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How stress affects your weight loss results


Stress is an everyday reality for millions of people around the world. Are bodies are hardwired to reaction to signs of danger – a fight or flight response – that pumps adrenaline through our body and makes use of stored energy so you can bid a hasty retreat.


But in civilised society we’re no longer fending off animals of the wild, and our bodies’ response to stress is often disproportionate to the danger we’re in.


When adrenaline is released, cortisol follows, which tells our brain to pack on calories so we can replace the calories we’re supposed to have burned during the fight or flight stage. The net result? We look for pleasure, often in the form of sugar, which gives the brain a feel-good kick. Added to this, cortisol slows the production of testosterone, the hormone that burns fat and produces muscle.


Put them all together, and you’ve got a recipe for overeating.


So, what are some of the ways we can reduce stress for the good of our minds and the good of our bodies? Here are four proven tactics.


  1. Meditate


Meditation is thought to have originated in Hindu cultures around 1500 BC. Today, it’s gaining widespread popularity in the west for its ability to control and calm the mind. The idea is to quieten your thinking and concentrate on your breath, centering you in the “present”. Once you get good at it, you’ll be able to effectively distance yourself from your thoughts and observe them like an outsider, which eliminates the temptation to have a knee-jerk emotional reaction to events in your day (i.e., a reaction that causes adrenaline to pump). A 15-minute session first thing in the morning can set you on the right course for the rest of the day, so find a recording on Youtube and give it a try.


  1. Sleep


Stress wreaks havoc on your body, and sleep is the best cure of all. Aim for at least 7 hours of sleep a night, and try to get 9. A lack of sleep can not only raise the levels of cortisol in your body, but ramps up your appetite as well.


  1. Minimize caffeine


Caffeine is particularly good at revving up your body’s engine, but when you’re predisposed to anxiousness, that’ll only give you the jitters further. Cut your caffeine intake to one cup a day if you can help it, and get by on decaf if you’re craving its taste. It’s also a good idea to eliminate those servings of sugar from your morning cup of Joe.


  1. Exercise


The benefits of exercise on the body are well documented, but the mental gains are just as important too. 30 minutes of exercise a day can not only lower stress in the here and now, but improve body and image confidence in the long run, helping you feel more at ease in your own skin.


author: Zone Fitness