By: Tammy Hamilton
If you know you are eating right and exercising enough but you are still struggling to lose weight you might want to take a look at other factors that often get overlooked. How is your stress level? How are you sleeping? How much water are you drinking? You wouldn’t think these would impact your weight loss but they are very important factors that need to be considered.
Stress: An increase in stress can make your cortisol levels rise. This is the stress hormone typically associated with weight gain. Those that have a high amount of stress in their life may find that they are skipping meals and not eating enough food throughout the day. This can make you lose weight in the beginning but what happens is your body goes into “starvation mode” and will store more fat because it is worried it won’t be getting enough food in the future.
Or if you’re an emotional eater this can cause a weight gain because you are overeating and typically with foods that can cause weight gain.
Reducing your stress by meditating, breathing practices or going for a long walk each day can help to assure this doesn’t happen.
Sleep: Just like stress, not getting enough sleep can lead to an increase in your cortisol levels which has been associated to weight gain. If you are sleep deprived, your bodies ability to properly use insulin becomes disrupted and you become more insulin resistant. This excess insulin results in your body storing more fat.
How much sleep do you need? 7-8 hours is what I recommend.
Water: I can understand why someone would think that the more water they drink the more weight they will gain throughout the day but drinking water actually helps escalate and is absolutely essential for weight loss. If you aren’t drinking enough water your body can’t properly metabolize fat. Your body also goes into “starvation mode” (just like it does if you don’t eat enough food) and retain more water because it thinks it won’t be getting more and needs to store what it gets. Not drinking enough water can slow down your metabolism and we all know that is the opposite of what we want when we are trying to lose weight.
How much water should you drink? I recommend at least half your body weight in ounces of water per day.
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