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Reduce Stress to Lose Weight and Burn Fat

August 19, 2010

(Article first published as Assist Weight Loss With Stress Reduction Techniques on Technorati.)

Excess Stress Fuels Junk Food Binges

Excess Stress Fuels Junk Food Binges

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

Meditation and Yoga Reduce Stress Factors

Meditation and Yoga Reduce Stress Factors

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

Plan to Eat Healthy Meals at Home

Plan to Eat Healthy Meals at Home

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.

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3 comments

  1. […] Reduce Stress to Lose Weight and Burn Fat « Optimal Health Resource […]


  2. Very informative put up, love the way you write and I think that the knowledge helps in a way. I don’t usually say this, but I think this can be a nice job done. If you like to exchange links, I’d be very happy to offer a hyperlink back to your site. Hope to hear from you soon.


  3. These are some very good tips. I hope more people follow these tips so they can become healthier. Its like most of the people you see around are overweight or even obesed. Its hard to find fit people nowadays with all these fast food places around.



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