Stress is a natural part of life and something that we all have to go through. However, health experts believe that stress is one of the main reasons behind weight gain and difficulty with weight loss. Several studies have backed up this claim. This is the reason why so many people are still not able to achieve their desired weight despite following a low carb diet or other weight loss diets. Here’s how stress can greatly affect your goal of losing weight.
3 Ways Stress Can Affect Your Weight Loss Efforts
1. Difficulty In Getting a Good Sleep
When we’re under stress, the stress hormone cortisol remains elevated. This hormone is related to alertness and its main job is to keep us awake, which greatly affects our sleep. The level of cortisol should normally at its highest in the morning and then decreases all throughout the day before it drops to the lowest level at night. However, if your cortisol level is abnormally elevated all throughout the day, you’ll find it difficult to fall asleep. You might even find yourself waking up as early as 2 AM and still feeling groggy. Remember that the lack of sleep can directly impact your weight loss efforts as this affects the level of the hunger hormones that dictate your appetite and feeling of fullness.
2. Increases Cravings
The more hectic and overwhelming your schedule becomes, the more difficult it is to stick to a healthy diet. This is especially applicable when it comes to sustaining a healthy lifestyle, such as the low carb keto diet. Research shows that stress is one of the reasons why people tend to resort back to their old habits of unhealthy eating.
According to Jason Perry Block, MD, an assistant professor of population medicine at Harvard
This happens, in part, because the body releases chemicals in response to food that might have a direct calming effect.
Since the stress hormone cortisol could interfere with your sleep, mood, and digestion, a high level of stress could lead to more cravings for sugar and carbohydrate enriched foods. Because of the effect of stress on hunger, you’ll most likely find yourself craving for sugary foods whenever you are stressed or feeling down. If you’re following the ketogenic lifestyle, this could definitely put you out of ketosis.
Dr Berg who experienced many health problems until he got his diet sorted out says:
Keep Insulin Level Zero – If your metabolism is somewhat okay, you need zero amount of insulin in your body. Insulin is a hormone activated by sugar. If your metabolic rate is low, even a minimum amount of insulin in your body will keep you from burning fat. You need to get rid of juice, alcohol, crackers, bread, pancakes, sodas, and fruits. These food items have hidden carbohydrates and must be removed.
Certain studies have also examined the link between stress and eating behaviors and it was found that a high level of stress is one of the most significant factors in the development of certain types of addictions, including food addictions. Therefore, stress could be one of the main causes behind obesity and several other metabolic diseases that are linked to eating high caloric food.
3. Makes It Difficult To Stay Active
While it is possible to lose weight by simply following a healthy diet, such as the keto diet, staying active is essential for proper weight maintenance and for maintaining overall health, as you grow older. Since stress increases inflammation and weakens your immune system, this could prevent you from living an active lifestyle. If you’re stressed, you will likely lack the energy to exercise, you’ll suffer from slow workout recovery, and you could be exposed to various illnesses that could prevent you from staying active.
If you’re trying to lose weight and you are not seeing any results despite going on a diet, this may be because you are suffering from chronic stress. While stress cannot be avoided entirely, there are many ways on how you can control and manage your stress level. Once you’re able to manage your stress, you’ll be able to significantly improve your health and successfully achieve your goal of losing weight