Monday, September 19, 2022

How To Reduce Stress And Lose Weight

Breathing Right Aids In Weight Loss By Getting Rid Of Carbon Dioxide

How To Reduce Stress And Lose Weight In 6 Simple Steps

When we eat, our body turns excess calories into fat molecules that cause weight gain. These fat molecules are harmful to your arteries and also increase the risk of stroke.

Breathing breaks down the fat molecules into carbon dioxide and water. The lungs will then expel these two from the body during exhalation.

In-depth information about these fat molecules in our FACT BOX at the end!

Spend Some Time Alone

While spending time with friends and family can help some people manage stress, it’s just as important to build some solo time into your routine. Spending time by yourself can help distance you from stressors like work, relationships, and that never-ending to-do list while providing you time to engage in some self-care activities, like reading, exercising, or treating yourself to a spa day.

High Cortisol And Stress: Why Are You So Stressed All The Time

You know this cushy, comfortable modern world thing weve got here? It didnt always exist. Your body is the product of a kill-or-be-killed environment where every day was a struggle for survival.

Naturally, your body is hardwired to protect you from real or perceived dangers. When you encounter a predator or rival tribe , it sets off your bodys protective alarm system and releases a flood of adrenaline and cortisol to keep you alive.

Adrenaline gets your heart racing and floods your body with energy. Cortisol affects everything from your blood glucose levels to your mood, energy, and blood pressure, and its responsible for shutting off non-essential bodily functions in a fight.

Basically, cortisol and adrenaline help you evaluate the threat and give you the energy you need to either fight that growling sabertooth tiger or nope out of there before youre dinner.

OK, so if you arent fighting extinct mammalian predators anymore, why is there a problem? The thing is, the stress of the modern world is actually EVEN WORSE than fighting a predator from time to time, and youll never believe how every little thing youre exposed to every day sends your stress-response system into disarray.

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How Walking Can Help You Lose Weight Decrease Stress And Lower Blood Pressure

One of the most powerful ways to maintain a healthy weight, stay strong, and live longer is so shockingly simple, even a toddler can do it. The health benefits of walking are endless, and experts agree by adding walking to your routine, you can truly improve your physical and mental health.

Walking has always been my main source of cardio, and except for when I was pregnant, Ive been the same weight my entire life! says fitness expert Denise Austin.

The key is to strut for, ideally, at least 30 minutes a day, says Melina B. Jampolis, M.D., author of The Doctor on Demand Diet. And whether you decide to lace up your walking shoes and walk to work, pair up with a friend, or join a hiking club, research shows that walking can do everything from lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of chronic diseases to making your brain sharper and yourheart happier.

Walking is simple enough that nearly any able-bodied person can do it. It has tremendous benefits, from supporting a healthy immune system to boosting your metabolism to strengthening your joints, muscles, and bonesnot to mention its amazing for stress relief and enjoying a little me time, says Austin. Heres what else you can expect when you start walking for just a half-hourthats less time than it takes to listen to one music album!most days of the week.

What Is The Cortisol Hormone

Stress &  Weight Loss

The cortisol hormone is one of the most important hormones in the human body. Your bodys adrenal glands produce the cortisol hormone.

It is responsible for helping your body to cope with stress and daily survival. The hormone works with your brain in order to control your fear, mood, and motivation.

It is the bodys main stress hormone.

Apart from the known fact that cortisol helps to serve as your bodys survival instinct when in crisis, it also plays a number of roles in the daily functioning of your body system.

Some of these include

  • Cortisol helps to manage how the body utilizes fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.
  • The hormone also plays an important role in reducing inflammation.
  • It helps to regulate the bodys blood sugar.
  • Cortisol hormone also controls your sleep and wake cycle.
  • Most importantly, the hormone helps to boost your bodys energy level. This it does in order to help the body handle stress and also restore balance immediately after.

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Can You Lose Weight Despite Stress

Your stress isnt likely going to go away anytime soon. Its just part of life.

So can you lose weight even if youre busy and feel stressed?

The answer? Yes!

Take my client Tree as an example.

Tree has an extremely stressful job at a Fortune 500 company.

Her weight had been creeping up and she knew that she needed to change things, but she was just too busy.

After enrolling in my program, she lost 20 pounds, just by making simple lifestyle changes. Oh, and she did it while enjoying her chocolate cake and without a single sit up.

Losing Weight Through Stress And Sadness

Sadness is something we all have to deal with in our lives and in some cases can even have an effect on our health. Losing weight due to stress and sadness is a serious problem for some people.

A 2008 study examined the effect of mourning on the body in older people in the event that their partner died. An increased level of sadness can make your body less able to break down cortisol and you can have the effect of stress for longer.

