In the big picture of weight loss and weight control, there are seven major factors that play together to drive if our genetics for being thin or heavy (extend anchor text to underlined) are turned on or off. Within these key seven factors, there are two that drive 95% of weight regain and weight rebounds. I’ll reveal what the other five over the next couple months.
The part of our brain that processes our perception of mental and emotional stress, the hypothalamus, is also the part that manages nearly every important system of weight loss; blood sugar regulation, satiety, blood pressure, thyroid function and thermogenesis. Other factors like the stress hormone that causes cravings, cortisol, are not directly controlled by the hypothalamus but are indirectly affected by how this part of the brain functions and how it deals with our stress.
When we don’t assist our hypothalamus to manage stress efficiently, it gets overloaded and our wishes for weight loss go out the window. You’ve heard that stress and weight are related, but acknowledging its importance is critical.
For decades, researchers have been quantifying how important it is for us to do everything we can to change our brain’s reaction to stress in order to have more successful weight loss. The verdict is that if we do little or nothing to assist the hypothalamus, then we fall into the 95 percentile who rebound in weight gain. If we do things to assist it, we successfully land in the 5%who don’t rebound or regain. It’s been documented that 95% of us who diet, do too little to assist our hypothalamus consistently.
Let’s qualify what this means since it’s key to weight loss and is probably very timely with Thanksgiving and the holidays upon us. Stress is part of our daily lives; tt arrives from work, relationships, traffic, essentially the acts of daily living. Its been said that losing weight is 80% food and 20% activity, while maintaining weight is 20% food and 80% activity. How we look at activity for weight loss is changing; activity isn’t about burning calories by getting in cardio or strength training. Instead, activity should be renamed to stress release. The reason successful weight management includes activity as a daily staple is that activity is the easiest form of stress release. Below are some simple things to assist you and your hypothalamus for weight loss and weight control:
• Spend five minutes or more doing deep breathing (also called meditation) five times a week.
• Twenty-five minutes of walking, five times a week. This is especially good if done outside: There is actually a thin layer of electrons near the earth’s surface that researchers have identified as being particularly useful for anti-inflammation and weight control. They are best accessed by being outside and being closer to nature than one would be in a gym or indoors!
• Sharing the majority of all meals in a week with other people–if you eat 20 meals in a week, best results occur with 75 percent of those meals being shared with other people. Thus, eating at your desk most days is best shifted to eating at your desk rarely.
• Sleep is key, but the amount of sleep is less important than when we get to sleep. Being asleep by 10 p.m. or earlier yields best results.
• Reducing the non-work related screen time (TV, video, computer) by 30 minutes a day is amazingly successful. This reduction can include simply turning the TV off during meal times.
• Just five minutes of stretching or flexibility will release trapped, toxic stress hormones from body tissues for better detox and faster weight loss. Do this five time a week. Couple this with eating detox specific foods for best cleansing results (extend anchor text to underlined).
• Be aware of your posture. Set the clocks on your computers to ring every hour as a reminder to check in on your posture. Whether sitting or standing, good posture assists your hypothalamus manage your daily stress!
• Ask yourself whether or not you are hungry at every meal and snack. Think about it a moment and the answers you get will inadvertently reduce your stress and stress eating.
The key is being mindful of habits that add to weight loss (extend anchor text to underlined) while loosing the ones that create stress and weight gain.
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