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I have been wanting to talk about this process for some time.
This topic comes up on social media and other websites, and I just feel that so many people place personal emphasis on this topic. Non-educated statements, non-educated content and methods, plans, and so much more are designed, and fall into the minds of many readers that follow. There is a real problem in this area. You might not see it the same, but the truth is, so many people are easily misguided when it comes to understanding that weight loss is not the same for everyone. In-fact, very little, is it truly the same for, anyone!
I'd like to point out several factors over the course of several weeks ahead, that hinder the ability to lose weight properly, and to keep it off. But, I want to focus on just one of these factors for this week's blog post.
Mindset set- Stress
Mental mindset, somewhat cliche when you think about it, is the ability to fluctuate mental focus and emotions, based from various personal and environmental factors that can alter a clear, healthy perception. In this case, when someone is happy, and can become mentally distracted due to outside factors that change happiness, into let's say, depression, anger, etc. one's ability to stay mentally healthy can be altered, quickly. Our mental status is highly dependant upon our stress levels. Scientifically speaking, stress is bouts hormone production called cortisol that triggers the stress response. This biological response, also known as the body's stress response, is triggered by timing and severity of applied stimulus to the body, and during this process the body can quickly change actions, cause inflammation, and shut down organs to heal the body. "In many cases, the pathophysiological complications of disease arise from stress and the subjects exposed to stress, e.g. those that work or live in stressful environments, have a higher likelihood of many disorders" (Yaribeygi, Panahi, Sahraei, Johnston, & Sahebkar, 2017, para. 1).
As mentioned, mental mindset can be altered, depending on several external and internal variables. Mindset is truly an aspect to neurological health that should be understood and respected for obvious reasons. When people have a negative mental mindset, it is easy to factor in stress. And these individuals likely have chronic stress over long periods of negative mental mindset.
Through several scientific studies, stress has been studied and has shown researchers that the link between stress and weight loss are significant. In this, the findings are weighed by the outcome. Cortisol, as mentioned above, is the bodies stress hormone, produced in the adrenal glands, located above each kidney, and is secreted into the bloodstream.
This stress hormone has shown that fat storage or deposits are greater in both men and women, as the stress can increase fat in several areas, like the mid-section, also known as "belly fat."
Most individuals who become stressed, turn to unhealthy foods and may have an increase in appetite. This process is known as "stress eating." When stress eating occurs, the body stores the fat around the body (as mentioned above) and other chain reactions can occur. When chronic stress is not properly taken care of, fat metabolism is slowed down. "Researchers from the University of Florida (UF) recently discovered that chronic stress stimulates the production of a peptide hormone called betatrophin, which inhibits an enzyme required for fat metabolism" (Bergland, 2016, para. 2).
Although betatrophin also known as the Angiopoietin-Like Protein 8 has been in the spotlight as a possible hormone that can increase insulin production of beta cells among people with diabetes, it was later debunked. Today, this hormone has been found to be "a stress-related protein that makes it difficult to break down body fat and lose weight" (Bergland, 2016, para. 5). Although researchers have more studies to conduct on betatrophin's effects in the human body, findings do show favor that stress can cause stimulants that trigger fat stores, increased unhealthy eating, and a slow down for fat metabolism.
The process of stress is truly a vicious cycle. As you might be aware, when you are stressed out, you might find yourself consuming more foods, more alcoholic beverages, less productive sleep, less water consumption, and more. Your body cycles this new change and causes inflammation to occur in the brain and throughout the body. This cycle does not stop here. Studies have shown that the body's fat stores can send signal to the brain, which handles metabolism. Therefore, this cycle can be tricky to grasp.
Because stress and mental mindset go hand in hand with each other, we are designing classes at Gravitational Performance School of Sports Science that will offer this education and techniques to work on reducing stress, understanding signs and symptoms, and focusing your mental mindset to break the vicious life cycle of weight gain and inability to lose weight. The process is different for all, but when you become educated and aware of how your mind and body work, weight loss and sustainability is possible!
Stay tuned for our next blog posting that will point out the next factor on this list that hinders weight loss!
Bergland, C. (2016, January 8). Why does chronic stress make losing weight more difficult? Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201601/why-does-chronic-stress-make-losing-weight-more-difficult
Yaribeygi, H., Panahi, Y., Sahraei, H., Johnston, T. P., & Sahebkar, A. (2017). The impact of stress on body function: A review. EXCLI journal, 16, 1057–1072. https://doi.org/10.17179/excli2017-480