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How stress impacts your fitness results

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If you´ve been following a fitness program to lose weight and you´re sure you´ve been working so hard on the diet and exercise program but you´re not getting the results you want then stress may be blocking your results.

I want to mention that stress can affects every one of us in different ways, when we talk about weight some people can gain weight, some can find it really hard and almost impossible to lose weight and for others stress makes them lose weight.

Stress leads to unhealthy choices, it can be the reason why you keep eating junk and processed foods, it can also be the reason why you´re not exercising as hard as you need to or you may even skip workouts, it can also affects the quality and quantity of sleep which creates more problems.

Life is very stressful and most of us live with chronic stress and we think it´s normal, we´re adapted to live this way and even when it´s unhealthy and leads to health problems in the long term we all finds ways to manage, in most cases people use unhealthy options and choices to cope with that stress, but to make things worse we all go through difficult situations that increase stress a lot more. Situations or challenges like being fired from your job, or getting a new job, changing home, school, the loss of a love one, etc.

When you are stressed your body goes into the “fight or flight” response, cortisol and adrenaline increases, most systems on your body that are not useful at this moments are turned off and all energy goes to your arms and legs, all this is done to keep you alert to any perceived threat so that you can respond the best way possible and stay safe.

Stress affects all hormones and systems in our body but we´re all going to have different symptoms or respond different. A lot of people tend to eat a lot more, the binge, they have cravings especially for unhealthy foods and they find it really hard to stop eating this is one of the reasons why they gain weight. Other people don´t have appetite, they don´t feel hungry so they eat a lot less and lose weight. In this both cases it´s really obvious why someone who has gone or is going through a hard situation lose weight or gain weight, it´s obvious that they are stressed out and they are eating less or eating a lot more.

There are other cases where people seemed to be stock in their weight, for some reason they just stopped losing weight. There could be different reasons why people plateau and you may have experienced this. If you are sure that you´re following a diet and exercise program for a couple if weeks and the scale doesn´t move and you don´t see any changes physically then you need to think about everything that is going on in your life right now. If you´re going through a difficult situation then probably your levels of stress are high, you may have some symptoms but you´re not aware of them, if you have headaches, pains, mood changes, fatigue, insomnia, difficulty to stay focus and to remember things, stomach pain. All this are sings of your body that you are highly stressed and it will be very hard for you to lose weight. Maybe you are getting to obsessed with your weight loss goal and wanting to be perfect with your program is what´s stressing you.

Even when you are able to keep eating healthy food and stick to your program stress may be the one holding you back because of hormones. We´ve talked in past posts about that weight loss is about hormones not only calories, if all hormones and systems of your body are not working properly and are not working in balance you´ll find it very difficult, almost impossible to lose weight. When cortisol is high chronically other hormones that lead to fat loss are being blocked so instead of losing weight you may actually gain weight or maintain your weight.

If your goal is weight loss you need to focus on how you lifestyle affects your hormones and metabolism, if everything is working efficiently then it is really easy to lose weight and keep it off this is why I talk about stress and sleep, they both impact your fitness goals and health. It´s not only about diet and exercise, sleep and stress also play an important role.

Let us know by leaving a comment below and on Twitter if you have thought about how stress impacts your weight loss results and if you are aware of your emotions every day.

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Pam