The perils of stress and body fat

Most people live life under the assumption that one thing and one thing only causes body fat; eating too much.

Of course, this is widely true. If you were to question the people at Sono Bello why so many people arrive for their liposuction surgeries, poor diets would probably top the list.

However, there are also “hidden” reasons that can cause the dreaded F-word.

One of these reasons comes in the form of stress. That’s right, every time you get stressed, you are more likely to put on weight.

Let’s now take a look at the correlation between stress and body fat, to hopefully allow you to attack your weight loss from a different angle.

What is the problem with stress?

As well as making us feel pretty bad, the big problem with stress is the hormone that it produces. This comes in the form of cortisol.

The remainder of this article is going to be quite damning of cortisol, but it’s worth mentioning that this is a completely natural hormone. Our bodies are meant to produce it; but problems begin to arise when we produce too much of it, for long periods of time.

What are the problems with cortisol?

The best way to describe cortisol is in relation to right or flight. When your body senses stress, cortisol is released to try and help you either fight the battle, or run away.

It will raise your blood sugar levels, meaning that you have more energy than usual to combat your fear or run away from it (can you see that this is linked to our historical genetics?).

Other ways in which cortisol works is by depressing your immune system and breaking down proteins from muscles.

What is the link between cortisol and fat?

Hopefully, the previous section has summed this up for you already. All of the effects that occur with cortisol can combine to raise your fat levels. Sure, cortisol is essential in a bid to tackle stress, but excess amounts of it will be reflected in our body image.

For example, let’s talk about those increased blood sugars. As soon as this occurs, your body needs to react. It does this through insulin, which will work to store more fat in your body. This is because the job of the insulin is to transfer blood sugar into fat cells as soon as the levels are too high. It can also transfer some to your muscle cells, but this storage is limited and it means that most ends up stored as fat.

How can you tackle the problem?

Beating stress is easier said than done. However, something which has been proven to at least lower stress levels is training.

Something else which can aid with the matter is food sensitivity. Some of us are particularly sensitive to foods, and this can cause stress on our body. Ultimately, getting to the bottom of this can help you reduce your stress as well.