Weight Loss Plateau Series: Stress

October 19, 2017

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In all my years of dealing with clients, I’ve had my fair share experience of working with people experiencing weight loss plateaus or even weight gains in spite of implementing the right exercise regimen and a healthy diet. The key to not being completely frustrated with the lack of progress is to understand how other factors of your lifestyle could be affecting your body.

The biggest lifestyle elements that could be affecting your body’s ability to lose weight are Stress, Sleep, and Intensity of Exercise. This weight loss plateau series will explore each of these factors from why they affect your body to how you can cope.

Let’s start with Stress.

We all know that stress is bad for our minds but not many understand how stress can directly affect our bodies. When stress becomes chronic, our bodies over-release a hormone called cortisol. This hormonal imbalance leads to a number of negative reactions in our bodies, including:

  • Sugar cravings
  • Inability to burn fat effectively
  • Increase of belly and liver fat
  • Increased overall rate of fat storage
  • High levels of fatty acids and triglycerides in the bloodstream

So many people think of stress as being purely psychological. Reasons could be a stressful job, a bad relationship, or even small daily stressors like being stuck in traffic. There are, however, a number of other stressors that we don’t realize are more physiological than mental. Examples of “body-stressors” include:

  • Inflammation: due to diet or chronic infection
  • Too much exercise without proper recovery
  • Extreme dieting

For physiological stressors, it’s essential to recognize when you might be pushing your body too far in terms of diet or exercise.

Are you feeling under-recovered from your workouts? Or you’re losing strength or not seeing gains like you’d like to?

Are you moody?

Are you losing your appetite?

Are you finding yourself with little aches or pains, or even injuries?  

So try doing something that we fail to do a lot of times: LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! Take note of when you feel your anger rising or blood pressure spiking.  Take note of if you’re constantly sore, or tired, or more moody than normal.  Try working on some coping mechanisms (take a walk, take a rest day or personal day, get a massage, switch to another task, think of something positive, meditate, etc.) to ensure that the stress doesn’t linger.  Our bodies talk a lot of times…we just need to do a better job of listening! Believe it or not, de-stressing might be the key to your dream body

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