Stress, Hormones and Getting Fat
We all have more stress than we should these days. There is traffic, school, career pressure, balancing family and friends with the rest of life and being about to pay for it all. This is not “real” stress, well, at least not in the sense that we are in imminent danger and about to plummet to our death kind of danger. I’m not even sure many of us have experienced that “true” primal stress but that doesn’t mean we haven’t tricked our brains into thinking we are in danger and about to lose everything. We have constant pressures and constant stimulation that sets our body into fight or flight response daily. This stress is perceived by the hypothalamus in our brains which releases corticotropin releasing hormone that acts on the pituitary also in our brain. The pituitary then releases adrenocorticotropic hormone which stimulates the adrenal glands to release cortisol.
This is an important response, it has kept humans alive for centuries and we need our body to be able to do this when we are indeed in danger. This will allow us to get up, get moving and/or fight off an attacker. When it’s not good is when we perceive we are under stress for long periods of time, like days, weeks or even years. High cortisol can wreak havoc on our body long term. It releases glucose into the blood which long term can lead to blood sugar issues and insulin resistance. Energy is pulled away from our vital organs and digestion shuts down making the break down of the food we eat and the absorption of vitamins, mineral and nutrients more difficult. The immune system gets suppressed, our cardiovascular system is affected with and increase in heart rate, blood pressure and fibrogen in the blood increasing our risk of cardiac issues. Memory is affected, and emotions become imbalanced that can translate into anxious feelings, panic and depressed moods. I can go on and on it seems but one last thing I would like to mention is the suppression on endocrine function. Hormones, not only the reproductive ones but also hormones of the thyroid.
There are three known issues that contribute to the development of many diseases. These are 1) Stress, 2) Lack of Sleep and 3) Poor nutritional choices. If you are in a constant state of hurry-hurry, if you are starting to feel depressed moods more often and fatigued all the time, if your sex drive is low, you have trouble concentrating and you have noticed some extra weight around your middle you could be dealing with high cortisol levels from stress, that are affecting your hormones and triggering your body to start to store extra fat. Increased stress levels trigger an increase in appetite and cravings for sweet, salty or fatty foods.
So, how do we counteract the effects of chronic stress? First, switching to a whole foods nourishing eating plan is a must! These whole foods will help your body get the nutrients it needs to feel satiated. Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start and change can be stressful itself. I recommend you talk to someone and get some advice. We are each unique and finding what works for you is most important! No Shoes Nutrition offers free consultations at www.noshoesnutrition.com. We work with people from all over the world to reduce stress, lose weight and feel great! Second, natural dietary supplements can help lower cortisol levels, promote better sleep and boost the immune system. Third, working to manage stress (like scheduling and organizing) and finding ways to mediate and/or use breathing techniques can work wonders to calm the nervous system. Finally, exercise is an important component to working off the high cortisol levels (fight/flight) which we rarely find the ability to do in our society. It should be gentle exercise to not trigger higher levels of cortisol. Exercise like yoga and walking are a great start.
Want to get even healthier? Would you like to improve your health with nutrition and holistic practices to lower your cortisol levels, lose weight and feel great? Curious about how health coaching can help you reach your personal goals? Let’s talk! Schedule an initial complimentary consultation with me today—or pass this offer on to someone you care about! Visit www.noshoesnutrition.com and sign up for a FREE consultation. I work with people from all over the world individually or in groups so don’t let anything hold you back!