With the busyness of work schedules, children and pets, keeping up the house and maybe even having a social life, it can be “easy” to go-go-go. From the moment of waking up until collapse, there’s always something else to do.
While it all seems necessary and very important, your superhero actions could actually be hindering your weight loss or maintenance.
You’ve likely heard the word stress and can quickly conjure up an image of someone sitting at their desk, pulling out their hair or you picture yourself trying to get one child to soccer, another to ballet and the third to stop crying.
Stress of any form ignites the fight/flight response in our bodies, causing a raise in the very important hormone, cortisol. Cortisol is important for keeping inflammation down, managing our blood pressure and controlling blood sugar. When our bodies sense stress, they release more cortisol causing a variety of issues including fat gain, high blood sugar, a reduced metabolism, low libido and inflammation.
Stress isn’t just that feeling you get when you don’t know what to do anymore. It actually takes on many forms and all of them can be detrimental to your health. Stress can be caused by dieting, exercising, not sleeping enough for your body, work, money, social situations and a variety of other things.
Even though it may not seem possible, you can keep your cortisol levels managed and your stress at bay without quitting your job and winning the lottery.
Try introducing one or two self-care techniques such as meditation, journaling or calm breathing which can help you to reduce your stress by placing focus on other things. These are slow processes that have long-term effects on stress management. Learning how to do them and being consistent will help you to be healthier both immediately and overtime.
Hitting the pillow a little earlier can also help reduce your stress. A lack of sleep bumps your cortisol into overdrive, while sleeping helps to relax you. If you have trouble falling asleep because you’re too busy thinking, that signals your stress level is affecting your recovery. Try making bedtime more of a calming routine: take some time to get ready for bed, use some essential oils on the pillow for a calming scent and try putting on some relaxing sounds to help you fall asleep.
If you’re dieting to lose weight, your diet might be causing your body more stress than it can handle leaving you with some yo-yo-ing results. If you haven’t sought out the advice of a professional, try having them set up a diet for you or take periodic diet breaks to help your body regulate and get on the path you’re looking for.
Whatever type of stressors you’re experiencing, try to make them as temporary as possible and think of the good things: your body will thank you for it.