I had a stressful week and the scale has not moved! Many clients come into my office complaining of just this predicament. A stressful week can wreak havoc on our weight loss goals but why is this? What is occurring in our body that is preventing the pounds from disappearing?
Cortisol, a hormone that many want to blame for this shift in thinking and eating habits can possibly be attributed to some of our weight gain during stressful times. The Mayo Clinic explains that Cortisol is a stress hormone that is released during stressful situations. When our brain perceives something as stressful Cortisol helps us either fight or flee from the situation. In our daily lives we are most likely not face with mortal danger but our brain interprets different situations as stressors and sends Cortisol to our rescue.
The research is mixed on what this surge in Cortisol on a daily basis will do but researchers at Columbia University explain that high Cortisol levels can increase appetite and also promote excess fat storage in the abdominal region. Researchers at the University of New Mexico also report that Cortisol encourages an increase in our Sugar and fat cravings. Whatever way you look at Cortisol definitely impacts our weight loss goals.
How do we cope with rising Cortisol levels? Start to look to relieve stress in your daily lives. One way to do this is exercise. Regular exercise about 30-60 minutes per day can not only help you burn calories but can also help you to manage stress, balance hormones and sleep better.There is a reason why we say to play 60. De-stress yourself, this can be accomplished by simple relaxation techniques and meditation. Enough sleep is also essential to help control your cortisol levels. If you are having trouble sleeping try some essential oils to aid in reaching your rem stage.
Stress is hard to avoid in our daily lives. Work, family and life in general can make it very difficult to live a stress free life. Try to manage your stressors as best you can to keep cortisol levels at bay. This will help you to achieve your weight loss goals.
If you would like to learn more please come join our discussion tomorrow at 5:30 for our weight loss support group at 159 Barnegat rd