Meditation

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If you’re stressing about the tides of that ocean of lard on your belly not receding, you might want to consider the possibility that what you’re doing wrong may not be your exercise or your fat burning diet, but your stress itself.  For most people, anxiety itself can actually lead to increased weight gain.  If you’re thinking to yourself, doesn’t anxiety speed up your metabolism and suppress your appetite?  It does initially, but the hormone cortisol is released by the adrenal gland as your body’s natural way of calming itself down, which works well until it gives you an inevitable spike in appetite.  Cortisol itself actually converts fats and protein into glucose to be burned off, but it’s this impending spike in appetite that is the reason why many people gain weight.

The first solution to this may be to get anxiety medication, but many of them can exacerbate weight gain themselves.  For instance, Paxil and most other SSRIs can induce carb-cravings and slow down metabolism.  Instead, you should consider non medicinal methods of anxiety “exercises.” Not only are they less expensive, but have been proven to help with a litany of other ailments as well.

The most inexpensive one out there is probably Progressive Muscle Relaxation.  PMR is based upon the fact that muscle tension and anxiety are directly related.  The idea is that if you tense and then release all the muscles in your body, it will work in reverse, signaling to your brain that you are in a relaxed state.  It only takes around 15 minutes a day, and consists of simply tensing and relaxing all the muscles in your body (skipping the ones that aren’t “problem” muscles).  Although PMR only cures anxiety temporarily, many people believe that habitual use can lead to the ability to “turn off” the anxiety just by imagining the exercises.

If you have a little more money to spend, you can also try biofeedback.  Biofeedback focuses on strengthening the connection between the body and the mind just like PMR, but with a more permanent intent.  Many biofeedback kits come with a headset and software that monitors physiological functions such as heart beat, sweat production and respiration.  The goal of this training is to condition your mind to consciously alter the rate of these functions, leading to a change in the disorder that they are a symptom of.  Biofeedback has been proven in studies to not only reduce anxiety, but ulcers and hypertension as well.

Try some of these exercises, and even if you don’t notice your gut getting smaller, the prevention from future ailments that these exercises offer make it more than worthwhile.

Byline:
Eric Hirota is a personal trainer at LAVA Sport & Fitness located in San Diego, CA. He specializes in plyometrics and lowering body fat percentage.

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Stress

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Have you wondered why you can’t lose weight even though you have tried everything to decrease your calorie intake? This is true since weight issues have multi-factorial causes. You can’t just rely on diet for total weight loss, sometimes there are other factors why you always gain weight. Below are some factors that you think they didn’t matter before, but once you look at them closely, you’ll see that they do matter! Check them out.

Lack of Sleep

Researchers have found out that sleep cycles can balance the hormones responsible for food cravings and overeating, mainly Ghrelin and Leptin. Ghrelin a hormone said to stimulate hunger and digestion is usually released during a prolonged empty stomach, while leptin is a hormone secreted by fat cells which creates feelings of satiety. Leptin increases along with insulin when you eat but decreases at a percentage of 15% when you sleep 5 hours or less. This means that you actually starve more and feel less full when you lack sleep, and this goes all day until you really get some serious rest. Best advice? Sleep well and get proper balance of these hormones.

Stress

Stress can be of any form and the most common stressors come from work. Studies have shown that stress actually increases your weight. With too much stress, a person is more likely to do lesser physical activities and tends to eat more. As a result the normal digestion pattern is altered. The best way to counter stress and avoid weight gain is through physical exercise and activity. Start introducing simple forms of exercise into your daily routine and do as much effort to stand and get a move on to avoid further stress.

Watching too much television or staying too long on computers

Watching too much television or even facing the computer all the time would definitely increase your weight. People usually go home from work or school and lay in the living room and watch TV the whole night. Instead of spending so much time in TV or computers, try to spend more time with your kids or dogs and play games or go with them for walks. Take note of the stagnant lifestyle that you’ve been doing. Try to correct it and spend some more time outdoor, have some fresh air and do more exercises to lose weight.

Caffeine on coffees

Drinking too much coffee (with or without caffeine) may affect your appetite and eating because caffeine increases the levels of cortisol and blood sugar. Also, caffeine may increase anxiety which in turn increases stress level. Now to avoid drinking too much coffee, you can have alternatives like water, natural energy drinks or green tea (or any sort of tea). They are much better than just relying on coffee all day long. Remember that too much of anything is bad. Try to have less caffeine by having healthy alternative beverages or drinks, and protect your health with diets to lose weight.

These factors as small as they may be they can very well ruin your weight loss program. Try to take note of these and make some necessary changes. Nevertheless enjoy the ride to losing weight. Good luck!

Alex writes about healthy weight loss. You can read his latest article on the best fat burning foods.

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