Healthy & Happy  

Stress & Weight Loss: What’s the Connection?

Stress can not only impact your ability to maintain a healthy weight — it can prevent you from losing weight. Taking time to nourish, nurture, and care for yourself can help restore calm and serenity to your daily life.

How Stress Affects Body Weight

Cortisol is a natural stress hormone produced by your body. When you’re stressed, cortisol is released and creates a surge of energy in your body. These elevated hormone levels can also increase your appetite and cause cravings for sweet, fatty, and salty foods. Additionally, an excess of cortisol can lead your body to produce less testosterone, which causes a decrease in muscle mass and fewer calories burned.

Self-Care Ideas to De-Stress

There are many ways to focus on self-care. The more you practice it, the easier it will become to reduce tension in your life. Here are a few simple strategies for stress management.

Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy can help you to feel energized, relaxed, and present in the moment. Certain scents, like lavender and eucalyptus, can decrease the body’s stress hormones.

Learn to Knit, Crochet, or Paint
Repetitive motions can soothe stress and anxiety. Swap your laptop for knitting needles and yarn. Or, you could grab a set of paint and paintbrushes to create your next masterpiece.

Practice Yoga
Yoga combines physical movement, meditation, and controlled breathing to help you feel relaxed.

Listen to Music
Research has shown that slow or meditative music has a particularly soothing effect. It slows the heart rate, lowers blood pressure, and even decreases levels of stress hormones.

Try a Supplement
Magnesium helps regulate the release of stress hormones like cortisol, resulting in a more peaceful state. At Red Mountain Weight Loss®, we offer Natural Vitality CALM® Magnesium Powder, which aids in stress reduction. Simply mix with water for a delicious beverage you can enjoy hot or cold any time of day.

Enjoy a Hot Bath
Baths can be meditative and a great way to escape from daily stressors. As hot water increases your body’s temperature, stress levels reduce, calming the nervous system, releasing endorphins, and improving circulation.

Take a Walk
Exercise releases endorphins (the feel-good chemicals in the brain). Walks provide rhythmic movement that can help you readjust your focus, relieve stress, and return to your situation in a new frame of mind.

Guided Imagery
Guided imagery has been found to provide many benefits, including physically relaxing the body quickly and efficiently. Simply close your eyes and walk yourself through a peaceful scene. Allow yourself to feel as though you’re really there. Open your eyes after a few minutes and return to the present moment.

Stress can play a vital role in managing your weight — and how easily you can lose it. Try our 5-5-5-5-5 Exercise to help you manage everyday stressors.