Stress and its Impact on Weight Loss

Stress and its Impact on Weight Loss

Stress is something which, in this day and age, is virtually unavoidable. We all suffer with stress from time to time, yet some of us experience it more severely than others, and find it hard to escape. Stress can lead to a whole variety of different health issues ranging from migraines to heart attacks, and everything in between. If you’re looking to lose weight, no doubt you’ll have found that stress can have a negative impact on your progress. But precisely how does stress affect us when trying to lose weight? Let’s find out, shall we? Here’s a look at stress and its impact on weight loss.

Stress and your hormones

Unless you’re the world’s luckiest person, there’s a strong chance that you’ll have experienced stress in your life. When you’ve had a bad day, the last thing you want to do is sit down and tuck into a plate of food that you don’t enjoy eating. When you’re stressed, you’ll likely crave unhealthy junk food. But why does stress cause us to crave junk and foods that we know we cannot eat? Well, it all comes down to your hormones. To begin with, when you’re stressed, you’ll secrete a stress hormone known as cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone which has been found to suppress the metabolism, and to actually promote the storage of visceral belly fat. So, the more stressed that you are, the slower your metabolism will be, and the more fat you will store around your belly. There is also evidence which points to the fact that stress can influence the human brain’s reward centres, such as the hippocampus, which may cause you to crave unhealthy foods that elicit an emotional response in the brain. Basically, when stressed, you’re more likely to crave unhealthy foods that make you feel good, I.E chocolate, which promotes the production of dopamine. Yoga Flow

Stress and your energy levels

As previously mentioned, hormones such as cortisol can have a negative impact on your metabolism. They basically slow it down and cause it to run slower. If it runs slower, you’ll burn off fewer calories, you’ll store weight easier, and you’ll have less energy. All of these things are not conducive in the slightest, when it comes to losing weight. Exercise and physical exertion are very important for people looking to lose weight, because the more energy you have, the harder you’ll work when training. A slow metabolism means less energy, and less energy means less physical activity. Personal Training Canberra

Stress and sleep

To make matters worse, stress is notorious for keeping people up at night. When people are stressed and have a lot on their minds, sleep is something which often evades them. A lack of sleep can sap your energy and motivation levels which will make it extremely difficult to exercise. As you probably know, a lack of sleep makes it very difficult to exercise and even if you are able to motivate yourself to train, your energy levels will be low, so you won’t be as productive. On top of that, a lack of sleep can also result in an increase in cortisol production, and we’ve already mentioned how that can affect you and your weight.