I am getting married in two days time, and this week has been hectic balancing work, my business goals, builders, sorting the wedding and trying to fit in looking after myself. I feel STRESSED! And guess what!? It began to show on the scales. Why? I will explain how stress can effect fat loss and what you can do to try and stop it.
How does stress effect our body?
The fight-or-flight response is a physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival. The adrenal cortex releases stress hormones called cortisol. This has a number of functions, including releasing stored glucose from the liver (for energy) and controlling swelling after injury. The immune system is suppressed while this happens.
This physiological reaction can happen many times a day in our non-stop, social media driven world. For example, I go to the gym and put stress on my body, I work a demanding day job that can induce stress during the day, I have just bought my first house and I am about to get married. This all places stress on my body, and I have definitely noticed the effect, which also includes how I look. If you want to read more about the signs of stress check out my earlier blog, Manage Stress, Lose Fat.
What happened to my weight through stress?
I weigh myself every morning (right now because I am doing fat loss). On Saturday I weighed 60.6kg, by Sunday I was 60.8kg and by Monday I was 61kg. Why?
No I had not eaten differently, or drunk heavily and no I am not on my period. I knew this was all because I was feeling stressed. My sleep has been poor and I have had a constant nervous feeling in my chest. I have been balancing so many things, and running from one task to another. I had not had time to go to the gym. Yes the gym can act as a stress on your body but its normally where I will foam roll before and stretch after my workout. Both great for my body.
How did I manage the stress?
Step one was to accept that I couldn’t keep to my every day routine during a period of time that was not every day. So I have accepted that I cannot get to the gym to exercise without adding an extra stress. I am still doing my Ab Challenge and so this has given me some strength work. However, my main priority has been making sure I eat nutritious foods within my macro count and drink A LOT of water. As much as the gym is great, when it comes to fat loss nutrition really is the only thing that counts.
I decided yesterday once I had my main piece of work done TO DO NOTHING! I turned my laptop off. I put my phone on silent. I ran a hot bath filled with epsom salt and Neal’s Yard oils and I watched my favourite YouTubers. I gave myself a pedicure and I caught up on trashy TV. Later that evening I even had two little whiskies (counted in my macros) and a small bowl of Oppo ice cream.
And do you know what? This morning I weighed 60.2kg. The lowest since I have started my fat loss phase.
Is whisky and ice cream the secret to belly fat loss?
100% no! That is not what I am endorsing! What I am trying to show is that stress can have a physical impact on our bodies and that sometimes all you may need to do is stop and do a few simple things that make you feel happy.
If your aim is fat loss then remember that beating yourself up about staying perfect with the gym and your diet may not always be what your body needs.
What should I do for my body if I am feeling very stressed?
Don’t beat yourself up and be flexible with your to do list. If your workload is heavy and fitting in the gym will be stressful, than cut back on the gym that week and make sure you are on point with your nutrition instead.
What do you do to de-stress? Let me know!