How to stop being stressed, fat and poor

Finance: Is yours making you fat?

That may sound like a ridiculous question because how can an inanimate concept make a person fat, right? Well, it can! You see, it’s a domino effect: your cash flow slows down, you get stressed, you eat lots to accommodate your stress, you get fat. This may not be the case for everyone, but stress-induced weight gain is a genuine issue amongst Australians.

Financial stress is one of the most difficult types of stress to deal with because a lot of the time you just feel like a sitting duck, bobbing around on a choppy lake, waiting for the rain to stop. It’s stressful because there’s not much you can do to fix things quickly, you kind of just have to wait (you could get a Nifty short-term personal loan). Sometimes you don’t notice the effect that stress has on your body because your mind is so distracted, but any kind of strain on your mind is bound to have a ricochet effect.

Here, at Nifty Personal Loans, we are full supporters of a healthy mind, body, and bank account. Which is why we want to show you how you can start managing your stress a little better.

How can my finance outlook make me fat?

Glad you asked! Let’s look at how finance can make you fat

While stress can initially cause you to lose your appetite, in the long-term it can actually boost your hunger. Many of us become overeaters when we’re feeling a lot of pressure, this is because when your body reaches a certain stress level, it does what it feels it needs to; in most cases, eat.

This happens because your body thinks you’ve used calories to deal with your stress when, in reality, you haven’t. As a result, your body thinks you need to replenish those calories and so it tells your mind to tell you to eat.

Enough stress will awaken the beast, also known as cortisol, also known as ‘the stress hormone’, which can turn your overeating into a habit. Increased levels of the stress hormone generally lead to increased insulin, which causes your blood sugar to drop, and so you start to crave sugary, fatty foods. So, not only are you eating too much, you are eating too much of the wrong thing.

Instead of eating bulk fruit and vegetables, you’re eating bulk pasta and Tim Tams: hence that squishy bulge that’s growing around your middle region. So, while all this eating may be providing you with a source of solace and stress release, it’s starting to make you fat. No offence.

Here are some common mistakes that people make, when they are stressed, that can lead to weight gain:

  • Worrying – Even just thinking about a stressful event that happened in the past can cause you to eat more. Focus on what you’re doing in the present rather than dwelling on past events that can’t be changed.
  • Forgetting to eat – Skipping a meal can both slow down your metabolism and set you up for binge eating later on. Low blood-sugar levels can also make your work seem more difficult and stressful so it’s important to not miss a meal.
  • Emotional eating – Comfort eating is hard to avoid but also very bad for you. The more you eat to feel better, the higher chance you have of becoming even more emotional. When we don’t look after ourselves and eat too much of the wrong thing, our mind goes into panic mode. Thinking about the future can help you make healthier eating choices, even when you’re on the brink of an emotional breakdown and pizza is all you can bear to think about.
  • Skimping on sleep – Adults need about 7-8 hours of sleep per night (6-8 is acceptable) to be able to deal with daily stress. Getting enough sleep can actually prevent weight gain by encouraging a healthy metabolism, preventing your body from storing too much fat, and boosting your self-control.
  • Making rash decisions – Stress can cause you to make bad decisions so it’s important to think about a decision you must make for an adequate amount of time before settling on an outcome. For example, don’t just pop into the supermarket when you’re feeling stressed because it’s likely you’ll end up with many things in your trolley that shouldn’t be there. Always make a list of what you need beforehand and then stick to that list.
  • Too much caffeine – Don’t get us wrong, coffee is a gift sent down from heaven to shower us with warmth and energy. However, drinking too much of it can backfire in many ways. Consuming more than 5 or 6 cups of coffee per day can promote weight gain and insulin problems, and if you put lots of sugar and full cream milk in your coffee then you’re also increasing your daily calorie intake just on coffee alone.
  • Skipping your workout – “I’ve had a bad day, I think I’ll skip the gym and bum out at home.” We’ve all done it, however, exercise is such an easy way to release any stress and anxiety we may have. You’re literally saying no to something that will make you feel better. It’s good for sweating out our worries and our calories, and it also releases endorphins which make us happy.
  • Ignoring your stress – Thinking that your stress is normal is quite a common mistake, however, it won’t make your stress go away. Realising your stress and making an effort to reduce it is vital for weight loss.

So, in conclusion of all this information: bad finance = more stress = more cortisol = eating lots of junk food = bigger pants.

Now let’s show you how to manage your stress in a way that won’t add on the kilos.

How to manage my stress and stop letting my finance outlook make me fat

It can be hard to not get overwhelmed by life occasionally, and struggling with your finance situation is never an easy time. Learning how to manage your stress and your finance takes practice but it can be done!

