Having the Stress and Weight Gain Blues
By Roni Deluz RN, ND, Ph.D
Your adrenal glands produce fat gaining hormones.
You have two adrenal glands. They are located on top of each of your kidneys. They are part of your endocrine system, which is a collection of glands that produce hormones. The adrenal gland is made up of two layers. The outer layer is the adrenal cortex and is responsible for the production of hormones, including testosterone, estrogen, DHEA, and cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that helps in regulating our blood pressure. When you are stressed, your adrenal glands release cortisol. Cortisol continues to respond to a slowed-down immune system and blood pressure changes. When you feel chronic stress or anxiety, your adrenal glands cannot and do not produce enough cortisol. This is called adrenal fatigue.
Get stressed, release cortisol, gain weight, crave sugar, eat more sugar, gain more weight!
“In today’s times, we certainly have a lot to feel stressed about, we wake up one day and notice extra weight, lack of energy and low libido among other symptoms, so we treat these problems with more of the same that caused the problem in the beginning.”
This is called a vicious cycle.
Researchers have long known that rises within the stress hormone cortisol can cause weight gain. Whenever you are stressed, your adrenal glands release adrenaline and cortisol, and as a result, glucose, or blood sugar, your primary source of energy, is released into your bloodstream.
Your body releases glucose as a flight or flight response, so you can flee from a risky situation. Once the threat has subsided, your adrenaline “high” wears off, and your blood sugar spike drops. This is often when cortisol kicks in to replenish your energy supply quickly. When your blood sugar drops, you get sugar cravings and start eating more sugar to feel better. Eating more sugar causes your body to store sugar and create fat.
Even if you are not eating foods high in sugar, cortisol slows down your metabolism. Stress can drive you to interact within the following unhealthy behaviors, all of which may cause weight gain. Example one: Eating more fast food. Once you are stressed, you become more likely to drive through a fast-food place rather than taking the time to plan a healthy meal. Example two: exercising less. With all the stress, exercising is often one of the last things on your to-do list. Example three: lack of sleep. Many of us have problems sleeping, thanks to stress. And research has linked lack of sleep to a slower metabolism.
Health problems are related to weight gain from chronic stress.
When stress peaks or becomes difficult to manage, more serious, long-term health-related consequences can occur. Depression, insomnia, a heart condition, anxiety, and obesity are all linked to untreated chronic stress. These may lead to diabetes, stroke, lung issues, and joint pains.
Additionally, there’s evidence of a connection between obesity, stress, and certain cancers. Your psychological state can add to the problem.
When you see dark circles under your eyes, you can’t sleep, you are irritable, you overeat, you lack sexual energy and have brain fog, it is time to make a change.
Try supplements that help with stress and weight gain.
- Ashwagandha for stress
Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb that is said to possess anti-inflammatory properties. Ashwagandha also relaxes the central nervous system. Ashwagandha enhances some immune cells. It helps with stress and helps reduce fatigue.
- Vitamin B for well-being
Vitamin B plays a strong role in many bodily functions, including red blood corpuscle production and making energy from food. Vitamin B12 deficiency has also been linked to depression, so taking a B-complex vitamin supplement may benefit your body in additional ways than one.
- Magnesium for sleep
A magnesium deficiency affects many parts of the body, including vital sign regulation, muscle, and nerve function, and regulating blood sugar levels. It works wonders for calming your body’s reaction to worry so it is good for anxiety.
- Vitamin C for immunity
Immune-boosting and collagen-producing vitamin C is known only for its ability to affect many different tissues, organs, and bodily functions – including our adrenal glands. Vitamin C is also an important co-factor for the adrenal cortex and adrenal medulla. Providing your body with this supplement also allows it to compensate for a run-down adrenal and immune system, and make sure that stress and fatigue are in some more serious progress.
- Vitamin E for Adrenals
Vitamin E protects the cells from free radicals and helps in immune function to make the skin younger. But according to one study, this antioxidant deficiency also affects the adrenal glands. Although it is found naturally in some foods, vitamin E supplements ensure that you are getting enough of it for optimal health.
Chronic stress can cause weight gain. The great news is there are five simple and effective ways to scale back daily stressors, and consequently, manage your weight. Through regular exercise, healthy food choices, mindfulness meditation, and minimizing your to-do list, you will begin to scale back Stress and maintain weight. www.drronideluz.com
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