4 Ways Stress Stops Weight Loss In It’s Tracks

Many experts agree that stress management is important when trying to lose weight. If you are always feeling stressed because of work and/or life problems, then it may be the reason why you are unable to lose your excess pounds. A new weight loss diet or exercise program can also cause stress because your body is not used to it yet. Stress will not only prevent you from losing weight effectively, but also negatively affect your health. It is important that you learn how to manage stress before you start your new diet or exercise program. Here, you will learn about the importance of stress management and how stress can affect weight loss.

Stress Triggers Adrenal Responses That Cause Weight Gain

One of the reasons why stress management is important for weight loss is that stress triggers adrenal responses that cause you to gain weight. When you are stressed, the glycogen in your muscle and liver tissue are activated to give you a boost of energy. Glycogen is a form of carbohydrate that is stored in your muscles and liver for later use. Cavemen used this energy boost to either fight or run away from whatever is causing their stress. However, modern life does not require fighting or running away, so the glycogen is not used by your body and stored into your fats instead.  This stress response leads to increased fat storage, loss of muscle mass, and impulses to overeat, making it more difficult for you to lose weight.

Stress Increases Cortisol Release

According to experts, stress increases the amount of cortisol hormones released by your body. High levels of cortisol cause your metabolism to slow down, which slows down the burning of fats and makes it more difficult for you to lose weight. Also, the unwanted release of cortisol causes your body to store fat in your abdominal area for energy use. Elevated cortisol levels can also result in high blood pressure, high blood glucose levels, and fatigue, which makes your weight loss workouts more difficult.

Stress Causes Food Cravings

Overeating and food cravings are the most common reasons why people gain weight. According to experts, stressful situations cause your body to undergo various hormonal changes, which include the release of cortisol and adrenaline. When the stressful situation is over, the released cortisol causes an increase of appetite. If you are under chronic stress, your food cravings will lead to weight gain because of the high levels of cortisol in your body. The food cravings caused by stress will make it more difficult for you to stick to your weight loss diet.

How to Manage Stress

Now that you have learned the effects of stress and the importance of stress management for weight loss, you may be wondering how you can manage your stress. There are several ways to prevent and manage stress. The first thing that you need to do is to prevent stress by identifying your stress triggers. By finding the causes of your stress, you will be able to learn how to overcome them. For instance, if work is the cause of your stress, relax for 5 to 10 minutes and practice deep breathing techniques to calm your mind and body.

According to experts, exercise can also help reduce stress, so you can reduce both your stress and weight by going to the gym and working out. However, you must not exercise if you’re already feeling too tired from work, because exhaustion may only lead to more stress. If you are too tired to exercise, you can reduce stress by doing things that you love, such as watching TV or reading books. You will be able to lose weight much more effectively if you know how to manage your stress.