Have A Cheat Day Or At Least Dessert One Day A Week
You dont have to eat perfect ALL of the time. If you really miss chocolate cake or ice cream, allow yourself ONE cheat day or just a cheat dessert on Saturday for example.
Thats right! Im talking about even refined food!
This has been an essential part of how to lose stress weight for me. I love my cheat day. I dont feel deprived, and then my body is so used to healthy food, that Im excited to go back to my anti-inflammatory diet the next day.
Make sure this is something you plan for, not an impulsive decision that keeps happening over and over again. That will defeat the purpose and you wont lose the weight.
For a good mid-week treat, I recommend at least 70% or 80% dark chocolate because its lower in sugar, high in antioxidants, and its so decadent.
Take Some Deep Breaths
Getting a handle on your stress could be as easy as taking a few deep breaths. Slow, deliberate breathing fills your lungs with oxygen, decreasing the anxious feelings that often accompany being out of breath, and can slow a racing heart in the process. Researchers at the University of the Basque Country have even found that deep breathing exercises helped reduce cortisol levels in both male and female study subjects, suggesting that those deep breathing exercises may help you slim down, too.
Your Bodys Fight Or Flight Response Can Speed Up Your Metabolism
When youre stressed, your body goes into fight or flight mode. Also known as the acute stress response, this physiological mechanism tells your body it must respond to a perceived threat.
Your body readies itself by releasing hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. Adrenaline prepares your body for vigorous activity, but it can also minimize your desire to eat.
Meanwhile, cortisol signals for your body to temporarily suppress functions that are nonessential during a crisis. This includes your digestive, immune, and reproductive system responses.
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Mix And Match Your Stress Relief
Your first line of defense is to manage the stress thats causing that natural response. Of course, thats easier said than done, especially right now.
After all, its not like you can magically eliminate all the stress in your life. And the last thing you need is to be stressed about being stressed.
Your best bet?
Try a variety of stress relief techniques to see which ones work best for you.
Whats making you feel stressed is unique to your set of circumstances, so it makes sense that what alleviates that stress will also be tailored to you, says Sharon McDowell-Larson, Ph.D., exercise physiologist and coach at the Center for Creative Leadership.
Start playing around with different options and be aware of what works and what doesnt, McDowell-Larson adds. Often, it takes a combination of strategies.
Here are a few to try:
- If youre working from home, create a clock-out time for work.
Fight Flight And Food
The fight-or-flight response is an innate reaction that evolved as a survival mechanism. It empowers humans to react swiftly to acute stress like a predator or adapt to chronic stress like a food shortage. When faced with stress, the body wants to keep the brain alert. It decreases levels of some hormones and brain chemicals in order to turn down behaviors that wont help in an urgent situation, and it increases other hormones that will.
When under stress, the body lowers levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and melatonin. Serotonin regulates emotions, appetite and digestion. So, low levels of serotonin increase anxiety and can change a persons eating habits. Dopamine another feel-good neurotransmitter regulates goal-oriented motivation. Dwindling levels of dopamine can translate into lower motivation to exercise, maintain a healthy lifestyle or perform daily tasks. When people are under stress, they also produce less of the sleep hormone melatonin, leading to trouble sleeping.
Epinephrine and norepinephrine mediate the physiological changes associated with stress and are elevated in stressful situations. These biochemical changes can cause mood swings, impact a personss eating habits, reduce goal-oriented motivation and disrupt a persons circadian rhythm.
Overall, stress can throw your eating habits and motivation to exercise or eat healthy way out of balance, and this last year has certainly been a stressful one for everyone.
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Recovering From Weight Loss
If your appetite tends to flag when youre stressed, try eating small meals and snacks throughout the day to keep your calorie count stable. Go for nutrient- and calorie-dense foods those packed with nutrients that are higher in calories per serving. Stay away from empty-calorie junk foods that could further deplete your system of needed nutrients.
Good choices for maintaining your calorie count or regaining weight include lean protein, nuts and seeds, avocado, dairy, dried fruit, fresh fruits like bananas and mangoes, olives and olive oil. Have some celery sticks with hummus, a container of Greek yogurt, an ounce of nuts and raisins, a piece of whole-wheat toast with almond butter, two hard-boiled eggs, or a milk and banana smoothie if thats all you can manage to eat. Getting enough protein foods each day helps replace muscle you may have lost when you were under stress.
Increased Levels Of Epinephrine
Also known as adrenaline, it is a hormone that is released by the adrenal glands in the body. Whenever you are stressed, in danger or experience strong emotions such as anger, this hormone is released in large amounts, thus triggering your fight or flight response .aspx” rel=”nofollow”> 14).
