IS STRESS THE CAUSE OF YOUR WEIGHT GAIN?

 

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When setting out on a health kick or weight loss journey, we all know how important diet and exercise are, but did you know that stress also plays a role? Even if you eat well and exercise daily, stress can wreak havoc on your health, and it’s all thanks to a little hormone called cortisol. 

 

Cortisol is naturally released into the bloodstream in times of stress and is automatically regulated by your body. For short term bouts of stress triggered by the famous ‘fight or flight’ response, cortisol levels temporarily spike, but are quickly returned to a regulated level, however prolonged periods of stress can result in the production of too much cortisol, which can have a negative impact on your health, and in particular, your waistline. 

 

When cortisol levels rise, so too does the body’s insulin levels, causing an immediate spike in blood sugar levels, followed of course by the inevitable sugar crash. This leads to the body craving foods high in sugar, salt and fat as a means to regain energy. 

 

Signs your body might be producing too much cortisol: 

 

  • Elevated blood pressure 
  • Suppressed immune system 
  • Stomach ache 
  • Difficulty sleeping 
  • Unhealthy food cravings 
  • Depression 
  • Weight gain 
  • Irritability 
  • Cold and flu symptoms 

 

These factors might be causing your cortisol levels to spike: 

 

  • Overcommitted schedule 
  • Working long hours 
  • Exercising more than once a day 
  • Doing a lot of HIIT training 
  • Drinking excess caffeine or alcohol 

 

How to lower your cortisol levels, naturally: 

 

  • Limit consumption of caffeine and alcohol 
  • Exercise regularly, but at a moderate level (limit HIIT training to 1-2 per week)
  • Practice mindfulness or meditation 
  • Get 8-9 hours of sleep every night 
  • Switch off from technology a few hours before bed 

MID YEAR GOAL CHECK-IN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hands up those of you who start every new year with a long list of health and fitness resolutions you’re determined to uphold? Now keep your hand up if you get to March and realise you’ve fallen off the bandwagon? FYI – our hands are up too. Our point is, that you don’t need a new year to set new goals… so to prove it, we thought it was time for a mid-year goal check-in.

Our goals are as unique as we are, so whether it’s fitting back into your favourite pair of jeans, getting bikini confident in time for summer or simply challenging yourself to commit to something new, think about what you really want to achieve, because having a clear goal will help you stay motivated and on track.

Having this overarching goal in the forefront of your mind will help hold you accountable and pull you out of bed on those mornings you just don’t want to get up, it will stop you from ordering that burger and fries when you really want them and it will help you stay on track when you feel like giving up.

Once you decide on your goal, make sure it’s smart. Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely.

Put your goal to the smart test and stack it up against the below criteria to increase your chances of achieving it!

Specific:

Goals that are too vague are hard to achieve… think: who, what, when, where, why?

Measurable:

If you can’t quantify the goal, how do you know when you’ve achieved it?

Action plan:

Can you break it down into smaller, more manageable steps

Realistic:

It it possible for you to actually achieve it?

Timely:

Remember, a goal without a deadline is just a dream.

So if you want to lose weight, don’t generalise and say “I want to lose weight”… where’s the accountability? Set a smart goal, reframe the situation and try saying “I want to lose 2kgs in 8 weeks”.