Can Stress Slow Down my Weight Loss?
Can stress slow down my weight loss? Unfortunately, the simple answer to this question is: most definitely! Scientific research has shown that stress not only slows down weight loss, but can actually cause weight gain! It’s not surprising then, that so many people have come through the Covid pandemic sporting a few extra pounds around their waistline!
People often think of stress with negative connotations, but in reality, not all stress is bad. In fact, short bursts of stress are a perfectly normal, healthy, vital part of the way we function as human beings. Stress is our natural survival mechanism, and if it didn’t exist, we would probably have become extinct a long time ago.
When we’re stressed, the adrenal glands produce adrenaline and cortisol. Also, glucose enters into our bloodstream, to give us extra energy. This is the fight or flight response. It’s an inbuilt, physical response that causes certain physiological changes in our body, such as speeding up our pulse rate and breathing, directing more oxygen to the brain, and tensing our muscles. This all means that we are more aware, and able to react quickly in difficult, or dangerous situations.
Good stress happens when we feel excited, but there isn’t any potential threat to your life, or fear involved. It can be a very motivating force when we want to do better and achieve more. Typical examples of this healthy level of stress are when you go on a first date, or get on a roller-coaster ride. Or, maybe you’re preparing to sit an exam, or have an interview for a new job. This sort of stress is short-lived, and makes us feel alive and excited about life.
However, when stress is chronic and more prolonged than the inevitable short bursts, that’s when it becomes detrimental to your health. Extensive studies have concluded that prolonged stress has been shown to cause physical, behavioural and psychological harm. For example headaches, constipation, smoking, alcohol abuse, poor diet, sleep disturbances and obesity.
Also, in the 1990s, researchers from Yale University psychology department discovered that the “stress hormone” cortisol, triggers excessive abdominal fat deposits in the body. These findings showed, for the first time, that the secretion of cortisol was associated with both chronic stress, and an increase of abdominal “belly fat.” This abdominal, or visceral fat, is often referred to as toxic fat. This is because it surrounds the vital organs and increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
Cortisol also causes you to crave highly palatable foods that have an addictive combination of sugar, fat and salt. Eating these foods stimulates the brain to release the feel-good hormone, dopamine. This temporarily reduces tension, and counteracts the negative feelings associated with stress. If you fancy a holiday read How to Cruise and Not Gain Weight.
So, unfortunately, excess cortisol actually has a double whammy effect on your body! Firstly, by causing you to crave highly processed junk food. And secondly, by making it easier for the body to create extra fat in the abdominal area. And, just to add to this vicious cycle, a recent study found that our metabolism slows down when we are stressed! Over a period of 24 hours, women participants, who were experiencing one or more stressors, burned around 100 fewer calories than those who were non-stressed.
Studies show that stress affects the pre-frontal cortex of the brain. This area of the brain is responsible for regulating thoughts, and goal-directed actions. It helps us to plan ahead, make good choices and exert willpower. However, the pre-frontal cortex doesn’t function properly when we are under stress!
Why is this? Well, it’s because the brain redirects all its resources away from conscious decision-making, and reverts to all of our well-established routines and habits. This is to save energy, while it’s dealing with the stressful situation. It takes less energy for us to function on autopilot. It also means that we are more likely to behave impulsively, and make poor food choices during these times, unfortunately.
Can Stress Slow Down my Weight Loss?
A group of obese adults took part in an 8-week long study to determine whether managing stress levels helps to improve weight loss. The results showed that the participants in the intervention group, who had attended a stress management programme that included breathing techniques, progressive relaxation and guided visualisation, achieved a significantly larger reduction in their BMI compared to the control group. The intervention group also had better depression and anxiety scores afterwards.
Lower Stress = Lower Weight
The clinical evidence is clear: chronic stress definitely leads to weight gain, and increased belly fat. It also makes it harder for overweight people to reduce their weight and fat stores. Hypnosis and meditation are widely accepted as a beneficial way to alleviate stress. So, if you manage your stress levels, and use techniques to reduce your stress as much as you possibly can, it will definitely help you to progress along your weight loss journey more easily.
Can Stress Slow Down My Weight Loss?
We have also found similar results from our own clients’ experiences, with regard to stress and their weight. When people are in the right frame of mind, their weight loss always seems to happen easily, but during particularly stressful times they often struggle to either keep losing, or maintaining their weight. Then, as soon as the stressful period has passed, the weight loss returns.
FAQs about Stress
FAQ 1: What are the best ways to reduce stress?
ANSWER: Fortunately, there are many different tips and techniques to help lower stress levels.
Studies have found that getting plenty of sleep, taking deep breaths and doing some enjoyable, gentle, physical activity are all helpful.
Also, spending time, talking and laughing, with people you are close to, is a great way to de-stress.
Research shows that stroking a cat, or dog, for just 10 minutes, significantly reduces the stress hormone, cortisol. Read the study results here from Washington State University.
FAQ 2: Can hypnosis help lower stress?
ANSWER: Natural, non-invasive therapeutic techniques, such as mindfulness, meditation, hypnosis, and guided imagery are well-known to lower stress.
We are very aware of the potential benefits of hypnosis with regard to reducing stress and losing weight. With this in mind, our My Weigh Less downloadable course includes 9 different, relaxing hypnosis sessions. These are all specially recorded by Marion.
FAQ 3: Why do I gain weight when I’m feeling stressed, but my friend loses weight?
