How Stress Can Affect Your Weight Loss Goals
People are slowly developing an understanding of how their level of stress can impact their progress toward their weight loss goals. Numerous studies have identified the link between the type of the consumed calories and the success of a weight gain or loss objective. But relatively little has been done to associate body chemistry with weight loss.
Our bodies have evolved very little from the body that our cave dwelling ancestors had.
Sure, we have computers, cell phones, commercial flight and many other advances that our ancestors couldn’t even dream about but we still have pretty much the same body we had in the cave dwelling days.
Imagine a time where you were the hunter and the hunted. You constantly had your senses up and aware of any danger as you walked about in search of food. If you wanted to eat, you had to first find something edible, hunt it down and then prepare it for consuming.
Your body was in a state of stress because it was trying to save the food stores (i.e. “body fat”) it had while trying to supply your muscles with enough energy to support the hunt. This was a tricky balance in that letting go of too much body fat could lead to starvation whereas not releasing enough would lead to becoming fatigued which would lead to a failed hunt which would also lead to starvation.
Now consider our current lifestyle.
We no longer walk for miles to get our next meal. We can just drive to a local fast food joint or grocery store and try to decide from the plethora of options being offered. The result is that we do not engage in the exercise of our ancestors to obtain our next meal and so we do not dig into our food energy stores (i.e. body fat) to support the hunt.
Burning fewer calories means less body fat lost.
Our current stress is caused by our jerk boss and trying to pay the bills and our bodies treat these stressors in the same fashion as our ancestors. Our body’s response to this stress is to get back on the tightrope to balance between parceling out the calories and holding on to them.
Since we don’t walk for miles to pay our bills, we no longer have the physical exertion to burn off the calories and so our bodies are able to hold on to more of the body fat stores.
When we reduce our caloric intakes, the little caveman inside our bodies perceives this as a return to the fields of scarcity. This causes it to hold on to all the body fat it can to survive. If we stress our body with less food or jerk bosses then we are telling our bodies to KEEP the fat instead of losing it.
Reducing your stress levels as you exercise will allow the caveman within to work with you instead of against you.
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