The health benefits of losing weight are well documented; you will have a reduced risk of heart disease and of having a stroke, reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancers; but did you know about the hidden benefits of losing weight?
It’s not just about your physical health, but by exercising and adjusting your diet, you experience benefits that go beyond your waistline.
The world we live in is not conducive to a stress-free lifestyle. We live in a digital age, and that can mean we never get a chance to switch off, as we are constantly being inundated with messages, images and met with demands for interactions. This continual stress raises our cortisol levels. Cortisol is your body’s response to fear: do you fight or flight? However, raised cortisol is only meant to be a short-term reaction to stress, and not just a state of being.
Exercising naturally reduces the cortisol levels in your body; you may have noticed that birds flap their wings after they’ve had a fight: it’s to stabilize their cortisol levels. While the levels of cortisol increase during exercise, post-exercise the levels are seen to remain low and level for the remainder of the day. Your stresses run away, and the good news is that you also become more resilient to stress triggers.
There is no price that you can pay to increase your self-esteem. It must come from you. Slowly but surely, your confident inner you will emerge. Help the process along by repeating positive affirmations such as ‘I feel good about myself’. You have more than likely been brainwashed into feeling that you are helpless in your battle with your weight; but how about using the same brainwashing technique to better you?
You can lose the weight with fat burning pills, a healthy diet and exercise, but you need to pay just as much attention to your inner self. Your sense of achievement when you hit your goal will sky rocket your esteem, and give you the confidence to aim for other changes too. Go for that promotion at work. Ask that guy at the bar for his number. Wear that black dress with killer heels.
There is very little that makes you feel better than a good night’s sleep. Keep your devices out of the bedroom to help you sleep. Do not read that last sentence and say that you have to have your phone by your bed because it’s your alarm: buy an alarm clock. You need good sleep to help you function at your optimal level.
Physical exercise, without a doubt, improves the quality and duration of your sleep. This means that you are more alert and can focus better; you are more productive at work, and you are happier. The ironic thing is that if you are over-tired, the hunger and fullness hormones of ghrelin and leptin are impacted: you release too much ghrelin and not enough leptin. Sleep helps you lose weight: a win-win situation.