Stress and Gaining Weight
Everyone experiences stress.This can be a student that is overwhelmed with too much homework or having an information overload to an employee who is rushing to meet certain deadlines.
When the person is in this situation, the body goes into the defensive mode. It only has two choices which is to fight or flee. This in turn will give the individual a burst of energy, a shift in the metabolism or blood flow that is associated to weight gain.
How could this happen? The answer goes to a natural steroid hormone called Cortisol that is produced in the adrenal gland cortex that is connected to many different functions of the body.
Scientists believe that the extra production from this gland creates more fat cells and it does not stop there. Here are some of the things that a person with stress will experience.
1. Studies have shown that those who are stressed get to burn food slower than those who are relaxed even if the same amount of food has been consumed. This goes back to Cortisol that is busy doing other things for the body.
2. Another study has shown that when people are unhappy, the only way to feel better is to crave for something sweet, salty or fatty. These are better known as processed food or sweets which lead to weight gain.
3. Stress also affects the individual's blood sugar levels. This is because it causes the person to have fatigue, mood swings and conditions like hyperglycemia. This has been even been linked to metabolic syndrome which may cause obesity.
4. Stress can also make the person store fat. This can be seen when bulges develop in the abdomen or in other parts of the body because the person is not able to the food digested in properly.
Stress is something that will never go away.The good news is that there are things that can be taken in before it results in weight gain. Here are a few options,
- If the work is really taking a toll on the person, perhaps it is time to go on a vacation. A different environment can help the individual recharge the body and ready for the challenges ahead.
- Those who can't stand the heat in the kitchen despite repeated attempts should probably look for a new line of work. This is because it doesn't do the employee any good if this is detrimental to one's health.
- Those who want to fight can take some dietary supplements such as those in multivitamins and herbal products. B vitamins for example are designed to help the brain and nervous system function.
Vitamin C serves as an anti-stress antioxidant. Studies have shown taking 500 to 1,000 milligrams of it daily can help reduce the amount of cortisol being developed in the adrenal gland back to its normal levels.
A few examples are Relora, Kava and Panax Ginseng that are plant extracts. These are known to reduce anxiety, irritability and nervousness.