There is one question I am asked over and over again, which is – “I eat healthy, and I count my calories and exercise… so why can’t I ever lose weight?
If you’ve falsely believed that weight loss is all about calories in versus calories out there’s no need to feel embarrassed.
It’s not your fault.
Maybe you tried to lose weight by measuring and counting your calories all day, and to eat according to what some ridiculous online reference tells you is the right amount of food for you.
The fact is that 95% of all diets fail.
Want to know why?
I’ll tell you WHY
- Did you know that 95% of disease is either caused by or worsened by stress?
- Did you know that 75%-90% of healthcare visits are connected to stress-related conditions?
- Did you know that imbalanced levels of your stress hormone cortisol, leads to weight gain?
And here’s the kicker…
No matter how little you eat or how much you exercise, you won’t lose weight unless you address cortisol, or in other words, manage your stress.
As a nutritional health expert, I know that optimal health goes way beyond food. Hormonal imbalances, inflammation, stress, lack of sleep and a wrecked metabolism all contribute to weight gain, insomnia and low libido.
I think it’s safe to assume that you’d like to sleep through the night, feel energized throughout your day, feel sexy and confident in your body and avoid buying bigger clothing sizes every year… right?
Well, it might be time to take a lot of your hormones, particularly cortisol.
In fact, high levels of cortisol increase insulin levels in your body. Why should you be concerned about this? Because both cortisol and insulin are FAT storing hormones.
And the truth is, there is NO one magic pill you can take to manage your stress. You physically, mentally, emotionally need to get a handle on your stress or completely eliminate it, which I understand isn’t so easy at times.
If you’ve been burning the candle at the ends and feel like you just can’t get a handle on your stress or drop those unwanted pounds, here’s a few simple stress reduction tips to follow:
- BREATHE –How often are you rushing through the day feeling time-constrained and overwhelmed and never pay attention to your breathing? This is one of the most important, easiest and cheapest ways to manage our stress. When we are stressed, our breathing tends to be shallow and fast, instead of slow and steady.
Practice breathing through your diaphragm. Here’s how:
Start by lying on back (use your bed or the floor). This will make it easier to develop the proper deep breathing technique the first couple of times. Place one hand on your upper chest and the other on your belly just above your waist. Breathe in slowly through your nose. You should feel the hand on your belly rise. Breathe out slowly through your mouth. The hand on your belly should gradually lower. Repeat steps 3 and 4 a few times, then focus on allowing your ribcage to expand and widen as your belly moves out, so that you are filling up your entire lungs, from bottom to top.
- Take a B-Complex-Our B vitamins get depleted when we are stressed, which can lead to many nutrient deficiencies. B vitamins are important for the proper functioning of our nervous system and B5 in particular, is the anti-stress vitamin! B5 plays a role in the functioning of our adrenal glands and our adrenals can become quite fatigued if we are constantly under stress.
- L-Theanine– this amino acid, found primarily in green tea leaves produces a relaxed mental and emotional state without any sleepy side effects. It even improves memory, concentration and performance! It works by generating different brain waves and increasing the formation of GABA, a neurotransmitter that is key to relaxation and memory. You can generally find this in chewable forms and 100-200mg should do the trick!
- Think about your digestion and gut health – typically, stress can negatively impact how we digest and absorb our food. Ever eaten when rushed? Or how hungry were you before having to give a big presentation? Nerves and stress shut down our digestion, which is why it’s important to eat in a calm and peaceful state. Consider supplementing with digestive enzymes or probiotics to help support optimal digestion and gut health. This can also help to reduce gas and bloating.
Managing your stress, means managing your weight. But it also means, supporting your brain, combating inflammation, supporting your gut and balancing your hormones.
When you combine taking the right nutrients + managing your mental and emotional state + eating well + moving your body, you’ll be able to better adapt and handle stress, plus you’ll naturally support your hormones, which in turn, will keep those pounds off.
Pick one of the tips above and get started with it today!
Samantha Gladish is a Weight Loss and Women’s Health Coach. She is the founder of www.HolisticWellness.ca; a website dedicated to helping women lose weight and balance their hormones through delicious food. Samantha coaches and supports women from around the world on natural beauty, holistic health and nutrition. Her philosophy is that through changing the way we eat, think, move and care for our bodies, we can heal ourselves and live a life we love. Through therapeutic lifestyle changes, whole foods, and straight-forward guidance, clients become confident and empowered to lead healthier and vibrant lives. Clients report greater levels of energy, confidence in their bodies, and release excess weight after many years of feeling stuck.
Samantha is a Holistic Nutritionist, Women’s Health Coach, author, speaker, natural beauty advocate, and self-proclaimed foodie. For more information about Samantha and her coaching, visit www.HolisticWellness.ca.