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  • Writer's pictureZita Dixon

Could Stress Be Making it Harder for You to Drop that Excess Weight?

We’ve all heard the phrase “take a chill pill” but when it comes to stress, that might be easier said than done! If you're feeling stressed out, you're not alone. Stress is a normal - but overwhelming - part of life and yet if it's not managed properly, it can wreak havoc on our body systems, overall well being and your bodies ability to release the extra weight.

But don't stress! You can proactively manage your stress levels using natural remedies and holistic health practices that work with your body's systems rather than against them so you can actually release that extra weight and regain that energy. In this blog post, we'll explore a variety of helpful tools and tactics rooted in traditional healing approaches like yoga, real fresh food, guided meditation and more that you can use as proactive measures for dealing with stress on a daily basis. Ready to take a deep breath? Let's dive in!


How Stress Affects Your Bodies Ability to Release Weight - Unravelling the Truth

Stress can trigger a cascade of reactions throughout our bodies - it's not just your mind that is affected! When we're stressed, our bodies release adrenaline and cortisol, which can increase heart rate, blood pressure, and contribute to chronic diseases like high blood pressure and heart disease. Stress can also cause digestive issues, such as ulcers and inflammation, and weaken our immune systems, making us more susceptible to illnesses. Understanding the hidden impact stress has on your body is crucial to overcoming its effects. When it comes to trying to lose weight. If your body is in constant stress, you will be in flight or fight mode, which means that all your body is trying to do to keep you safe is either run away or fight and digestion is not needed for either of those functions. Therefore making it harder to release weight.

Here’s what you need to know about why it’s so important for your health and ability to lose weight, to make sure that you are keeping your stress under control:

  • When you are stressed your body increases cortisol production. This is associated with weight gain (especially in the belly), an inability to lose weight or gain muscle as well as premature ageing.

  • Nutrient absorption is decreased meaning that you are not getting what you need from your food. Due to decreased enzymatic production from the stomach, pancreas and liver, decreased bile flow from gallbladder, decreased oxygenation and gastrointestinal blood flow.

  • We find that nutrient excretion is increased. Urinary loss of calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, chromium, selenium, and various microminerals.

  • Gut flora populations are decreased. Healthy intestinal bacteria are destroyed by stress, which can lead to immune problems, skin disorders, nutrient deficiencies, and digestive distress like constipation and/or diarrhoea.

  • Insulin resistance increases. Chronic low-level stress may cause target cells to become unresponsive to insulin, which increases weight gain, and is a factor in diabetes, heart disease and ageing.


Keep Your Cool: Manage Stress Naturally

Now that you know stress can take a toll on both your physical and emotional health which includes the body's ability to release weight, what can you do to overcome this? Often we turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms, junk food, alcohol, mindless scrolling, Netflix without the chill... but why not try some natural ways to manage your stress that actually work?

Here are my top five tips I give my clients to help manage stress naturally:

  1. Get some movement in your life! - Find a movement that you like doing and be consistent. Some great options are walking, yoga, Pilates, lifting weights, regular classes you enjoy doing and swimming. (maybe in summer)

  2. Try a short meditation - If this seems overwhelming then download an app that can help with guided breathing. This is a great and easy form of meditation and the voice will keep your mind on track. I like Insite timer or headspace.

  3. Take some deep breaths - This can be as simple as stopping for a few minutes and taking deep breaths. An easy way to do this is to breathe in slowly for the count of 4, hold for the count of 4, breathe out for the count of 4 and again hold for the count of 4. It's called box breathing and can help reduce stress. Breathing in and out of your nose helps too.


  1. Eat calming foods that nourish your nervous system - Reduce sugar and caffeine for a start and increase your consumption of fresh whole, real food like vegetables and healthy proteins. Include some foods that aid sleep like fish (salmon, tuna, halibut, sardines and cod help the most), poultry, nuts and seeds and legumes. And drink plenty of filtered water.

  2. Find tranquillity with essential oils - These are amazing for calming your body and mind. Find a combination that you like or try one of these: At night try Chamomile, Lavender and Mandarin. Lemon Balm is great to destress and you can add a citrus like lemon or lime to help lift you. Lavender, Frankincense, and Orange are also great to calm emotional stress.


All in all, stress is part of life, but it doesn't have to control your life.

Can you now see how managing your stress is essential for anyone looking to lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way.

By taking care of yourself and practising healthy habits, you can manage your stress levels, improve your overall health and allow your body to release weight with a healthy diet that your body can actually absorb.

If you're struggling with stress, let me know – I'm here to offer support and I have proven methods that have helped many of my busy ladies clients overcome stress and lose weight.

If you’re ready to finally release that extra weight, find out exactly what you need to eat for your body, so that you can feel like you again and feel comfortable in those beautiful clothes you have hidden at the back of your wardrobe, then feel free to book in a discovery call to learn more about how my program Total Body Confidence Method can help you!


Find this helpful? You might like to grab my fast and easy food prep recipes for even more tips on helping you lose weight whilst eating delicious healthy food that is easy to prepare.


For more tips on healthy, sustainable weight loss come follow me on Instagram at @zestnutritionsunnycoast or on Facebook @zestnutritionsunnycoast


If you would like to check out what I do and get some delicious recipes, health tips and maybe even drop a kilo, then join my Flab to Fab Challenge where we will be building the foundations of effective weight loss. The next one starts on 5th June, 2023.


By Zita Dixon


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