Stress: The Enemy of Weight Loss
A chemical messenger of the central nervous system, Serotonin exerts a powerful influence on – and hold on tight – mood, emotions, memory, cravings (specifically, carb-related munchies), self-esteem, pain tolerance, sleep habits, appetite, digestion, and internal temperature regulation. You know, not that much.
The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that depression and anxiety will soon become the most common illnesses affecting adults. What does this have to do with serotonin, you might ask? Well, when you feel depressed, your body will want to eat more sugars to produce the serotonin it needs. But, one thing leads to another – because of the number of cases of anxiety and depression increasing throughout the world, people will eat more and more sugar and will be, as a consequence, more and more cases of obesity and individuals who are overweight.
As you’ll see, our current society is making it such that more and more people have low serotonin levels. Chronic stress and uncontrolled multitasking are two main examples of this.
How do we increase our serotonin production?
For adequate serotonin production, these 4 elements are crucial:
Hormones control our ability to lose weight. Unbalanced hormones keep you from achieving your dream body. So, we must identify the cause of this hormone imbalance (excessive stress, lacking sleep, etc.) if you wish to find a long-lasting solution to your fat-loss challenges
Tips to reduce your daily stress
In temporary stress episodes, adrenaline is released, and it draws on your fat reserves to provide energy. This is by definitely one of the better things to happen!
But, when intense stress is prolonged, your stress hormone “cortisol” forces your body to break down muscle proteins to release free amino acids. Over the long term, this muscular attack leads to the breakdown of actual muscle tissue – tissues that are fundamental to our ability to speed up our metabolism and burn calories more efficiently. Plus, you’ll end up gaining fat, particularly around the abdomen.
Furthermore, when you produce too much cortisol, your body will increase its levels of insulin. An elevated insulin level will cause sugar cravings, fatigue after carb consumption, elevated triglycerides (stockpiling fats), hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), retention of fat along the waist, etc. A bunch of things you don’t really want.
Good news: There exists a metric ton of tricks to reduce your stress !
Here’s a few:
- Walk 3-4 times per week without any phones (100% exposed to nature) for a duration of 20 minutes;
- Reduce exposure to blue light (cell phone, computers, TVs) in the evening
- Get rid of junk food (anything processed)
- Make water your beverage of choice at all times
Cortisol remains an outstanding ally, but like the rest of our hormones, when excess and long-term merge, an imbalance is triggered and many symptoms surface.
5 Tricks to reduce your stress at work
Nowadays, stress and work go hand in hand.
A recent survey conducted by the American Institute of Stress revealed that more than 80% of Americans find at least one aspect of their work to be stressing.
While a number of factors that contribute to work-related stress are out of your control, many daily habits can make our work days even more stressful.
Here are 5 good habits to take up to bring down your workplace stress :
- Stop Procrastinating
Waiting until the last minute to do something does nothing but make people more irritable. Studies show that those who procrastinate have higher levels of stress , lower levels of performance and show an overall reduction in general well-being than those who immediately tackle a task.
The best way to fight procrastination is to just start working. Even if haven’t finished what you started, just getting started makes getting something done less daunting. If you push everything to the last minute, it’s certain that your stress will be elevated, not to mention that you leave yourself little room for errors or revision.
- STOP Being Negative
Thinking negatively and complaining about work, your colleagues or your boss make your job more difficult. This affects your potential and that of those who surround you. Regardless of the situation, don’t give too much attention to the negative, otherwise you will be demotivated and emptied of energy.
Each night, note 2 or 3 positive things that happened during the day. Recognize your achievements, even little ones! It will go a long way to boosting your confidence.
- Stop trying to control everything
Many things are out of your control at work. For example, the behaviour of those around you. You don’t power over them!
Focus on the things you can control. For example, your reaction to a problem, your influence on others, etc. Put emphasis on solutions rather than problems.
- Admit to your mistakes
If you aren’t sure about what your boss asked you to do, tell them you don’t understand. Having the confidence needed to say you don’t know how to manage the given task is a sign of strength, not weakness. You’ll also avoid mistakes, embarrassment, and most of all – the stress of having to start over.
- Social Media at work: the least possible
Social media has its advantages: evidence show’s that they can strengthen peer relationships and make you more aware of your health.
But, the overuse of social media can leave us feeling disconnected, alone and stressed. It is also easy to become dependent on smart phone use. To break this connection, limit your use of social media to certain hours of the day and instead use this time to talk with friends and family
And finally: BE ZEN! Stress is the enemy of your fat loss goals.
Get yourself some good R and R!