Losing weight is hard enough when all conditions are perfect. It becomes even more difficult when certain other factors make it harder for your body to metabolize body fat. In this blog post I want to shed light on one of the more common physiological roadblocks that we often see with clients in our Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky weight loss centers. The subject today is stress and how it can slow down weight loss. Stress is often thought of as strictly a mental/emotional condition. Unfortunately, stress can cause a physiological response that can slow down weight loss even when doing a solid diet plan. A study published in 2018 titled; Impact of a stress management program on weight loss, mental health and lifestyle in adults with obesity: a randomized controlled trial found that when people who were trying to lose weight undergo stress management counseling they reduce their BMI by a much more significant amount compared to those who do not.
What most researchers believe is the cause of this is the release of stress hormones, namely cortisol. When someone experiences a stressful event there body makes stress hormones to help us deal with the event. One of the stressful situations that humans faced many decades ago was a lack of food in the environment. During these periods, cortisol would help up to conserve our body fat. Unfortunately today stress comes in the form of money, school, job, kids, etc. Our primitive body can still recognize these events as the same stressors from humans past and trigger this fat conservation pathway. If feeling stressed and having a difficult time losing weight you may want to look into some stress management techniques before abandoning the diet plan.