Weight Loss Tip #10: Smile!

I cannot emphasize enough how important smiling is to your successful weight loss.  Don’t fret.  Don’t be frustrated.  Be happy and smile.  Your have started a wonderful journey to a healthier more beautiful you and that is A LOT to smile about!!

Research has shown that smiling can lower your heart rate and produce less stressful breathing.  Stress can cause your body to go into survival mode and start storing fat, which is something you definitely don’t want to happen.  Smiling can actually change your mood from glum to happy.  It’s impossible to keep feeling blue when you’re smiling because your facial expression reflects your inner feelings, and your inner feelings will change when you keep smiling.

How exactly does stress cause you to gain weight?  When we are stressed, our bodies release adrenalin, corticotrophin releasing hormone and cortisol.  While high levels of adrenalin and corticotrophin releasing hormone can decrease your appetite for short periods of time, cortisol hangs around for quite some time and actually increases you appetite.  Our bodies have adapted to this survival mode because when danger occurs we need extra energy (adrenaline) immediately.  We then need to replenish our bodies which is why cortisol stays around to increase our appetite.  The problem with today’s type of stresses is that we just sit and stew about our stress instead of expending any calories.  In order to relieve the stress, exercise is the best way to reduce levels of cortisol in your body.  Actually the best way would be not to have any stress to cause elevated levels of cortisol in the first place, but we all know that is not going to happen so exercise will have to be the way to expend that stress related energy.  Take a walk, go to the gym, dance, roll around in the grass with your kids.  These are all great ways to reduce stress levels.

Also, eat a balanced diet to keep you insulin levels steady.  This will in turn help to reduce cortisol levels.  Cortisol levels rise when we are tired also so getting enough sleep will greatly aid in reduction of cortisol levels.

So, smile a lot to reduce you stress and help yourself lose weight.  Smiling is contagious.  Keep in mind that when you are smiling, you are not only helping yourself but you are also  helping someone else with their weight control!