Thursday, January 20, 2011

How Stress is a Threat to Your Weight

Most have tried diet pills, weight loss machines, slimming teas, detoxification programs but losing weight seem to be a struggle forever, and this contributes to their stress, creating an additional culprit to weight gain.
I lose water weight during the week and gain o...Image by Newbirth35 via Flickr

As defined by Hans Selye,MD.,Ph.D, "stress is a nonspecific response of the body to any demand".  In the Wikipedia dictionary , stress is defined as a failure to respond appropriately to emotional or physical threats, whether actual or imagined.

A toddler girl cryingImage via Wikipedia

Stress therefore, can be coming from anywhere. it is the body's reaction to change such as environmental conditions, social scorn, physical and emotional issues. Being overweight is such a huge stressor itself.
Stress affects the hormonal balance in the body therefore also affects the body's ability to lose weight. In the event of stress, the body release a hormone called cortisol. This hormone is responsible in regulating the physiological responses associated with stress.
During long periods of stress, the body releases more cortisol, decreasing the body's sensitivity to leptin, a hormone that is responsible in giving signal to your brain that you are full. When this happens, there is a tendency that you will crave for more sugar, therefore you tend to eat more, adding more calories and pounds retained. This is also the mechanism that happens to most people who craves for chocolates, cakes or anything sweet when they suddenly encounter an emotional stress (now understand your brokenhearted friend and your anxious mom).

Dolly Stressed Out!Image by kelvin255 via Flickr

Consider relaxation techniques such as massage and meditation as a part of your weight loss regimen, so you lessen the release of too much cortisol when you see a plateau on the weighing scale. Soon, the pounds will start to fall off again.

Here's to your weight loss success!

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