How Stress Prevents Weight Loss. A Simple Breakdown.
The body is very resourceful. You can exercise as much as you can and still not lose weight. How is this possible?!
Scientific-y terms aside, I'll break down the gist on why stress keeps you from losing weight and may even cause weight gain.
1. When your body receives a stressor (example- problems at work, unruly kids, trying to sell a home, unpaid bills, traffic jam, ect.), the brain releases hormones to prepare for "fight or flight".
2. Fight or flight means that your body feels threatened and that it needs to either, quite literally, fight someone or run away from them. So it's preparing for it!
3. Problem is, you didn't fight or run. Instead you're just sitting there being stressed out. Yet your body acts as if it did.
4. The hormones released causes blood sugar to drop making you need to eat something that is high in carbohydrates. Why carbs? Because it is a quick source of energy and your body thinks you've fought or ran and needs to replace that energy.
5. Because you didn't actually fight or run and you eat foods such as cake, cookies, pastries, chips, ice cream, ect., you are now eating more than your body actually needs.
6. Eating more than your body needs gets stored as fat.
7. Wash, rinse, and repeat.
So how do you break this cycle?
Find ways that aren't food related to relieve stress. Examples:
talking to someone
taking a break
see a therapist
Try one at a time and practice it often, even when you aren't stressed so that when stress happens, you'll be prepared. Find what works best for you! I tried three methods before I found what worked best for me.
Here are some additional useful resources: