“In less than 40 years, the prevalence of obesity in the U.S. has increased by over 50%, so that two of every three American adults are now overweight or obese.” - Harvard Men's Health Watch
American’s are getting heavier. Do you agree?
For many of us, we know we need to do something about the increasing number on the scale or the tightness in our clothes. But we don't.
With so much confusing information on different diets and weight loss tips and tricks we can get paralyzed by information overload.
Or we wait about making healthy changes thinking we still have time to do something about it.
Until we don't. For many, weight loss isn't easy. And for others, there comes the point when what used to work- no longer does.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Meaning it's easier to take simple action steps or make healthy choices now than it is to reclaim your health later- like I had to in my story below.
I want to strongly and nicely encourage you to do what you need to do now to get the results you want. Whether it's losing weight, improving energy, reducing stress- take action now- while you still can.
Before I share the basics of weight loss …
… I'm pulling back the curtain and revealing one of my greatest struggles at the moment.
Difficulty losing weight. It will make sense in a little bit- please keep reading.
Since this blog is all about stress, why am I writing a blog on weight loss basics? What does difficulty losing weight have to do with stress? A lot! Especially the stress and frustration of not being able to lose weight- consistently.
Unresolved chronic stress played a huge role with me gaining weight fast and then not losing it (like I could in the past).
STRESS AND WEIGHT CONNECTION
Since this blog and my coaching practice are about stress-related health problems, let me tie stress and weight issues together.
Chronic stress can lead to something called Metabolic Syndrome or Insulin Resistance. (Click on the link above to read more about chronic stress, cortisol, and elevated insulin.)
Plus, eating processed or simple carbs (carbohydrates) increases insulin. Many people eat too many simple carbs every day with little to no exercise, so their insulin stays high.
Do you see the issue?
Eating too many simple carbs + chronic stress keeps our insulin at consistently high levels. After long periods of high insulin, our cells stop responding, and we can become Insulin Resistant.
Insulin Resistance can lead to prediabetes then to Diabetes II if left unchecked... and difficulties with losing weight.
Chronic stress can also lead to thyroid issues like hypothyroidism.
"The impact of stress on the thyroid occurs by slowing your body's metabolism. This is another way that stress and weight gain are linked. When thyroid function slows during stress, triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) hormone levels fall. Also, the conversion of T4 hormone to T3 may not occur, leading to higher level of reverse T3.
Insulin resistance and issues balancing blood sugar often occur alongside hypothyroidism. Increased levels of glucocorticoids lower the levels of TSH in the blood. A delicate balance between stress hormones and cortisol must exist for proper thyroid function. If this delicate balance changes, your thyroid symptoms may increase.
Lab tests cannot always depict the right picture of how you're feeling, and medications cannot always keep up with the changes that stress causes. Chronic stress can cause problems in your body for years before lab tests show a problem." - Jill Eisnaugle
When my thyroid went on strike, or in other words, at the first signs of hypothyroidism (low thyroid), I started gaining weight fast, sometimes several pounds in a couple of weeks-fast. I had many other symptoms of hypothyroid like ...
Cold hands and feet