This is one of the most dangerous yet underestimated bandits you can encounter on your weight-loss journey.
It can overtake you like a thief in the night … showing up at the most inopportune times and sabotaging your efforts.
It’s imperative to manage it if you hope to lose weight.
Because it can throw you headlong into downing a bag of Oreos or Doritos, or drinking 3 glasses of wine in an hour. That’s its emotional side effect.
It dumps an abundance of cortisol into your bloodstream, which causes you to pack on the belly fat. And as you already know, your belly is the last place you want extra fat.
So what can you do today to block this bandit, otherwise known as stress?
They call it beauty rest for a reason, right?
To reduce stress and lower cortisol levels, get 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. And go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
Studies show that people who stay up late eat worse and are more likely to have a high body mass index (BMI).
And staring at computers and TVs within an hour of bedtime can keep you awake, because they feature blue light (like the sun). That’s certainly a detriment when you’re trying to fall asleep. So shut down electronics (including your smartphone) an hour before bedtime.
If you absolutely must use your computer within an hour of bedtime, download f.lux. It changes your computer’s display based on the time of day — warm at night and bright (like sunlight) during the day.
When the sun sets, f.lux makes your computer display look like indoor lights. In the morning, it turns “sunny” again.
Here’s the download link: https://justgetflux.com. All you have to do is set it and forget it.
Sit down, enjoy the moment and listen to some relaxing tunes. The results are similar to when you spend time meditating. And in time, you may be able to induce a deep state of relaxation without concentrating on it.
Classical music has a particularly calming effect. Why? It slows down your heart rate, lowers blood pressure and even decreases stress hormone levels. Plus, music you love floods your brain with feel-good neurochemicals, such as dopamine.
It could be a funny memory, a joke, a comedy book or movie, or a video of a silly child or animal.
Laughter is a great de-stressor. Maybe that’s why they say it’s good for the soul.
You can watch both full-length comedy movies and 5-minute shorties on YouTube. Just remember not to do so within an hour of bedtime.
Any walk - even a 10-minute one - will clear your head and boost endorphins. In turn, the endorphin boost reduces stress hormone levels. But a walk in the park can do even more, putting you in a state of meditation.
Your breath — or “life force” — plays an important role in your body. Even taking a few deep breaths can help reduce tension and relieve stress. (All that extra oxygen helps.)
Shallow breathing is a telltale marker of stress. Deep breathing does the opposite, helping us calm down.
Breathing exercises help regenerate body systems that are harmed by stress … they can reduce blood pressure and possibly even change the expression of certain genes.
Yes, they purify the air. But they can also help you calm down. Just being around plants can make you relax.
One Washington State University study found that a group of highly stressed people who entered a room filled with plants experienced a 4-point drop in their blood pressure. Those who didn’t have plants in the room saw their blood pressure drop by only 2 points, according to Prevention magazine.
Sure, it’s fun. But there’s much more to it than that.
Your closest friends can actually reduce your cortisol (stress hormone) levels … so reports a study of middle school children. Researchers found that the kids who were with their best friend didn’t produce as much cortisol as the kids who weren’t.
Other research suggests that being in a friendly workplace can also boost your health. A study published in Health Psychology showed that people without a good support system at work are 2.5 times more likely to die during the 20-year period tested than those who describe their workplace as friendly.
Friends can help you stay fit, sharpen your brain, bolster your self-esteem, keep you healthy later in life and live longer. That’s too long a list to ignore!
A new study found that smartphones can actually increase stress levels. The reason, says HealthDay, is that they produce “a relentless need to immediately review and respond to each and every incoming message, alert or bing.”
Believe it or not, this problem can get so out of hand that some users begin to feel phantom vibrations, believing their phone is buzzing when it’s not.
Its ingredients directly counteract the effects of your hormones, especially cortisol, your stress hormone.
Allow 90 days for WLF1 to balance these fat-controlling hormones, enough for you to see a real difference.
You’ve probably spent years struggling with unbalanced hormones. So don’t shortchange yourself now. Give it time to show you its magic.
Stay the course. Apply the steps outlined above to slash stress from your life. (You can thank me later.)
As Jeff Woo from California discovered, “... your mood will improve. I have noticed a complete turnaround. After taking Weight Loss Formula No. 1, I noticed I had more energy, better mood, more patience … I feel upbeat, relaxed, handle stress better AND lose weight.”
Now it’s your turn.
Don’t let the stress bandit rob you of your joy and the weight loss you deserve.
Turn off the electronics and sleep like a baby. Relax with music and a good joke.
And remember, we’re here to help you succeed beyond your wildest dreams.
Steven Sisskind, M.D.