You’re avoiding fried foods, soft drinks and decadent desserts, eating healthfully, watching your calorie intake and working out on a regular basis.
You know you’re burning more calories than you’re taking in. So, why aren’t you losing weight? It can be absolutely maddening! Especially if you believe you really are doing all the right things.
Unfortunately, life’s not always fair. Weight loss and weight gain can be complicated.
There are SO many different things that can impact it. And, life could be one of those things. We all face plenty of ups and downs over the years, and live in a world that constantly demands more. We’re expected to do more, be more, and accomplish more.
The real reason that number on the scale isn't moving
It’s no wonder so many of us feel stressed out much of the time! STRESS may very well be the reason that number on the scale isn’t moving in the direction you’d like it to be.
Whether you’re juggling too many responsibilities, or coping with added pressure from finances, a relationship, your job, or something else, the stress response sparks a biochemical process that causes the body to go into survival mound.
The body then holds onto fat, storing it for fuel in addition to slowing the metabolism and producing chemicals that are likely to cause weight gain and additional fat, particularly in the abdominal region.
Stress can also negatively impact will power and tempt people to reach for food in order to help ease it. Many stress eaters tend to go for high-carb foods as they trigger an increase in serotonin, which provides a calming effect.
If you’re truly counting your calories accurately, that may not be an issue for you, but it’s certainly something to look out for. Relying on food to battle stress doesn’t deal with the real issue – and that’s what needs to be addressed in order to really fix the problem.
So, how can you deal with all that unwanted stress?
I know you’re probably already working out, and that’s great! It’s one of the best stress-busters there is. It helps to counter the negative effects of those nasty stress hormones like cortisol as well as insulin and sugar levels. But, if you exercise too much, it can also increase cortisol and stress levels. The key is to find a physical activity you really enjoy, and make sure the length of the workout doesn’t completely exhaust you.
Take time to breathe
Spending at least five minutes twice each day breathing slowly and deeply can help to immediately counteract the effects of stress. It will also allow you to face challenging situations more calmly, and with a clear head.
Get a good night’s sleep
When you don’t get enough rest, your cortisol levels will increase, making you feel hungrier and less satisfied with the food you do eat. Sleep is important for good health and for dealing with life’s problems. If you’re having trouble sleeping, address the issue. Some of the ways to improve sleep include turning off all electronics an hour before bed, making sure your room is totally dark, practicing deep breathing before bedtime, and eliminating noise by wearing earplugs.
Don’t forget to pamper yourself occasionally
We all need pleasurable experiences in order to thrive. Pleasure enhances health, energy, and well-being. Don’t just focus on avoiding stress, plan some “me time,” such as getting a massage, soaking in a relaxing bath, spending time laughing with friends, or engaging in one of your favorite activities.
You can’t eliminate all stress from your life. It’s something we all have to deal with, but you can learn to manage it better.
Yours in health & happiness,