4 Reasons Why Your Stress May Be Causing Your Weight Gain
Let’s face it – life gets stressful sometimes. The responsibilities of work, school, family, kids, bills, and other hassles can be overwhelming. While you might not realize it, stress and weight gain are often directly correlated. The amount of stress you experience can have a significant impact on your health and weight.
Here’s four reasons why stress causes weight gain:
1. Slower Metabolism
When feeling stress or anxiety, the primal part of the brain is automatically activated. This part of the brain is responsible for creating the “fight or flight” response, during which large amounts of cortisol (the stress hormone) are released into the body. This surge of cortisol causes digestion to slow and also accelerates fat storage. Along with a decrease in oxygen, cortisol causes inflammation and excretion of vital nutrients. Put these factors together and it results in a significantly slower metabolism.
2. Increased Cravings
The initial “fight or flight” response we experience under stress actually causes us to feel less hungry, but only in the short term. Soon after the initial reaction, the body starts working hard to replenish itself. Your brain will tell your body to eat anything in sight, especially food with a lot of fat in it because that’s how our ancestors stayed alive. If you are under constant stress, these physiological reactions start to create a vicious cycle that is almost guaranteed to cause weight gain.
3. Disrupted Sleep
Sleep is often an underestimated part of the weight loss equation. And a good night’s sleep is often sacrificed when faced with the demands of a busy life. The truth is, sleep is probably one of the most important factors for both weight loss and your overall health. For instance, a lack of sleep causes a disruption in chemicals that control appetite and decrease blood sugar. According to the American Psychological Association, sleep eludes more than 40 percent of Americans on a regular basis. If you stay up all night cramming for exams or trying to meet deadlines, your body suffers for it. Or, if you simply lay awake at night while losing precious hours of sleep, the body is forced into working overtime the next day.
4. Increased Belly Fat
The body can be either a fat burning or fat storing machine. Unfortunately, our busy lives often make fat storage more likely. Your brain tells your body to store as much fat as possible when experiencing chronic stress. The primal part of our brain doesn’t know the difference between being chased by a tiger and getting a big phone bill. When any kind of threat is present, the body will conserve as much energy as possible and will build up a layer of fat deep in our bellies in order to protect us from the threats we are up against.
Stress and Weight Gain
The experts at The NYC Weightloss Solutions can help you manage both your stress and weight gain. Along with stress management techniques, they will build a customized health plan that will fit into your lifestyle so you can lose the weight and keep it off for good.
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