Thursday, August 19, 2010

Top Stress Reducing Tips Drive Weight Loss

(Article first published as Assist Weight Loss With Stress Reduction Techniques on Technorati.)
Weight gain is accelerated by poor diet, lack of physical activity and stress. While most people understand the impact of food and exercise when beginning a weight loss program, most don’t consider stress as a significant factor. Stress exerts a powerful physiological effect that fuels abdominal fat storage and inflammation throughout the body.

Stress Leads to Inflammation and Weight Gain
Information published in the American Journal of Epidemiology shows that higher levels of stress result in more weight gain, and the pounds were more likely to be stored as dangerous belly fat. Stress hormones such as cortisol are released in response to unresolved situations, triggering inflammation and a systemic immune response as the body attempts to protect itself.

Unresolved stress drives weight gain through a variety of physical manifestations which alter metabolic function within our body. Stress reduction techniques and lifestyle changes are necessary to reverse the negative effects, and place healthy weight loss within your command.

Tip 1: Relax with Meditation and Yoga Techniques
Relaxation techniques are the most popular way to reverse the damaging effects that stress exerts on your body. Meditation and Yoga elicit the relaxation response which lowers cortisol levels and the cascade of deadly effects caused by continually elevated levels of the hormone. Combined with proper diet, relaxation techniques have helped many people to lose weight by stimulating the release of belly fat.

Tip 2: Kick Impulsive Eating Habits
People under stress tend to habitually gravitate toward unhealthy high carbohydrate junk foods which promote blood sugar surges and insulin resistance. This leads the way to metabolic diseases such as diabetes, excess calories and packing on weight around the abdomen. The best way to combat the munchies is to keep those uncontrollable foods out of the house, so temptation won’t get the best of you.

When stress overcomes your willpower, opt for carrots, nuts (limit to a handful each day), edamame, sunflower seeds or fresh water. Most of these travel well, so keep them with you when you’re away from home. Many times the hunger signal is really thirst, so always drink a large glass of water and wait a few minutes for the hunger cue to subside.

Tip 3: Eat at Home and Avoid the Drive Thru
When you’re feeling stress, the last thing you want to do is spend time in the kitchen cooking a healthy meal. Fast food is a staple for those feeling the effects of stress, as it offers a quick and easy sugar, fat and refined carb fix. Concentrate on family meals which emphasize reduced calories, plenty of fresh vegetables and protein with no processed or prepared foods that promote excess fat storage.

Tip 4: Incorporate Physical Activity into Your Daily Schedule
Regular physical activity is essential to your stress reduction program, as it reduces cortisol levels and promotes the conversion of stored fat to energy. It has also been shown to increase the release of important brain chemicals, lifting mood and boosting coping mechanisms. Try taking the stairs instead of an elevator or park at the far end of a parking lot. Aim for 20 to 30 minutes of exercise daily.

Stress is a critical factor which influences body weight and the ability to achieve your weight loss goal. Continual stress increases cortisol levels and drives systemic inflammation which will extinguish your best efforts to drop weight through healthy diet and exercise. Special relaxation techniques and diet tips designed to lower stress levels and eliminate unhealthy eating patterns will enable you to feel better about yourself and lose weight for improved health and quality of life.


Ryan said...

I have to agree that when people are stressed out they go straight for the drive thru, but most don't really realize the junk that is going into their body.

Picking up a sport is one of the best things you can do. It doesn't really matter what is is as long as you are having fun.

Over at we have a saying of eat LESS and move MORE. Simple but effective.

Yoga can do wonders for your stress level. You learn to be "in the moment" and live on a moment to moment basis to hinder stress levels.

Steve @ Acai Berry said...

If you have no job or family responsibilities it is much easier to focus on a diet. But still no excuses.