Getting Healthier Is More than Calories in and Calories Out


If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you’ve probably heard that it’s all about calories. Eat less, move more and abracadabra you will lose all of those unwanted pounds.

Contrary to popular belief, losing weight is more than just counting the number of calories you eat. Those details play a part, but they’re only one piece in a larger puzzle.

Increase your chances of long term success by creating the conditions where weight loss becomes inevitable. Your body needs to function as a whole on an emotional, physical and mental level in order to lose weight, maintain the loss, and live a healthy life.

One of the elements that can create unbalance is the hormone cortisol. In an ideal world, when a stressful event occurs, cortisol is released to energize us to handle the crises. Then when the crisis is over, the cortisol level drops and our bodies return to normal. However, many of us are dealing with chronic stress and we are continuously exposed to high levels of cortisol. For some, these relentless stressors lead to irritability, compromised health, and visible signs such as stubborn abdominal fat.

Stress is caused by many factors. It can be the culmination of the mundane activities of daily life or the result of a major change or loss in your life. Here are three ways to manage your cortisol levels and help to make your weight loss journey more manageable.

  1. Nurture Your Relationships – Having empowering relationships in your life is the best thing that you can do for your emotional well being. Just the mere thought that there’s somebody that loves you – just the way you are – is uplifting on so many levels. This level of emotional well being can trigger your body to produce dopamine, often called the feel good hormone. It makes weight loss, and everything in life, seem so much easier.
  • What are you doing to nurture your relationship with God on a daily basis? This isn’t a weekly task to only be addressed on the Sabbath.
  • Spend time with your loved one on a daily basis. Sit with them and express yourself. Tell them that you love them. Let them know you’re glad to have them in your life and that life isn’t just the same without them. Never let the spark in your relationship fade away.
  • Occasionally stir things up, do something you’ve never done before, go somewhere you’ve never been before….just don’t let things get stale and predictable.
  • Make an effort to connect with your special someone on a deep level. You’ll not only refuel yourself and get ready to fire on all cylinders, but also climb a few rungs on the self esteem ladder….a pre-requisite for a high functioning life.
  1. Sleep – You won’t believe the magic that a good night’s sleep can have on your system. It’s a critical pillar in the well being of your body. If you’re overwhelmed by circumstances and about to blow your top, get some sleep. Aim for at least 7 hours per night and then come back to wrestle with those problems with a renewed perspective.

Studies show that chronic sleep debt leads to decreased levels of enthusiasm and persistence. And if you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you know that you need to possess both of them. For some people, it has become a badge of honor to get by on little sleep. Be aware that this isn’t healthy. Our bodies need sleep to recharge and restore. There are no shortcuts. Once you get your daily quota of sleep, your body will feel healthy and energized and working out wouldn’t seem like such a chore after all.

  • If you’re a night owl and your sleep cycle is off….start sleeping and waking up on a set time and let your body adjust to the rhythm.
  • Establish a night time pre-sleep ritual.
  • You could meditate, pray, or read a non stimulating book or do anything that doesn’t involve your mind staying in high gear. Stay away from loud music because that’s really taxing on the mind.
  • Turn off the phone, disconnect from the internet, kill every distraction that reels you in and just relax….do whatever you have to do to mentally wind down and let your mind slip off into peaceful slumber.
  1. Destress –When you’re stressed out, your whole outlook on your life changes. Things don’t exactly seem motivating and even small tasks can feel overwhelming. This is certainly not a good place to be in. That’s why you have to make an effort to get it out of your system on a daily basis. Figure out ways to bust stress before you need them!
  • Let Go. Let God. Undoubtedly you have heard this wise advice before, but are you doing it? If stress is present, often faith is not. Let your faith chase away your stress.
  • Focus on enjoying the small pleasures of life. Go for a walk, play with the dog, put on your favorite music and sing and dance along, even if you can’t carry a tune or if you have two left feet!
  • Get creative—draw, paint, or build something with your hands.
  • Spend time with your special someone.
  • Stop taking yourself so seriously
  • Perform a random act of kindness for someone you love or for a stranger. Focusing outwardly and on the needs of others can be an excellent way to turn your attitude around.

I know this isn’t the conventional weight-loss advice of ‘eat-this and eat-that and do-this and do-that’ but it is critical in your weight-loss journey. If all these aspects are working together, you’ll have an easier time getting healthy and releasing those unwanted pounds.

Respect your body and be grateful for the precious gift that God has given you. Demonstrate that you value it and do the necessary things to make it feel good and it will reward you by getting in the kind of shape that you want.

Be well! Until next time…

Wanda Cox is a board certified Health Coach and founder of Wellness With Wanda. She is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and has studied at the Wellcoaches School of Coaching. Visit her online at or on Facebook at “Wellness With Wanda”.

If you’d like more information on personalized phone coaching programs, please contact her today at to schedule your complimentary initial consultation. [wpurp-searchable-recipe]Getting Healthier Is More than Calories in and Calories Out – – – [/wpurp-searchable-recipe]