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Being goal directed towards a certain type of body can cause us a lot of stress. There are so many roadblocks on the path to burning fat and getting that body you want. It’s unavoidable to think you can skip or not be affected by them.
Simply put: Obstacles are a fact of life.
With these roadblocks, stress is naturally going to occur. This stress will be on top of all the other daily stresses that you deal with… including unexpected stresses.
When was the last time you felt overwhelmed with stress? Was it this week?
Why Stress Helps Your Body Store Fat:
1. Hormone Imbalance:
When you begin to stress out, your cortisol levels start to rise. Your fat cells, mainly around your belly and intestines, contain more of an enzyme for cortisol conversion. However, because of these receptors it essentially switches your body into a fat storage mode.
Relaxing and controlling stress are the only real ways to control cortisol. It’s not always a bad thing, but if you can keep yourself from stressful situations – even if they are only in a movie – then that will help.
2. Sugar & Sweats:
During periods of high stress, most women tend to crave sweets and foods high in refined carbs. Why?
It’s simple really. With these foods, there is a direct release of dopamine, the pleasure hormone which can help you feel better. It’s just that little jolt of pleasure your seeking. However, getting that little jolt is increasing your calorie count and spiking your blood sugar too.
Not to mention you could have the stressful relapse of guilt after eating making the situation even worse.
3. Losing Sleep:
Sleep is so important for weight loss. I can think of many times when my stress gets so high that I begin to panic and sleep is out of the question. It’s a horrible feeling.
Losing sleep will help your body pack on more fat because it can’t recover and build itself back up. Plus this just creates more stressful responses in the body not only immediately but well into the next day.
What Can You Do Immediately To Control Stress & Help Your Body Burn Fat?
1. Stay Present
Most useless stress is only there when you’re concentrating on past events or thinking hard about “what if” situations in the future. This stress is the worst kind because you can directly control anything you’re thinking about so why think about it?
If you can keep your mind focused on what you’re doing as close to 100% as possible, you’ll feel incredibly better. Any stress in the present is actually motivating because it gets your brain going and thinking about solutions which you can use and implement right now!
Try reading the book, The Practicing Mind. This will help you begin learning about staying present. It’s a much different mindset than we are typically taught.
2. Exercise More
One of the main reasons I exercise is to get stress out of my body. Exerting energy through physical force feels really good. It’s highly therapeutic and it can be highly emotional.
About 99% of the time I get a great workout in, I leave feeling so much better and with a clear mind. Stress is gone and for a few hours at least I am thinking clear and I can tackle my problems with a lot more efficiency.
Stop thinking of exercise as only a means to lose weight. Think about it as a mental cleansing activity.
3. Keep Your Mind Busy
This is similar to the first suggestion in that if you can keep your mind busy and working hard, you can better stay present. It’s when you aren’t doing much or if you’re doing a repetitive task that you start to think aimlessly.
That can cause all sorts of stress.
4. Go Do Something Different
This last year, I had a huge issue with my business and I freaked out. It was horrible feeling and I was breaking down. But I got out of the house and went to this park that I’d never been too before… and just walked around.
I learned some history and had a chance to relax. It was really amazing and I felt a lot better afterward. Not that my stress disappeared but I calmed down and began to think rationally.
Controlling Stress Automatically Helps You Perform Better
Notice I didn’t mention the fight to lose body fat above once. It’s because if you create the best environment for your body, it will lose all excess body fat by itself. Losing weight can actually become a stress free activity.
One more tip which you should always remember… breath deep.
Always remember to breath and you’re body will feel a lot better. Smile more while you’re at it… even if you have to force that smile on your face. It helps!