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The stress and weight gain connection is an important concept to understand if you are ever going to successfully and sustainably loose weight.
Statistically, 95 percent of dieters who loose weight put it all back on again within a year. Although this is true for many, it does not necessarily need to hold true for you, especially if you take the time to fully understand your condition.
(Photo compliments of common.wikimedia.org)
An alcoholic for instance needs to understand the triggers that lead him to drink. Likewise, if you are overweight or obese, you too need to understand the physiology of what creates this condition in your body, and when it comes to stress and weight gain, we need to address the culprit of cortisol.
Make no mistake, being overweight is extremely stressful on your body, not only physically, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually too. You body does not distinguish between the types of stress, it just goes to work producing stress hormones - cortisol.
Disease...not only obesity, but heart conditions, irritable bowel, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. So when we are dealing with weight loss, we need to look at the effects of the weight gain on the WHOLE body.
Stopping any cycle is about finding a balance where there previously was none. And in the case of the stress and weight gain cycle it is first and foremost about balancing our cortisol levels, and our adrenal glands.
To balance our cortisol however, it means we need to directly and effectively balance our stress levels. This can be a big job, so don't get hung up the commercial ads promising that you will lose 40 lbs in 60 days. This simply may not be the case if you have a lot of stressors to get a handle on.
This may also be why losing 40 lbs in 60 days is often not sustainable. Because it took you years to put the weight on, your entire body has accommodated to this overweight condition. Your body cannot possibly produce a sustainable new equilibrium set point in just 60 days.
Although we've discussed this many times throughout this website, let's recap: stress in not merely the mental variety, so we must balance our stress along all three dimensions: physical, chemical and emotional.
And yes, even the simple concept of weight loss needs to be addressed from the perspective of the whole ball and wax. The world of failed weight loss programs is a critical indicator that we are not paying attention to ALL forms of stress and balancing the body's chronic cortisol levels adequately.
So when it comes to stopping the stress and weight gain cycle, even if you are doing a really great job in handling your physical stress, exercising lots and then add in a really great meal program that is right for your own body type, you will likely still fail.
Why? Because you have still forgotten to balance the cortisol being generated from the emotional stress in life, hence we see the cycle of stress and weight gain repeat.
As I have mentioned, there is more to losing weight than changing your diet and joining a gym.
Below are a list of common questions that I discuss with my clients in my role as a weight losss coach. Read through the list and see how many you are answering yes to...if you are answering no to too many questions, you know that you need to look deeper at balancing various aspects of your life in order to reduce your stress and cortisol levels and sustain a healthy body weight.
I know that this seems like a lot when you are trying to loose weight, but remember that Rome was not built in a day. You can start with the basics and build from there to create a sustainable weight loss program and stop the stress and weight gain cycle once and for all!
Yours in Wellness,
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