Stress and Weight Loss: What’s its Impact?

8 February 2020

Well-Being

Are you working out regularly? Eating well? And nothing seems to be changing? If you find yourself struggling to lose weight, it’s time to give yourself a break, and take a step back.

Here’s the good news. Even if you aren’t seeing the results you’d like as quickly as you like, your healthy eating and exercise are making your body stronger and healthier. Now, all you need to do is address other factors that may get in the way of your lifestyle goals.

Can Stress Prevent Weight Loss?

Short answer: absolutely. Stress can keep those pounds on in many ways. Here are a few examples:

1. Stress Eating

It will sneak up on you… the snacking that is. That little bit of extra food throughout the day may help us feel better in the moment, but it’s just temporary. Once that good feeling is gone, all we’re left with is the same stress we started with and extra calories that never make their way on our food journal.

2. Cortisol Hormones

Stress produces cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that encourages body fat to stay right where it is, making weight loss even a bigger challenge. It’s not the primary source of blame we should be using for our slower weight loss results, but it does play its part.

3. Inadequate Rest

Sure, we can get by with a few hours of sleep each night. Yet, for our bodies to function well, we need plenty of sleep. If you deprive yourself of sleep, your body doesn’t have a chance to run through all the processes it needs to reset your metabolism, refresh your brain, or bring your hormones into balance.

4. Other Problems

Stress can make you anxious, depressed, gain weight, lose weight, develop hypertension, lower your immune system, and so much more. Eating well and exercising regularly is harder to do when you’re combating all of these other side effects stress brings into your life.

What to do Now

If you suspect stress is getting in the way of your weight loss, then it’s time to put it in its place. You may not be able to wipe it out completely. That’s okay.

There’s a huge difference between a healthy amount of stress and stress that’s overwhelming. Whether you choose meditation, simplifying your life, talk therapy, yoga, or other proven stress-reduction methods, taking the step in the right direction will help you achieve your fitness goals.

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