Is Stress Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Efforts?
Most people have some form of stress in their lives but if it is affecting your weight and health, you need to do something about it.
Acute stress directly relates to a single or short series of events so often does not last for very long.
Chronic stress is where stress has been present over a long period of time. Not only can it impede weight loss it can lead to weight gain. Being in a chronic state of stress sends the body into “survival mode” and other side effects could also include inflammation, insulin resistance or illness.
Your body may be suffering the effects of chronic stress even though you do not feel stressed.
Chronic stress triggers increased production of two main hormones: cortisol and insulin.
Cortisol is the “fight or flight” hormone and can lead to increases in your appetite, mainly for high calorie sweets and starchy foods, and slows down metabolism. This increases fat storage, and sends fat and inflammatory chemicals to the liver, which may lead to insulin resistance.
Cortisol is also catabolic (losing lean tissue), the opposite of anabolic (gaining lean tissue). Losing lean tissue leads to a decrease in metabolic rate.
Cortisol medications are known to stimulate weight gain.
The role of insulin is to regulate blood glucose (sugar) levels and to convert any excess into a storable form of glucose in your fat cells, called glycogen. Eating carbohydrates, in excess of your body’s Individual Carbohydrate Tolerance (ICT), leads to high levels of blood glucose and then high levels of insulin. Long term, this could lead to insulin resistance, making losing weight very difficult.
For effective weight loss and long-term health, stress must be avoided or managed to keep cortisol in check.
A number of suggestions we encourage our members to use include:
How to put these suggestions into practice.
Choose 1-3 of the above and implement today. Commit to doing them daily for 4 weeks. Schedule them by making perpetual diary events if this helps.
When you get to the end of 4 weeks, evaluate how you feel and if you can feel a change in your management of your stress levels. If you can, and you have developed a new routine for stress management, then you can add more if you wish.
We call this a form of self-care!
Prioritising Protein – A Secret for Weight Loss and Long-term Health
10 Short Cuts that Make Weight Loss Easier
5 Health Outcomes from Discovering Your Carb Tolerance
9 Tips to Boost Your Daily Energy
Feeling Bloated? Want to Know What to Do About it?
10 Foods and Drinks to Consume Every Day for Better Health
9 Ways to Help Overcome Feeling Self Conscious
How Goals Lead to New Habits and Happiness