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Sunday, August 06, 2006

Controlling Your Appetite #2


Stress and fat

Chronic stress can cause cravings for cookies, candy, chips and other high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods.

Stress is being shown to play a significant role in a wide variety of conditions and disease states.

Recent work from the National Institute of Health (NIH) and other major research centers has demonstrated that stress is a significant contributor to immune dysfunction, cardiovascular disease, other age-related disorders, and to excess body fat. Over 20% of adults have an obesity-like condition characterized by an excessive amount of abdominal fat.

Until now, the only course of action for loosing this fat has been stress reduction with exercise and diet.

Many people have unsuccessfully tackled fitness programs in the past. These unsuccessful attempts can bring on the fear of failure. However, you may begin to realize that your weight problem goes deeper than that. You may feel uneasy, even scared, when picturing yourself "in-shape," energized, and living life to the fullest.

Could it be that many people fear the very goal that they seek?

Along with success comes the possibility that people will view you differently and treat you differently. Some people feel that getting and staying healthy and fit is "just one more commitment" in an already over-committed life.

And there is the worry that as your body changes, you change, too. Once you get a grip on your fitness-related fears, you can gradually overcome them.

There are myths and misinformation put thoughts into people's heads that they have to work out like crazy forever. Movie stars train for hours a day to prepare for a role and to keep their bodies in Hollywood-shape, and professional athletes dedicate 50+ hours a week to their sport.

You could think of exercise as a prescription. When you get your medicine, you don't take the whole bottle at once, do you? Of course not. The medicine wouldn't work, and it would be extremely harmful to your body in large quantities.

"I don't have time" is a common excuse to avoid exercise

The fear that people will treat you differently is not so easily gotten rid of. Even though the desire to look fantastic and feel strong is at or near the top of want lists, many people worry about the reactions to their improved appearance.

Suddenly, you're being flirted with and being showered with compliments. When you're overweight, you have the protection of the extra weight that takes you out of the competition. In other words, excess weight can serve as a barrier of protection against what is desired and, at the same time, feared.

Think positive and your problem is half solved

The power of positive thinking

Positive psychology shifts the focus from what's wrong with us to what's right with us. The latest research in this fledgling field has shown that cultivating emotions such as optimism, joy, contentment, and interest can help prevent and treat problems-such as anxiety, depression, and stress-related health problems-rooted in negative emotions.
  1. Positive people are stress resilient.
  2. Positive people are better problem solvers.
  3. Positive people take better care of their health.
  4. Positive people are happier

Don't let stress get in the way of your weight loss goals and learn to control them.

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