When we think about weight loss, we pretty much just focus on the food we’re putting into our body. It’s easy to get obsessed with what we’re eating, how much of it we’re eating, and how beneficial or detrimental each bite might be. Even our exercise is based on how best to burn off the calories we’ve consumed. Obviously, that’s all important to keep in mind when you’re determined to drop a few pounds, but you shouldn’t ignore certain mental health factors, too.
Stress can be a major factor when it comes to weight gain — and we aren’t just talking about indulging in your favorite sweets and comfort food when you feel overwhelmed. Issues at work, home, or in your relationship can all cause stress hormones to elevate in your body.
According to a 2013 study, this can play a “significant role in our ability to lose weight.” The research mentions a hormone called cortisol that can be especially annoying: It builds up during moments of stress and it kicks our body into “survival mode.” This is what causes fat to be stored in our abdominal region, or belly fat as most of us call it, which is notoriously one of the most frustrating areas to shed inches.
Recently, however, many have begun singing the praises of an herbal supplement known as forskolin, which is said to help relax our bodies and keep them from storing fat. While writing for mindbodygreen in October 2018, Nicole Rivera, D.C., a member of the Integrative Wellness Group in New Jersey, explained how the herb influences pathways in our body and acts as a detox for neurotoxins, wards off inflammatory responses, and eases stress. “All three of these processes,” Dr. Rivera continues, “will indirectly induce weight loss and improve metabolic function.” One way the herb accomplishes that is by clearing our bloodstreams of excess cortisol and improving the function of cortisol receptors.
You can find over-the-counter forskolin supplements in various forms at pharmacies or health stores. That said, as with any new supplement, you should talk with your doctor before adding the herb to your daily dose of vitamins and supplements.
In the meantime, you can try mindful ways of relaxing yourself to help ease stress-related weight gain.