Ask A Trainer

There are four weeks left in the semester! You have to finish a group presentation and study for four different exams. You’re scheduled to work the week of Thanksgiving, and now you’re worried you won’t be able to see your family over the holiday. It feels like the semester is just getting busier and busier, especially when you’re trying to maintain a social life, get good grades and make somewhat of an income.

Life as a college student is stressful, and it’s ok to feel overwhelmed. In fact, stress is the body’s natural response to the physical, mental and/or emotional strain of demanding situations.

However, did you know that stress can affect our weight loss goals by increasing cortisol and ghrelin? Cortisol is a hormone released during stressful situations that promotes body fat storage. Ghrelin is the primary “hunger hormone” that causes us to feel hungry, and it often rises when we don’t get enough sleep. Increases in these hormones makes it harder to lose weight by increasing the amount of calories we eat and the amount of fat stored in our bodies.

A lot of my clients that feel stressed are constantly fatigued, generally because they sleep less. And I’ve even found myself overeating from stress, even though I wasn’t hungry. So what can we do to decrease cortisol and ghrelin levels in our body? Participate in activities that reduce stress throughout the day. Practice light stretching, or take a yoga class. Consider attending Meditation Mondays at Beach Balance or downloading Headspace (a free app in the App Store) to get started on some guided meditation. Most of all, don’t stress about stressing out and don’t skip your well-being activities or workouts! Even 5-10 minutes can clear the mind of stress, reducing hormone levels throughout the body.

For more information on personal training or Beach Balance services, visit

S5 Box