We will be getting under the hood and trying understand how stress makes people fatter. It is no secret that obesity is causing undue stress to the American economy. The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention found out that the total indirect and direct cost of fighting obesity in America is $147 billion in 2006. The study also revealed that obese people spent $1,429 more on medical bills compared to people with normal weight.
Have you ever felt good after eating a huge bowl of pasta? Chances are you did and there is a good reason for feeling that way. Craving for carbohydrates is one of the common responses to an increase of stress hormones circulating in the body. Sugar is the best and quickest way to replenish energy that is needed to execute a fight or flee response to stress. Carbohydrates are known to supply sugar which the body needs. But if the sugar stays in the body, it will be stored as fat.
Increased cholesterol levels
Having symptoms of anxiety can actually give the body a hard time. Stress is known to increase cholesterol levels which if left unabated can lead to several cardiovascular diseases and may also cause strokes. Higher lipid profiles are observed on people who are unable to cope with stress and it has something to do with the body’s inability to ward off inflammation caused by the rise of cortisol in the body.
Recent study suggests that there is a gene that is thought to have an influence in metabolism. This gene is produced when the body is under stress. It is thought that this gene may cause comfort eating which can add thousands of calories and significantly increase weight.
Stress is notorious in causing hormonal imbalance. Hormonal imbalance causes additional inches on the waste line. Hormones may prevent fat breakdown or can stimulate more amounts of insulin which can make cells insulin resistant and make it doubly hard to get rid of fat. Getting quality sleep and relaxation together with proper diet and exercise can help get rid of stress and help the body recover from hormonal imbalance. Consult a doctor if you are having problems with your hormones. Naturally, an endocrinologist, a specialist in hormones, is the best doctor to consult if ever you are having hormonal imbalance.
Slows down fat burning
Stress can be a tough customer and it could interfere with fat burning. Unresolved stress can cause the metabolic function in the body go haywire. Healthy DHEA and cortisol ratios are important to keep the metabolism rate at normal levels and allows the body to burn fat efficiently. Aside from coping with stress, it is best to cut down on fat so that the body will have less to store and burn some of the stored ones through exercise.
Elevating your blood glucose
When the body thinks that it is in danger, it secretes the stress hormone called cortisol. As the body feel the stress, the heart pumps faster, the blood pressure gets higher and the blood sugar increases. Now if the blood sugar remains elevated, the cells in time become insulin resistant which can develop into type-2 diabetes. The elevated blood sugar levels have nowhere to go but are stored as fat which contributes to weight gain.
Exercise alone will not help in lowering stress. You need to have a healthy diet and a nice disposition to constantly elevate the mood. It would help if you incorporate other stress-busting activities such as yoga and even laughter. Kicking out unhealthy habits like eating fast food will also help. Drinking water will also help in keeping the body hydrated. Lose weight, be happy and feel better because these will serve as your weapons against stress.
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