Stress and Weight Management

Managing your weight can seem like an uphill battle, what with so much daily temptation from snacking at work to unhealthy meals on the run to the simple fact that you’re a person with a healthy appetite and those Lean Cuisines you’ve been eating seem to be portioned for children. (I’m sorry, Lean Cuisine, but it’s true. )

So the cards are already stacked against us. Throw in years of yo-yo dieting, daily stressors, and the hormonal and biochemical interactions that stress has on the body, and it’s easy to feel like you’re constantly fighting a losing battle.

But don’t give up!

While stress can’t be eliminated from a person’s life, stress relief can be found in a variety of “mind-body” interventions. Meditation, yoga or even a long walk can go a long way to improving your mind/body relations.

Effectively managing your stress is a key component to success in just about everything- from achieving your diet goals to career goals. Stress can overwhelm your mind, deplete your motivation and make you physically unhealthy.

Why do you get stressed? How can you relieve it? Here is the scientific skinny on stress and hormones!

  • Levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, increase in response to any psychological or physical stress in the body, such as illness, trauma or temperature extremes.
  • Endorphins are brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters.
  • Stress and pain are among the most common stimulators of endorphin release. Endorphin secretion results in reduced pain perception, feelings of euphoria and increased immune response.

So basically, stress puts your body in gear, whether to deal with a trauma and illness or an intense physical activity.

Problems arise when you hold too much stress, too much of the time. Identify the basis of your anxiety. Set achievable goals and watch your stress level diminish.

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