Stress is defined as the body’s way of responding to any kind of demand, and it can be caused by good or bad experiences. Stress is often described as a “silent killer” because it can lead to the onset of diseases like high blood pressure, arthritis, depression, digestive problems and even obesity.
Let’s look at how stress can ruin your weight loss efforts.
What is Stress?
Stress is defined as the body’s normal physical response to different events or situations which make the individual feel upset or threatened in some way. These different reactions both have positive and negative effects on the body. Some of the positive effects of stress include the following:
- It makes the person deal constructively with daily challenges and problems.
- It also makes the individual stay focused, alert and energetic
However, if stress becomes continuous, it stops being helpful anymore, and can cause negative problems on the person’s health, mood, productivity, relationships, and overall quality of life.
It can also lead to ailments like drug and alcohol abuse, depression, heart disease, digestive problems, obesity and even certain cancers.
How Stress Can Make You Gain Weight
Here’s how stress can alter the body’s ability to burn fat:
It Triggers the Fight-or-Flight Hormone. When a person is experiencing stress, their adrenal glands would usually overproduce a hormone called “cortisol”, which helps the body release sugar into the bloodstreams, as sugar can be used for the immediate energy required for either running, or fighting.
It Makes The Person “Binge”. Chronic, unrelenting stress, can make the person do “stress eating” or binge eating. The food items that you crave when stressed out are mostly made up of carbohydrates and fat, and these help replenish the calories used up during the stress response.
Stress Can Also Alter the Body’s Blood Sugar and Fatty Acid Levels: According to weight-loss experts, if stress becomes prolonged and chronic, it activates the hypothalamus, and triggers the release of a hormone called cortisol, in the adrenal gland. Too much stress can wreak havoc on the body’s cortisol levels, and can lead to frightening scenarios like these:
- The elevation of blood sugar. This makes the person hungry and crave for more sweets.
- Stress also makes it harder for glucose to get into your cells.
- It reduces the ability to burn fat, and suppresses the “HPA-axis”, which causes hormonal imbalances.
- It makes the cells less-sensitive to insulin, and increases the rate at which the body stores fat.
- Stress also increases belly fat, which makes the liver fatty.
- Stress elevates the level of fatty acids and triglycerides in the blood.
- Stress also reduces DHEA, growth hormone and testosterone levels.
How To Prevent Stress from Messing-up Your Weight Loss Efforts
If you are currently trying to lose weight (by exercising or dieting), and you feel like the stress of daily life is beginning to take its toll on your mindset, here are a number of helpful, and tested tips and techniques to keep in mind.
- Meditate/Relax Before Starting Your Day. Before starting your day, take time to meditate and relax, and perform deep-breathing exercises, as well as condition your muscles by stretching.
- Plan Your Time, and Exercise Daily. Before heading off to work or school, think ahead of what you’re going to do for the day. Write a to-do list and determine which tasks are the most important. Be realistic on how long each task will take. And when planning you day, make it a habit to insert some exercise in your daily routine. Physical activity can effectively reduce stress, relax the muscles, and improve the person’s mood.
- Eat a Balanced Diet. Stress and poor eating and lifestyle habits often go together. Make sure you give your body lots of energy and essential nutrients, by eating vegetables, fruits, lean meats and protein-rich food items every day. You could also get professional advice from a fitness expert, or from your healthcare provider.
The Benefits of Managing Stress
There are a lot of benefits for people who know how to manage stress. Effective stress management can help the person sleep better, control their weight, lessen neck and back pain, improve concentration, and enhance the individual’s family and social life.
The Fat Loss Factor Program is one of the few courses that not only can teach the individual how to efficiently burn fat and stay healthy every day, but also deals with the emotional and psychological side of dieting and weight loss.
Focusing on diet and exercise exclusively when trying to release weight, is absolutely the wrong approach.
It is important that you work on your emotions and limiting beliefs and discover what might be the hidden reward that is keeping you where you are. Jessica Ortner teaches you in her Weight Loss & Body Confidence FREE webinar presentation how to do the internal work necessary not only to manage your stress but also to permanently achieve an optimally healthy weight. Learn More Here.
By Carina Franco yoursimplehealthylife.com
Meme´s photo copyright: dnfstyle / 123RF Stock Photo (Meme was made by yoursimplehealthylife.com)