Our conscious and unconscious beliefs surrounding food, eating, and activity are significant factors when it comes to weight management and fitness.
If you want to lose weight, eat more healthfully, or get more exercise, your defining moment is when you decide to do something about it.
We have all heard the traditional “calories in, calories out” and “move more, eat less” advice. But weight loss is more complicated than that. This may sound surprising, but stress plays a significant role in our ability to lose weight.
I would suggest that you ignore the goal of weight loss entirely and shift your focus to stress relief.
It is important to remember that weight is just a number and giving it too much power just in itself can be stressful. Once you shift your focus, weight loss can become a whole lot easier.
Other healthy habits can come more easily too—like sleeping through the night, finding the energy to exercise, and cooking a healthy meal after a long day of work.
Stress makes everything feel harder. We have only a finite amount of energy and hours in the day. When we are dealing with stressful situations and struggling to cope, we simply have less time for healthy habits such as working out or planning healthy meals. And even if you are managing to do these things, it can still be harder to lose weight.
Multiple studies show how stress and lack of sleep can lead to an increase in your cortisol levels which have been linked to increased appetite and cravings for unhealthy foods. Stress also increases insulin levels, which impacts your ability to burn off those comfort foods.
Stress makes it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep, it can also have an effect on the quality of the sleep you do get, leading you to feel sluggish and fatigued, disrupting cortisol production, effecting your metabolism and impacting eating habits.
Having higher levels of cortisol in your body can cause you to:
- Increase your appetite
- Make you crave foods that have a lot of sugar, calories, and fat.
- Higher cortisol levels can also cause more fat to accumulate around your tummy.
- Increase your blood sugar
All of these things can make it harder for you to lose weight.
And what if you’ve reached a plateau despite eating healthy and regular exercise? Sometimes even then, the scale gets stuck because your body thinks that you need to hold onto those extra calories to deal with the stress.
The idea is to work with your body by changing subconscious behaviour patterns, managing stress, and focusing on the positive, rather than fighting yourself every step of the way. When you’re stressed, everything seems harder. But when you prioritise your emotional health and find ways to cope that don’t involve diving face-first into a bag of beef flavoured Monster Munch, you can free up space and energy that can help you to feel truly healthy and lose weight.
Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can enable you to reduce stress, take the weight off, keep it off, and stay healthy. In addition to working together for just an hour once a week, I will provide you with a guided relaxation track. This is will be your “me time” that will help you to keep your stress levels down. Winding down at the end of the day can help you sleep, which in turn will help tomorrow feel a little less stressful.
Work with me so that healthy habits can seem more manageable. You can’t pour from an empty cup, and chronic stress drains your cup—once you start to manage it, all your health goals may feel much easier.