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By: Matt Weik

When you think about what it takes to lose weight, most people would tend to say it comes down to your nutrition and exercise.  Well, they're not wrong.  Both of those are, indeed, necessary to maximizing weight loss results.  However, there is one extremely underrated piece that many fail to work on that can truly help or hinder your weight loss results.  What is this underrated piece? It's stress reduction.

Why Focus on Stress Reduction?

What does stress reduction have to do with weight loss?  Actually, a lot.  In fact, if you are overly stressed, it can cause you to:

  • Overeat (emotional eating)
  • Consume unhealthy foods more often
  • Reduce your energy levels
  • Not pay attention to portion sizes
  • Increase your alcohol consumption
  • Skip your workouts
  • Sleep fewer hours each night

The difficult thing when it comes to stress reduction is figuring out what's triggering your stress and finding ways to manage it.

Many things go on when you're stressed that can contribute to weight gain and completely derail your weight loss progress.  Obviously, we have the list mentioned above, but some other things are going on behind the scenes that you can only control and focus on if you know they are there.

Stress and Cortisol Levels

Stress is something we all deal with on a daily basis.  We have work stress, family stress, environmental stress, workout stress, relationship stress, stress about stress – you get the picture.  We don't have a shortage of things that bring stress to our lives.

An issue that arises when we are stressed is the release of a stress hormone called cortisol.  As mentioned above, you aren't going to "feel" the release of this hormone, it's merely taking place behind the scenes and trying to unravel your weight loss results.  

As stress builds up, your body not only releases cortisol, but it also releases adrenaline, and when this combination of hormones is produced, it releases glucose into your blood.  As your body utilizes the energy from the glucose, it once again pushes out cortisol.

With an increase of cortisol, you may find you have extreme cravings for things that contain sugar and fat.  Both of which can push weight loss to the side.  Another side effect of high cortisol levels is that it can cause your body to store the food you consume (such as the fat and sugar you were craving).  So, as you would assume, the cycle repeats itself when cortisol is released.  You crave sugar and fat, you eat it, you store it as body fat, more cortisol is released, and you're back to the cravings.  This is a slippery slope that, when not controlled, can lead to excessive weight gain – and quickly.

Want some more bad news?  I know what you're thinking… "Wait… There's more?!" Unfortunately, yes.  On top of the cravings and increase in body fat storage, your metabolism is also going to take a hit and slow down.  This will make it difficult for you to lose weight as you'll not only be storing body fat, but you also won't be burning as many calories throughout the day – it's a double-whammy.  

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How to Effectively Focus on Stress Reduction

To succeed at stress reduction, there are a few key strategies that are recommended.  From the list below, pick and choose what you are interested in implementing into your day and give it/them a try.  The key takeaway is to be consistent.  If you start missing days, the adverse side effects associated with stress can start pumping the brakes with your weight loss results.

  1. Make Some Quiet Time

Being that we live hectic lives, it's good to make time during the day where you can sit quietly and don't need to hear a bunch of commotion going on around you.  Maybe your quiet space is a room in your house that is away from kids and noise?  Or perhaps you have a particular spot you like to go, such as a nearby lake, beach, or woods just to sit and relax?  Regardless, if you want to focus on stress reduction, making quiet time each day can be a great way to accomplish this.

  1. Get in a Workout

Working out has a therapeutic effect on many. It's their time to push some weight around and push their body to the limit (only in an enjoyable way where they are relieving stress).  Many find getting in a workout after the workday is done is their saving grace as they can hit the gym and work out their frustrations from the day in a positive manner.  Also, a hit of endorphins from your workout will help you feel better too.

  1. Read a Book

When it comes to stress reduction, curling up with a good book on a comfy chair is always a great idea.  While I'd recommend something educational that deals with self-improvement, you can choose whatever you like – whether it's fiction or non-fiction.  A book has a means of taking you away from reality.  You get sucked into the book, and before you know it, an hour has passed, and you didn't think once about how much stress you've been under.  Reading before bed is also a great way to focus on stress reduction and can even help you fall asleep faster.  

  1. Listen to Music

They say music speaks to the soul.  Now, it's not recommended that you turn on just any type of music.  Your selection should be something soothing and calming.  Heavy metal or anything that gets your heart rate up would not be an ideal candidate for helping with stress reduction.  The whole premise of stress reduction is calming yourself and releasing tension – the wrong kind of music (while it may be entertaining) could have the opposite effect.

  1. Go for a Walk

After dinner or at night, go out for a 30-minute walk.  Nothing intense, just a nice slow and calming walk.  It could be around your neighborhood or even through the woods or a nearby park.  The main thing to focus on is going out and clearing your head.  Do it alone, with your dog, with your spouse or significant other/friend, or the entire family.  If you feel like having someone to walk and chat with, go for it.  If you simply want to be alone and walk in silence, do that if you prefer.  Exercise can help release stress, have a calming effect, and is a great way to get in some low-intensity exercise that helps burn some extra calories each day.

  1. Be Technology Free

Technology is one of the biggest reasons we are under stress.  We can't get away from our devices. It's a blessing and a curse. It's great that we have everything at our fingertips, but a curse in that you are essentially accessible 24/7.  When focusing on stress reduction, eliminate the noise.  Eliminate the distractions and things that are pulling you away from a calm state.  As soon as your phone or tablet dings or buzzes, you can almost instantly feel that someone is pulling your attention and time away from what you want to do outside of work. It's your time, use it how you wish without having to worry about what others need from you.  The best thing to do is turn off all technology when you clock out for the day.  Anything that happens during after hours will need to wait until the next morning. 

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Reduce the Negative Effects Cortisol Causes Due to Stress

Cortisol can wreak havoc on your body.  Unfortunately, unless you can lower your stress levels, it's going to affect you one way or another.  Sometimes, implementing the strategies mentioned above simply isn't enough.  For that reason, MPA created CortiSolve to help optimize your cortisol levels.

By managing cortisol through the use of MPA CortiSolve and its patented ingredients, you can help decrease both mental and physical stress, improve your sleep quality, recover faster following intense workouts, increase muscle growth, and notice improvements with fat loss.  

CortiSolve is a supplement that everyone can benefit through its use.  From the highly stressed business owner or CEO to the average everyday fitness enthusiasts who enjoys hitting the gym to improve their health and physique.  

Don't let stress and cortisol get the best of you!  Reduce them with the help of CortiSolve.