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We all know that stress can have many harmful effects on your body - from elevated blood pressure to teeth-grinding, most of us have experienced at least one undesirable side effect of stress.  However, did you know that chronic stress can hinder your weight loss efforts?  Your body produces a hormone called "cortisol" in response to multiple factors including stress and sleep deprivation.  In addition to elevated risk of heart disease, increased cortisol production is linked to increased appetite and fat storage.  It's in your best interest to reduce stress not only for your overall health, but especially when you're trying to lose weight!
Here's a short list of stress-busters that our patients and friends like to engage in.  Ask one of us in the office if you're interested in starting up one marked with an asterisk - they're our favorites!  When trying out hobbies, look for something that you enjoy and have control over - something you can easily put down or pick up when time allows, and something you can work on for short spurts or long periods as an "escape" from stress.
  • knitting/crocheting
  • fly-tying
  • wood carving/whittling
  • crossword puzzles, word search, Sudoku
  • jewelry-making*
  • sewing/quilting
  • running/jogging/walking*
  • dancing*
  • yoga*
  • coloring/painting*
  • playing an instrument/singing
  • scrapbooking/paper crafts
  • getting lost in a book/website
  • cleaning/detailing cars or boats