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Reducing Stress: The Key to Effective Weight Loss for Women

Stress and weight gain go hand in hand for many women, especially those in their 30s and 40s. When stress levels are high, our bodies produce more cortisol, a hormone that can wreck havoc on bodily systems, affecting our thyroid, gut, immune system and more (all of which contribute to metabolism function). This can also trigger cravings for sugary, fatty foods and cause us to store more fat, particularly in the abdominal area. Additionally, stress can interfere with our sleep and reduce our overall energy levels, making it harder to stick to a healthy diet and exercise routine.

Reducing Stress: The Key to Effective Weight Loss for Women

The connection between stress and weight gain is well documented, and research has shown that chronic stress can lead to weight gain and an increased risk of obesity. Cortisol, which is known as the “stress hormone,” is released in response to stress, and it affects our bodies in several ways that can contribute to weight gain. For example, cortisol stimulates the release of insulin, which promotes fat storage, and it also increases our appetite and cravings for high-calorie, high-fat foods.

Moreover, stress can interfere with our sleep, which can further impact weight loss efforts. Lack of sleep disrupts our circadian rhythms and metabolism by affecting melatonin and recovery, making us more susceptible to cravings, overeating, and a slower metabolism. Lack of proper recovery can impact hormonal responses and levels that we need to maintain balance within our body and affects the response of storing versus using calories for fuel.

 

So, how can women reduce stress to support their weight loss efforts? Here are some tips and strategies to get you started:

  1. Practice relaxation techniques: Meditation, deep breathing, yoga, or other relaxation techniques can help reduce stress and promote feelings of calm. Turning on your parasympathetic nervous system will help bring down the fight or flight response to help reduce inflammation and can overall help us to get closer to that homeostatic state our body craves.

  2. Exercise regularly: focusing mostly on strength or resistance training to help promote muscle growth and walking to help with overall daily fat burn. Not to mention exercise is a great way to reduce stress and boost endorphins, the body’s natural “feel-good” chemicals. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.

  3. Get enough sleep: Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night to support weight loss and reduce stress. Sleep helps recovery happen. This is also where detoxification of things in the liver really occur. If sleep is off, more than likely hormone levels and metabolism will be affected over time. Making it much harder for metabolism to function properly.

  4. Eat a healthy, balanced diet: Eating a diet rich in whole, nutrient-dense foods can help reduce stress, boost energy levels, and support weight loss. This means lean proteins, healthy fats to help hormonal health, and complex carbohydrates. Aim to have them at each meal.

  5. Connect with others: Spending time with friends, family, or a support group can help reduce stress and provide emotional support during your weight loss journey.

As we get older we have to think of workouts and lifestyle a bit differently. Take a step back and think about everything you have been through in your life, stress of all forms, illnesses, pregnancy and so much more. Those things over time can compound and leave our body in a state where we have hormonal imbalances, inflammation of all sorts, gut issues, autoimmune conditions and more… all of which will absolutely affect how our body uses and/or stores energy. 

So focusing on stress levels and improving those through various means (and understanding it is not an all or nothing approach) will have the BIGGEST impact overall.

If you feel like you are doing all the things with no results, do not give up! This CAN be turned around. 

We help clients daily address these issues

With the CCS Metabolic Fat Loss Method we work with women over 30 to help them CORRECT their metabolism, CREATE accelerated fat loss and SUSTAIN the results. We do this WITHOUT restriction or hours in the gym, and we get you feeling better than you ever have and in the best shape of your life (no matter your age!). Want to find out more? Inquire here.

We also offer free trainings on topics JUST like this every week inside our FREE Group- Join us!  – Check out below!

Stress and how it impacts your ENTIRE life

Stress and how it impacts your ENTIRE life

Life is stressful, ESPECIALLY now a days with our go go go society.

As a matter of fact you probably are stressed if you answer yes to any of the following questions :

Do you find yourself feeling tense in your neck and shoulders?

Do you get sick a lot?

Do you have unexplained weight gain?

Do you find yourself laying in bed at night not being able to sleep due to “everything on your mind”?

(Pretty sure every human has agreed with all of the above at some point) sooooo guess what…. you are stressed. Did you know that some studies show that most all illnesses are caused by stress?

 

HERE IS THE LOW DOWN:

When we are stressed out our inflammatory response in our bodies is elevated. Our adrenals release cortisol as they should BUTTT we never slow down enough to let those levels come down as they should. This leads to an entire host of problems down the line. See cortisol is basically a hormone that is released to help restore our bodies balance, but when elevated for too long, it causes a spike in glucose which causes an increase in insulin release in the blood, this leads to hunger, which can lead to over eating (just as one scenario).

