What an Attitude of Gratitude Can Do for Your Health and Weight Loss Goals

With Thanksgiving Day right around the corner, Americans are reflecting upon all that they're thankful for in their lives. And that's a good thing - every day of the year. Study after study shows that an attitude of gratitude can help make one happier, more sociable, more productive at work and more successful in their careers. But did you know that appreciating the blessings in your life also can help you lose weight?

Here's how…

Gratitude is a stress buster: High levels of stress sustained over periods of time increases your appetite by boosting levels of the hormone cortisol, designed to help replenish the body's nutritional stores after stress has passed. The longer your cortisol levels remain elevated, the hungrier and more apt to overeat you are. Plus, stress signals your body to store visceral fat in your abdomen area, so that it's readily available the next time your experience a crazed cortisol boost. As if that's not enough, keep in mind that the fuel your muscles need during a stressful fight-or-flight episode essentially is sugar. That's why stress often comes with a carb craving. To move that natural sugar from your blood to your muscles, your body kick starts its deployment of insulin, the hormone that opens the floodgates to the cells and lets sugar in, setting the stage for your body to store even more fat.

Gratitude boosts optimism and energy: Studies show that grateful people tend to be more optimistic and energetic, perhaps because gratitude helps to boost levels of "happy" hormones like serotonin, endorphin and dopamine. These hormones are linked with increased feelings of happiness, relaxation and mental alertness. And, it may be why grateful people also tend to exercise more and eat healthier.

Gratitude boosts confidence: As anyone who has battled weight gain can tell you, confidence can be a major factor in successfully losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight. Whether you're just starting toward a major weight loss goal or struggling to shed that final 10 pounds before hitting your ideal number on the scale, the effort can be a stressful one. Losing your confidence boosts chances that you'll cheat or give up altogether.

While being grateful alone won't shed the pounds for you, it will help you manage your stress, keep your energy levels high and keep you on a confident track. This Thanksgiving Day, commit to adopting an attitude of gratitude every day of the year, especially when it comes to your health and weight loss goals. And if you need a little extra boost, contact your nearest Metabolic Research Center location.



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