“Cristy, does stress affect my weight loss?”
Heck yeah it does!
Stress is a reaction your body and mind have in response to a perceived threat.
It might be the “threat” of not getting to your destination in a timely manner due to a traffic jam.
It might be the social “threat” of being made fun of in front of other people.
It might be someone waving a weapon in your face and demanding your crash and credit cards.
Stress is meant to keep you alive. It's a survival mechanism.
The thing is, stress isn't something your body is equipped to handle 24/7.
What that means is, if your body and mind are in a constant state of stress, it will take a toll on you in a ton of different ways, including interfering with your weight loss.
Here are the top 3 ways stress disrupts your effort to lose weight.
1. It interferes with sleep.
If you ain't sleeping, you ain't losing. And nothing keeps you awake all night like stress.
Between things like worry and anxiety (which keep you awake thinking about everything), and amping you up physically to deal with perceived “dangers,” stress isn't your friend when it comes to getting that shut-eye.
Clean eating helps with stress a lot. It may not eliminate every shred, but it definitely helps.
Stress is a hormonal/chemical reaction in your body. Clean eating ensures those reactions happen the way they're supposed to, whereas sugar and chemical crap-storm junk interfere with those reactions (by making them WORSE).
2. It causes your body to hold onto water.
Holding onto water in response to danger or injury is what your body's programmed to do. Water is SO important for our health (which is why Code Rebels drink so much of it). Our body uses it for a LOT of stuff, including this.
It's also another reason why, when you're stressed, you may find it challenging to lose weight. Your body's protecting you by holding onto all that water. Until you send it a message that the “danger” has passed, it may not let go.
3. Stress interferes with digestion.
When you're running from a predator in the wild, it's not a great time to digest food.
(Running from a predator may not be something you're doing, but remember, your body can't tell the difference between that, and you being stuck and traffic, and you being stressed because your kid's getting into trouble.)
Your body knows this, and it backs off on digesting your food until the “danger” has passed.
But if you're living a life where stress is constant, that means your digestion is constantly out of whack.
And that can wreak havoc on not just your weight loss efforts, but also your health.
I hope reading this has opened your eyes to the detriments of constant, high levels of stress in your life.
Occasional stress is fine, and can even push you to accomplish things you might not have. It may even keep you “alive,” as it's meant to do.
If, however, you're living in a state of constant high stress, something's gotta give.
Something WILL give, sooner or later. The only question is, will you take control and do something about it now, or wait for your mental and/or physical health to tank before you do something about it?
“Cristy, what DO I do?”
That depends entirely on your situation, but one thing anyone can do (if you're not doing it already) is to eat clean.
Real food, water, sleep, and a few simple rules, like we do on the 10 Pound Takedown.
Like I said earlier: Food is your body's fuel. If you're not giving it high-quality fuel, it's not operating at a high level, and that will ABSOLUTELY affect the hormonal and chemical reactions that influence your moods, emotions, and response to stress.
(There's a reason so many Code Red Rebels report a noticeable and significant effect on their anxiety levels.)
If you're not sure where to start, start with clean eating. Use the big red button below to check out the next 10 Pound Takedown Challenge.