A surge of adrenaline in the body leads to an increase in heart rate, expanding the air passages of the lungs, enlarged pupils, redistributing blood to the muscles, and high blood pressure, all factors that affect your bodys metabolism by making it move faster. A faster metabolism means that you are burning calories faster than you normally would and this can lead to weight loss.
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Adrenal Fatigue & Weight Loss Resistance
I work with women all the time who are doing everything right or have seemingly tried every diet and fitness program on the planet, but theyre still struggling to lose weight.
Weight loss resistance is really common, and its generally an indication of an underlying imbalance of some kind. In my practice, adrenal fatigue is almost always behind weight loss resistance.
Adrenal fatigue interferes with digestive function, contributes to insulin resistance, and contributes to hormonal imbalances in general, another common issue that underlies weight loss resistance.
Adrenal fatigue also has the special ability to lead to a buildup of belly fat, which is one of the hardest kinds of weight to lose, and one that can lead to more serious health problems.
Why This Slow Down Can Be Harmful
Because your metabolism is responsible for converting food into energy, a change in how this system works can cause potential problems. As outlined by the American Psychological Association, these issues include:
Health complications, such as high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes
Reduced effectiveness of the immune system
Furthermore, the weight that people gain as a result from a spike in cortisol is often around the abdomen. Fat accumulated around the waist area is attributed to the development of cardiovascular disease, earning it the nickname of toxic fat.
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Stress And Weight Loss/weight Gain
Stress hormones can counteract the feel-good effects of neurotransmitters like serotonin and GABA. Because of that, the food you eat wont have the same pleasurable feelings, nor will it satiate you as much as it normally would.
In other words, when your stress hormone balance is out of whack, appetite regulation will be too. Your body will also be prone to storing excess calories/nutrients as body fat for long-term energy reserves.
The impact stress has on a person’s eating habits can lead to unintended weight loss or weight gain. So, what can be done to remedy this problem and avoid stress-related weight loss/weight gain?
Make New Professional Connections
Work and professional life can be stressful. Make new professional connections, but not necessarily from the same field. Sometimes, it is from various kinds of discussions that you might bump into a great idea that you can actually implement and that would show great results. Talking about something totally different from your profession can help you widen your professional network as well as your ability to think beyond what you already know.
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What Will I Learn In Class
You will learn to:
- stop unhelpful behaviors and patterns that cause you to gain weight,
- use simple mindfulness strategies in your day-to-day life,
- learn how to manage the stress and discomfort that comes with change, and
- approach life with more flexibility, openness, and self-compassion.
We’ll encourage you to experiment with different mindfulness strategies to relieve stress, like mindful eating, brief meditation, or connecting with others in a meaningful way.
One Womans Experience With Cortisol Balancing For Weight Loss
Stress Less Weight Mastery alumni, Traci, shared the following success when she focused on balancing cortisol to control overeating and lose weight:
If you suspect cortisol may be an issue for you, then grab my free guide Balance Hormones to Stop After Dinner Eating.
You will implement the most important daily eating routine to keep cortisol balanced throughout the day and curb cravings and get you started on your weight loss journey.
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Use Nutrition Practices That Create Awareness
Try to see this as a game where the goal is to help your client become aware of the problem, without giving your personal thoughts and opinions on the matter.
Maybe you help your client establish any number of nutrition practices that offer the side benefit of building more awareness:
- Eating slowly to tune into eating behaviors and appetite signals
- The notice and name technique to generate awareness into thoughts, feelings, sensations, and emotions that can lead to stress eating
- Behavior awareness to help them see how stress, busyness, thoughts, and surrounding circumstances connect to what and how much they eat
- Diet experimentsto test whether their life circumstances and surrounding environment affect their eating, energy level, and more
Those tasks fit right into your nutrition coach toolkit. To your client, it totally makes sense that you might suggest they keep a food journal, for example. And yet this practice can help your client see they tend to dive into a gallon of ice cream only after theyve had a horrible day at work.
When Is Weight Loss Cause For Concern
Although dropping a pound or two typically isnt cause for concern, unexpected or undesired weight loss takes a toll on your body.
See a doctor or other healthcare professional if youve lost five percent or more of your overall body weight in any 6- to 12-month period.
You should also see a doctor if you:
- are losing weight without trying
- have chronic headaches
- feel persistently on edge
- find yourself using alcohol or drugs as a way to cope
Your doctor can determine whether your symptoms are related to stress or due to another underlying condition. Whatever the cause, your provider can work with you to develop healthy coping strategies and prescribe medication, if needed.
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Hope Zvara Mother Trucker Yoga
Working from home can be a blessing and a challenge. For some, it is easier to eat healthily, get home duties done, and squeeze in a workout. For others, it poses a more considerable challenge.
As someone who works from home, the lurking presence of work is always there to choose over any other activity.
