Stress and Weight Gain

Stress and Weight Gain El Dorado Hills

Chronic stress leading to unwanted weight gain is a fact.  The chemicals released in our bodies as a result of chronic stress results in added pounds and fuels the risk of obesity.  The stress response releases chemicals such as insulin, cortisol and dopamine which triggers a reaction in the body’s need to store fat. While each of our bodies are different, the general population experiences weight gain as an unfortunate result of stress.

Not only do the chemicals released in the stress response lead to added weight, but the habits we develop during stressful periods contribute as well. Frequently, during times we feel depleted or anxious, we crave foods higher in sugar content and we tend to eat more. With little time or energy left, we eat poorly in general and rely on processed or fast food - loaded with high fat and sugar content.

The added weight tends to settle in our mid-bodies, for both men and women.  Of course, improving eating habits and regular exercise can help to reduce the risk of weight gain, it does not resolve the body’s reaction to stress.  The stress response remains the same, releasing chemicals that instruct our bodies to store fat. 

Maintaining or losing weight is a great motivator for many to reduce stress in their lives.  Decades of research on stress has consistently shown that those living with chronic stress have their lifespan reduced by 6-10 years. 

A favorite documentary, Stress: Portrait of a Killer, closes with a statement from a research expert on stress, "given the known impact on lifespan, it is not a matter of managing stress but eliminating stress in our lives”

Read more about ways to reduce stress in your life or work with a professional for guidance. 

Living longer, healthier and with less stress is attainable.



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