Which leads me to……. Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic Syndrome is as stated on the Sciencedaily from a study from UCSF,  is a “cluster of abnormalities” , ranging from increased blood pressure, cholesterol, fat around the mid section, and high blood sugar. All of these can be triggered by chronic stress and the bodies response to it. All of these things increase ones risk to stroke, diabetes, and heart disease.

Most people tend to go towards high fat, high sugar foods when they are stressed for comfort, the bodies response to these things versus healthy foods can also through hormones off since they are processed and cause inflammation in the body, which again leads to stress on our systems.

So stress on our systems, what does that mean? I am referring to our systems like our immune system and digestive system.

Digestive System being my next topic…

It is getting more and more widely known that our “gut” is our second brain. This is because our gut and brain both communicate through each of their nervous systems (the gut being enteric and brain being central). Our immune system also lives primarily in our digestive system and when stressed doesn’t receive enough blood flow to function optimally. This is because our digestive system restricts blood flow to get our body into more of a fight or flight response and allow blood to other areas. This is why our stomachs can feel funky when we are about to go on stage or do something scary. The gut lining can also become more permeable do to stress factors leading to things like leaky gut (leaking proteins and other things into our body) which is now shown to have possible links to autoimmune issues.

 

What are some things you can do now to help lower stress levels??

Here are some things I recommend starting now:

 

    • Get enough sleep

      • This is huge in keeping hormones balanced, try to shut down every night around the same time. Get your body and sleep cycle into a routine and it will be easier to fall asleep each night regardless of what you have going on.
      • Try to add in some melatonin or take something for adrenal health if you have trouble actually turning your mind off. I also love Reishi powder from Four Sigmatic.

 

    • Take Deep Breaths

      • When you find yourself getting tense, slow down, take a minute and breathe in and out trying to engage your diaphragm, fill your stomach up with air vs. your chest. Allow your back to expand too. Do 5 or so deep breaths, then do it again.
    • Exercise (but make sure you get rest/recovery)

      • Working out not only lowers cortisol levels by helping maintain hormonal balance and a healthy weight, but it also releases endorphins (aka happy medicine from the body) :). You will feel better, and get those stress levels down. BUT overtraining can lead to just the opposite, so if you have a hard workout session then make sure you wait a day or so before doing it again. In the meantime do a not as intense workout like a brisk walk, yoga, etc the following day.

 

    • Eat the right foods

      • Things containing Omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium, and certain teas are all proven to reduce cortisol levels. So go for things like salmon, spinach, and green/black teas.
      • Supplements can also help- but food is best! If using supplements be sure to find ones that are certified organic and/or have certificates of how they are made.

 

    • Read

      • Relax and lose yourself in a good book or magazine.

 

    • Stretch/Meditate

      •  If you are an avid yogi, good for you! You’re probably already benefiting from less stress as they focus on the mind/body/breath connection as they do in meditation. Take some time for you if you are not, do something that relaxes you daily and if you can get yourself to learn meditation it is proven to help.

 

    • Manage Time Wisely

      • if you have an over packed schedule, learn to say no. You do not have to do everything everyone asks you to do. Yes certain things are priorities but you may need to reevaluate what is really important and what isn’t. If your health isn’t on that list…. make sure it is and change accordingly. If you do not have your health those other “priorities” will never happen.
      • Try using a habit tracker, sometimes just writing things down can make a difference, try one like this one.

 

    • Keep Moving In a Good Way

      • If you sit all day- get up 3x and take a walk for 10 minutes at a time, or 6x for 5 minutes… that will give you 30 minutes of walking a day. That can honestly be more beneficial than getting on a treadmill some days.
      • Take meetings outside- go for a walk while you talk.

 

Deep Breathing
Priorities

Any of these signs could indicate you are stressed! (and chances are you have more than one!)

So take action to help limit them- start those tips above.

Sress

Another reason stress is bad??

Some of the things that are mentioned in this post.

I hope this helped you have a batter understanding as to why you may be at a plateau. If you need help find someone who can help you come up with a plan. Stay accountable and keep trying, do not give up! Sometimes it takes longer than we like, but the biggest thing is to just keep changing and trying, be open to change and learn patience. You want to not only lose weight but create a healthy life to go along with it.

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