Why Managing Stress Is Key for Weight Control

If achieving a healthy lifestyle is your goal, then managing stress should be a top priority.

Stress is often the unseen factor hampering the weight loss efforts of many. Unfortunately, it’s not something that can be easily changed and often goes unaddressed when implementing a positive lifestyle change.

How Does Stress Affect Health?

There are several ways stress can impact your well-being. From a biological standpoint, the hormone cortisol plays an integral role in your body’s reaction to stressful situations. One of its functions is to help make energy readily available, if needed, to escape or fight off an attack. This acute physiological response is also referred to as the fight-or-flight response.

This same function occurs when handling more modern sources of stress, such as a tough day at the office or a long day with the kids. While this mechanism helps keep you “safe,” long-term stress can start to have negative impacts on your health. Studies have linked higher levels of cortisol in individuals under stress to numerous negative outcomes that affect your brain, nervous system, sleep patterns, cardiovascular health, and weight (1).

Does Stress Really Affect Your Waistline?

The short answer is yes. Many can relate to finding their progress stalled during a weight loss journey. You might feel like you’re doing everything right and following your plan to a T, yet you still aren’t seeing results. If that is the case, there may be unseen factors at play hampering your efforts. Uncontrolled stress and poor sleep are common culprits.

While acute stress stemming from a breakup, family trauma, or financial troubles is often associated with unwanted weight loss, continuous stress or ongoing problems lasting for months to years (chronic stress) is associated with less nutritious food choices, resulting in weight gain (2, 3).

One study investigating stress’s effect on weight found that increased cortisol was associated with a reduction in dietary restraint and increased calorie intake, leading to weight gain among women (4). The researchers also noted that the increased calories specifically came from foods high in refined carbohydrates and saturated fats (4).

Researchers are pinpointing these changes in normal dietary patterns during periods of prolonged stress as a driving factor in the association between chronic stress and obesity. They have also observed that going through long-term stress induces distinct behavioral changes such as decreasing physical activity, increasing sedentary behavior, and decreasing sleep duration (2). A combination of any of these changes (physiological or behavioral) can take a toll on your health and weight.

Five Ways to Better Navigate Stress

Here are five things you can do to better navigate stressful seasons in your life:

1. Acknowledge the stress you are under and re-evaluate your goals. Shifting your focus to self-care through proper nutrition, physical activity, and stress management can help you feel your best during trying times. This mindset shift can eliminate the pressure of seeing dramatic changes on the scale, making your emotional and mental health a much-needed priority.

2. Prioritize activity you enjoy. Whether your workout is a challenging class, “you time,” or a social opportunity to catch up with friends, make it a staple in your daily routine. Physical activity of any kind has been shown to help alleviate stress and improve mood (5). Getting active each day is also a cornerstone of health and supports your weight loss goals. When you are starting to feel busy or overwhelmed, don’t let your workout routine be the first to go.

3. Stick with your Shake Days. Studies have shown that those who are struggling with chronic stress are more prone to cravings (2). Following your Shake Day schedule can help you stay satiated throughout the day and much less likely to cave to your appetite. Shake Days are designed to fuel your body with dense nutrition, so you can look and feel your best. With the bonus of convenience, IsaLean® Shakes and Bars can take the stress out of mealtime.

4. Drink adaptogens daily. Whether it is a tough workout, a rough day, or a stressful time in your life, adaptogens have been shown to help your body adjust (6, 7). Making Ionix® Supreme part of your daily routine can give you consistent adaptogen support.

5. Enhance your relaxation time with Essence by Isagenix Essential Oil. Both Isagenix Lavender and Frankincense Essential Oils have been shown to help you decompress by creating a soothing environment. During your next quiet time, try adding one of these oils to a diffuser for a more relaxing experience.

Because stress is often unavoidable, an important step in protecting your health is developing methods to better navigate these stressful times and prevent negative long-term effects. Isagenix products can help you achieve this goal.

