Wednesday, September 30, 2009

IS STRESS MAKING YOU FAT?


Can Stress Make You Fat?
We all experience it -Stress! It's a part of daily life; however, if it gets out of control then it can play havoc on your body in many ways.
Stress management can be a powerful tool for health & wellness. Studies show that too much pressure is not just bad for your health but also for your waistline. People who are under constant stress are more susceptible to ill health from colds to high blood pressure and heart disease.

Have you noticed that when you’re extra stressed your pants are a bit more snug than usual? If so, you’re not alone.

Stress causes unwanted weight gain. It causes a stress hormone called cortisol which then causes our middles to enlarge. When we’re under stress, the fight or flight response is triggered in our bodies, leading to the release of various hormones that cause fat stores and depression, both of which have an emotional rippling effect on the body.

WHAT DOES STRESS DO?

Stress can cause a long list of health issues. It affects your metabolism to slow down even if you’re exercising and eating a low calorie diet. Too much cotisol slows down the metabolism causing you to gain weight faster and more than you normally would. Stress is a major reason for emotional eating or binging which will guarantee a wider waistline.

Stress also causes you to not sleep well. People who get less than 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep will have more cravings and will be too tired to stay on a healthy diet. When you’re stressed you’ll also crave sugary comfort foods which are higher in calories and fat.

Stress can also alter your blood sugar levels which can make you tired, depressed or lethargic and fatigued. If stress is unmanaged and leads to chronic stress it can lead to metabolic syndrome, a more serious health consequence.

Extra stress causes abdominal fat! Yuck! Not only is abdominal fat unattractive but it is much higher health risk than other fat stores in different parts of the body. The fat will wrap around organs and can cause diabetes and heart disease.

People under major stress also reach for fast foods; obesity is a major epidemic which is contributed to stress. People that are constantly stressed are usually too busy to stay home and make a healthy meal.

Stress also interferes with finding time to exercise which makes for a sedentary lifestyle. Without daily exercise our bodies can’t handle stress as well, thus in turn it makes you fat!

R&R TO THE RESCUE

If you are over stressed take time to slowdown and smell the roses. Having quality rest & relaxation daily will release stress and will allow you to regroup and restore energy.

Make time for meditation even if you only do it for 5 to 10 minutes. Exercise slowly if you’re just starting an exercise routine; try to get at least 30 minutes of cardio or strength training in daily. And get to bed on time, aim for at least 7 to 8 hours every night.

Doing these simple changes along with eating healthy meals and focusing on the positive you will be able to keep stress & fat at bay and you’ll lose weight easier too!

Reduce stress by taking time for you. Read a good book, take a walk with your pet or call a close friend who makes you laugh & smile. Living in a state of happiness will make for a healthier way of life!
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