What is it about losing weight that makes it so hard to stick to? Why are you throwing up your hands and crying “I need help losing weight”? It seems pretty straightforward right: burn more calories than you take in and lose weight over time. So you either increase your exercise routine or you change - and lower - the calories you eat. Hmmm. Maybe it’s not the process. Maybe something else is interfering. Maybe it’s stress.

Stress causes physical, mental and emotional reactions inside you. It is these reactions that can affect whether or not you are able to lose weight. Let’s look at some of these reactions, and then how to turn it around so that you actually can lose weight.

Physical reactions: when you encounter stress, your body goes into “fight or flight” mode. Your muscles tighten, adrenaline floods everything, and certain hormones, like cortisol, are released to control how your body accesses energy. If the stress is not relieved, or is every day, these eventually cause your body to gain weight by increased sugars, increased appetite, and inefficient fat storage.
Mental reactions: Unrelenting stress forces your mind to be “on” all the time. When stress is present, you can’t relax because the stress is always pushing. Eventually, you start losing focus and concentration, your judgment becomes poorer, and you are constantly worrying instead of planning. Sometimes you try to relieve the mental fatigue with sugary snacks. This leads to weight gain if you are not active enough to burn off these empty calories.
Emotional reactions: The short-term emotional reaction to immediate stress is eagerness and curiosity as your mind and body figure out whether it is fight or flight time. If stress continues and never lets up. your emotional reactions change to agitation, moodiness, and depression. The statement “I need help losing weight” turns in to the self-defeating question “do i really want to lose weight?”

Unrelenting stress also destroys your body’s ability to fight off stress. In other words, even if you can get through a stressful situation, the stress weakened your body and mind's mechanism available to fight stress. This means you have fewer resources available for the next stressful situation, and this only makes the stress that much stronger. Simplistic tips can give you an immediate feeling of relief, but if they don’t relieve the stress, they have no effect on your stress reaction.

This means that the ever-present stress - and your reaction to stress - will overwhelm anything you are doing to try to lose weight. Meditating helps primarily with your emotional reaction to stress, but your physical reactions and mental reactions will be given no break if the stress is not stoptped. Exercise helps strengthen and repair your physical reaction to stress, but your emotional reactions and mental reactions can’t stop. Sleeping and time management programs give some relief to your mental reactions but have negligible effects on your physical and emotional reactions.

Another danger is the toll on your moods. When stress is unrelieved, and especially when the stress comes at you in waves and from different points, it is easy to slip into a feeling of helplessness over your ability to control your circumstances. This can cause depression, which only makes all of the above reactions stronger and that much worse on your body. Ultimately, this could change your attitude from “do I really want to lose weight?” to the destructive “I don’t want to do anything with life.” And then you are looking at needing help with more than just losing weight.

Most stress management programs emphasize one aspect, like meditation, exercise, or time management. Most stress management articles and seminars throw out a “checklist” of these tips. The limitation is that these are dealing with your reactions to stress. Few of these deal with relieving the stressors themselves. This is equivalent to working on driving technique and your car instead of just plowing the snow off the road.

A better approach to stress would combine improving your reactions to stress along with techniques to eliminating the stressor. This will eliminate the distractions and saboteurs of your attempts to lose weight. By staying focused on losing weight and not having your body, mind and emotions fighting you, you vastly improve your ability to lose weight and get in shape.

Author's Bio: 

STRESS JUDO COACHING helps you focus on personal excellence in a number of ways. Go to our EXPERT PAGE for 3 free and exclusive reports, explaining The Truth (your current stress management program is impotent); The Remedy (the requirements of a program that eliminates stress); and The Overview (how STRESS JUDO COACHING can transform your life). STRESS JUDO COACHING was created by Rick Carter, based on dealing with stress during 15+ years as a trial attorney and 20+ years in martial arts. You can become a black belt when it comes to fighting stress.
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