The death of my dog in March as well as the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic definitely increased my stress levels this year. That stress triggered the release of several hormones, starting with two main ones, adrenaline, and cortisol.
Adrenaline is the hormone that gets your heart racing and your blood pumping. The other hormone, cortisol, is the real problem. Cortisol releases fat and sugar into your bloodstream. But when stress becomes chronic―as it is for many of us during this time―cortisol can actually signal your cells to store as much fat as possible and inhibit the body from releasing fat to burn as energy. What’s worse is that fat tends to accumulate in the abdominal region. Yep, that’s exactly where my fat has accumulated this year! That’s because visceral fat, which resides behind the abdominal muscles, has more cortisol receptors than fat below the skin. This helps explain why we develop cravings for macaroni and cheese, caramel loaded coffee drinks, and those cream filled doughnuts.
So, before leaving the house to run errands and then realizing a trip to indulge in your favorite Pumpkin Caramel Coffee drink (for the second time in one week) would be a nice treat, put on a pair of your tight-fitting pants to remind you to hold back on the extra calories. Instead, cut those calories by replacing them with a lowered-calorie snack from home, such as 1 oz. of pretzels, 5 ginger snaps, or 11 dark chocolate almonds. And don’t forget to take your 16 oz. of water with you too! Those are certainly two strategies that can save you 5, 10, 15 or more pounds―especially with Halloween approaching to kick off the fall/winter seasons.
Strategy number 3: Do Yoga. With its poses, breathing exercises, meditations, and relaxation it is highly effective in reducing levels of anxiety and stress. A regular yoga practice can help you drop a dress or pants size. In fact, yogis generally weigh about 15 pounds less than non-yoga practitioners. Take advantage of this month's Community Donation-Based Yoga Class by clicking HERE. For private yoga please contact me by clicking HERE.
Strategy number 4: Music. Listening to happy, uplifting, and motivating music stimulates the desire to move, dance, sing, and be happy! So, I challenge you to listen to Ginkgo Garden’s Voices from the Past-Club Mix or Reese Witherspoon's Shake it Off. Don’t fight the impulse and let loose! Boost the mood and lose weight! Double whammy!
And drum roll please, last but not least ― data collection. Check your measurements once a month to record your progress. If your consistent with the strategies above, then you may surprise yourself and save 5, 10, 15, or more pounds sooner than you’d think! Feel free to use my tracking chart below and to make as many copies that you think you’ll need.
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