You have some holiday weight to lose if you are anything like me.
Many women want to jump right into a new diet or start exercising five days a week. While watching your intake and moving your body is super important, those are not the only things that need to happen to start losing weight if you are a busy woman.
Lowering your stress levels, getting plenty of sleep, and drinking water are top strategies to lose holiday weight.
Stress levels: Weight gain can come from different reasons due to stress. The first one is a result of emotional eating. When stress levels are high, many women eat to relieve the pressure, only adding to their stress because they gain weight from the extra food. If you can learn to feel the emotion instead of eating, you could save hundreds of calories!
Then our busy lives lend themselves to stress. During stressful circumstances, our bodies produce more of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone.
Back in the caveman days when cortisol was present, our bodies think we used up calories running from a tiger. When there is stress in today's world, we are not running from a tiger. We may be dealing with more mental stress than physical. Our bodies still think that calories were depleted during the mental focus, and the body wants them replenished. The process kicks in a craving for fast calories, like sugary foods.
Body fat from cortisol production makes it harder to lose weight, especially around the stomach.
Sleep: This one ties into stress because when someone is stressed, they generally sleep less. Chronic fatigue causes the hormone ghrelin to rise. Ghrelin is the primary hunger hormone and causes someone to feel hungry even when calories are not needed.
Plus, skimping on sleep sets your brain up to make bad decisions.
Poor sleep decreases the brain's frontal lobe activity, the center of decision-making and impulse control. Your exercise for the day is likely to get skipped if you are tired too!
So it's a little like being drunk. You don't have the mental clarity to make good decisions.
Water: Drinking enough water is essential for burning off fat from food and drink, as well as stored fat, according to a 2018 Medical News Today article. Research supports the fact that drinking water before a meal or when a person feels hungry leads to a feeling of fullness.
So next time you want to reach for a snack, stop and grab a glass of water and wait 15 minutes to see if that was enough to get past your snack attack.
While watching what you eat and moving your body is essential, not giving attention to stress, sleep, and water is a disservice to your fat loss efforts.
If you want to end your weight loss struggle, join Weight Loss for Busy Caregivers. We are starting a new group program in February! I also offer 1:1 support. Don't let another year go by hoping for weight loss, reach out for help!