ANSWER: Some people lose their appetite during stressful periods. They might experience gastrointestinal symptoms, such as reflux, difficulty swallowing, abdominal pain and nausea. This will often cause them to lose weight. Read the page – How to Start and End a Diet
For others, however, the opposite happens, unfortunately. Stress affects your quality of sleep, which in turn increases your appetite, and desire to reach for unhealthy junk food. Also, when you’re sleep-deprived, you are less inclined to move around and engage in physical activity. Of course, all of this will cause you to gain weight.
Below is a selection of weight-loss tips that everyone can start using straight away. And, if you enroll in the My Weigh Less Course, you will learn many more of our helpful tips and techniques about how to achieve successful, permanent weight loss.
Tip No. 1 – Only Eat When You’re Hungry!
This has to be our number one, golden rule, when it comes to achieving successful weight loss. In our experience, most overweight people eat for many different reasons, other than physical hunger. But, if you allow your emotions to control your eating habits, then it is unlikely that you will be able to control your weight as a result. So, before you reach for anything to eat, stop and ask yourself first if you physically NEED to eat, or you just WANT to…
Tip No. 2- Stay Away From Sugar and Highly Processed Foods!
It’s a fact that sugar and highly processed foods have addictive properties! So much so, that many people find that once they start eating these foods, they literally can’t stop. And, of course, if you’re making such poor food choices, this in turn will make it almost impossible for you to lose weight. So, our advice is to choose healthy, unprocessed foods and limit the amount of sugar you consume. As a result, you will have far more control over how much you eat and also how much weight you can lose.
Tip No. 3 – Use a Smaller Plate!
You’ve probably heard this many times before, but it’s a fact that people who use larger plates tend to eat more food than those who eat from smaller plates. No doubt you know about the power of optical illusions. But are you aware of just how much more generous the same size portion of food appears, when it’s arranged on a smaller plate, instead of a larger one? Have a look at the image below. It’s known as the Delboeuf optical illusion. If you stick to our mantra, “always go for quality over quantity”, then you will definitely lose weight much more easily.
A Permanent Solution to Weight Loss
Are you tired of trying an endless list of diets that just don’t work? Are you becoming weary of your efforts, always resulting in you regaining all the lost weight? Has your approach to dieting made you fear social events?
Are you looking for a Medically Endorsed solution; one based on thousands of hours of experience? Do you dream of finding a ‘Permanent Weight Loss’ treatment? Have you searched on Google in the hope of finding a proven programme? Maybe something that doesn’t involve undertaking a restrictive diet, doing lots of exercise, or having invasive surgery… And no need to buy any “Meal Replacement” products!
My Weigh Less Downloadable Course
Read on the pages of this website how Oxford Therapeutics Limited – ‘My Weigh Less’ – is successfully delivering what is Utopia to Dieters. A Medically Endorsed, proven weight loss approach. A programme based on over 15,000 1:1 clinical treatment hours.
You can download a free MP3 introduction right now. No email or credit card details required, just ten minutes of your time. Find out how My Weigh Less can help you reach your weight loss goals and discover long term weight management!
My Weigh Less Delivers
Downloadable Weight-Loss Treatment
– Permanent Weight Loss –
– No Diet or Exercise Required –
– Medically Endorsed –
– 15,000 1:1 Clinical Hours Experience –
– Fully Downloadable –
– Featured in Global Media –
– Award-Winning Programme –
Martin and Marion Shirran, the developers and joint Clinical Directors of My Weigh Less appeared on both the Good Morning America and the This Morning Breakfast Show. Kay Lindley, photo below, lost over 105 pounds, and reversed her type 2 diabetes, following her treatment with Martin and Marion Shirran.
So, how do we start to lose weight in a healthy and permanent way? There are so many approaches to weight loss. If you type “diet”, or “weight loss”, into Google, for example, you will have over a million references, in a heartbeat. We would be naive to say that the My Weigh Less course guarantees 100% success. We will not insult your intelligence! Sarah Hart, below, lost 140 pounds following her treatment. Follow this link to listen to a complimentary audio introduction of the course.
No Diets, Just Psychology
The My Weigh Less treatment is psychology-focused. The fully downloadable treatment has been the subject of extensive real person trials. But, as with your considerations regarding any weight loss approach, do take a look at the verified case studies, and their before and after photos on the My Weigh Less Site. If you require additional comfort, which is fair enough, visit the Medical Endorsement page.
The My weigh Less treatment package consists of twelve one hour weight loss sessions, with Martin and Marion Shirran. In addition to the twelve sessions, clients receive a number of videos, animated presentations, visual aids and hypnosis sessions.
Martin Shirran below was one of first trial candidates.
The My Weigh Less Course is new and refreshing, incorporating the latest, science-based, behavioural change techniques. Completely based on an approach that has changed the lives of over a thousand people. You too can experience the benefits, the changes in your life, and your thinking around food: maybe today… Martin, above, went on to lose 84 pounds.
Permanent Weight Loss is the Goal
If you want to lose weight permanently, and have looked into different diets, and possibly even surgery, then take a step back, before you decide which approach to adopt. You don’t need to spend any money right now. Just take ten minutes to read the pages of the My Weigh Less website. After all, you have nothing to lose. Martin and Marion Shirran’s GMB site contains additional information. Katie, below, lost 100 pounds with the Shirrans.
Marion Shirran, is proud to be a registered Stakeholder in NICE – The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. In addition Marion is registered with the All Party Parliamentary Group on Obesity.
The Downloadable Weight-Loss Solution.