Instead of telling myself that I need to set aside 60 minutes to work out, I break it down into chunks. I call it the 15 Minute Wellness Method and instead of isolating my workout from my day, I make my day my workout. At home, I have an acupressure ball underneath my desk to roll out my feet
I have weights within arms reach and resistance bands ready and waiting. When I get up to grab something from my printer, I make it a point to do ten squats.
If I have to go upstairs, I run up the stairs or walk up backward, sideways, or squat and step- anything to sneak more movement into my day. When Im on hold on the phone, I stand up and do a quick yoga Sun Salutation.
While Im typing on my computer, I do leg lifts. And when there is a small window of time, I insert a quick 5, 10, or 15-minute workout in- anything I make sure I move more. And that all adds up!
Doing this has lead to more activity throughout my day than when I would schedule a block of time to workout. Now my workouts are a bonus on top of all the extra movement Ive added into my day.
Adrenal Fatigue Weight Loss Tip #: Carb Cycling
The research is in, and carbohydrate cycling is gaining traction in scientific conversations around weight loss2. Better than ketosis3, the process of enduring times of low-carb intake alternated with periods of high-carb intake is a way to combat your cells demanding more food.
Cutting down your carbohydrate intake from anywhere between 30-55% can help you reach your goals. It is also a way of avoiding weight loss plateaus4, which can often be one of the most frustrating parts of any diet.
Limiting carbs and allowing your body to burn off that excess fat while replenishing with more carbs keeps your body in a steady rhythm when it comes to dropping that extra bit of weight.
Key Insight: Cut down on ketosis, and bring more carb cycling into your diet.
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Cortisol And Sugar Cravings
Cue the sugar cravings. Because sugar supplies your body with the quick energy it thinks it needs, it’s often the first thing you reach for when you’re stressed.
The downside to consuming so much sugar is that your body tends to store sugar, especially after stressful situations. This energy is stored mainly in the form of abdominal fat, which can be particularly hard to shed. And so the vicious cycle starts: get stressed, release cortisol, gain weight, crave more sugar, eat more sugar, gain more weight.
The Role Of Cortisol In The Body
Stress can significantly impact your ability to maintain a healthy weight. It can also prevent you from losing weight. Whether it’s the result of high levels of the stress hormone cortisol, unhealthy stress-induced behaviors, or a combination of the two, the link between stress and weight gain is glaring.
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Lean Toward Foods That Can Help Improve Your Mood And Manage Stress
Skipping sweets and other treats in favor of something healthy can have a noticeable impact on the way your body feels. A good rule of thumb is to stick to whole foods, like fruits and veggies.
Some of our functional favorites:
- Oranges and carrots contain immune-boosting antioxidants.
- Leafy vegetables contain vitamin B, which helps regulate your nerves.
- Whole grains contain serotonin-boosting complex carbohydrates. Increasing your serotonin levels may have a calming effect.
- Salmon and tuna contain omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce stress.
- Nuts and seeds also contain stress-busting omega-3 fatty acids.
In What Other Ways Can Stress Cause Weight Gain And Bloating
Here are a couple of other ways stress adds to your weight:
Chronic stress makes it harder to sleep well, which also spikes your cortisol levels. Lack of sleep triggers excess hunger as your body tries to make up for lack of energy.
Cortisol also tends to make the fat cells gather around the belly and midsection. So even if youre not eating that bad, fat goes right to this problem area.
In other words: with stress weight, you gain a belly.
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Tips To Overcome Barriers
You may have found that one or several of the common psychological barriers to weight loss look familiar to you. It is not unusual to experience multiple hurdles on your journey to a healthy weight. But these roadblocks don’t need to prevent your success.
Each of the tips and suggestions below can address multiple barriers. These suggestions are also healthy strategies for lifelong wellness that carry no side effects and are almost all completely free. Consider giving one or more of these solutions a try.
Stress Hormones At Work
When you experience a stressful event, the first hormone to kick in is a corticotrophin-releasing hormone, or CRH. Within seconds, a rush of CRH into your bloodstream shuts down your appetite. So if your car swerves on an icy road or your child falls off a jungle gym, the last thing you want to do is eat.
As the stressor subsides, however, your body releases glucocorticoids, particularly the hormone known as cortisol. This makes your digestion start up again so you can replenish the fuel you lost when you were trying to control the car or racing to your childs aid. It takes much longer for cortisol to leave your bloodstream than CRH, reports Robert M. Sapolsky, Ph.D., in his book Why Zebras Dont Get Ulcers. If the stress incident ends after 10 minutes, Sapolsky says, youll have that amount of time when CRH is in your bloodstream, while it might be two hours before cortisol clears your system. So you experience a relatively short time in which your appetite is dulled, and a long stretch in which your body is primed for feasting.
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