How Does Stress Affect Weight Loss?

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Stress has woven itself into almost every aspect of our lives. Whether it’s about money, relationships, work, etc., stress is always hanging over our heads like a dark cloud. While on your weight loss journey, there could be nothing worse than adding stress into the mix. Stress is not a friend to weight loss, and here is how stress will only make your journey harder to finish. 

Stress vs Weight Loss

While it is almost impossible to completely remove stress from your life, it is important to try, especially when trying to lose weight. According to Healthline, for many people, stress can have a direct impact on their weight. Whether it causes weight loss or weight gain can vary from person to person — and even from situation to situation.

In some cases, stress may lead to missed meals and poor food choices. For others, stress may cause them to completely lose the desire to eat. Oftentimes, this change is only temporary. Your weight may return to normal once the stressor has passed.

One of the main problems with high-stress levels in the body is the production of the hormone cortisol. Your body identifies stress and the adrenal glands will begin to produce cortisol, which puts the body into a catabolic state – meaning it will begin to eat or break down muscle. Muscle is key during weight loss because it helps to increase our body’s basal metabolic rate to burn fats. Therefore, if you are losing muscle mass, you are losing the ability to burn fat which is very counterproductive when trying to lose weight. We must keep our stress levels down in order to prevent excess cortisol in the body and maintain our muscle mass! This is why we like to say your adrenal glands are your “key to weight loss”.

Whichever way stress affects your weight loss, neither option is healthy for your body. Whether you put weight on, or weight falls off, both fluctuations are temporary because stress is temporary! 

Signs Your Weight Loss Is Connected To Stress

A change in your weight can be linked to stress if you are also experiencing:

  • Headaches
  • Indigestion
  • Aches and pains
  • Tense muscles
  • Mood changes
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Difficulty with short-term memory
  • Increased heart rate

Join The Aspen Clinic – We Have 9 Locations in Louisiana

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If you need help working through your stress or help along our weightloss journey, join us! The Aspen Clinic program is based on lifestyle changes, not temporary dieting. In summary, our program is designed to increase your metabolism and help you develop a new set of eating and activity habits. We will individualize your program according to your daily caloric needs to ensure that you are losing fat and avoiding the loss of lean muscle mass. 
Visit any of our Aspen Clinic locations across Louisiana, Baton Rouge, Covington, Hammond, Harvey, Houma, Lafayette, Metairie, Prairieville, and Slidell, or schedule an appointment today to get started!