural therapies – has come up with a simple program for staying healthy. Learn the details here.

James is also the author of 13 books on healthy lifestyles and integrative care, including Cracking the Metabolic Code. Pick up your copy here.]

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