Chronic stress has many harmful effects that stop us from being able to live our everyday lives. These can often compound on one another in a way that ends up being much more detrimental than when the stress began. One of the ways that chronic stress can have an effect on us is by inhibiting our ability to lose weight, which may be one of the reasons we’re experiencing stress in the first place.
But how can stress affect weight loss, and how can we be sure that our own stressors are well-maintained enough to not have them affect our personal goals?
The Effects of Cortisol
When you’re stressed, your body reacts by producing cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. What this can do is to slow down your metabolism, meaning you’re more likely to gain weight from the food you’re eating because your body isn’t breaking it down quite as fast. This can also lead to cravings for more junk food items, rather than healthier alternatives.
In addition to your body’s desire to eat foods that aren’t as healthy, stress can lead to consumption of “comfort foods”, or food items that bring you joy in the form of sugars and fats. This is another reaction from your body, and binge-eating is much more likely when you’re highly stressed and you don’t have the willpower to say no to whatever your comfort foods may be.
Reduce Your Stress Levels
In order to ensure that your stress isn’t making you unhealthy or stopping you on your weight loss journey, try these simple stress reducers to make alleviate some of the anxiety you may be feeling:
- Take a yoga class or practice at home in the mornings
- Meditate once a day to relax your mind and calm your nerves
- Go for a run when you’re feeling stressed to clear your mind
- Journal about your day at night. Writing things down may help to sort out your stressors
If you need help reducing your stress, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Simple Heart Health. Through yoga and personal guidance, we’re able to help you find ways to manage your stress and continue on your weight loss journey. To find out more, contact us today.