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Could this be stalling your fat loss?

(First off I am assuming, by being here on this blog post, that one of your goals is indeed fat loss.

I am NOT assuming or saying that everyone should have a fat loss goal - and if one of your goals is not fat loss then let's just stop and validate that. There is such a variety of goals you can have! Your goal does not need to be fat loss.

And you might choose to continue reading anyway because you know stress is perhaps an issue in your life regardless of your fitness or health goals.)

Of course there are many reasons why fat loss can stall, or even feel impossible. But one thing I'd say about stress as a factor is that: often your stressors might live so far upstream that you haven't even connected them with your health and fitness goals.

You might instead just blame it on a lack of willpower, a need to try harder, stop being so lazy, eat less food or exercise more. These reasons are NOT true. Your current behaviours are solving your short term problems - and very effectively at that!

Ways stress can make fat loss harder:

- intensifies hunger and cravings

- slow metabolism by suppressing thyroid production

- drains your energy and increase fatigue (making you less likely to want to move or workout)

- interferes with sleep (and EVERYTHING is harder with less sleep)

- makes it difficult to keep long term goals in the front of your mind (because you need to be able to survive and get through right now)

Here is one approach you can try: start some small, simple practices that are around building awareness:

- eat more slowly

- notice and name thoughts, feelings, behaviours and sensations as they arise: I am feeling worried/overwhelmed/I need to survive a super long day right now' as you're reaching for the bag of crisps. This can help you see the 'why' and connect the dots between your feelings and your behaviours. This behaviour awareness can be simply named out loud, or written down in a food journal etc.

- experiement with small things to see whether life circumstances and surrounding environments affect your eating, and energy levels etc. e.g. fill the snack draw usually filled with chocolate with protein bars, nut etc. instead, and/or take a small snack in your bag to work too. Notice if anything changes (and let it be ok if it doesn't - the practice is in the noticing)

All of these practices can help you actually tune into the existing stress your body and mind might be holding - which our mind can often by completely unaware of or be disregarding (this in and of itself is a coping strategy!).

If, and when, it feels possible, you might start collecting some stress-soothing strategies (we spent some time on this in The Circle last month and the re-play is available in our member's area!)

Remember, there isn't one magic practice that is going to solve your stress and/or get you losing fat.

Rather, some of the most drastic changes I see comes from a slow burner, drip feed of ideas that over time builds clients' awareness, self-insight and inner resources.

So remember, you're not broken. You're a wonderful human being that is coping with a lot and the life you dream of, the way you want to feel within yourself and about yourself IS POSSIBLE.

Believe in the power of the small stuff: get curious about yourself.

Get madly, wildly curious.

And everything is possible from that place of awareness and compassion.

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