The previously cited studies have shown that it is possible to lose weight through stress, so losing weight through stress and sadness is possible and the two can even reinforce each other.

More general information about health? View all health blogs here.

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Whats The Right Way To Breathe

When we breathe, we get oxygen into our body. Oxygen fuels our body with energy and keeps all corners of our body healthy. We can go on without food or water for days, but not without breathing.

Dr. Belisa Vranich, a clinical psychologist, says that most of us are vertical breathers. This means we use our upper body to breathe. Our upper body isnt meant for breathing, and this is why we experience neck and shoulder pains.

With one hand on the belly and one hand on the chest, inhale slowly through your nose. Feel your diaphragm expand, and the belly rise. The hand on your chest should barely move. Pause for a while, and exhale through your nose. You are at rest, and no muscles are active. The diaphragm relaxes, and the belly goes back to its position.

We absorb more oxygen when we breathe through the nose. With its small opening, the nose creates greater air pressure, which slows down exhalation. This gives our lungs more time to absorb larger amounts of oxygen. Besides this, nose breathing also:

  • Helps fight off infections by filtering bacteria in the small hairs of the nose.
  • Maintains moisture in your airways.
  • Regulates body temperature because it acts as our bodys air-conditioning.
  • Keeps your lungs strong because of greater air pressure

An old saying explains that each of us has been assigned a number of breaths when we are born. If we know how to follow breathing techniques, its possible that we could extend our lifespan.

It Can Help Alleviate Joint Pain

How To Reduce Cortisol Levels Naturally For Weight Loss And Stress Relief

Contrary to what you might think, pounding pavement can help improve your range of motion and mobility because walking increases blood flow to tense areas and helps strengthen the muscles surrounding your joints.

In fact, research shows that walking for at least 10 minutes a dayor about an hour every weekcan stave off disability and arthritis pain in older adults. A 2019 study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine followed 1,564 adults older than 49 with lower-body joint pain. Participants who walked for an hour each week were more likely to remain disability-free four years later. An additional report found that walking was a safe, inexpensive, and convenient physical activity for those with arthritis of all fitness levels.

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Take A Break To Relieve Stress

The day to day stress of life can often take its toll. It becomes chronic stress that then leads to weight gain because it is the same problem of work and life day in, day out.

Take a break from your ordinary life.

This does not have to be a whole week away in an exotic location , but can simple be an afternoon exploring a local area or hiking away from your city.

Often taking a step away from the day to day normal activities can benefit you by allowing you to breathe.

When you come back to working and studying youll find your more in control of your emotions and feelings. Taking a break can be a great way to reduce stress to lose weight.

Rest Recovery & Refuel

Similarly to making sure you do not eat too little and exercise too much, you must remember in general to take time to recover, rest, and refuel.

Everything that you learn and do in your day is processed when you sleep and rest. Recovery from exercise or from learning and doing all happens during the rest and recovery phase.

Self care and healthy sleep habits will be paramount to reducing stress in your life. High stress contributes to insomnia and sleep disruption so it can feel like a no-way-out situation.

You are stressed, so you dont sleep well, the lack of sleep causes intolerance to stress. This is why managing stress in the other areas of your life is so important.

See this post on self care for much more information.

Some tips on creating healthy sleep habits:

  • Avoid blue light or wear blue light blocking glasses
  • Make sure your room is dark and cool with proper humidity
  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day
  • Perform relaxing activities that calm the mind, avoid high drama or intense TV or conversations before bed
  • Write out your to-do list or journal your day before bed

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How To Reduce Hormonal Belly Fat And Stop Cortisol Weight Gain

Hormones and belly fat go hand in hand. Gone are the days when we thought only the consumption of junks was responsible for belly fat.

New flash!

It is obvious that your bodys hormones, especially the cortisol hormone, also contribute to weight gain. In order to lose belly fat, we must know how to reduce cortisol.

Given the relationship between cortisol and weight gain, its no wonder that various belly fat cortisol supplements have cropped up. Lets take a look at these supplements.

Is Weight Loss Due To Stress Dangerous

Reduce Stress and Lose Weight with This Tip

Stress is in principle not dangerous and of course, losing weight is not. However, there are scenarios where it can become dangerous. For example, suppose you have a chronic illness.

The combination of chronic stress and chronic illness can cause you to lose a lot of weight very quickly. In such a case it can be dangerous for your health and if possible it is, of course, better to prevent this.

As you read at the beginning of this blog, stress causes the hormone cortisol to be released. Normally this is broken down fairly quickly by the body and then there is nothing to worry about, but with chronic stress, the cortisol value in the blood is too high. Long-term exposure to too much cortisol can have negative health consequences.

