Less Stress, Lose Fat & Maintain Muscle

Stress & Fat LossAt Active Lifestyle, we often talk about stress levels and how they affect your body, health and overall fitness gains or fat loss. Stress is a serious roadblock to most gains both physically and internally. When your body is under stress, it tends to react neurologically in ways that can affect our fat loss or muscle gains, strength gains as well as mood and energy levels.

Usually people talk about the release of cortisol during stressful situations. Cortisol has been believed to switch on the body’s fat storage system, causing the body to hold on to more fat. If fat loss is your goal, then your job, relationships or even your foods could be hindering your progress.

A recent article states that researchers at the University of Texas concluded that larger strength gains in the bench press and squat were achieved by people with lower stress levels than people with high stress levels. In other words, heart disease isn’t the only thing that stress levels contribute to. This study concluded that the ability to adapt to a new weight training program could be directly related to feelings of strain and stress. This is interesting as through my experience, many of my personal training clients are dealing with an awful lot of work related stress. Sometimes the gains are slower than normal with these clients and there seems to be a direct correlation.

As our Active Lifestyle philosophy deals with holistic lifestyle change, we address all issues surrounding a person’s health and fitness, from food to sleep and fitness training. The body must have ample recovery time and sufficient intake of vital nutrients and vitamins in order to function properly. Finding ways to reduce stress has shown to be an enormous step in the right direction with clients and many people report feeling better overall.

So take some time out and take a step back and ask yourself…is stress holding me back?

By Rich Thurman, B.Sc., MA, CSCS, NSCA-CPT.
With a Bachelors degree in Physiological Science from UCLA a Masters in Sports Management from The University of San Francisco, Rich has over 10 years of experience in General Health Fitness & Fat loss, Sports Performance & Movement, Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation. Rich is a health & performance coach and personal trainer for Active Lifestyle Co. Ltd in Bangkok.


About Rich Thurman III B.Sc, MA, CSCS, NSCA-CPT
Rich has a Bachelors of Science in Physiological Science from UCLA and a Masters of Sports Management from USF. He is certified by the National Strength & Conditioning Association, (NSCA) as a Personal Trainer (CPT) and Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). He is primary author of The Fitness Library and writes for various other publications, including the San Francisco Police Officer's Association. Rich is the founder of Xodus Fitness, which offers Fitness Consulting & Personal Training, Urban Body Transformation Bootcamps, Corporate Wellness. Rich also conducts Workshops and an annual lecture at the San Francisco State University Kinesiology Department. Please feel free to contact through any of the links below to inquire about professional services or opportunities.

5 Responses to Less Stress, Lose Fat & Maintain Muscle

  1. Rich….Like that you have brought this up. I think we need to sit and think ” What really is Stress?” . I’d like to question the common interpretation and say “It’s a word we give to a situation when the mind want’s something which is not currently existing” . Mostly associated with ‘Mental Stress’ it can also relate to ‘Physical Stress’ eg. The body not being in Harmony/Balance.
    I’d like to add the ‘Spiritual Dimension’ – ‘Living in the moment’ can make a big difference. People should try it. This includes mentally accepting what is – with your situation (physical and situational). From acceptance we open ourselves to act each moment in harmony with LIFE. Nourishing body,mind and spirit.

    I found ‘Power of NOW’ to be exceptionally enlightening in this regard. This is based on my own experience and something I’d like to share here.

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