Chill Out to Lose Weight?



simply well with holly niles


I was recently listening to a podcast talking about the fact that when we are overstressed, brain chemicals make it harder to shift our body and our metabolism.  Here are some of the ways stress impacts our weight:

Hormones: Our fright/flight response to stress helps release sugar into our blood stream so we can run from danger. It also releases hormones like adrenaline to keep us going and cortisol to refuel. Most of our stress comes when we are sitting; as a result, the response from our body ends up storing sugar as fat and leaving us ready to eat. Adrenaline also leaves us feeling wired and while we may burn up some calories fidgeting or running around from that feeling, it can leave us with anxiety which “triggers” emotional eating.

Sleep: Worry and stress can keep us up at night and prevent a good night’s sleep. Stress can also cause a decrease in blood sugar which can lead to fatigue.  Caffeine is often the remedy for fatigue which further disrupts sleep.  Lack of sleep can also impact chemicals that control appetite called ghrelin and leptin. This can lead to cravings and overeating-this cycle is very common in our modern life.

Getting a handle on your stress can be essential to getting your body ready to shift into weight loss and healthy metabolism.


Simply Easy Tip:

Find a simple breathing practice that you can do anywhere like before a work meeting, when you are running late or right before you are eating. This helps to shift the nervous system to create calm in the body and lead to a healthy metabolism including weight loss.


Simply Supportive: Lavender Oil

Lavender oil supports the nervous system and sleep. Combined with stress management practices, this is a great supplement to use. A patient’s ability to respond to occasional anxiety has the potential to interfere with the enjoyment of life and even the ability to perform ordinary daily activities. In addition to lifestyle and behavioral modifications, supplementation can also play a role in supporting a balanced mood. Lavela WS 1265 (Lavender Oil) is an exclusive lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil, known as Silexan. Indicated for occasional anxiety, Lavela WS 1265 has been shown to promote relaxation and calm nervousness. To order this product, you may contact our friendly front desk team at (860)519-1916 or or you can click on the link above.


Simply Relaxing: Mindful Breathing #1

This breathing exercise comes from the Institute for Functional Medicine and is a simple way to reduce stress. Shallow breathing may lead to tension and fatigue. Breathing with your diaphragm tends to reduce stress and improve energy.

Abdominal breathing, also known as diaphragmatic breathing, is a powerful way to decrease stress by activating relaxation centers in the brain. The abdominal expansion causes negative pressure to pull blood into the chest, improving the venous flow of blood back to the heart.

  • Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down, with your feet slightly apart, one hand on your abdomen near the navel, and the other hand on your chest.
  • Gently exhale the air in your lungs through your mouth, then inhale slowly through your nose to the count of 4, pushing out your abdomen slightly and concentrating on your breath. As you breathe in, imagine warm air flowing all over your body. Hold the breath for a count of at least 4 but not more than 7.
  • Slowly exhale through your mouth while counting to 8. Gently contract your abdominal muscles to completely release the remaining air in the lungs.
  • Repeat until you feel deeply relaxed for a total of 5 cycles. You may be able to do only 1 or 2 cycles at first.
  • Once you feel comfortable with your ability to breathe into the abdomen, it is not necessary to use your hands on your abdomen and chest.

There may be an added benefit of lowering blood pressure when you place your tongue on the ridge of the roof of your mouth, just behind your teeth.



Simply Well newsletter #77: Chill Out to Lose Weight PRINTOUT (pdf)