Stress and Weight


Most of us understand that stress is a large factor in weight gain. Few of us understand why or even how to control the effects of stress on our waistlines.   Image

Your body responds to all stress—physical or psychological—in exactly the same way. So every time you have a stressful day, your brain acts as though you’re in physical danger and instructs your cells to release potent hormones. You get a burst of adrenaline, which taps stored energy so you can fight or flee. At the same time, you get a surge of cortisol, which tells your body to replenish that energy even though you haven’t used very many calories in your stressed-out state. This can make you hungry… very hungry. And your body keeps on pumping out that cortisol as long as the stress continues. 

Now, I know you’re thinking, there has to be a way to trick my body into turning off the cortisol.  You’re in luck.  Cortisol reacts to mood changes.  Lift your mood and the cortisol levels drop significantly.  So while you may not be able to reduce the stresses in your life, you can change your attitude and cut cortisol weight gain off at the pass.

Here’s 10 suggestions on how to “Stop” the stress release of Cortisol

1.  Drop and give me 10 – Exercise is an automatic mood enhancer.

2. Crank it up – Music will change your mood quickly…just be sure you choose music that makes you feel upbeat or happy and avoid angry or sad songs

3. Don’t gobble – Slow down your meal consumption.  Focusing on taste, texture, and when you begin to feel satisfied will help you eat less and gives you a chance to enjoy the meal.

4. Stop strict dieting – Avoid any dieting.  It is much better to eat healthy amounts, portions, and varieties of food to control weight than it is to resort to pills, powders, or other such “weight loss tricks”.

5. Curtail caffeine – Caffeine actually  encourages depression and hunger AND raises cortisol levels.

6. Power up breakfast – It really is the most important meal of the day and should include fiber, protein, healthy fats, and at least one serving of fruit and one serving of veggies. A healthy breakfast will provide your body with the nutrients it needs to elevate your mood all day.

7. Sleep it off – Lack of sufficient sleep just feeds stress levels.  Proper amounts of sleep elevate the mood and help your body control stress better.

8. Work it out – No one can stay upset during a great massage. The tissue manipulation helps increase happy endorphins, thus improving your mood.

9. Give in a little – It’s all about chocolate. A little bit of dark chocolate will significantly raise the hormones that dictate mood.

10. Go for pleasure – It’s true. Sexual intercourse elevates mood and makes us feel good, loved, and secure. Find your partner and let nature raise your mood.






About leisatwatkins

In May 2011, I hit an all time low in my life and an all time high in my weight. I was 199 pounds and the idea of hitting 200 scared me. I had tried every known diet, HCG, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Atkins, the grapefruit diet. I'd even tried Phen-phen when I was younger and Dexatrim before that. While I'd lose a little weight, I would always gain it back and then more. I knew the yo-yo dieting was not healthy for my body and it was definitely wreaking havoc on my mental wellness. I didn't know what to do and I was looking into taking drastic surgical measures to lose weight. That's when a friend of mine told me his story about losing over 200 pounds without pills, surgery, or starving himself. Not only did he lose the weight, but he kept it off. What did I have to lose? I asked him to share the secret with me. Now, only six short months later, I weigh 140 lbs and am working on losing 5 more. That will put me back to my weight that I was in HS, college, and before I had children. And I've done it with my friend's help as my Health Coach, without starving or even exercising, although I love to walk everyday. I haven't felt hungry at all in this process. How many "diets" can say that? I feel fantastic! I've felt great since the first week on this program. Let me be very clear about this. This is NOT a diet. This is not something you do for a little while, lose the weight, then go back to your old eating habits. This program is a life changing plan to help you eat healthier, make food choices that are tailored to your body, and bring you to a state of optimal physical health. If like me, you are tired of diets that don't work, then let me show you a life style plan that does.

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