Monday, June 11, 2012

Mind Over Fatter: How Stress Makes Us Fat And What YOU Can Do About It

We live in a very high stress society. Everyday it seems like it is go, go, go, rush, rush, rush. As soon as you wake up in the morning, you rush to get ready, rush to get the kids off to school feeding them pop tarts and sugar cereal so that they have something to eat, then you sit in rush hour traffic, deadlines at work press your time, rush to get home, rush to get the kids to and from practice, rush to fix dinner (alot of times I bet you are too tired to cook so you resort to your local pizza delivery for your nutritious meal) rush to do homework, maybe a half an hour for your favorite tv show, then it's time to get everyone to bed and you get to get up the next morning and do it all over again!
Now, not only is this stressful at the time, but when you do this consistently for years, your body actually starts to age at an incredible rate.

Stress And Weight Gain

Research shows that the link between stress and weight gain is much stronger than originally thought. A recent study from Georgetown Med Center showed that mice under stress gain extra weight even if their calorie intake doesn't go up. Scientists also report that after 3 months, these same mice became 2x as obese as mice without stress, even though they were eating the same amount!
So does stress really cause weight gain? Well, the short answer is yes. BUT not in every person. Some people lose their appetite and lose weight when they're stressed. (I'm actually one of these people. Eating is the last thing from my mind) IF you are already overweight or close to it, then stress will usually lead to weight gain.
It will also make it harder to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

Let's Talk About Stress

So What exactly is stress?
Stress is your body's way of responding to any kind of demand. It can be caused by both good and bad experiences. When people feel stressed by something going on around them, their bodies react by releasing chemicals into the blood. These chemicals give people more energy and strength, which can be a good thing if their stress is caused by physical danger. But this can also be a bad thing, if their stress is in response to something emotional and there is no outlet for this extra energy and strength.
The two major hormones that are released are called cortisol and adrenaline (epinephrine). Your adrenal glands are responsible for producing the stress hormones. Cortisol and Adrenaline prepare us for emergencies. This stress response has been engrained in our ancestry since the beginning of time and was critical for our survival because it provided a heightened state of alertness, allowing us to be ready to fight or run away. (That's why it is called the fight or flight response)
Now this response is great when we faced a lot of physical danger that threatened our lives. ( Such as when a saber toothed tiger jumped out of the bushes to try to eat us) Today though, the stress we encounter is quite different. It is more mental and emotional in nature. ( Now, your job may be the saber toothed tiger chasing you) BUT the body will still respond the same way because it doesn't know the difference between physical stress and mental stress.

Stay tuned for our next edition of "Mind Over Fatter"
to see how weight gain occurs.

Have an Amazing Day!!

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