Stress Reduction Can Improve Weight Loss

WedSept12CI.jpgIN YOUR DAILY DOSE: A study from the University College of London may help you lose more weight with less effort.

MAKING CHANGES: Utilize these simple stress reduction methods and you’ll experience benefits beyond the effort it takes to do them.

FACT OR FICTION: Would you like to visit a different beach every day? And, if so, how long would you be willing to do this, without ever leaving the country?


In The News

A study from the University College of London finds that stress may increase your risk of obesity, overeating, and later type 2 diabetes (a risk of obesity). This study finds stress increases your level of cortisol secretion from your adrenal glands that sit atop your kidneys.

The paper was published in the journal Obesity and found that chronic stress was associated with greater secretion of cortisol and then higher levels of obesity. Previous studies relied on measurements of cortisol from blood or saliva, but these researchers measured long-term exposure to cortisol through testing hair. Dr. Sarah Jackson, senior researcher, commented on the results in Science Daily, saying:

"These results provide consistent evidence that chronic stress is associated with higher levels of obesity. People who had higher hair cortisol levels also tended to have larger waist measurements, which is important because carrying excess fat around the abdomen is a risk factor for heart disease, diabetes, and premature death. Hair cortisol is a relatively new measure which offers a suitable and easily obtainable method for assessing chronically high levels of cortisol concentrations in weight research and may therefore aid in further advancing understanding in this area."


Daily Health Tip

Stress reduction will do more than help you control your weight. Stress reduction affects your heart health, stroke, diabetes, weight management, mood and your emotional stability.

Making Changes

Staying physically healthy and incorporating stress reduction techniques may help to reduce your stress level and your blood pressure.

  1. Get 8 hours of sleep a night. When exhausted, your brain does not function as well. You will have more problems with focus and with the ability to think through problems. In fact, when tired, your brain functions as if you have been drinking alcohol with reduced reaction time and processing speed.
  2. Get 20 to 30 minutes of sunshine each day. Sun is a great way for your body to manufacture vitamin D, but it also affects your brain and your mood. If you can’t get outside, use a light bulb in the house designed for people with seasonal affective disorder. All of us benefit by being in the sun!
  3. Exercise every day. Whether you are walking after lunch and dinner or working out for an hour at the gym, get some exercise. Your digestive system works better, your arteries will be healthier and your mood better too.
  4. Drink enough water to stay hydrated. Your urine should be light straw color. If it’s darker then you aren’t drinking enough and if it’s lighter you are drinking too much.
  5. Find what works best for your stress reduction. Some people practice yoga, others just exercise and others find that prayer helps to relieve their stress of everyday living. However you choose to manage stress, it’s important that YOU manage stress and not that the stress in your life manages you.

There are several different stress reducing activities you may have tried but the following three are our favorites as they are supported by research and they work, whether you believe they will or not. In other words, there is no placebo effect with these strategies - when you practice them consistently and correctly you WILL enjoy the benefits. And one of the nicest benefits is stress reduction.

Don’t just read these - actually DO THEM.

  1. Exercise - you may not want to hit the gym and sweat to the oldies, but you can go for a 30 minute walk after dinner each night. The combination of being outdoors in the sun and exercise has a calming effect on your nervous system. If being outside is out of the question, try an indoor bike, exercise ball, mini-trampoline or any other activity that raises your heart rate. You aren’t training for the Olympics, you’re just moving.
  2. Emotional Freedom Techniques - this is a bit like acupressure, using specific areas of your body to interrupt energy pathways. This is NOT some new age nonsense, but is based on 1,000s of years of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It helps reduce stress and anxiety and can even help improve your motivation. It’s easy to learn, can be done at home or even in public and takes just minutes. You can learn more about it here:
  3. Yoga - that’s right - yoga. It can be a simple form that isn’t very physically taxing or you can try a Hot Yoga class done in a room heated to near 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Research demonstrates that yoga has a significant number of positive benefits to your health, well above reducing stress and anxiety.  Just 12 minutes a day may reduce your potential for osteoporosis, reduce stress, depression, anxiety and improve your cardiovascular health. Simple, easy and 12 minutes a day - do you have an extra 12 minutes each day to reduce your stress?


Daily Affirmation
When I witness injustice, I avoid sitting back in silence. My conscience rarely allows me to turn a blind eye. I carefully state my objection without offending others. It is important for me to be true to myself at all times.
A clear conscience allows me to be objective. I am better able to be honest in future situations when I practice objectivity.

Fact or Fiction?

Would you like to visit a different beach every day? And, if so, how long would you be willing to do this, without ever leaving the country?

The definition of a single beach is an area of sand that stretches more than 20 meters (65 feet) and stays dry at high tide. By this definition there are over 10,000 beaches in Australia, which means you can visit a new one every day for 27 years!

Have a wonderful day!

Your Healthy Life America Team


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