21 Oct 2019
CAN A HOLIDAY REALLY HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT?
The short answer is YES!! And we aren’t talking about a fitness holiday or bootcamp either.
In our fast-paced lives, we are frequently overwhelmed and inundated with tasks that cause us to feel stressed on a regular, if not daily, basis. While we are pursuing our careers, that never-ending to-do list, striving to meet deadlines, caring for our loved ones and tending to relationships, we often neglect ourselves and our own needs. Even when we finally get some downtime, we seem to squander the opportunity to fully relax by connecting to the digital world instead; scrolling through social media and further overstimulating ourselves with additional (and probably unnecessary) information. However, this relentless pursuit to be all things to all people and this high level of stress is causing detrimental changes to our bodies and health.
When you are stressed for extended periods of time, your body makes too much cortisol, which is a chronic stress hormone that can cause us to gain weight.
Your body understands stress as impending danger and thinks that your life must be under threat if you stressed. This is because, historically, the main cause of long-term stress to our ancestors were floods, predators, famines and war, where food may have been scarce. Since your body doesn’t know what the source of your stress is (financial/relationship/health concerns, running late to your next meeting or if you are in actual physical danger) it goes into survival mode regardless, slowing down your metabolism to keep precious fat stores-just in case!
And what do we do if we start to gain a bit of weight? We usually restrict what we eat or go on a diet, which only confirms to your body that food is indeed limited, and that it should hold onto any fat until the food supply returns!
So, if cortisol (stress) is contributing to your weight gain, then taking a holiday will definitely help you to get out of this ‘survival mode’, rebalance your hormones and help release the fat stores your body has been holding on to.
It is hard to change your routine and eliminate stress when you are still immersed in your busy life. A change of scenery, like our jungle oasis in Ubud, will help you gain some perspective and will force you into a new routine where you can reset your intentions and most importantly, relax!
Low intensity exercise is also great outlet for stress as it helps you focus on your breath, keeps you mobile, and gets your heart rate up without putting too much extra stress on your body and joints. A week-long yoga retreat, where you can take long walks on the beach, get daily spa treatments, go swimming, focus on yourself and learn yoga (nothing lowers stress hormones faster than diaphragmatic breathing), is the perfect way to help you lose weight. As well as being extremely beneficial to your health and happiness, a holiday like this can lead you to experience life in a new way, which you can then implement when you return home!