Is Weight Gain Stressing You Out?

24 Feb

Putting on weight may cause stress, but the opposite is also true:  Stress is a big contributor to weight gain. 

Why?  It comes to down science and weight loss resistance.

Stress is one of the key factors in weight loss resistance.  Consider it from a scientific perspective:

Stress causes an increase in cortisol, the catabolic (breakdown) hormone. If this level remains high, it will break down muscle, dump sugar into your bloodstream and result in insulin resistance.

Ugh.  Not good.  Unfortunately, I’m just getting started.

Chronic stress lowers serotonin and can make you hypoglycemic.  Those two factors will make you crave sugar – which despite what your kids might tell you – is not good for you, especially in the weight loss department.

Over time, chronic stress will lower the anti-aging, libido stimulating, fat burning hormone DHEA.  It will affect your body’s ability to build muscle – let’s call that your “metabolic girdle.”  (Doesn’t that sound sexy?)

Okay, so how do you know if you’re stressed out?  Sounds like that should be an obvious answer, but most people don’t stop and take a good look at some of the signs that stress is affecting their health.

Behavior Symptoms:  Think about how you’ve been acting lately.  Have you noticed added anger or hostility?  Are you exceptionally moody, or indecisive? 

Also think about your eating and drinking habits.  Are you eating quickly, often, and in great quantities?  And are you finding that one glass of wine or beer is often turning to 3, 4, 5 or more? 

These are all behavioral indicators that you’re feeling stress.

Intellectual Symptoms:  You may notice you’re more forgetful (if you can remember to notice), and that you’re losing focus on details.  That’s more than just misplacing your keys once or twice – you’ll know it when the forgetfulness incidents start to add up.

You may also notice a lack of concentration, as in you may not be able to finish this article.  (I seriously hope that’s not the case!)

Physical Symptoms:  Stress manifests itself physically in a whole slew of not-so-pleasant ways, such as chronic fatigue, constipation, diarrhea, headaches, indigestion, hypertension, insomnia, nausea, sweaty palms, tight muscles.  Ugh, part 2. 

Is all this talk about stress stressing you out?  If so, you’ll want to check out some of my upcoming posts on coping with stress.

And for Pete’s sake, wherever Pete is, watch the video of me doing my Weight Loss Comedian schtick.  Start laughing, and start losing!


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