5 Ways to Minimise Stress For Better Results
Now boys and girls, I invite you to dive into this imaginary scenario with me and take a journey. Christmas is here, you know all the christmas feasts are going to inevitably do you some damage. You are as determined to shed all the festive body fat. Now December flew by like a blink of an eye and hey welcome to 2019. You are joining the New Year Resolution team and swear the summer beach body is surely happening this year. Now the problem is you look into the mirror, the image is not essentially giving you the confident you need, plus those happy few pounds you gained from Christmas. You start to doubt if those few pounds are staying here for good, training is not going as well as you imagined…Now, all the stress begins to creep in. “Oh lord what have I done…’”
Stressful isn’t it? Sorry to put you through this but offence is the best defence am I right? Being stressful here might have actually been the reason you are not losing fat! Let alone all the other components on fat loss, stress is definitely one of the element we don’t pay enough attention to, and yet having a massive impact on achieving your goal. The vicious circle begins as you begin to worry more about how you are not one step closer to your set destination with all the work you have been putting in. The more you stress about fat loss, the more fat being reluctant to be lost.
Before we talk about how to minimise stress effective for fat loss, let’s understand why stress gets in the way and how it works on our body.
Cortisol: love it or hate it?
Cortisol, as many known as the “fight or flight’’ hormone, is a hormone produced in the adrenal glands functioning as part of the stress response system. The adrenal glands secrete cortisol whenever you be in stress, mentally and physiologically. Hence, it triggers the “fight or flight” response, initially designed as a survival mechanism when we are faced with immediate threat (literally for producing enough adrenaline for our ancestors to run away from whatever danger you can imagine.) Increase of cortisol helps to regulate blood sugar maintenance, improvements of memory, spike of energy and inflammatory response.
Problem being in modern society, we hardly greet the level of immediate threat that requires such intense chemical reaction of cortisol production. Undesirable effects in the body will likely to arise in this case. With increase sensitivity of stress in modern society, excessive stress puts your body in a compromised physiological state where it sustains in “fight or flight” mode for prolonged period of time, way long than your body should be. This phenomenon would increases your blood pressure, messes up your blood sugar balance, compromises your immune system, causes chronic inflammation and most undesirably promotes fat mobilisation , which means fat cells being broken down into bloodstream for later use of energy when body is under “fight or flight” response. This is not an ideal situation as the stored fat is hardly needed for excess energy expenditure which means they will be redeposited in the fat tissue around your stomach, visible and non visible (visceral fat).
Ok so now I properly got you a little stressed out. To compensate for this, we are sharing our 5 top tips on minimising stress. This would be a golden opportunity for you to try it out right now.
1. Stay present
Overthinking about what you have done earlier the day, did I actually reply “you too” when being greeted in a restaurant with “enjoy your meal”, all the could have would have should have probably causes our body to induce all too many unnecessary stress. Deal with what is in front of you, practice mindfulness, stay present my friends.
Needless to say, sleep is one of the essential survival element which is crucial for recharge of our brains, muscle recovery and memory consolidation. All the good stuffs happen when we are sleeping basically. Lack of sleep and poor quality sleep could definitely cause physiological stress where your body would have a harder time maintaining energy levels by producing more cortisol. Hormonal imbalances that are caused by lack of sleep can lead to increase of appetite too.
3. HIIT over steady state cardio
In comparison to steady state cardio, HIIT causes an oxygen deficit that introduces “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption” which requires your body to continue the calorie burning process at a faster rate for up too 48 hours after the workout.
Aside of the famous “afterburner effect”, it also benefits your body in a metabolic way which improves your insulin sensitivity. With better insulin sensitivity, your body can utilities blood glucose faster and better, therefore more efficient body fat reduction.
4. How you eat is who you are
Since your appetite and calorie intake is largely controlled by hormones, eating slowly allows the hormones that send signal of fullness from your body to your brain more efficiently, hence reducing appetite and increasing satiety. This signal process takes about 20 minutes for your brain to receive. Beside that, eating slowly also improve digestion, increase nutrient absorption, create a feeling of calmness which ultimately leads to less stress.
5. Have clarity over actions
Having a delightful Christmas meal with loved ones is certainly not a sin which you should be stressed about, so as having a day or two derailing from your diet plan on your birthday week. As long as the decision is being made consciously after analysing if the tradeoff of the action is worth it. Make decision, move on, make better decision.
As of everything else, practice makes perfect, well improvement at least. And now, sit with yourself for a moment and plan out strategy on Christmas. Make it an enjoyable one with minimal stress.
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