Rethinking Your New Years Resolution: Make Stress Reduction Your Highest Priority

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How Stress Can Hurt Your Weight Loss Efforts

If you’ve been trying to eat right to lose weight, but haven’t seen the results you’re after it might be time to check your stress levels. Stress, if left to its own devices, can harm your chances of successfully shedding pounds and reaching your goals. It can also cause a host of other problems you don’t want to deal with!

So, why is stress a roadblock for weight loss?

Stress in and of itself isn’t a bad thing. It’s a perfectly natural response to the world around you. Out body actually adapts to stress by building bone and muscle tissue.  When daily stresses are allowed to build up, however, they can take a serious toll on the body. Stress can interfere with normal eating habits, it can cause physical symptoms, such as stomach pains, and it can even increase chemical levels in the body that get in the way of weight loss. As many people know, stress can also promote binge eating habits, or not eating enough for body function, as well.

Fortunately, there are fantastic ways to reduce stress naturally and help your weight loss efforts in the process. Taking the right measures to lessen the impacts of stress can improve your health, your attitude and even your next weigh in.

How can you effectively battle stress and your waistline bulge at the same time? Try these simple, but very effective measures:

  • Get active – Exercise is one of the most effective ways to reduce the toll stress can take on the body. When you get up and get moving, your body will respond positively. Not only will you help yourself lessen stress, but exercise will also aid with weight loss. Work with a personal trainer or talk to the pros at your gym for assistance in creating an exercise program that fights stress and promotes weight loss.
  • Get some sleep – Making sure the body is properly rested is an essential key in the fight against stress. When people are stressed out, they tend to sleep less. This, in turn, can lead to irritability and even more stress.  Many people even reach for simple “empty calorie” carbohydrates when they are sleep deprived and lacking in energy.  Work on getting at least seven to eight hours a night. Exercising can help make this goal reality.  Talk to a physical fitness expert on the steps to take to get to sleep and how exercising regularly can help your sleeping habits.  Avoid that late night “night cap” when you can because alcohol can impede on your sleep making it hard to relax enough for good quality zzzz’s.
  • Meditate – You don’t have to go to a yoga class or read tomes of books to gain the basic benefits of meditation. Just learn some very simple deep-breathing techniques and give yourself a few minutes a day to practice them. Clear your mind, breathe in deeply, relax and let go of the tension you’re holding. When this is combined with other efforts – exercise and rest – the positive impacts can really shine.  Many wellness professionals create small meditation pod-casts for you to put right on your i-pod to fall asleep to or start your day off stress free.
  • Practice Yoga – Yoga is a great work out that reduces stress in the body and mind and it is meditative in nature. Try yoga for more than one session and more than one type of class.  The first few sessions are often new and people tend to be self-conscious.   Once you learn the moves and understand the flow and that everyone is at their own pace, you will start to feel the meditative and relaxing affects of the practice.
  • Eat right – Proper nutrition is also important not only for weight loss, but also stress reduction. Steer clear of caffeine. Eat your fruits and vegetables. Avoid fried foods. Before long, you’ll feel better about yourself and it will show in your weight loss efforts.
  • Define your values and priorities and set goals for each week and month – When you actually stick to activities that align with your deepest values and principles you tend to be less stressed.  Many people have so much on the “To Do” list that they forget what is most important to them.  Write down a list of your roles and your priorities.  Set goals each day that address the key principles that are most important to you.  Then set up your “to do” list to meet those goals. Don’t be afraid to say “NO” to unimportant items or activities that other people want you to do and are unimportant. Watch how easy life will become when you aren’t cluttering up your schedule with unimportant tasks and activities that fulfill other people’s agendas.

Stress has been linked with heart disease, stomach ailments, heart attacks and more. It can also throw a monkey wrench in your weight loss plans. Learn to ease it naturally to get on the right path for shedding pounds. Your personal trainer or the wellness and health professionals in your community or  local gym can help you establish an effective stress-reduction plan. Just ask them!

About the Author

Beth Rzendzian is the owner of EverFit Personal Training, LLC  and co-owner with Carl Gunderson of Living Health & Fit, LLC , Livingston County’s premier fitness and fat loss businesses.  If you’re ready to begin your fat loss journey please call 1-810-517-376-1400 right now to receive a complimentary nutrition and fitness consultation (valued at $97).

If you’re not yet ready for our free consultation offer, please visit www.everfitfitness.com or www.livinghealthyfit.com to instantly download a free article of Beth’s “5 Ways to Fat Loss You Need to Know”

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