There is ample evidence that weight gain is often associated with stress. Stress increases the cortisol level which puts the body in a state of “emergency”. Consequently the body will increase the food “storage” and fat accumulation. This accumulation is the result of very clearly described hormonal changes and chemical reactions.
When the cortisol levels are high (stress), the thyroid hormones work less efficiently and the metabolic rate decreases causing not only fat accumulation but also an inability to lose weight despite caloric restriction.
High cortisol levels are also associated with insulin resistance which in turn increases the amount of adipose tissue and prevents the use of fat as a source of energy.
In times of stress our hormones undergo a “cortisol steal” which causes a reduction in DHEAs and pregnenolone. These hormones are important in fighting stress, reducing pain and inflammation. Consequently, the body’s vulnerability to stress increases.
Stress (cortisol) can cause high blood pressure, muscle and bone breakdown, immune dysfunction, and serotonin dysregulation.
When stressed, people often feel fatigued and reach out for unhealthy foods, soft drinks , alcohol.etc . At the same time they feel less inclined to exercise.
Symptoms of Stress:
- Compulsive eating
- Critical attitude/Short temper/ feeling angry, anxious, bored, overwhelmed, depressed, easily upset
- Difficulty completing tasks /neglecting responsibilities
- Disrupted sleep
- Increased alcohol consumption
- Aches and pains
- Decreased sexual interest
- Irregular bowels
It is important to be aware of the effect of stress on the fat balance and correct the imbalances caused by stress.
Obviously addressing the cause of stress is essential. However this is not always feasible and we have to go through the “stressful times”.
There are several supplements that are scientifically proven to reduce the effect of stress on the body and to help the adrenal glands recover from the increased demands.
Here are some of them: