Is Stress the Root Cause of Your Weight Issues?

Are you stuck in a cycle of feeling chronically stressed? If so, you’re not alone- almost half of Canadians report being “really or seriously stressed” at least once a week and 16% report feeling really stressed every single day. These numbers are probably even higher now given the recent events happening in our world. 

We see stressed-out people regularly in our practice. When our clients fill out our “Root Cause Assessment” form, the ADRENAL SECTION is by far the most problematic area. 

When we’re under acute stress, our adrenal glands release a hormone called cortisol. This is a normal biological process, but when we are chronically stressed our body begins to show symptoms of excess cortisol. Some of these symptoms are shown in the picture below.

Chronic stress also changes our bodies over time. Many of our clients complain of weight gain around the abdomen - that stubborn belly fat that you just can't get rid of, this is a common result of being chronically stressed. 

One of the things that we really focus on with our clients is helping them get out of this stressed-out state. 

If this sounds familiar to you here are some things you can try to incorporate into your life. 

Goodbye Stress, Hello Calm:

1. Focus on Rest and Recovery and Prioritize Sleep: Hustling and living off of caffeine and little sleep is commonly glorified in our modern society. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that this is good for you or that you can get ahead by living this way. You can’t. 

In fact, the more you make it a priority to get 8 hours of quality sleep a night and take a break when you need it, the more productive you will be when it’s time for you to get things done!

2. Spend Time in Nature: Japanese culture has an exercise called shinrin-yoku which translates to “forest bathing”. The goal of this exercise is to simply enjoy spending time and nature and soak in the forest atmosphere around you. This is a proven way to reduce cortisol, lower heart rate and blood pressure, boost the immune system, and improve feelings of happiness and creativity. 

If you don’t have a forest near you you can get the same results by just going outside and breathing in the fresh air, soaking up the sun’s rays, and mindfully gazing at the sky or a beautiful flower. If you aren’t able to get outside, try to adorn your home with live plants, unique crystals, and salt rock lamps to bring nature into your living space. 

3. Deep Breathing/Meditation: Spend some uninterrupted time every day deep breathing and meditating. There are so many ways to do this and you can have fun finding ways that fit well with your schedule. Perhaps you can find a corner of your home that brings you joy and use that for your daily meditation spot. 

Go on YouTube and create a playlist of your favorite mediations and breathing exercises or find apps that you like so that when you have the time to meditate can start right away. Try both guided meditations and just meditating on your own in silence. It’s not about perfection, it’s about consistency. Even just 5 minutes a day can lower your stress levels!

4. Learn to Say “No!”: Stop saying yes to things you don’t want to do or don’t have time to do. Confidently saying no will give you more time to focus well on the things you are passionate about doing or must do for your growth and expansion. 

How can you do this? Anytime you are in a situation where you need to make a decision to say “yes” or “no”, PAUSE, BREATHE, and get into alignment and from that space make your decision. 

5. Simplify Your Life: Write a list of all the things that are making you feel stressed out. Go through it one by one and ask yourself how you can either get rid of the thing that is causing you stress, or change how you think about it. Remember nothing is going to change unless you change something. 

Other ways to simplify your life are to clean up your work and home space. Get rid of anything that doesn’t serve a purpose or bring you joy. 

What is your favorite way to reduce stress in your life? If you need some help getting out of a cycle of feeling chronically stressed, Schedule a Metabolic Discovery Call today.