Chill out folks! That is the message for everybody trying to lose weight. We have all heard that stress is bad for you but did you know that stress can make you fat? Studies have found that long-term stress is a major cause of weight gain, and more to the point, a key factor in the failure of many weight loss and diet plans.
Experts call it toxic weight. When you’re stressed your body is flooded with stress hormones. And guess what? Those hormones stimulate the fat cells deep inside the abdomen to expand and encourage more fat storage. These are the fat cells that can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer and they are the hardest to get rid of. They spark your appetite making you likely to overeat.
Simply put, these stress hormones react with a fight or flight response. Our bodies react to stress like we are about to be harmed and need to fight for our lives or run for the hills. We have all felt it. Those little bursts of energy come from the release of stress hormones. Staying in this state for any length of time is considered chronic stress and the long-term results of the stress hormones really affect your weight and health, spoiling your diet plans.
Your stress level affects your metabolism, which we all know is a major factor in weight loss. Too much stress can slow it right down and actually cause weight gain. People experiencing chronic stress tend to have powerful cravings full for sugary treats and fatty or salty snacks, which again, work counter productive to any weight loss or diet plan. This includes emotional eating as well. We all have our comfort foods.
Reducing stress may also reduce your waistline, reversing the pattern of weight gain and giving your diet or weight loss plan the extra boost it needs. Here are a few key things you can do that will help reduce your stress levels:
- Set daily patterns for eating like regular mealtimes. Never skip breakfast.
- Practice daily relaxation skills, even for just 20 minutes a day.
- Increase physical activity levels. Try taking a walk everyday.
- Know you comfort foods and keep them out of the house.
- Get some sleep. Regular sleep patterns of 7-8 hours everyday restores your body.
- Keep track of all of your diet mistakes in your diet plan. Learn from them.
Yes, stress can ruin your diet plan. Beating stress is one of the hardest things you may do but it is also one of the most important. The benefits to your health are tremendous. The benefit to your weight loss or diet plan will be stunning.