Melissa McCarthy Weight Loss Secret Revealed! Find Out How 'Spy' Star Worked It

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Jun 18, 2015 06:00 AM EDT

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 01: Actress Melissa McCarthy attends the 'Spy' New York Premiere at AMC Loews Lincoln Square on June 1, 2015 in New York City. (Photo : Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

"Spy" star Melissa McCarthy posed for the cover of People magazine, featuring a skinnier body. While most people were shocked about the star's slimmer frame, some did question how McCarthy lost the weight, but instead expressed their anxiety that the actress may have taken some extreme measures. 

However, McCarthy followed a more simple rule in order to lose weight. Instead of trying out some of the diet and exercise trends, the comedienne simply relaxed and let go. 

According to Redbook, McCarthy said: "I truly stopped worrying about it. I stopped over-analyzing, over-thinking, over-doing anything. I kinda went back to when I was pregnant and I just stopped constantly being worried about it and I think there's something to kinda loosening up and not being so nervous and rigid about it that, bizarrely, has worked. I could've figured that out before 44, but whatever."  

McCarthy's weight loss secret does have scientific proof. Stress can sometimes lead to overeating, which in turn can lead to weight gain. Dr. Ellisa Epel, assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of California at San Francisco, explains how stress can increase a person's apetite on Web MD.

She says that when someone is stressed, certain hormone levels are increased in the body like adrenaline, corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH) and cortisol. At first, adrenaline and CRH may decrease a person's appetite, but it does not last long. 

Meanwhile, cortisol lasts in the body longer and is responsible for replenishing the body after stress has passed. Dr. Epel explains, "It can remain elevated, increasing your appetite and ultimately driving you to eat more."

Over time, overeating due to stress can lead to obesity. Mayo Clinic makes some suggestions to prevent weight gain that is caused by stress. The suggestions include: 

  • Recognize the warning signs of stress, such as anxiety, irritability and muscle tension.
  • Before eating, ask yourself why you're eating—are you truly hungry or do you feel stressed or anxious?
  • If you're tempted to eat when you're not hungry, find a distraction.
  • Don't skip meals, especially breakfast.
  • Identify comfort foods and keep them out of your home or office.
  • Keep a record of your behavior and eating habits so that you can look for patterns and connections—and then figure out how to overcome them.
  • Learn problem-solving skills, so that you can anticipate challenges and cope with setbacks.
  • Practice relaxation skills, such as yoga, stretching, massage, deep breathing or meditation.
  • Engage in regular physical activity or exercise.
  • Get adequate sleep.
  • Get encouragement from supportive friends and family.



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