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How does stress affects your fitness goals?

Updated on April 20, 2016

While on your journey to lose weight or even to pack on muscle you still have to deal with everyday stress like the rest of the world. Don’t get me wrong working out is a great way to relieve stress, but stress is all around us and is something we have to deal with. Stress is a very tricky thing; some people say they lose weight when their stressed and others have admitted to gaining weight (See what I mean by tricky?). Let’s go over how stress can ruin your fitness goals and what ways we can prevent them even if a stressful situation occurs.

Weight losing goals

If your goal here is to shed a few pounds, here’s how stress can ruin you plans for the body you want: When a stressful situation arises your body releases potent hormones, which gives you a bust of adrenaline to deal with any “fight or flight” situation. You also get a cortisol boost telling your body to replenish the stored energy you haven’t used (which in reality you probably haven’t used any). In return you will grow hungry as long as the stress continues. An example would be a long term relationship that came to an end; you become stress thinking about the break up cause you to run to comfort foods like chocolate, ice cream, or cake. Another example would be staying up late hours of the night due to stress; lack of sleep causes you to make unhealthy food choices (never heard of anyone eating a salad in the middle of the night). Keep in mind that cortisol promotes storing fat especially visceral fat, which surrounds vital organs releasing fatty acid into your blood raising cholesterol and insulin levels, which can lead to heart disease and diabetes. These symptoms tend affect those with a slow metabolism.

Ruin your weight gaining goal

Ok but what if your trying to gain weight dose this means stress will help achieve my goal? Of course it will so just keep thinking how you’re going to lose your job or how your partner is probably messing with someone else behind your back. I hope you know I’m kidding; stress can also ruin your weight gaining goal as well. For starters stress can take away your appetite in a matter of seconds (seriously you could be so hungry you could eat a cow then you hear bad news and all of a sudden you feel full). Another symptom would be constant movement; for some reason you can’t stop moving. For example, you’re pacing the floor trying to figure out whether or not that mistake you made on the job will get you fired, so you begin to panic thinking about how you’re going to lose everything if you lose your job. Your body also tends to increase metabolism temporary. Overall you’re eating less and burning more calories your putting in. These symptoms tend to affect those with a fast metabolism.

What is your fitness goals?

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What about muscle gaining

When I say stress ruins all of your workout goals I mean ALL of your workout goals. No matter what your fitness goal is whether it’s to weight gaining or to lose weight your body will end up eating away at your muscles. To begin stress can cause a major dip in your testosterone levels causes you to decrease in performance at the gym. Not to mention that stress increases cortisol levels; these two factors affects your energy and muscle development. Lack of motivation makes it hard to hit the gym let alone give it your all at the gym. And to make matters worse you can’t forget that stress can take away from your sleep and your body needs to rest after a workout. So the body isn’t properly recovering from the unmotivated workout session.

So as you can see stress does not discriminate when it comes to fitness goals and should not be taken lightly. Stress is something that for the most part we all go through whether it’s a deadline for a paper, a cheating spouse, death in the family, etc. It’s important to keep our sprits high. Find the silver lining in the situation, because everything happens for reason. You can overcome any obstacle when approach in a calmly manner. So take a deep breath the next time you find yourself in a sticky situation, because the truth is once you calmly access the situation you begin to realize it’s not as bad as your making it sound.


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