Since I've gained 7 pounds in 2 months and my eating habits and gym regimen hasn't changed, I'm convinced that it's due to stress. My doctor also suggested that it's most likely the cause of the weight gain.
I took it upon myself to read up on how stress effects weight gain, and found some interesting information. I was amazed it how our body reacts to stress and how damaging it really is. Here are some excerpts from the articles I've read. I hope you find this as helpful for you as it was for me.
The first excerpt is from a personal trainer in New York who writes out all the scientific reasons in English so people like you and I can understand it a bit better:
"Stress is so bad for our health that it can actually KILL US. It kills us and make us FAT.
When we are under stress our body release a higher level of adrenalin to help our body cope with stressful situation. Another substance that is released into our body when we are under stress is Cortisone.
Cortisone is a hormone made by the adrenal gland, which definitely causes FAT gain. If made in excess or used in excess as a drug, cortisone also causes muscle, bone, skin, and other protein loss. Pretty flattering results, eh? So it slows our metabolism. You gain fat and lose muscle.
Cortisone also causes abnormalities in sugar metabolism. Talk about a vicious cycle:
· Weight gain causes increased insulin.
· Increased insulin causes increased cortisone.
· Increased cortisone causes increased weight and abnormal sugar metabolism!
· And on and on and on. . . .
Finally, cortisone causes pre-fat cells to mature to become fat cells, making storage of fat easier. Cortisone makes the brain less sensitive to the fat-cell-produced hormone leptin, which controls hunger, appetite, satiety, and cravings—so they become even more difficult to control.
Now you know that STRESS MAKES YOU FAT.
But there is a good news: If cortisone levels increase, diet and exercise also cause normalization of insulin and cortisone within days to weeks of starting a diet program. And now what happens is that your body is starting to produce Endorphins Hormone. ENDORPHINS IMPROVE OUR MOOD and your cortisol levels will be back to normal.
It is very important for us to understand how hormones in our bodies work, if we want to achieve results in the gym.
Please don't let anxiety and stress ruin your day.
Find healthy ways to fight stress:
- A poor diet can also contribute to stress or anxiety -- for example, low levels of vitamin B12
- Eat a well-balanced, healthy diet. Don't overeat.
- Get enough sleep
- Exercise regularly
- Cardio training helps with stress. Go jogging.
- Limit caffeine and alcohol
- Learn and practice relaxation techniques like yoga, tai chi, or meditation.
- Spend time with friends and family.
- Have a fun: movies, sports, traveling , etc...
For all of you scientific nerds like me (because I'm married to one), here's a link to a study done by The University of Mexico.
Pretty interesting informetion ey?