Why you can't lose weight otherwise known as : STRESS
So. You can’t lose weight. Maybe you think you can’t lose weight because you just need to control your eating habits better, cut back on the heavy calories in the beer or wine, eat less sugar, or just stop that midnight snacking and weekend binge eating/drinking. Maybe you think if you just got some exercise, or more exercise, everything would be better. Or maybe you’re one of those really frustrated types who exercises like crazy (P90x crazy people), eats pretty well and can’t shed a pound and can’t figure it out.
Good news folks! You are probably dealing with some really high levels of stress! Yes there’s other reasons why you might not be shedding a pound, and we could certainly talk about that whenever you want, but for now I’m focusing on stress related causes for not losing weight, since I see it a lot, and it manifests in a lot of different ways, and no quick fix diet plan is going to solve your dilemma.
To all you postpartum women, men and women on decade 2 or 3 of high-stress jobs, or those of you suffering from the chronic stress of a tough partnership, parenthood or caretaking position of a loved one. This one is for you. You all have one thing in common. You are Stressed out, and probably not managing it very well.
How do people look when they are stressed and not managing it? They are eating too much, not exercising regularly enough, gaining weight around the middle, not sleeping well, emotionally volatile or turned off, drinking coffee in the morning and alcohol in the night, depressed, angry, unmotivated to make changed in their life for the better, just trying to hang on for dear life. Sound familiar? Maybe you are 5 of the 10 listed above. No matter, this affects you too.
So here’s your take home message: You can’t do it alone! You didn’t learn how to read by yourself, or ride a bike, or communicate, you had coaches all along the way. And if you’re really smart, you still have coaches, fitness trainers, business coach if you’re a lucky entrepreneur, counselors, mentors at work, pastors and priests at church, maybe even a dietitian or an acupuncturist, maybe even me. Point being. You’re getting older, things are shifting, you’re aging, stress has been sleeping in your bed for 7, 15, 23 years now and you think you can figure out how to manage it. You might even think that you can manage it, you know what to do, you’re just not doing it. Tricky tricky. Well I’m here to tell you another perspective.
You’ve never been here before, so how would you know how to get back? I mean, your stress levels have creeped up, you’ve managed them the best way you know how, and look where it’s gotten you? Read 2 paragraphs above! So clearly you don’t know how to manage your stress and weight by yourself. You need a stress manager, or 2.
Here are some easy things to remember:
- weight loss is very difficult when stressed
- relaxation techniques, meditation, prayer, breathing exercises reduce the levels of stress hormones in your body
- adrenal support is essential to modulate stress hormone production, talk to your naturopath or come see me
- acupuncture, massage, hot tubs, scrubs at the spa, saunas, craniosacral therapy or any other hands on therapies reduce stress levels
- stopping the addictive cycles of temporary stress reduction like alcohol, tobacco, watching tv instead of sleeping or exercising, eating when you’re not hungry.
- stopping the addictive cycles of uppers that keep you going and increase your stress hormones, coffee, red bull, sugar, monsters, etc.
But here’s the catch, you can’t just STOP doing the bad things, that doesn’t work, or you would have done it by now. So ADD in the good things, TAPER out the bad things, be GENTLE with yourself, and get a coach to lead you through this process. It’s not easy, but by reducing your stress, stress triggers and stress inducers you can start the gradual process of permanent weight loss.