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Stress and Weight Gain

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Are you stressed? If you have constant stress that lasts for a long time, you may notice that you have started to gain some extra weight. Stress can lead to weight gain due to the way cortisol (the stress hormone) affects your body.

During the beginning stages of stress, cortisol moves fat and glucose into the bloodstream, to be used for energy. Proteins are broken down and turned into glucose by cortisol. Insulin levels are also increased by cortisol. When you are exposed to stressful events, you have the fight or flight response. Fight or flight dates back to times when humans often had to use adrenaline and energy to avoid danger and their daily lives. This response involves both adrenaline and cortisol. You will have a quick burst of energy, afterwards you will need to replace this energy. A later effect of cortisol is that you will store more fat and have an increased appetite.

If you are under a lot of mental or emotional stress, you can have problems as a result of too much cortisol. In order to provide you with energy, the cortisol will break down muscle and bone and you will have an increased appetite. The cells in your body that are receptive to cortisol will begin to store fat, which will result in a lowering of your metabolism. Cortisol can result in weight gain and can even affect where you gain weight. It seems that the excess fat that cortisol can cause is likely to be deposited around the middle.

No one can completely eliminate stress. However, there are ways you can try to lessen the impact of stress on your weight. Working to manage your stress is one way. Some people find meditation and relaxation methods helpful in dealing with stress. Exercise can also help you to manage your stress. There are also dietary supplements that can help.

The B vitamins can be helpful in managing stress. If you have a B6 deficiency, for example, this can cause irritability and even depression. The vitamin can help to regulate your mood. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and can help to build up your immune system so that it is better at fighting stress. Rhodiola seems to help a personís body to regulate insulin levels. These are just a few supplements that can help your body to respond better to stress.

Everyone has stress in his or her life. How much stress you have and how you handle stress has a lot to do with how it will affect you. When you are under stress for a long time, it does cause metabolic changes in your body. You can try to make lifestyle changes to decrease your stress. If you can you may need to leave a job that causes too much stress, try medication and exercise. You can also talk to a pharmacist who can help you create a nutritional therapy program that can benefit your health and consequently, may help you to maintain a health weight.

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