Weight loss is frustrating especially when you feel like you've tried everything! However, there are numerous silent culprits that may be the cause of your weight loss plateau. Earlier, you learned about how television and innocent snacking can stall your weight loss or even cause you to gain more pounds. Below is another culprit that can keep you plateauing. Culprit #3 - Stress
Merriam-Webster defines stress as a state resulting from a stress; especially : one of bodily or mental tension resulting from factors that tend to alter an existent equilibrium. There are three types of stress:
- Acute stress response - heart beats faster and there's an adrenalin rush.
- "Hurried Sickness” the persistent belief that there is never enough time.
- Chronic stress response – continued stress which leads to “wear & tear” on body.
The effects of stress on the body are incredible and it can impact your body, feelings, and behavior! If you have a stressful job or have a lot of stressful relationships, it's time to consider the toll it's taking on your health. If you're not sure if you're stressed, begin a food journal and note the times that you feel stressed out. Observe your cravings around that time and make a note to yourself. Do you crave sugary or high-fat foods and if so what's the pattern that you tend to follow when you experience stressful situations?
Stress can be a good thing for you but too much of it can be harmful, even toxic. Excessive stress can lead to over-eating, under-eating, and even bingeing. It's no wonder that folks under constant stress are often sick, lack energy, and may seek comfort foods to help them "de-stress." If you're under a lot of stress, it's time to re-work your life and get some help. Help can be as simple as getting some additional support during your high-stress hours of the day (e.g. relative, friend, mother's helper).
Get a handle on your stress so you can combat a weight loss plateau. My next post next week will discuss another culprit that may surprise you.