Can stress contribute to a person’s weight gain? Yes. Stress can affect the hormonal and metabolic factors in the body. It can affect a person’s calorie intake, as well the type of calorie the body is burning; whether muscle, fat, or sugar. Stress can also affect where the calories are stored in the body.
Extra cortisol is released when stressed
The adrenal glands secrete cortisol. This hormone regulates the macronutrients used by the body as well as the blood pressure. Cortisol has an effect on the release of insulin in the body and the conversion of sugar into energy. The level of cortisol peaks in the morning, then it lowers at night. Cortisol at a healthy level can provide energy and better memory.
During stressful situations, however, more cortisols are released to provide energy needed by the body. This can be a big help, especially during emergency situations. However, there are people who get stressed with their children, bills, and other simple daily problems in life. In these situations, stress and a higher level of unneeded cortisol can be pretty harmful to health. This could even be life-threatening. These modern-day minor stresses can cause immediate complications such as imbalanced blood sugar, lowered immune response, and suppressed thyroid function.
Stress effects that lead to weight gain
Effects of stress that can lead to weight gain includes slower metabolism, increased blood sugar, increase in appetite, increased craving for bad types of sweets, and even insulin resistance which can lead to type 2 diabetes.
These harmful effects lead to over-stimulation of the appetite, which can accumulate fat in the body. Stress-eating causes more fats to accumulate in the abdomen area of you body. Stress-eating can also lead to metabolic syndrome which is linked to belly fats. Metabolic syndrome is a risk factor for harmful health conditions including, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and yes, obesity.
When your adrenal glands release high levels of cortisol due to stress, your body could be inhibited from burning fat, which should have been transformed to energy that your body needs. If your body loses the ability to burn fat, sustainable weight loss would be close to impossible.
How to manage your cortisol to lose weight
Do not despair from these facts though; you don’t want to be stressed due to small reasons. There are still things you can do to manage your cortisol if you badly want to lose weight.
• First, you should avoid caffeine, since it increases cortisol levels. Tea, which is a great antioxidant, would be the best substitute.
• Exercise regularly and efficiently. This way, the release of cortisol in your body will be manageable, making it easy for you to burn calories.
• Release tension from the nervous system through corrective chiropractic care or massage.
• Schedule a time to relax everyday and get enough sleep.
Beat fat by controlling stress and never again let it control you.
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