THE 1 TRUE REASON
YOU CAN’T LOSE WEIGHT,
NOR KEEP IT OFF?
What causes stress?
|* lack of sleep||* financial pressure||* poor self image||* poor nutrition|
|* work||* smoking / alcohol||* family / partner issues||* lack of ‘switching off’ / relax|
|*over-training||* under-eating||* illness / injury||* bullying & social media|
When we’re stressed we skip meals, don’t sleep, under/over-eat, under/over-train, develop mood disorders and our insulin sores ..and the body responds in fat-gain. It’s now in ‘survival mode’ prepared to survive a drought of food and danger.
When you’re stressed, your body releases a low-grade adrenaline called Cortisol. And how often are you stressed? Too often, if not always!
In healthy doses, stress hormones ie. cortisol, are crucial for building muscle mass and mobilising stored body fat back to the bloodstream to be burnt off.
However chronically elevated stress levels reap havoc on our bodies, ie:
* Poor Nitrogen Balance: muscle growth V muscle loss.
(aka you can’t build muscle if you’re stressed)
* Poor Thyroid Function: low thyroid levels cause lower Basal Metabolic Rate.
(aka you can’t burn fat if you’re stressed)
* Poor Mental Health ie. low resilience, depression and addiction: stress affects the body’s development of neurotransmitters, which dictate our mood, hence our actions.
(aka you can’t feel happy when you’re stressed)
So how exactly does chronic stress create damage aka. fat-gain?
Through our Blood Sugar Balance: Our blood sugar is balanced by 2 hormones,
1) Insulin (moves glucose out of blood into cells) and
2) Glucagon (draws glucose out of cells into blood as necessary).
Carbs spike insulin (dropping glucagon), whilst dietary fats lift glucagon (dropping insulin).
If cortisol gets elevated, so does our blood glucose. When blood sugar rises we have an ‘energy high’, and the quicker it gets spiked (eg. sugar and refined carbs like bread), the quicker it drops ‘energy crash’.
When blood glucose rises our body releases insulin to bring blood glucose levels back down. Put simple:
Cortisol and Insulin cannot be in the bloodstream at the same time:
1. We feel stressed = cortisol rises
2. Cortisol then spikes our blood glucose
3. Our body then craves sugar to quickly release insulin, so it can bring blood glucose levels back down.
4. We now feel momentarily happy or eased.
Okay cool then what happens?
5. Insulin stores glucose first in the a) Muscle, then b) Liver, then c) FAT CELL!!!
Excessive insulin spiking (eg. diets high in sugar and refined carbohydrates) leads to poor insulin sensitivity.
Poor insulin sensitivity and blood sugar balance directly result in fat-gain, fatigue, drowsiness, irritability, poor mood, sweet cravings, headaches, nervousness & anxiety.
You now feel down, have gained body fat AND keep craving carbs more and more!!
Thats horrid! and how does stress affect our mood?
Neurotransmitters. These are our brain chemicals, they depict our brain function and mood, hence our decision making, hence our actions!
You have a) Calming brain chemicals and b) Excitatory brain chemicals.
Serotonin is our ‘happy’ calming brain chemical.
- It is essential to fat-loss and plays a huge role mental health, particularly depression.
- Low serotonin > negatively affects our mood & enjoyment > make bad food choices and poor life decisions.
- Low serotonin > disrupts our sleep hormones, particularly melatonin > poor sleep.
- Poor sleep > leptin levels decrease > leptin keeps up full, so now we’re never feeling full or satisfied
- Poor sleep > raises ghrelin > ghrelin is our hunger hormone, so now we’re feeling hungry all the time.
Dopamine is our ‘brain speed’, concentration & coordination (excitatory) brain chemical.
- It is essential to our cognitive function, alertness, concentration, brain speed, mind to body connection, controlling the movements our bodies make, and our emotional response.
- Dopamine is raised by high quality meats and nuts, and should be the first thing you put in your mouth in the morning.
- Dopamine is raised by coffee. However limit your daily intake, as too much caffeine = too much dopamine = too little serotonin
Stress has now impacted our mood, sleep and hunger levels.. DISASTER!!
Okay so what is the damn solution to lowering stress??
I feel you! it’s SO hard. We live in a world always rushing, trying to make money to survive the forever rising cost of living, and forever rising standard or ‘beauty’.
But at what cost do you sell your happiness? Do you say ‘yes’ to overtime and extra files when you should say no? Do you skip lunch to keep working? Do you even see the sunlight during your 8-10 hour work day?
These are all decisions you make… and can un-make.
How to relieve stress at work:
|* Daily to-do list 3 tasks MAX||* Say NO to tasks you know should||* Take lunch break OUTSIDE|
|* Pre-prep / buy lunchbox meals||* Do ONE task at a time||* Delete social media off phone|
|* avoid workplace gossip||* sit near / spend time in fresh air & sunlight||* reach out & ask for help|
How to relieve stress outside work:
|* breathing techniques||* meditation||* quality (unbroken) sleep||* Yoga|
|* Slow walks||* Reading||* Guided meditation apps eg. HeadSpace||* Massage|
|* Stretching||* Money-manage||* Time-manage (pre-planning!)||* Holidays / fun!|
|* Communication||* Write a journal||* Do MORE of what makes you happy||* Care a pet|
|* quality family time||* date night||* Write & complete ‘Job List’||* comedy show / films|
|* play sport||* workout||* dance, sing, write, play!||* bath & candles|
So there you have it. Stress is the 1 True Reason you can’t lose fat, nor keep it off.
If you can lower your stress levels, you will gain the ability to improve your body fat composition, mood, productivity, sleep health and overall quality of life!