So How Does The Weight Gain Occur?
Stress and weight gain go hand in hand. First off, negative effects of higher and prolonged levels of cortisol include suppression of the thyroid function and blood sugar imbalances. How your body functions has changed and now abdominal fat is being created and stored. This is one of the most dangerous places for fat to be stored and is linked to various serious health problems.
Just how much cortisol is secreted varies from person to person. Studies have also shown people who secrete higher levels in response to stress also tend to eat more food. And the food they choose is typically higher in carbohydrates. This is because your stress hormones are created from fats and sugars so therefore your body will crave more so that it can create more stress hormones.
In addition, stress has been known to slow the metabolism in some people. Of course, when this happens it is easier and far more likely that you'll gain weight. You may even feel full but still find yourself hungry. You may also be eating the same amount of food but now your body's efficiency in breaking down the calories is impacted. You end up with an "excess" of energy (from the calories) which is converted to fat cells. Back to the food: Stress can also affect the foods you crave. When you feel sad and depressed you're more likely to reach for foods higher in fat, salt, and sugar content. Eating a salad just doesn't make you feel any better so instead, you reach for the ice cream and potato chips.
Besides the unhealthy cravings, stress can also create emotional eating disorders. The change in cortisol raises the nervous energy stored in the body. When this happens it seems natural to eat anything and everything you can get your hands on. You don't need the excess amount of food but devouring it makes you feel better; at least in your mind. On the flip side, when you emit fewer stress hormones, your cravings for doughnuts and candy bars will be far less frequent and far less appealing. So breathe deeply, relase some tension and flood your mind with happy thoughts to overcome those high stress levels.
Are You An Emotional Eater?
Scientists use the term emotional eating to describe the way many people self-medicate or cope with negative feelings such as depression, anxiety, stress, and boredom. It can also be triggered by fatigue and exhaustion.
Studies actually confirm that people under chronic stress, tend to gain weight because of both related hormone changes and misdirected coping strategies that focus on food for relief.
These extra pounds may help you feel more grounded or nurtured. They can provide insulation from the world or a way to escape for a while from whatever is going on around you. Sometimes, people will eat to fill an internal void or to deal with emotional toxicity.
Urgent: Stressing Out Will Cause You
To Age 9-17 Years Faster!
Yes, you heard me right. This was recently discovered by Elisa Epel, a PhD Psychologist at the University of California. Here is her direct quote:
"We've known for 50 years that stress contributes to hypertension, cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, and autoimmune disorders -- diseases that can shorten our lifespan. But we had no direct documentation of how stress impacts aging at the cellular level. My team identified marked changes in the DNA of the white-blood cells in stressed-out women. Under prolonged emotional stress, the telomeres -- branches at the tips of each chromosome, which allow cell replication -- appeared shorter. When telomeres get too short, cells can't divide and die sooner. Based on telomere length, we estimated that cells in the women studied had aged 9-17 additional years. It's possible that as more cells die, the visible effects of aging -- wrinkles, diminished eyesight -- become apparent."
As you can see, it doesn't pay to stress out in life. And you can save your beauty and keep the weight off if you just... RELAX!
In the next part of the lesson, I have written up some solutions for you to help your chronic stress levels. Please pay attention and definitely read this lesson more than once!
Have an Amazing Day!!!