This is a guest post by Charlotte King.
Did you realise that stress could actually be making you fat?
Are you one of the many people who think they are doing all the right things?
You are exercising; you are eating your leafy greens however the weight just won’t budge? It could be stress that’s causing your body to cling onto the stored fat as if your life depended on it.
Stress is a major epidemic these days. Most of us are stressed all the time whether we realise it or whether we have just gotten used to it and except it as part of life. But stress can cause all sorts of health issues and can weaken your immune system. And it can make you gain weight or stop you from losing weight.
See when you get stressed (and your body doesn’t know the difference between a work deadline and a bear chasing you) your body releases stress hormones which start to effect a range of processes in your body including how you hold onto stored fat and can cause an increased appetite leading to weight gain.
So how can Meditation help?
Meditation has been shown to significantly reduce the levels of stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Which helps your body let go of fat stores and help you lose weight (with an appropriate diet and exercise of course).
It also helps you become more mindful and work towards mastering your emotions so you can become less reactive to life and more choice full with your attentiveness and responsive with your thoughts.
Meditation has also been shown to reduce anxiety and depression, which can also help prevent weight gain that is often associated with these conditions.
So what’s the best way to start meditating if you have never done it before?
- Start with just 10 minutes a day and use a guided mediation audio or an app like headspace which makes it easy to get started with meditation and to quickly engraining your meditation practice as a habit.
- Practice deep breathing whenever you feel stressed. A great way to do this is to take a breath in to the count of 4, hold your breath for a count of 4, let your breath go for a count of 4 and then hold your breath exhaled for a count of 4. Watch how it instantly triggers the relaxation response in your body and starts to make you feel better.
- Try a yoga class or a guided meditation class. This makes it easy for you to start and learn how to make meditation a part of your life.
- Make a time each day for your meditation practice and stay consistent so it becomes a long-term habit.
- Add gratitude to your practice. Thinking of three things each day that you’re grateful for trains your brain to scan for the positive throughout the day. This will not only help with your stress levels but according to Harvard professor Shawn Achor, your brain is actually 31% more productive at positive than at neutral, negative or stressed. Extra motivation to get positive and stress less!
Is stress impacting your weight loss efforts or do you have a favourite meditation tip you would like to share with us? Let us know in the comments below.
About the author: Charlotte is passionate about helping people lose weight and keep it off. Currently studying to be a health coach at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and can be found at http://topratedweightlossshakes.com and http://topratedweightlossproducts.com