  • Exercise – As mentioned before, exercise is an important part of weight loss and stress management. Maintaining a balance of both relaxing and fast-paced exercise is the most efficient way to stay healthy. Take up yoga, light stretching or walking and then mix it up with some faster paced running, boxing or fitness classes. Don’t tell yourself that you NEED to exercise for weight loss as it will then carry a negative meaning, just think of exercise as an activity you can do to clear your head and improve your mood.
  • Deep breathing and mindfulness – Stop and take a few deep breaths every time you’re feeling panicked. Just focus on your breathing for a minute or 2 and you’ll feel your body starting to calm. Download a mindfulness app on your smartphone so you can start to learn how to relax. These apps will give you about 5-10 minutes of calming instructions on how to focus on your breathing and forget your troubles.

    The Relax Melodies app and the Smiling Mind app are both great for improving your mindfulness. Just carry some earphones with you and you’ll be able to plug yourself in anytime you’re feeling anxious.

  • Eat well – Eating a regular, well-balanced diet will not only help prevent weight gain, it will make you feel better in general, and help control your moods. Your meals should be full of fruits, vegetables, whole grain and lean protein. People say you don’t make friends with salad, but you definitely should. Don’t skip any meals and make sure you’re eating at the right times throughout the day (don’t eat late at night).
  • Make time for hobbies – Make sure you set aside some time to do things you genuinely enjoy, to help relieve your stress. Even just taking 15-20 minutes out of your day to do something that relaxes you. Some great relaxing hobbies include:
  1. Reading
  2. Yoga
  3. Mediation
  4. Watching a movie
  5. Going for a light walk
  6. Writing
  7. Playing cards
  • Talk about your stress – Bottling things up never does anyone any good. Talk about your problems with a friend, family member, or even a psychologist. Opening up to an unbiased third party with an expert opinion can be quite liberating for someone carrying a lot of stress. You can also talk to yourself or write down all the things that are bothering you. Getting your troubles off your chest in one way or another will lighten your load significantly.
  • Slow down – Life can get very busy so it’s important to chill out every now and then. Set your watch 5-10 minutes ahead so you can trick yourself into being early, drive in the slow lane on the highway to avoid any road rage, break down big jobs into smaller ones to lighten your load a little and when you can, throw in a few restful things to help you take a break (e.g. yoga, meditation, listening to music).
  • Don’t multi-task – As much as we all like to think we can do more than one thing at a time, mentally, we can’t. It is very unhealthy for us to try and make our brain process multiple things at once and it can lead to chronic stress. Just focus on one thing at a time and stop thinking you can control everything. Reply to one email at a time, don’t try to eat and do work at the same time, don’t text and walk, or text and drive and don’t think about more than one thing at the one time. Rome wasn’t built in a day so just slow down and things will get done.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine – Try and reduce the amount of caffeine you drink (1-2 cups a day), limit your alcohol consumption, and try to cut out nicotine completely. Alcohol acts as a depressant when consumed in larger quantities but can be a stimulant in smaller quantities, nicotine is also a stimulant, so they won’t help to reduce your stress as much as you think they do.
  • Get enough sleep – Lack of sleep is a significant cause of stress; however, stress also interrupts our sleep so it’s a bit of a vicious cycle. Try and make your bedtime as relaxing as possible – make your bedroom a tranquil oasis, avoid caffeine and excessive alcohol during the evening, don’t do any mentally demanding work late at night, don’t watch television in bed and limit your screen time (phone, TV, computer) in general, and try to take a bath or read a calming book before bed to tire your eyes out and help you forget your worries.

Knowing how to deal with your stress is very important for your overall health and well-being. However, preventing a problem from happening is much better than having to deal with the stress when it does. Avoiding stress completely is almost impossible, but if your finance is the reason for all your hair pulling and sleepless nights then we can help. Some great ways to manage your finance include:

  • Make a goal of what you want to do in life and how much you need to save
  • Create a budget plan that covers every aspect of your life (rent, utility bills, groceries, social life, extra bills and savings). Try to stick to is as best as possible.
  • Pay off your debts by selling items you don’t need, temporarily picking up a second job, or cutting unnecessary costs out of your budget
  • Track your spending down to every cent
  • Make a ‘bills’ calendar so there are no surprises
  • Build an emergency fund so you’re prepared for unexpected expenses
  • Sell anything you don’t need anymore to clear space and make a few extra dollars
  • Buy ‘The Barefoot Investor’ – this book is an amazing money guide that offers you a step-by-step formula on how to manage your finances
  • Get a short-term personal loan to help consolidate your debts, pay for any unexpected expenses, take yourself on a holiday so you can just avoid everything, or just to help get yourself back on your feet while you’re going through cash flow issues.

So, now you know how possible it is for your finances to make you fat, and hopefully, you also know how to manage your finances or manage your stress for when you’re not able to manage your finances.

Taking out a Nifty personal loan could be a great solution for you finance problems so if you do want to know more about how we can help you reduce your stress, get in touch today! Don’t let your finances get the best of you! Find out how we can help you improve your finances, reduce your stress, and cut out a few of those extra kilos!

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