I have a number of clients who are stressed out.
They, like a lot of us, have full lives & are trying to balance many things – it’s like the plate spinner at the circus- continually going around & around keeping each plate up, one wobbling and nearly falling, dashing to save & keep it spinning, only to see another going at the other end…. Does this sound familiar? Is this your life?
The way we handle & look at stress is different for all- for some they thrive on stress – that adrenalin fix- others crumble at the slightest change in circumstances. It’s like a teacup filled to the brim with all our stresses – both good and bad, we don’t want to spill anything but it can only take a minor upset, to let the tea poor out.
I’d like you to think of yourself & your stress right now. How do you handle stress? Do you play it down? Do you substitute another activity to mask its effects & make yourself feel better, ie, drinking alcohol & eating food that feeds the enjoyment centres of the brain?
Stress can be good for effective body function, but like everything too much & it begins to affect the way we function on many different levels. The body is trying to balance hormones all the time in a state of equilibrium- it’s a continual battle to adjust all chemicals to perform optimally.
One very interesting hormone which is affected by stress is Cortisol & it has a critical role in either you putting on fat or losing fat. It depends on how you & your body is at any one moment, & obviously many other interrelated factors. as to whether your body releases or stores fat.
What I would like you to consider is the effect stress has on your ability to effect either?! Chronically suppressed or elevated levels of Cortisol can reak havoc with what you are trying to achieve. Elevated stress levels & Cortisol can potentially cause cravings for sweet, salty, fatty foods- they can trigger short term reward centres in the brain- the craving brain.
So can you begin to see just some of the effects that chronic stress has on your ability to lose
body fat? So if you are struggling to lose body fat & cravings are hampering your path to a better physique & health – consider the powerful effects that de-stressing could have for you?!
So what should you do? What’s the answer? Here’s a few things that can lower cortisol;
Sleeping, power napping, resting, massage, mindful easy walking, laughter, meditation, loving/hugging/affection, hot baths, spas, etc.
Apart from those ‘chill axing’ pastimes, it’s also been suggested that herbal & green tea, eating protein, having Branch chain amino acids, whey protein, ginseng & (for you chocoholics) drinking cacao powder, could help reduce & balance adrenal stress & cortisol levels. I would suggest working with a good nutritionist for adding these to your daily diet.
As stated before, there’s so many interrelating factors affecting individual fat loss but it might help to know what else can elevate cortisol; alcohol, deprived sleep, prolonged moderate activity, immune responses, eating & missing meals, coffee,high intensity short duration exercise (more on this in my next blogs as there’s more too this!!)
So if you take anything home from this blog , it’s this;
‘take time out from your plate spinning & your body will thank you!’