By Sarah Jenks

It doesn’t have to be so complicated. Last week we discussed how weighing yourself is actually making you fat, and this week I am going to give you a weight loss tip that is easy as breathing. Well, it actually is breathing. Yes, something this simple can help you lose inches instantly. (If you took Elena Brower’s 5-minute conscious daily breathing challenge, you are on the right track!)

Most women are CONSTANTLY stressed out, and there’s this idea that women who are stressed and busy lose weight.  But the reality is that stress is the biggest cause of weight gain.  Most women think that the only way to reduce stress is to completely alter our lives, but the reality is that it can take just 10 seconds.

Stress is actually meant to keep us alive. When we’re stressed we go into fight or flight mode; our pulse quickens, our breathing becomes rapid and shallow, we release hormones like adrenaline, insulin and cortisol, and our blood flow moves away from our abdomen into our arms and legs and into our brain. This makes us really good at running away from lions. Unfortunately our brain cannot tell the difference between a near death experience and an approaching a deadline.

When you’re stressed, not only is your body holding onto to extra belly fat because of the cortisol increase, your body’s energy is so focused on surviving a lion attack, its not going to spend any energy on digesting your lunch.  All this undigested food (even if it’s a salad) just gets stored as junk on your thighs, belly and face.

The best way to bring yourself into a relaxed state anywhere, anytime is relaxed conscious breathing. Just take 5 long deep breaths – or check out the video above for some hypnotic breathing exercises. If you consciously try to breath like a relaxed person (even if you are not) you will trick your brain into thinking something like “Hey! I thought I was a nervous wreck, but I am breathing like a relaxed person, so I must be relaxed.” This will move you from a state of low digestive force to high digestive force and reduce your cortisol levels before you eat, helping you to lose weight.

Easy as breathing.

Sarah Jenks, founder of theBreathtakingBride.com, helps women fall in love with their bodies and lose weight through exploring the emotional reasons of why we eat.

Sarah believes that you can talk about the benefits of broccoli until you are blue in the face, but real change won’t happen until we pull back the veil of fad diets and calorie counting to reveal the true cause of our over eating. Feeling lost about weight loss? Visit her website to download her free guide: “What to do if you feel fat, hopeless and ready to give up.”