What does your weight have to do with stress? Much more than you think! Aside from the fact that many of us are overweight due to eating during a stressful situation, stress hormones in our bodies actually tell our bodies to store fat during stressful times. It’s like adding insult to injury!
It’s safe to say that the majority of people react to stress by eating something that makes them feel better – that’s why it’s known as comfort food. Some eat more than others, obviously. But during a time of stress, no matter what the cause, your body secretes chemical messengers that are designed to protect the body during times of prolonged stress, like starvation or other deprivation.
The thing is that the body doesn’t differentiate between kinds of stress. Whilst our ancestors were usually faced with very real, physical stress, such as a hairy mammoth charge, which required them to stand their ground and fight, or run away, the “fight or flight” response is not so clear cut today.
In fact, much of the stress we feel today is perceived, psychological stress. The tension of a bad relationship, the trauma of learning of a loved one is dying, the stress of watching a high action adventure or the anxiety of a scary nightmare – they all add up to stress to your body. And any stress will cause the body to secrete high levels of stress hormones, also causes your body to store fat!
The moral of the story is: reduce your stress if you want a successful weightloss journey. Not as easy as saying it, is it? Nothing worth doing ever is. Obviously exercise is a perfect choice to tackle both problems but what if you’re unable to exercise? The good news is that anything you do to help you reduce your stress levels will also help with your weight. Check out the stress busting tips posts in this blog.
So start taking your stress reduction seriously if you want to lose weight!
It’s a sad fact that when you are overweight, the urge to eat is harder to ignore under stressful conditions. But it is not widely known that stress is so intimately linked to weight that you can actually achieve long-term weight loss simply by learning how to reduce stress in your life – and following a stress reduction lifestyle.
Stress eaters are commonly among the most obese people around the world. You may know it as emotional eating and it affects men and women who turn to food when stress rears its ugly head. However stress eating does not address the cause of the stress, which remains, so victims of emotional eating find themselves stuck in a vicious cycle of gaining weight.
The reason is because the people who are prone to emotional eating don’t know how to reduce their stress and so tend to consume foods which are labeled bad for you – sweets, saturated fats, carbs and other addictive foods. These foods create an instant surge of endorphins – the feel good chemicals that soothe your less than stellar moods, but the after-surge crash can be dreadful.
So how can you reduce stress and fix emotional eating before it gets out of control? First, pinpoint the main cause of your stress. See if you can eliminate it. If not, then work on ways to manage it.
Some ideas include:
Aromatherapy – which utilizes your sense of smell and calming scents to help alleviate stress.
Acupuncture – which involves the use of small needles correctly positioned to help reduce stress.
Hypnosis – either self-guided or through the services of a professional.
Journaling – perhaps the easiest activity that lets you pour your stress into the pages of a diary so that you don’t carry it along with you.
Yoga – which not only provides ample physical fitness, but also helps calm the mind and guide you to a relaxed mental state of awareness.
Meditation – which is a stress reducer that you can do at any time, whenever you feel the situation warrants it.
Choose whichever method helps you reduce stress and then apply it before you feel the urge to snack your troubles away.