All of us have struggles and those struggles could result in stress. If you are currently struggling with weight-loss, your stress may be one reason why you can’t seem to get those last few pounds off or see any results from your healthy diet and exercise routine.
How does this happen? Stress stimulates our “flight-or-fight” response, which in turn, signal¬† your adrenal glands to release three hormones: norepinephrine, epinephrine (also known as adrenaline), and cortisol. While the “original design” is supposed to be a short-term response, our hectic, busy lives are full of¬†stress and¬†we are constantly in this response mode and then¬†build-up cortisol in the body. Being unable to rid the body of excess cortisol,¬†young fat cells turn into mature fat cells that stick with you forever, and increase your cravings for high-fat, high-carb foods. Giving in to the cravings,¬†your body releases a cascade of rewarding brain chemicals that can set up an addictive relationship with food ‚Äî you stress, you eat.
Breaking the cycle can be tough! Working on a deadline, you may find yourself reaching for something sweet and easy – only to find you have gone through a whole bag of your favorite candy without realizing it. Busy day full of appointments, you stop at a drive-thru and eat food that isn’t that nutritious and a soda – and then you are sluggish the rest of the day. Or insert your own stressful situation and solution here and you’ll realize that maybe you are eating in reaction to stress more often than you realized.
How can you fix it? It sounds counter-productive to add in one more thing to an already busy life, but finding time to meditate, pray, practice yoga or Tai Chi, knit or crochet, read a book, listen to music or whatever you need to have some time to unwind and relax can actually BOOST your metabolism and help you be more productive.
Whatever you find relaxing, try to daily take your “me time” and unwind!