How Stress Sabotages Your Weight Loss Goals

Posted On Friday, 09 March 2018
How Stress Sabotages Your Weight Loss Goals

The idea of weight loss is bound to make anybody stressed, but did you know stress is the most overlooked factor that negatively impacts your weight loss goals?

Regardless if you follow a strict workout regime and eat healthily, stress can diminish their results in conjunction with negatively impacting your physical and emotional well-being.

If you are having trouble losing weight or seemed always to gain it back, perhaps the answer lies in stress!

This is how stress sabotages your weight loss goals:

1) Upsets Your Digestive System

First and foremost, stress directly affects the digestive system by inducing multiple issues such as indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, and even bloating -- all of which make consuming and processing food difficult. Also, stress reduces the body’s sensitivity to the hormone leptin, which signals the brain as to whether or not you still need to satisfy an appetite. As a result, stress can lead to overeating and even inducing more cravings. You may find yourself suddenly taking an extra cheat day or eating too much sugar which can become a serious problem if you begin to treat comfort food as a coping mechanism for stress. Cortisol also spikes your insulin levels, putting you at risk for experiencing a blood sugar drop.

2) Disrupts Thyroid Functions

Thyroid functions are directly related to your metabolism. If stress floods the thyroid with excess cortisol and adrenaline, you will experience additional and unwanted weight gain. Our bodies have specific receptors encompassing the abdominal area. The number-one way stress manifests itself is in the fat cells within those places since the body naturally stores them. Fat is deposited there thanks to the poor metabolic function suffering from the body’s physical reaction to stress. In other words, proper organ functions become less receptive and instead suffer inflammation.

3) Impacts Sleep Schedule

The worst thing in combination with stress is a lack of sleep. If stress is keeping you up at night, you prevent your body from repairing and rebuilding itself. Without sleep, you can never fully recover or rest from a previous day’s activities or workouts. Consequently, this leads to additional fatigue, which triggers depressive symptoms, lowers libido, and drains your energy. All these factors reduce your motivation to hit the gym and keep up with a diet. What’s worse is that a lack of sleep can amplify stress, making you feel it’s much worse and overwhelming.

4) Takes a Toll on Your Mental Health

No one can properly function if stress is taking over every part of their life. If you’re focused on the elements that cause you stress, anything else will automatically be put on the back burner. However, you can diminish your anxiety despite its overwhelming influence. Multiple healthy coping mechanisms can combat stress, such as meditation or journaling. You need to implement one that genuinely helps you. Another path to take is removing stressful factors from your life that are within your control. Prioritize the most important things first, one of which should be self-care, and take steps to remove additional factors or learn how to react to them in a healthier way.

At the end of the day, the most important thing you need to be aware of constantly is the amount of stress being experienced in your life in the present moment. Not only does losing weight become more difficult thanks to stress, but your entire body also suffers consequences as well.

While stress is inevitable in life, it should never completely take it over. The next time you tackle accomplishing weight loss goals, make sure you also have the appropriate tools to handle stress to keep your mind and body emotionally sound.

Trevor McDonald

Trevor McDonald is a freelance writer and recovering addict and alcoholic who has been clean and sober for over five years. Since his recovery began, he has enjoyed using his talent for words to help spread treatment resources and addiction awareness. In his free time, you can find him working with recovering addicts or outside enjoying about any type of fitness activity imaginable.

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