Perhaps you’ve just tried a new weight loss juice fast or a juice diet detox. It’s the second, third, or maybe fourth diet you’ve tried. But you still aren’t losing weight. You don’t get what you’re doing wrong.
You thought you were stressed before, but now, your stress levels are worse. And it seems that the more stressed you get, the more weight you gain. How is this possible? Why is this happening?
Stress & Your Weight: The Link
Stress is an innate survival mechanism. Everyone experiences stress at some point in their life. In the days of hunters and gatherers, the stress response kept the human race alive. If a bear or predator were to cross your path, your stress response would kick in. This allowed you to either fight the threat or run away as quickly as possible.
However, this mechanism doesn’t exactly work the same way today. We get stressed about work projects or personal matters, such as having a baby, moving, and more. While these aren’t necessarily a threat to our immediate survival, the stress response takes action. It doesn’t serve us in the same way. Sure, a little bit of stress can help propel you forward. Yet, chronic and ongoing stress is where problems arise.
During stressful times, cortisol, the stress hormone, rises. This allows the body to quickly dump glucose into the bloodstream. In turn, this gives you the energy you need to fight or escape. But then, with prolonged stress, your glucose levels, or blood sugar levels, also suddenly drop. You start craving sugar and something sweet. Ideally, your body wants to always have balanced blood sugar levels. This ensures you have the energy you need to survive.
Ideally, in this situation, you would reach for fruit combined with a good amount of protein to help re-balance your blood sugar levels. Yet, many people automatically reach for the most convenient and fastest option. Usually, this means junk food, or pre-packaged and processed foods. These high-calorie food options may cause you to put on weight. On top of that, when you’re stressed, your body prefers to store away additional energy for later as a ‘just in case.’ Your body is under the assumption that your current environment isn’t safe and its sole goal is to help you survive.
All in all, this can lead to a vicious cycle. You get stressed, so you reach for unhealthy food options and you put on weight. This doesn’t get rid of the stress but instead, adds to it. And the cycle happens again and again. From there, you end up with excess belly fat, which can be the worst type of fat for your health. This type of fat can impact your visceral organs, creating many health issues and conditions.
So, how can you get out of this cycle before this situation gets worse?
First, it all comes down to finding effective methods that help you relax and de-stress.
Tips to De-Stress
It’s time to break this cycle. Find your healthy balance. To do so, try these tips:
- Participate in regular exercise. Exercise, without overdoing it, can help lower your stress levels and boost endorphins, those feel-good chemicals. At the same time, a regular exercise routine can help manage your weight and lead to healthier lifestyle habits.
- Watch your food choices, especially when you’re stressed. Reaching for the easiest option is, well, easy. But it’s not serving your body or your goals. Stock up on healthy food options or prepare meals and snacks ahead of time. That way, when there is a time-crunch, you can stay on track with your weight loss goals.
Getting Back on Track
Luckily, you now have the tools you need to get back on track. Use the tips above to guide you toward your goals.
Weight loss doesn’t have to be a struggle. Sometimes, it’s other aspects of our life that we need to be analyzing to achieve sustainable weight loss. Determine where your stress is coming from and take steps toward reducing it.
Once you’ve reduced your stress, then dive back into the world of weight loss juice fasts or juice diets if you so choose. But first, it’s important to eliminate the stressors so that healthy and sustainable weight loss is possible for you.