The link between stress and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease has been well-documented. Stress also seriously impedes your weight loss due to the increased hormones and other chemicals your body produces under periods of emotional stress. The primary hormone your body produces when stressed is cortisol, and research shows that an elevated level of cortisol causes your body to store more energy as fat.
A weight loss study, published in the International Journal of Obesity, demonstrated that, of the 472 participants who undertook a structured exercise routine and a caloric reduction diet, those who reported less stress and obtained a moderate amount of sleep during the trial period achieved their weight loss goals. Incredibly, participants who became more stressed during the study period actually gained weight! The participants who had less than 6 hours of sleep per night and who reported higher levels of stress only achieved half of their target weight loss.
Managing your stress is vital to achieving your weight loss goals. This study demonstrates that losing weight is not simply about undertaking an exercise program and adopting a healthy nutritious dietary intake. Managing your whole lifestyle is critical. Reducing your stress levels in the midst of leading a busy and hectic life can be achieved through a number of strategies. One strategy we have written about before is to include meditation into your daily routine. Meditation calms the mind and balances the stress hormones which have a detrimental impact on your health if they are elevated for prolonged periods of time. The stress hormones are linked to weight gain and long-term disease within the body.
The team at Inspire Fitness are committed to a holistic health approach to your training. Our Personal Trainers and Exercise Physiologists help clients achieve their weight loss goals, while also helping clients achieve a higher level of overall health and vitality.