When you're stressed, nothing else really matters—not according to your body.
If you're trying to lose weight while you're chronically stressed, it's like trying to run a marathon while giving someone a piggyback ride. Sure, you might make it across the finish line, but you made it a lot harder than it needed to be.
“I see patients all the time who have high stress levels, and they struggle with weight loss,” says Rachel Goldman, Ph.D., FTOS, a licensed psychologist specializing in health and wellness. There's a reason for this: When your sympathetic nervous system is stuck in “on” mode, it's like your body's smoke alarm is constantly going off. In this state, it's hard to pay attention to anything else, and it's hard to determine when something is truly alarming.
Here's why you might want to focus less on counting calories and more on managing stress if you're trying to lose weight.
Stress makes everything seem harder.
We have a finite amount of energy and hours in the day. When we have to deal with stressful situations or cope with their aftermath, we have less time for healthy habits. We might struggle with sleep, we don't meal-plan as frequently, we skip workouts—which only adds to our stress.
And if we are doing those things? “It's going to be harder to lose weight,” Goldman says. “Stress produces the hormone cortisol, and cortisol has also been linked to triggering cravings for comfort foods.” In addition, stress increases insulin levels, which impacts your ability to burn off those comfort foods.”
The article goes on to say:
Whenever you start to plateau, it's a good idea to take a step back and see where you are in life. Sometimes the scale gets stuck even if you're eating a nutritious diet and keeping up with your workouts. Your body thinks that you need to hold onto those extra calories to deal with the stress.
Stress erodes self-control.
Stress depletes the energy you would otherwise use to exert self-control. Let's say your boss is being a pain all day, and someone offers you a cupcake in the afternoon—you'll find it a lot harder to say “no.” Our impulse control takes a hit when we feel distressed, so we look for ways to feel better—and cupcakes are an easy answer.”
To read the complete article including 5 ways to deal with the your stress, just click here: http://greatist.com
I hope you find it as interesting and helpful as I do.
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