How Stress Can Impact Fat Loss
Right now, things are a little strange. We know that. You know that. Maybe your kitchen has turned into your home office, perhaps your lounge resembles a class room and if your hallway looks a little bit like a gym, we feel you!
With all this change, there's a possibility that you're feeling increasingly more stressed. And that is completely understandable. In this post, we want to tackle how stress can be a hurdle when it comes to trying to lose fat and we are going to suggest a few stress busting strategies that will help you to stay on track.
Stress is rife in modern day life. Many of us have got long working hours, we've got the worries of the pandemic, you're trying to juggle having the kids home from school and that's before we've even considered the stresses of everyday family life.
What does stress have to do with fat loss?
Researchers have long known that rises in the stress hormone cortisol can lead to weight gain. But being aware of this and knowing techniques to reduce stress is key to stopping this from having an impact on your health and fitness.
Let's break things down. When we get stressed, our adrenal glands release two hormones. Adrenaline and cortisol. As a result of this glucose is released into the bloodstream which gives you the energy to escape a dangerous situation. Maybe, you've heard it called a “fight or flight” response.
Now, when the threat has subsided, the adrenaline high that you just got, wears off. At the same time, your blood sugar spike also drops and that's when cortisol kicks in so that the body can replenish its energy supplies as quickly as possible.
This is when you might find a craving for sugary, rich, or fried foods. This is because sugar supplies your body with quick energy and is often the first thing you reach for when you're stressed to the hills. And what's worse, once you've started eating these foods many people completely give up and go on a binge because they believe they've ruined their diet.
As well as causing you to reach for sugary foods, cortisol can have an impact on other habits that are vital for fat loss. It can cause you to skip meals, it affects sleep, it will affect your energy levels to exercise, and can cause self-destructive behaviour.
Now all these things are coping mechanisms that you've developed over time in a stress induced habit loop. The key to overcoming this, is by undoing the coping mechanisms and finding stress busting methods to cope.
3 Things To Try Help You Cope With Stress
1. Yoga or Meditation
Not only is yoga a beneficial workout in developing strength, it is also known for reducing stress and the subsequent health effects that stress causes. Having previously been in a highly stressful job, I can highly recommend yoga as a way of destressing.
Although we're in lockdown right now, many yogis have reverted to online. If yoga is something you'd like to try, drop us a message, and well put you in touch with a yoga teacher nearby.
When we exercise, we release endorphins which trigger a positive feeling in the body, as well as this, it's a great way to help distract us from our worries and improves our confidence. A big tip from me is to incorporate some non-negotiables into your life such as x amount of workouts each week as well as other, daily, healthy habits. Once these habits are instilled into your routine, you'll start to see the benefits in your daily life.
Whilst we are reading, the heart rate lowers and the tension in our muscles eases. According to a 2009 study at the University of Sussex, stress is reduced by up to 68% just by reading!
Try to make reading part of your daily routine, start with just 10 pages each day and see how it makes you feel.
When it comes to stress, being able to minimise it, will help you stay in control of all areas of your life, especially health and fitness. Prioritise activities and actions that will help relieve stress, and when you feel yourself getting stressed over something, try to analyse the situation logically, detach emotion, and then re-evaluate the situation.
If you'd like some help destressing through exercise then please do book a call with us by clicking the book a call button on the right hand side of our website home page.
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