Has your weight loss stalled? This could be why

THINK BETTER | by TIM ROBARDS | 24 Oct '17

If you're someone who is spending hours at the gym, eating well and still not seeing results, it's likely STRESS could be whats standing in your way

Unfortunately for most of us, stress is something we face in one way or another - whether it be work, family, friends even exercise related it’s important that we learn how to manage it. If you’re someone who puts in the hours at the gym, is diligent with your sleep routine and you make sure you're fueling your body correctly but you are finding that your weight still isn’t budging, it’s highly likely that it’s your stress levels that are standing in the way.

To not only change your body’s composition but also achieve clearer skin and eyes, shiny hair and a healthy summer glow, it’s just as important that your hormonal system is balanced and any external stressors in your daily life are under control. 

By reducing stress in your daily life, you will help to reduce cortisol (this is your stress hormone). If your cortisol is out of whack it can be responsible for weight gain, sleep deprivation, immunity dysfunction and problems with the body’s anti-inflammatory process. It can also increase risk of depression, mental illness and a lower life expectancy.

We are constantly exposed to a combination of work stress, biochemical stress and physical stress which can be a recipe for disaster. We are however very equipped to handle stressful situations, it’s just a matter of differentiating between everyday stress and acute survival mode stress. Ongoing, chronic stress is the type that will increase cortisol levels. 

Here are some things I’d recommend you try and help manage stress levels, reduce anxiety and lower your cortisol:

  1. Evaluate what stressors you can get rid of straight away - write these in a journal as a reminder that it's them you need to overcome
  2. Practice saying ‘No’ more often
  3. 5 - 10 minutes of daily meditation or mindful breathing (If you are new to the meditation practice, apps such as Headspace and Insight Timer are a great start) 
  4. Vitamin D! But always be sure Slip, Slop, Slap before doing so
  5. Take up yoga once or twice a week
  6. Focus on getting into regular sleep patterns
  7. Drink plenty of H20
  8. Make sure you take a lunch break away from your desk
  9. Practice ‘mindfulness’ - focus on one task at a time and being present (tick it off before moving onto the next). This will limit the chatter in your head which is what feels like you’re trying to have a conversation in a busy cafe with 10 other conversations going on around you
  10. Feeling confident in your own skin is important and comes with restoring balance in your life.
  11. My triad of health; Eat smart, Move right, Think better’ 

It’s important that you’re doing whatever you need to do to give back to yourself. You know how much effort you put into working hard? Reciprocate it with a focus on relaxation. It’s just as important for survival.

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