Are you trying to lose weight, but not achieving the results that you deserve? Are your efforts working against you even though you aren’t eating a reverse diet or doing anything differently from when you first started losing weight? If so, there is something else going on. First of all, it’s important for us to understand how we place stress on our body.
When we are stressed, especially chronically, it increases levels of certain chemicals that cause weight gain. This is not just emotional stress either, although that can easily turn into chronic physical tension as well. Physical stress also causes us to produce cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that signals the body to store fat and release sugar into the blood to compensate for the increase in cortisol.
This is why when we are stressed, we usually crave carbohydrates and sugar because our body needs this fuel. This process often leads to weight gain rather than weight loss, especially if it becomes chronic (long-term). What can happen is that our bodies try to protect us by holding onto fat stores.
Over time, this becomes more and more difficult with the demands that stress puts on our body. The good news is that there are 2 simple steps that can be taken to stop it in its tracks. First of all, meditation helps to calm the mind and releases many beneficial hormones into your system including serotonin which helps you feel calmer and happier.
This simple step can make a huge difference in stress relief. However it’s also important to look at the physical side of things, especially if you are trying to lose weight. Being relaxed has been shown to be one of the most important factors when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off too! This is why following certain practices like yoga, Pilates or Tai can be so effective.
You also want to make sure that you are engaging in the best possible exercises for your body. It’s important to pick ones that will not increase cortisol levels but rather decrease them.
There are many forms of exercise that decrease cortisol levels which includes certain types of yoga and Pilates. Cardio can also have a positive effect on cortisol levels as long as you don’t push yourself past your limits or burn yourself out with too much cardio. This is a surefire way to increase not only your stress levels but your cortisol levels as well.