Managing Stress for Weight Loss and Health - Part 4 of 4

In my recent blog series I've been discussing three important things to do in order to lose weight or to just generally be healthier. They did not include the normally touted "eat right and exercise." No, the three things that are important for weight loss and general overall health are controlling insulin spikes, getting enough high quality sleep, and what I'll talk about today - managing stress.

We are constantly being bombarded with stimuli and stressors. Some extreme, some mild, and some (like exercise) are good for us but still add to the load. There are a few ways that stress may hinder weight loss:

1️⃣ When we fail to manage chronic stress in a healthy way we're more likely to find stress relief outlets in unhealthy ways such as consuming junk foods, drinking more, and/or switching exercise for more mind numbing experiences such as watching TV.

2️⃣ Elevated cortisol due to stress triggers the release of glucose into the bloodstream. The elevated glucose leads to an insulin spike which in turn leads to the glucose being stored as fat, usually in the stomach area. If you are constantly stressed, this is will be an ongoing process and it's easy to see how this cycle can lead to weigh gain.

3️⃣ When we're stressed it is also likely our sleep will be impacted and, as we already discussed, sleep is extremely important for weight loss and general well being. 👇Let's wrap it all up:

You can see how these three things all play into each other and if not managed can make losing weight tough. First, insulin spikes are what tells the body to store fat. Then if we aren't sleeping well, it can cause changes to our hormones and hunger signals that cause us to crave (and usually eat) more carbs causing insulin spikes. On top of that, if we are not managing stress, cortisol is promoting the release of glucose into the bloodstream which again causes insulin to raise AND if stressed, we're likely not sleeping well - now all of these factors are compounded.

So there you have it - three things you can do starting TODAY to improve your health and help with weight loss. And the best part, you can get started on these things for FREE!

 - Dianne

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