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The Connection Between Stress and Weight Gain!

Are you one of the many people who find it hard to loose weight? Have you tried the various diet plans that are promoted by diet gurus? Do you work out an hour a day and never see any results?

If your answer is yes to any one of these questions, then don't worry. There are several reason's for this.

Number one, it is hard to modify our behavior to establish good eating habits, especially when the wrong kind of foods are easily available to us. In addition, we are constantly bombarded by TV commercials everyday.

But there is another reason... believe it or not, some of our hormones maybe working against us.

Yep, that's right! Having high levels or cortisol is one of the culprits.

What is Cortisol?

Cortisol is the hormone produced by the adrenal glands. Don't look at this as the enemy! The body needs cortisol because it plays an important role in regulating blood sugar, energy production, inflammation, the immune system and healing.

If your body have too little cortisol, you may suffer from such things as: chronic fatigue, exhaustion, and Addison's disease, which is a disease of the endocrine system. However, if your adrenal glands produces to much cortisol, you may gain weight, especially around the abdomen. You may also experience, depressed immune system responses, accelerated aging and stomach ulcers.

What triggers this elevation in cortisol is response to emotional and physical stress.

Understanding Stress and How It Affects the Body!

Who does not deal with stress these days? Everyone does... We are not immune to it. Stress is a normal part of life. Whether it is emotional or physical we react to stressful situations everyday. Many of us have demands such as work schedules and bills, which can be like "ducks" pecking at us everyday.

So, how does our body deal with stress?

Well, the human brain is hard wired with automatic responses to protect the body from harm, such as threats from predators and other aggressors. When your brain perceives a threat, your body releases a burst of hormones to fuel your fight-or-flight response.

This fight-or-flight response works well when men were hunter-gatherers, and they had to run for their lives, but it is not suited for our modern lifestyle. However, that does not mean life is free of stress. We face demands every day. Dealing with rush hour traffic, a hard day at the office, or just making ends meet can produce the same physiological responses as running for your life. And, if your body does not return to normal due to nonstop stress, it will leave your body with chronic high cortisol levels

When you deal with excessive stress in your life, you may face serious health problems because the body's "fight-or-flight" response is constantly on. This can result in over exposure to cortisol and other stress hormones. It can disrupt almost all your body's processes causing you to be at risk of numerous health problems, including:

  • Heart disease
  • Sleep problems
  • Depression
  • Obesity
  • Memory impairment
  • Skin conditions, such as eczema

This is why stress management is so important. There are healthy ways you can learn to cope with various stresses in your life.

Learn How to Relieve Stress and Reduce Cortisol Level

Managing stress is all about taking charge and identifying your sources of stress. You may find it difficult at times because your true sources of stress aren't always obvious. Sometimes we can cause ourselves to be stressed out based on our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

For example, watching the evening news can be depressing to watch. If this is a source of stress, then either watch something else or just turn the TV off. If you find yourself worrying about work deadlines, give yourself enough time to complete each task instead of waiting to the last minute.

I know... we all procrastinate at times, but this could be a true source of stress that can be eliminated.

So, to identify what is truly stressing you out, you may have to look closely at your habits, attitude, and excuses.

After you have identified these stresses, you can take care of yourself physically and emotionally. There are healthy ways to reduce stress and lower your cortisol levels. Small changes here and there can have big impact. Here are just a few ways below:

  • Get eight hours of sleep
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Get regular exercise
  • Practice relaxation techniques
  • Seek professional counseling when needed

I hope this article helped you!

For more information on Stress Management you can visit the following resources.

What happens when you are stressed?

How to Reduce, prevent, and Cope with Stress

Stress basics

› Stress & Belly Fat

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