References

  1. Roberts C, Troop N, Connan F, Treasure J, Campbell IC. The effects of stress on body weight: biological and psychological predictors of change in BMI. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2007 Dec;15(12):3045-55. doi: 10.1038/oby.2007.363.
  2. Chao A, Grilo CM, White MA, Sinha R. Food cravings mediate the relationship between chronic stress and body mass index. J Health Psychol. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2018 Oct 14. Published in final edited form as: J Health Psychol. 2015 Jun; 20(6): 721–729. doi: [10.1177/1359105315573448]
  3. Masih T, Dimmock JA, Epel ES, Guelfi KJ. Stress-induced eating and the relaxation response as a potential antidote: A review and hypothesis. Appetite. 2017 Nov 1;118:136-143. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2017.08.005. Epub 2017 Aug 5.
  4. Roberts CJ, Campbell IC, Troop N. Increases in weight during chronic stress are partially associated with a switch in food choice towards increased carbohydrate and saturated fat intake. Eur Eat Disord Rev. 2014 Jan;22(1):77-82. doi: 10.1002/erv.2264. Epub 2013 Oct 4.
  5. Pedersen BK and Saltin B. Exercise as medicine – evidence for prescribing exercise as therapy in 26 different chronic diseases. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2015 Nov; 25(53): 1-72.
  6. Panossian A, Wikman G. Evidence-based efficacy of adaptogens in fatigue, and molecular mechanisms related to their stress-protective activity. Curr Clin Pharmacol 2009;4:198-219.
  7. Panossian A, Wikman G. Effects of adaptogens on the central nervous system and the molecular mechanisms associated with their stress-protective activity. Pharmaceuticals 2010; 3: 188-224.

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Podcast: Tips for Managing Stress

Trainer: Taylor Malham, Nutrition Education Specialist 


 

We are coming up on the most wonderful — and stressful — time of year! Before the holiday season kicks off, now is the time to start implementing a plan to help you better manage stress this time of year. Nutrition Education Specialist Taylor Malham is on the call to discuss strategies to help you look and feel your best this holiday season and keep your stress levels under control.

For more podcasts visit IsagenixPodcast.com.

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Tips for Managing Stress – Isagenix Podcast


We are coming up on the most wonderful — and stressful — time of year! Before the holiday season ramps up, now is the time to start implementing a plan to help you better manage stress this time of year. Nutrition Education Specialist Taylor Malham is on the call to discuss strategies to help you look and feel your best this holiday season and keep your stress levels under control.

Check out this episode!

2018-11-14T16:16:39+00:00

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Tricks for Managing Your Sweet Tooth

For those with health and weight-loss goals, the scariest part of Halloween is the abundance of sugary treats everywhere you go.

Resisting the urge to raid kids’ giant bags of Halloween candy is one thing, but the season also brings with it an endless amount of other food temptations that come in the form co-workers bringing cookies to the office, candy sales at the grocery store, and seasonal drinks and sweets.

Unfortunately, sugar cravings have the capability to derail even the most determined and health-focused individuals. But there are a few ways to both avoid and address those cravings while still keeping your diet on track.

Here are four tricks to help you keep your sweet tooth under control:

1. Keep the treats out of sight. The proximity and visibility of food can cause a significant increase of the consumption of that food (1). By keeping candy in plain sight, you’re setting yourself up to have to force yourself to say no each time you notice it. Instead of keeping the candy beautifully displayed on the kitchen counter, keep it somewhere that’s a little tougher to get to—like the top shelf of your pantry. Leave the display for parties or special occasions! And when it comes to the office, add a fun piece of decor to your desk, rather than a candy jar.

2. Replace candy with healthier sweet options. Use the same logic—that makes candy in close proximity easier to eat—to work for you by keeping healthier options around. Always keep the fruit bowl stocked. Keeping IsaDelight® chocolates around is good way to help satisfy your sweet tooth when necessary; and don’t forget Isagenix Snacks and protein- and fiber-rich Fiber Snacks™ and IsaLean® Bars to turn to when you’re craving a treat.

3. Keep your hunger in check. Plan a healthy meal or snack to eat every few hours. Waiting too long between meals could set you up to give in to whatever food temptations that come your way. Sugar cravings can be hard enough to battle through without having to deal with the added feeling of actual hunger. By keeping your hunger in check, it’ll be much easier to eat the way you planned and avoid the sweets.

4. Give in. Just a little! When all else fails, sometimes the best thing to do is just enjoy just one (or two, but no more) of those goodies. Too much deprivation can sometimes lead to an all-out binge, which is definitely more likely to derail your weight-loss goals in the long run. Allow yourself a small, pre-portioned sweet or candy in the early afternoon or at the end of each day. Setting a time and knowing exactly what your daily treat is will help give you something to look forward to, so you never feel too deprived but also won’t go overboard.

While the one or two pounds you might gain from eating sugary goodies may not seem too concerning, they can add up over time. In fact, the small amount of weight gained over the holidays often is the culprit for the total overall weight gain we all experience as we age (2).

So maintaining or continuing to lose weight during a time of endless food temptations is one of the best ways to stay on track with your weight-loss goals.

References

  1. Wansink B, Painter JE, Lee YK. The office candy dish: proximity’s influence on estimated and actual consumption. Int J Obes (Lond). 2006 May;30(5):871-5.
  2. Schoeller DA. The effect of holiday weight gain on body weight. Physiol Behav. 2014 Jul;134:66-9. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2014.03.018.

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