When we think of weight loss, we put a lot of stress on eating right and exercising more; clearly, these are important cornerstones. But, our bodies are complex and myriad internal processes influence our weight. If you have been struggling to lose those extra pounds, paying mind to some of these other important factors for weight loss may help maximize your success. Combining various strategies adds to a cumulative effect and produces big changes.
3 Important Factors for Weight Loss besides Diet and Exercise
Get Enough Sleep
Sleeping is one of the most important factors of weight loss we tend to forget. We associate the importance of sleep with healthy cognitive function, but we need it for oh- so- many- more things, including maintaining a healthy weight. Numerous studies have found that lack of sleep may impact weight loss in several different ways.
It appears to increase cravings for unhealthy foods, such as sugar and refined carbohydrates, alters fat cell functioning and negatively alters insulin production as much as diabetes can; A new study that just came out the beginning of April has added more fuel to the fire—by exposing mice to light for prolonged periods of time to keep them awake and disrupt their body clock, researcher found a significant decrease in metabolism.
Weight loss can be challenging and having to go it alone can make it that much harder; being able to share your struggle with others, and get inspiration and motivation from people in the same boat, is an important factor for successful weight loss. Some studies, such as one that came out January of this year (2013) examining Twitter, have found that using social media platforms may help accelerate weight loss; these mediums allow for instant connections with people all over the world who can serve as a strong base for social support. Social media allows for easy sharing of weight loss information that can be helpful in the journey.
You might also consider looking for in-person groups you can join to meet like-minded people who know what you are going through. If there are none, consider starting your own; sites such as MeetUp.com allow you to start a group for almost anything.
Keeping stress under control is an extremely important factor for weight loss. Stress reduction is vital for sticking to any healthy lifestyle change—this is because when we feel stressed, we are less likely to care about our health. This negative state of mind leads to poor decisions. It makes us feel badly about ourselves and pessimistic about our ability to truly change, and actually lose this weight we have been carrying around.
Stress prompts emotional eating, which can derail weight loss efforts like nothing else; we use food to soothe negative emotions, and we typically prefer cake to carrots for this purpose. Specialists form WeightLossTriumph say:
It is harder to stick to a healthy diet plan when we are not in a good place mentally.
Additional important factors for weight loss are the physical effect of stress. The physical effects of stress are often overlooked. It produces physical changes in our body that can thwart our efforts in various ways.
Our bodies are still wired in much the same way our ancestors’ bodies were, and they typically experienced stress in the form of running away from giant animals that wanted to eat them. Naturally, they needed to replenish energy stores, and an increased appetite soon followed the episode. In modern times, we still have this same reaction to high stress levels, but we are not expending any calories worrying about our job or money. So, we feel hungry and we eat when there really is no reason to.
To make matters worse, one of the substances involved in this process—cortisol—may cause the body to store more fat deep in the abdomen. Visceral fat, or belly fat, is perhaps the most dangerous of all. It is highly active and high levels have been linked to a host of health problems from diabetes to heart disease.
The above-mentioned important factors for weight loss are simple, but implementing them is not always easy; hence, the struggles that so many overweight people face. But, if you can all of your weight loss ducks in a row, you will forge a powerful fight against those unwanted pounds. It will take patience and commitment, but you can do it.
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