Does Stress Affect Weight Loss
Stress, especially high levels of stress, can have a negative impact on your weight loss goals. It can affect your weight loss both directly, and indirectly. Understanding how stress affects your body and recognizing your stress triggers can aid you in achieving your weight loss goals.
First, high levels of stress cause the body to under go a variety of hormonal changes. These changes include releasing both adrenaline and cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that will increase your appetite and cravings for fatty and sugary foods. In addition, fatty and sugary foods promote a gain in belly fat. Studies show that an increase in stress level is linked to an increase in fat storage in the body and consequently and increase in weight gain. Therefore, the less you stress the better success you will have with your weight program.
It should also be noted that high cortisol levels cause an elevation in your blood glucose and blood pressure and can trigger fatigue. In addition, high levels of cortisol attack muscle mass which slows your metabolism. Metabolism is the process that converts food into energy. So, slowing your metabolism means that it will take longer to convert the foods you have eaten and will cause a reduction in your energy level.
Stress also plays a role indirectly in affecting your goals. Because of high stress levels you are more likely to get inadequate amounts of sleep, to make poor food choices, and to get less exercise. Each of these areas play a key role in your weight loss program. As each area is affected it compounds the way the other areas are affected. Therefore, creating a domino affect. As this occurs it becomes harder and harder to stick with your plan and your mind begins to build barriers to your goals.
These mental barriers are important to address as soon as possible. The sooner you can reduce them the easier it will be to achieve your goals. Therefore, you should identify your stress triggers by finding the root of your tension. Then, work on stress management, getting adequate sleep, healthy eating choices, and getting plenty of exercise. After all these are the keys to achieving your weight loss goals. If high levels of stress are common for you consider consulting a doctor.
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