What is one of the most common reasons people struggle to lose weight? The answer is stress which plays a significant role when it comes to losing weight. If you’re struggling to lose or hit a plateau it’s a good idea to look at your stress level.
When you’re under high stress levels the adrenal glands secrete more cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone that helps you cope with stress. The problem is that high cortisol levels also cause abdominal obesity, cravings, fatigue and also break down important muscle tissue making it harder to lose weight.
I have consistently seen this in practice as well. Clients that are under high stress have a harder time losing and in some cases will not lose weight until the stress is modified and under control. Stress management techniques help one to stay in balance and keep cortisol levels in check. Yoga, deep breathing, prayer and meditation are excellent techniques that are part of the solution.
This is an example of why only looking at calories is misguided when it comes to weight loss. Someone can be exercising, eating well and still have trouble losing pounds because their metabolism is not working properly due to high stress levels.
Stress Support Nutrients
Those dealing with high stress are at a greater risk of nutrient deficiencies. It has been shown the body uses up specific nutrients at a faster rate compared to those not under as much stress. The most important stress nutrients are the following:
- B-complex vitamins
- Vitamin C
Adaptogenic herbs are also very good for supporting the body through periods of high stress. These may include ginseng, rhodiola, maca and licorice.
Creating balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous is extremely important. Those that are in constant go mode are sympathetic dominant and will likely feel the effects of too much stress. The parasympathetic branch of the nervous system is what most of us need more. This is the rest and digest mode that leads to balance and not getting burned out.
If you need individual support with your stress level and inability to lose weight, start by scheduling a free strategy session here.