Preventing the No. 1 Reason People Fail to Lose Weight: Stress
Most people who have tried to diet have failed to meet their weight loss goals and the reason is stress. Maybe you eventually met your goal then slipped back into your old habits, just to see the weight return, also from stress. Think about it, you may blame something else, but that thing caused your stress. You will likely remember a specific event or many little things. None of these events are real problems. The real problem is Stress!!! Why not try Ashwagandha for stress, it may be the solution to your diet failures.
Why Stress Leads to Diet Failures
Very few people slip back into their old habits when everything is going well. Dieting is easy when you see progress toward your goals. You fall victim to your old habits when you are hit with the stress of life. This stress could be work, relationships, illness, or children, to name a few.
Stress Leads to Eating
Many people handle stress in different ways, and a lot of those ways revolve around food. There is a good reason we call it comfort food, it makes us feel better and makes us forget our stress for a little while. Many of these comfort foods have played the villains in someone’s story of failing at their diet. It is never the fault of the food. Ask anyone who fell victim to comfort food. They would likely say “I just couldn’t resist it because it tastes so good.” What they mean though is that they couldn’t resist because they thought it was going to make them “feel so good.” We can all relate to this; the food never did make us feel that good, and many times we felt worse after eating it. There is a better way.
Don’t Just Handle Stress, Use Stress
The answer to the question of how to not be overcome by stress is to use the stress. There is no way to eliminate stress, and you wouldn’t want to. This pressure is what our body uses to change; it makes us move. Stress was what got you to start that diet in the first place. We need something that will help us use this pressure for its benefit. Adaptogens are a group of herbs that help our body adapt and handle stress. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen that lets us harness stress and bend it to our will. Recently adaptogens have been getting more and more popular as gobs of scientific studies are being performed. There are now countless studies about the benefits of Ashwagandha alone. When you include research papers on other adaptogens like Rhodiola and Ginseng, we find that the amount of information gets overwhelming.
What the Research Says
Simplifying some of the research in a few of these studies can help you understand how Adaptogens and specifically Ashwagandha can help us stay on track with our fitness goals.
Reduce Food Cravings
First thing is first when you are trying to eat right, controlling those food cravings is not easy. Ashwagandha can help; a few doctors and pharmacists found that Ashwagandha reduces food cravings. They measured a reduction in serum cortisol levels and food cravings in patients who took Ashwagandha. Ashwagandha led the patients to lose more weight than the patients who used a placebo (1). People losing more weight because of adaptogens is pretty impressive. You likely never thought of Ashwagandha as a diet herb, but you should now.
Generally, Feel Better In Spite of the Stress
We still don’t understand all the effects of Adaptogens, but we do know that they are positive effects. Many studies can’t qualitatively describe what the implications are, they state things like, “improves mental well-being” (1) or improves self-assessed quality of life” (2). These people who experienced improved mental well-being or better quality of life did not get rid of all the stresses of life; they began to feel better in spite of the stress all because of Ashwagandha. Another study credits Ashwagandha to improve motivation, vitality, and general health by significantly reducing stress (3). The pressure of life never disappeared, but the people felt better, more alive, and free from stress.
How Long to See the Results of Taking Ashwagandha
You will not get the results of taking Ashwagandha immediately or overnight. You will not ingest one Ashwagandha pill and immediately feel and see the difference. Most of these studies lasted months, and for best results with Adaptogens, they need to be taken consistently and daily. These studies showed no harmful effects of taking Ashwagandha; though you do want to be careful when ingesting any herb that uses the root such as Ashwagandha or Ginseng. The concern with roots is the soil they were grown in could have high amounts of heavy metals. To ensure that your supplements have been tested for these things make sure that you are purchasing a Good Manufacturing Process (GMP) certified supplement.
Critical Vitality designed the supplement Adaptogenics which is GMP certified and has 150mg of Ashwagandha per capsule with a recommended two capsules per day. The other ingredients in Adaptogenics are Rhodiola, Panax Ginseng, Ginko Biloba, and Green Tea Extract. All these components have many benefits and can be consumed safely for extended periods of time; many cultures take them for their entire life.
There are many other benefits of taking Ashwagandha such as improved strength, speed, and neuro-muscular coordination (4). It is also known to increase strength and muscle gains when used with resistance training compared to a placebo. Ashwagandha supplementation is shown to increase the testosterone levels in muscles and lower levels of cortisol in the muscles both of which are known to increase muscle ability to gain mass. Ashwagandha was also shown to decrease recovery time from muscle damage due to resistance training (5).
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