5 Tips to Reduce Stress & Promote Weight Loss
Written by: Beth Rzendzian BS, CPT, NC - EverFit Personal Training
If you’ve been trying to eat right to lose weight, but haven’t seen the results you’re after it might be time to check your stress levels. Many of my clients that have plateaued do not understand the affects that stress plays on fat metabolism in the body. Stress, if left to its own devices, can harm your chances of successfully shedding pounds and reaching your goals. It can also cause a host of other problems you don’t want to deal with!
So, why is stress a roadblock for weight loss?
Stress in and of itself isn’t a bad thing. It’s a perfectly natural response to the world around you. A matter of fact without stress on the body muscles and bones do not respond by growing stronger. When daily stresses are allowed to build up, however, they can take a serious toll on the body. Stress can interfere with normal eating habits, drinking habits, it can cause physical symptoms, such as stomach pains, and it can even increase chemical levels in the body that get in the way of weight loss. As many people know, stress can also promote binge eating habits, as well.
Fortunately, there are fantastic ways to reduce stress naturally and help your weight loss efforts in the process. Taking the right measures to lessen the impacts of stress can improve your health, your attitude and even your next weigh in.
How can you effectively battle stress and your waistline bulge at the same time? Try these simple, but very effective measures:
- Get active – Exercise is one of the most effective ways to reduce the toll stress can take on the body. When you get up and get moving, your body will respond positively. Not only will you help yourself lessen stress, but exercise will also aid with weight loss. Work with a personal trainer or talk to the pros at your gym for assistance in creating an exercise program that fights stress and promotes weight loss.
- Get some sleep – Making sure the body is properly rested is an essential key in the fight against stress. When people are stressed out, they tend to sleep less. This, in turn, can lead to irritability and even more stress. Work on getting at least seven to eight hours a night. Exercising can help make this goal reality. Start by turning off all electronics 30 minutes before bedtime. Sit quietly, take a warm bath or shower, keep the lights low. This is a great way to start to calm down the mind and get ready for sleep.
- Meditate – You don’t have to go to a yoga class or read tomes of books to gain the basic benefits of meditation. Just learn some very simple deep-breathing techniques and give yourself a few minutes a day to practice them. Clear your mind, breathe in deeply, relax and let go of the tension you’re holding. When this is combined with other efforts – exercise and rest – the positive impacts can really shine. I have been known to record meditations for my clients as it helps to be guided through a meditation. My favorite site to get some great meditations is Inner Health Studio.com/ Deepak Chopra is another world renowned source for meditation learning.
- Eat right – Proper nutrition is also important not only for weight loss, but also stress reduction. Steer clear of caffeine. Eat your fruits and vegetables. Avoid fried foods. Before long, you’ll feel better about yourself and it will show in your weight loss efforts.
- Fill Up Your Happiness Tank - As Brian Johnson in his book A Philosopher's Notes stated brilliantly, "fill up your happiness tank before it runs empty!" You wouldn't let your car's gas tank run empty would you? No, or you would end up on the side of the road, stranded and cranky. Treat yourself and your body the same way. Fill it up before you end up sick in bed, in the hospital, or have a big belly. Write down a list of activities that "fill you up" everyday. Dance, go for a run, bike ride, read a favorite book, make a new healthy and flavorful recipe, play with your pet, take your kids out to the park . .. . Insert Your Favorite "fill you up" activity HERE ____________. Avoid numbing activities that waste time and are harmful like drinking alcohol, eating unhealthy food, binging, watching more TV. and surfing aimlessly on the net. Choose activities you enjoy and fill you up and inspire you.
Stress has been linked with heart disease, stomach ailments, heart attacks and more. It can also throw a monkey wrench in your weight loss plans. Learn to ease it naturally to get on the right path for shedding pounds. Your personal trainer or the professionals at your local gym can help you establish an effective stress-reduction plan. Just ask them!
Author: Beth Rzendzian Owner & Personal Trainer EverFit Personal Training - www.everfitfitness.com