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To improve your chances of melting pounds, take a look at the chronic stress in your life: from wonky family relationships to demanding job circumstances. According to findings in the journal BBA Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids, some of the blame for your weight-loss problems can be placed on a protein, betatrophin, stimulated by chronic stress. This protein inhibits the action of an enzyme that breaks down stored fat.
Even though this finding still needs to be verified in human models, lead investigator Li-Jun Yang, M.D., already observes, “Stress causes you to accumulate more fat, or at least slows down fat metabolism. This is yet another reason it’s best to resolve stressful situations and pursue a balanced life.”
Here are five stress-reducing strategies promoted by the American Psychological Association. Try them. You’ll not only achieve better life balance, but you’ll also improve your chances for losing weight.
1. Step away from what’s stressing you. Walking away, even for 20 minutes, can help reduce the stress.
2. Exercise. A 20-minute workout can provide several hours of stress relief.
3. Smile and laugh. Stressed people often hold it in their faces. Smiling and laughing impacts the facial muscles and may relieve some of it.
4. Seek social support. When you share your concerns or feelings with another person, it alleviates stress.
5. Meditate. When practicing meditation or mindful prayer, even briefly, you can release emotions that may have been causing your body physical stress.