Of all the things that can make you put on weight, it seems so unfair that stress can be one of them. We all get that fried foods and doughy treats are going to pile on the pounds, but stress is harder to manage and more difficult to avoid. We all get stressed and what’s more stressful than thinking about how you keep gaining because you’re stressed? It’s enough to drive anyone nuts!
In a study from Ohio State University, the researchers actually found that women who experienced stress burned more than 100 fewer calories than women who had not experienced stress, during the period directly after they had eaten a high-fat meal. This disruption to the metabolic process, caused by stress, builds up to the equivalent of 11 pounds potentially gained every year! Eeek.
But, and it’s a big but for me (the great kind!), we women NEED more of the loving and compassionate kind of self-care based energy in our lives. We need to banish that no pain=no gain energy of the past. Just as we’ve updated our workout wardrobes from spandex and leg warmers to lululemon-like style, we also need to update our thinking when it comes to weight loss.
How stress-fat happens to good women
We just need to face the facts – stress blocks our natural ability to lose weight. It disrupts our adrenal patterns and cortisol levels, so that the fat doesn’t become useful glucose, but instead goes straight back into our cells. It doesn’t get used up, it just pads out your belly and hips. Plus, more fat in those cells equals higher levels of estrogen and estrogen dominance is the cause of so many hormonal health issues from endometriosis to infertility problems.
Taking the regular route – that is restricting calories and over-exercising – just does not work. In fact, it causes more stress on your body, making it even harder to lose those stubborn pounds. In fact, if you’re stressed already, it seems pretty barbaric to me to expect yourself to go without enough food and strive for physical exhaustion to get around this problem. If you’re over 35, just had a baby, or suffering with hormonal imbalances, then it’s not only barbaric, but counterintuitive – you’ll only be increasing your appetite and your cravings. You’ll be starving, soon carbo-loading, and regretful. Your adrenals will go haywire, causing your hormones to go into panic-mode, leaving you feeling low and lumpy.
The secret to avoiding stress-related weight gain
One of the most important things you can do when you’re stressed to avoid piling on the pounds is to get good quality sleep. That’s right – don’t move more, move less – and for 8-10 hours per night. Getting decent, deep sleep calms the adrenals, rebalances your cortisol levels (avoiding the pitfalls of adrenal fatigue, and primes your body for weight loss. Good sleeps helps you to burn more calories (when you’re awake and while you’re asleep!), melt more fat, and curbs those tendencies to give in to unhealthy cravings and overeating.
Those who run on too little, poor quality sleep have been found to experience an increase in levels of hunger hormone ghrelin and decreased levels of satiety hormone leptin, causing both overeating and weight gain. Five days of bad night’s sleep can cause you to add on another 2 pounds in just that short time.
It makes sense, right? We get sleepy, exhausted even, and we eat more of the wrong kinds of foods to keep us going. Our hormones get sluggish, our adrenals slow, our metabolism slumps. So, the best thing you can do is to make yourself a sleep schedule that protects your body’s fat burning skills from this kind of sabotage.
5 steps to get that fat-burning good sleep
- Give up caffeine – follow my coffee detox plan and replace your morning cup of joe with something more adrenal-soothing.
- Get Appy – install a blue light filter on your laptop and phone to decrease the stimulating, sleep-disrupting light your devices currently give off. Try this one or this one for calmer evening times.
- Get off – orgasms will help you fall into a deep and restorative sleep. Follow my steps to get the best solo experience of your life!
- Get supplemented – figure out your personal sleep story to make the right choices in supplements that will see you through the night with no slip-ups.
- Get your magnesium – a magnesium deficiency is one of the most common health issues and one of the most prominent causes of sleep disturbance, so you need to consciously supplement and sustain.
Always remember, that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you! You can do this – the science of your body is on your side!
to your FLO,
Good things come in threes:
I want to hear from you!
First, do you struggle with your weight?
Second, do you feel sleep-deprived?
Third, everyone you know is hormonal – spread a little good ovary karma and share this article on social 😉
Need more Hormone Help?
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