Hey Angels and Alphas,
Stress relief offers numerous benefits that go far beyond just making you feel better about the situation that caused you stress in the first place. Stressful situations can often cause even more weight gain and muscle loss than you’d experience otherwise, so managing your stress levels to prevent additional weight gain can be one of the most important things you can do for your weight-loss program.
Here are 5 benefits of stress relief for muscle gain and weight loss.
1) The reduction of cortisol levels leads to muscle gain
Cortisol is the primary hormone that regulates our fight-or-flight response to stress, so when we’re feeling stressed out, our cortisol levels can shoot up as high as 14 times their normal level. This excessive amount of cortisol can inhibit the production of testosterone (the male sex hormone) in both men and women, which can have a negative effect on muscle gain and weight loss efforts.
Additionally, excess cortisol may lead to increased appetite in many people which can lead to weight gain. Finally, higher levels of cortisol are correlated with an increased risk for depression—which you really don’t want if you’re trying to achieve the lifestyle balance that most people associate with having a healthy body.
2) Aids in fat burning
When you’re stressed, your body produces hormones called cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine. These hormones are released by the body in response to stress, and can sometimes be referred to as fight or flight hormones. When these hormones are released into the bloodstream, they cause an increase in heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate.
At the same time, they decrease insulin production from the pancreas which means that it is much easier to put on fat while also making it difficult to burn fat! You may have even noticed this yourself when you eat sugary foods when stressed out.
Fun fact: Taking deep breaths has been found to reduce these effects, meaning that through just one simple habit change, you can turn off your body’s fight-or-flight response and help avoid putting on fat. In fact, even just a few minutes of mindful breathing has been shown to trigger the release of dopamine in the brain which reduces feelings of anxiety and depression! It doesn’t get much simpler than this.
3) Boosts testosterone levels
The testosterone hormone is vital to muscle growth, weight loss, and stress relief. When the body senses a threat, it releases hormones including cortisol. Cortisol is responsible for breaking down muscle tissue which leads to a loss in muscle mass.
To avoid this hormonal imbalance it’s important to practice stress relief techniques such as meditation or yoga. By reducing our levels of cortisol we can boost testosterone levels which will lead to stronger muscles and increased weight loss!
4) Increases growth hormone levels
Stress has a negative impact on the hormone levels that cause muscle growth and weight loss. Cortisol, the stress hormone, is a natural response to stress and helps your body handle stressful situations. However, too much cortisol can interfere with muscle growth and suppress appetite.
When you’re stressed and under a lot of pressure, it can also lead to increased sugar cravings which can cause weight gain. These are just some of the reasons why reducing stress to increase growth hormone levels is important for muscle gain and weight loss.
5) Improves sleep quality
Sleep is a critical component of muscle growth. Without enough quality sleep, your body will be deprived of the rejuvenating effects that it needs to repair itself after a strenuous workout.
In addition, studies have shown that people who are sleep deprived are more likely to overeat, which can lead to weight gain. So if you’re looking to get leaner and fitter in less time, then improving your sleep quality should be high on your priority list!