Four Ways Stress Impacts Weight Gain
After a bad day, have you ever plopped in front of the TV and inhaled an entire tub of ice cream or have you ever furiously eaten a hamburger and fries in front of your desk as you try to meet a work deadline? Perhaps you have a busy schedule and eat banana pudding throughout your breaks.
Soon, you’ve gained 20 pounds and don’t know how it happened. Well, you’ve been engaging in stress-related eating. Long periods of stress increases our appetites and blocks our motivation to move forward with a healthy lifestyle.
If you’re ready to make positive lifestyle changes, keep reading to learn more.
Stress and Hormones
When your brain detects a threat, whether it is an upcoming bill or a wild animal on the loose, it emits chemicals including CRH, adrenaline and cortisol. These chemicals make you more alert and ready for action.
Once the adrenaline wears off, cortisol remains to tell your body to replenish your food supply. Our ancestors fought off wild animals and more, they needed the replenishment.
Yet, we deal with stress by sitting in front of our computers all day long. We aren’t burning too many calories sitting down.
And, our body still produces cortisol telling us to eat a few more cookies. In addition, chronic stress leaves us vulnerable to increased belly fat.
So, the goal should be to reduce stress. According to Business Bellies, if you want to learn how to lower cortisol levels and lose weight, you need a 30-day reset.
You must retrain your body to handle stress, as well as retrain your mind.
Cravings for Fat and Sugar
For some reason, stress increases the intake of foods high in fat and sugar. In fact, studies have shown that high insulin and cortisol levels contribute to the desire for comfort foods to help fight stress.
Have you wondered why all you seem to crave are meat and potatoes, fried chicken and biscuits or loads of tacos? It is the result of chronic stress.
Muscle Mass Declines
As your adrenal glands continue to pump out cortisol, your production of testosterone slows down. As a result, you experience a decrease in muscle mass.
Since muscle boosts your metabolism, you will find that you burn fewer calories with less muscle. Your body also starts to become pudgier.
Moreover, cortisol encourages your body to store visceral fat. This is the dangerous kind of fat because it surrounds vital organs while releasing fatty acids into your blood.
And, then, it increases cholesterol and insulin levels. Obviously, you can’t just eliminate all the stress from your life. But, you can do a reset.
Another issue with stress is it causes us to lie awake at night. Our minds are busy thinking about the bills, our kids, health issues and more. Yet, the cycle never seems to end.
If you drink caffeine to help you stay awake, then, you disrupt your cycle even further. Not to mention, the lack of sleep affects the functioning of ghrelin and leptin–chemicals that control your appetite.
So, you wake up exhausted and crave a stack of pancakes. But, you can’t go back to sleep because you have to work.
As a result, you end up eating carbs all day. Since you are sleepy, you don’t have the willpower to resist temptation. And, the cycle continues.
If your body is experiencing any of the above symptoms, a change is needed. If it seems as if you have gained weight out of nowhere, then it truly is time for a reset.