When it comes to weight loss, many people don’t stop to think of other things that may slow down or even prevent their ability to lose the excess pounds. But weight loss and stress are intricately connected in more ways than one.
We all know stress can come from various areas in our lives, so we need to take a look at physical issues, as well as overcoming emotional and mental issues in order to get better results. As stress is one of the more obvious contributors it’s a often a good place to begin.
5 ways stress can affect your weight loss
1. It Increases Your Cortisol Levels
Cortisol is a natural stress hormone in the body and under normal circumstances isn’t a problem. It’s when your cortisol is heightened for extended periods that the problems begin. The job of cortisol in helping to keep your blood sugar levels normalized and your metabolism pumping become dysfunctional.
2. Elevates Blood Sugar Levels
Our blood sugar levels are one of the most important factors in weight loss. More importantly getting them to equalize at a steady pace instead of going up and down spiking throughout the day. Unfortunately this is difficult to achieve when you are stressed because the cortisol prevents this from happening. And in many cases it can even elevate your blood sugar levels and cause weight gain.
3. Slows Down Your Metabolism
If you are looking to bring your metabolism to a grinding halt, then keep on stressing! Cortisol, yes that rotten hormone again, completely slows down your ability to burn fat. That’s essentially what your metabolism is, your ability to metabolize fat effectively. When you want to lose weight, you want to try to speed it up not slow it down. So again the importance of distressing is paramount.
4. Makes You Reach for the Naughty’s
How many times have you reached for the chocolate or junk food when you’re feeling stressed? Chances are a few. It’s fairly commonplace so you’re not alone. Cravings are yet another symptom of stress, the bodies way of saying I need energy to fuel the fire. Even though we know it’s not good for us, it’s hard to resist under the circumstances.
5. Increases Blubber
Sorry to say that stress and higher levels of cortisol are directly linked to increased blubber around your mid section. Now nobody wants that to happen, right? Women are particularly at risk, storing more abdominal fat than men around these regions when stress affected.
As you can see weight loss and stress are linked together in more ways than one. So if you’re looking to lose a few pounds or some of that tummy fat, getting hold of stress could be the key.
The first step is to identify where your stressors are coming from. Then you need to work on strategies to overcome them. Sometimes we have the ability to remove stressors. And sometimes we can eliminate them completely by changing things in our life, or even changing things in our mind. Of course there are some things that are beyond our control. In this case it’s best to minimize as much as possible and practice any number of relaxation techniques to counteract the damage.
There are so many methods you can use to relax from meditations, guided relaxation, breathing, music, getting outdoors and many more. The important thing is that you take action and look after yourself. You and your health are worth the effort.
Author Jedha is a weight loss and wellness coach. If you need help with achieving better weight loss results, please visit Jedha’s website.