CAN STRESS CAUSE WEIGHT GAIN?
You keep healthy diet, train regularly, wake up early morning to go for run and your shape is not getting any better or getting even worse? There could be many reasons for this situation, but one of it could be stress.
Being nervous before exam, thinking too much about problems at work- this can add inches in to your waistline.
How stress can affect our body and how not to be stress in this crazy world?
Stress has a big affect not only on our mood, but most important: on our health and body.
Chronic, continuous stress is very detrimental to our life and can have huge impact to our future health.
Stress-good or bad?
In the past, response for stress was stimulation. And cause of that we were ready to run or fight. Let’s imagine we are in the jungle and suddenly we hear a lion roar. What is happening with us then? Our heart rate increase, blood pressure and pulse as well, our breathing frequency is higher and blood sugar as well. In one moment we’re in ‘ready to fight for life’ mode. This is what reaction for stress is. In today’s world this ‘fight for life’ situation probably wouldn’t happen, but we’re still in this mode, still stressing!
Short term stress is nothing bad. Hearing a lion roar, jitters that catch us before our performance on stage, stress of a runner before he starts his marathon- all this can motivate us to action and have positive affect. It’s not great when the stress like this is all the time- that we don’t have short stressful situations but our whole life is one big stimulant to stress. We have to remember one thing: each of us will react different to stress. For someone stressful will be making a call, for other person stressful will be first day of a new job. That’s why, two people with lifestyle very alike, can have totally different stress levels daily.
Why we can gain weight cause of stress?
When we are stressed, two hormones are activated: cortisol and adrenaline. Cortisol increase our blood pressure and glucose in the blood. If it’s short term- that’s ok but when this is happening constantly, some negative changes may happen in our bodies:
- High level of cortisol permanently will lead your body to store fat. Our system is design to keep and store fat to ‘protect you’ in stressful situations.
- High level of blood sugar can can lead your body to be less sensitive to insulin and this can be later related to insulin resistance. Then is very hard to loose fat.
- Long term high level of cortisol can do muscle damage- muscle catabolism!
- Excess fat as an effect of high cortisol, will usually appear in your waistline; stomach, lower back, ‘love handles’ or neck.
The way we train can also spike our cortisol. Long, very intense strength workout is not necessarily a great choice when we’re stressed, could be better to try less intense. Or consider relaxation forms, like yoga, pilates.
Also stress can increase your appetite and cravings for fatty and sweet, junk food. Lots of people ‘eating stress’, that’s the way they dealing with stressful situations.
Also is very common to spike your cortisol when we’re on fat loss diet. Too much calorie deficit and too intensive workout can cause big stress in your body, which makes the whole "lose fat" process much more difficult.
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As you can see, stress has a huge impact on our body. I would like you to put your attention in this aspect of life, because stress is very often ignored and could be a reason of your health problems or why you’re not see your diet and training results.
Fighting long term stress it’s not easy, but it is possible. Being aware of it, it’s the first step. I would like to you wish you all the best on your road to distress and remember, there’s always the way to figure things out and stressing about things we can’t do anything about it, it’s not worth it.
I would be grateful if you could leave below the comment or your thoughts:
Thanks for reading!