For example, this can cause reduced sleep, fatigue, a weakened immune system, and a change in blood pressure. In normal cases, this is not dangerous, but you would still prefer a healthy cortisol level.

Also Check: How To Not Be Stressed All The Time

Learn To Control Your Stress Through Practice

Its easy to see how exercise and meditation can help you lower your stress levels so that you can get your body in better shape physically and mentally. However, actually putting it into practice is another matter altogether.

If you are looking for a practical way to deal with your stress without having to sign up for therapy sessions, we highly recommend The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook.

This comprehensive guide on stress relief was written by three renowned experts in the field Dr. Martha Davis , Dr. Matthew McKay , and clinical social worker Elizabeth Robbins Eshelman. It is a go-to resource by many therapists due to its abundance of stress reduction strategies and powerful relaxation techniques based on the latest research.

The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook has also been given The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Self-Help Seal of Merit, which is awarded to self-help books that teach the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy principles and use scientifically proven techniques to help people overcome their mental and emotional difficulties.

Weight Loss Tips: How To Loss Weight And Belly Fat Naturally

Apart from the listed supplements above that help to serve as cortisol and weight gain treatment, there are also some beneficial tips that you can make use of.

  • You must ensure that you do not skip meals. This is important in order to stabilize your blood sugar levels.
  • Consume adequate protein which will help to raise your metabolism.
  • You should also add foods that contain fiber and healthy fats into your diet. Some of these foods include kale, garlic, broccoli, lean proteins, and omega 3-rich flaxseed oil, among others.
  • It is advisable that you find a way to reduce the daily stress you go through.
  • Always get enough sleep at night. It is recommended that you get about 7-8 hours of quality sleep every night.
  • Lastly, always exercise regularly. This will help to burn calories, reduce the effect of stress, and boost your metabolism.

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Stress Less Sleep More

Have you ever wished for more hours of sleep, and a less stressful life in general? Most people have and that can be bad news for their weight.

Chronic stress may increase levels of stress hormones such as cortisol in your body. This can cause increased hunger and result in weight gain. If youre looking to lose weight, you should review possible ways to decrease or better handle excessive stress in your life. Although this often demands substantial changes, even altering small things such as posture may immediately affect your stress hormone levels, and perhaps your weight.

You should also make an effort to get enough good sleep, preferably every night. Strive to wake up refreshed of your own accord, independently of the alarm clock. If youre the kind of person who always gets brutally woken up by the alarm ringing, you might never be giving your body adequate rest.

One way to combat this is to go to bed early enough for your body to wake up autonomously before the alarm clock goes off. Letting yourself get a good nights sleep is another way of reducing stress hormone levels.

Sleep deprivation, on the other hand, comes hand in hand with sugar cravings. It also has an adverse effect on self-discipline and makes it painfully easy to give in to temptation . Similarly, sleep deprivation weakens your resolve to work out.

Hyperstimulation Can Lead To Gastrointestinal Distress

How To Lose Weight AND Reduce Stress | 3 Simple Steps

Your body slows digestion during the fight or flight response so it can focus on how to respond to the stressor.

This can lead to gastrointestinal discomfort, such as:

  • stomach pain

Chronic stress can amplify these symptoms and result in other underlying conditions, like irritable bowel syndrome.

These changes to your digestive system may cause you to eat less, subsequently losing weight.

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Losing Weight Through Stress Or Just The Opposite

Do you not lose weight from stress, but do you notice a weight gain? That too is possible. People are different from each other and each person reacts to stress in his or her own way.

Besides the fact that there are studies that show that you can lose weight through stress, there are also several extensive studies that show the opposite.

The height of your BMI has an influence

In 2009, the results of a study were published that examined the relationship between stress and BMI of 1,355 adult men and women. They used data from 9 years to arrive at the best possible conclusion.

It was concluded that especially people with a high BMI are more likely to gain weight due to stress. So if you have a low BMI and you also struggle with a lot of stress, you should run less risk of gaining weight.

So if you notice that you are losing weight due to stress, it seems likely that your BMI was not on the high side, to begin with.

Heres Why You Might Want To Focus Less On Counting Calories And More On Managing Stress If Youre 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 dont meal-plan as frequently, we skip workoutswhich only adds to our stress.

And if we are doing those things? Its 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.

Whenever you start to plateau, its a good idea to take a step back and see where you are in life. Sometimes the scale gets stuck even if youre 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. Lets say your boss is being a pain all day, and someone offers you a cupcake in the afternoonyoull 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 betterand cupcakes are an easy answer.

If youre chronically stressed, your self-control will repeatedly come under fire from any number of sources: traffic, spilled coffee, crossed signals over school pickup you name it.

Also Check: How Can You Stop Stressing Out

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