Chronic stress causes the body to release more of the hormone cortisol into your bloodstream, slowing your metabolism. And a slow metabolism means you’ll gain weight on fewer calories.
Also, when we’re stressed we tend to reach for our comfort foods, which tend to be high in fat, sugar, and calories.
So…chill out! Finding an easy way to relax is essential to reaching your weight loss goals. Since popping the anxiety bubble is actually enjoyable, it shouldn’t be too hard to discover an activity that makes you relax.
Yoga and meditation work for some, but maybe you’re the singing in the shower type. Or maybe turning up your iPod and dancing like a lunatic on your living room rug. Running or swimming can work, but so can reading a novel or slipping into a hot bath.
Yes, we’re all different. But generally, whatever floats your boat will sink your stress.
If you’re chronically frazzled, consider taking a yoga class. Yoga’s quiet, precise movements draw your focus away from your hectic day and toward tranquility as you guide your body through poses that require balance and concentration.
If you don’t feel like doing downward dog in front of a group of strangers, check out a DVD like Yoga Zone’s Conditioning and Stress Release or Self Magazine Ultimate De-Stress Yoga.
And be mindful of your breathing during stressful moments. Taking slow, deep-belly breaths brings nitric oxide (a potent neurotransmitter that aides brain function) into your lungs. Breathe in. Breathe out. Feel your Butterfinger craving float away.