In today’s transformation coaching session you will learn how stress can negatively affect your transformation results
A common theme we see amongst those with high-stress levels is a lack of results when trying to change their body. Stress holds us back from being the best that we can be.
In a very similar way to poor sleep (which we talk about in another video), stress can put the brakes on progress, even if training and nutrition are spot-on.
Stress is a burden on the body and can leave us massively fatigued and run down. That’s when it can put a halt to any body composition changes.
If you are stressed you may experience a number of negative symptoms such as:
Increased blood sugar levels can lead to Insulin Resistance which in turn is associated with storing more body fat around the waist.
Insulin allows the cells in the body to use glucose. Glucose is a fuel, which comes from carbs. If the body becomes insulin resistant it finds it harder to use the glucose as fuel and it is stored as body fat
Your immune function drops, so you get sick more often
It can cause Digestion issues
You may have difficulty falling asleep which in turn makes you fatigued & feeling lethargic most of the day which will have you reach for sugars/caffeine and not in the mood to train & the cycle continues
It also elevates your cortisol levels which we want to discuss in a little more detail. The Cortisol hormone is released in stressful situations, as well as adrenalin, which raises your heart rate and blood pressure to make your body alert. It does this by making more glucose available in the bloodstream to aid in the energy needed in a flight or fight response.
Think about it, back in the caveman days, this was important as you had lions and other things roaming around and your fight or flight response needed to be sharp.
Today’s lions can be anything from your boss or smartphone notifications, news, social media channels causing an increase in this hormone to be released. Your body can’t tell the difference or doesn’t care, it’s reacting to your response.
Now, cortisol is not all bad. In fact, it is responsible for many of the life-sustaining functions. It helps regulate immune function, repairs tendons/ligaments and may even accelerate fat loss. The problems we see with cortisol are when the hormone is elevated for long periods of time.
So what can you do to help with your stress levels?
You can eat little and often to keep your blood sugars regulated.
Don’t starve or fast as it puts additional stress on the body.
Starving or fasting will only heighten the depletion of glycogen, breakdown of muscle tissue and put more demand on the adrenal glands. This is another reason why cutting out too many calories and not eating enough is detrimental to weight loss. It acts as an additional stressor on the body and can mess up the metabolic rate.
Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce stress. It allows your body to release endorphins aka feel-good hormones, such as serotonin and dopamine which help improve your mood.
Now we know it can be hard to start exercising if you’re tired and stressed, but you will feel a lot better afterwards. It’s important to listen to your body though. Not every day needs to be a flat out session.
We include gratitude and mindfulness in all our WellFit Method plans to help with stress.
It’s proven you can’t be grateful and stressed at the same time. Start each day by listing 3 things you are thankful for. Be grateful for what you have rather than focusing on what you don’t.
Mindfulness allows you to be more in the present moment and not anxious about the future or worried about the past.
Ok, let’s recap:
Stress can put the brakes on our transformation progress
Some of the symptoms are – Storing body fat (especially around the middle), drop in immune system function so you get sick more regularly, digestive issues, difficulty sleeping, constant fatigue and an increase in cortisol hormone
Combat this by exercising, eating regularly, practising gratitude and mindfulness.