While these can certainly be factors that heavily weigh on the overall condition of your body one way or another, they are also not the only determinants of whether or not you achieve your health and fitness goals.
One large factor that is not always considered as much as it should be is stress in your life. Surprisingly, this can have a large effect on your body and how you look. Take a look at the different ways stress is affecting your health and fitness below.
How Stress is Keeping You from Having a Body You Love
Stress could cause emotional eating
Stress is a huge factor that drives emotional eating, should you have the tendency to do so. And, actually, it’s scientifically backed that stress can increase your food intake.
That is because stress has a tendency to increase the level of certain hormones in your body – specifically leptin and ghrelin. Ghrelin is responsible for telling you when you are hungry while leptin is in charge on telling you when you’re full.
While whether or not these levels fluctuate in a way that will affect your food intake depends on the chemistry of your individual body, it still could mean you will feel hungrier when stressed and that it could take you more food to feel full.
Stress can also increase your general cravings for foods with high levels of sugars and carbs.
Stress affects your sleep
When you are stressed, you have a natural tendency to get rest that is less in quality and quantity. Less or lower quality rest (or a combination of both) contributes to a slower metabolism, increased cravings and hunger levels, a lower immune system, and lessened willpower and motivation.
All of these factors can considerably contribute to whether or not you are staying on track in your health and fitness goals.
Stress can reorganize your priorities
Even if you are unaware of it, stress has a way of hijacking your priorities from what you intend them to be. Even if you think you are placing a strong emphasis and focus on health and fitness, being stressed leads to your mind and body just focusing on your immediate “safety”.
Once that becomes the immediate priority, that dictates the way that you behave in your day to day life. When your priorities revolve around the stress you are experiencing, it becomes harder to stick to your normal routine and easier to veer away from your health and fitness goals and plans.
Clearly, stress is an important factor that interferes with our overall ability to work towards our goals. And, because it is virtually impossible to avoid stress in our lives, this is something that must be dealt with in order to ensure that we are not letting our priorities fall to the waist side and that we eventually meet our goals.
Check out our upcoming article about overcoming stress to find a method that works for you and helps you achieve what you originally set out to do.