It is often diet, training and even supplement use which gets the rap for somebody’s short comings and with good reason – often there are fundamental changes which are needed. However, there is something which a lot of people overlook and that is STRESS! Stress is the modern day disease of the western world and it is literally eating away at people’s health and it also can make getting the body you really desire a nightmare!
The thing with stress is that when it gets on top of you it is likely your body will secret more cortisol, a stress hormone which acts as a ‘’back up’’ energy source for the brain (over simplified but it will do). Cortisol has a bad way of causing stubborn body fat pockets typically around the lower areas of the abdomen, where a lot of people report they struggle to shift their unwanted blubber!
To tell you to never get stressed would be like saying don’t ever eat chocolate again, unrealistic. It isn’t going to happen like it or not, there will always be something there to stress you out whether it is something small like a forgetting to send a birthday card or something bigger like losing your job. These things are almost impossible to avoid, throughout life. However, what you can do is take steps to help the body cope with stress, naturally.
Having 10 minutes of complete piece to yourself, maybe at lunch going for a walk and thinking of absolutely nothing – nothing can work wonders. It can also help you become more productive for the rest of the day, a win-win.
In modern society we love to embrace the hot drinks culture, warming our palms several times a day with Columbia’s finest coffee. There is nothing wrong with coffee; in fact it is great for you. However, we need to be mindful of the effects caffeine can have on us at the wrong time of the day. It has a half-life of 6 hours which means if you go to bed before the 6 hour window ends it is going to be active. Having a poor night’s sleep is one of the worst contributing factors to stress! What’s more, this will also have a negative effect on growth hormone secretion.
Do you have solid sleeping pattern or is it all over the place? As we covered above, sleep is absolutely critical for overall health and stress management. Aim for 8 hours a night uninterrupted sleep and also try and stick to the same pattern. The human body typically likes to sleep in the pitch black and wake with the sun (light) so give it what it wants if you can. Stress management is essential in regards to sustaining a healthy body and burning body fat!
Take a good look at your life and see where you could make some changes in relation to the points in this article.