Is Stress the Secret Cause of Your Weight Gain?

(Unsplash/Diana Simumpande)

Are you doing everything right when it comes to diet and exercise, but you're still not losing weight, especially around the midsection? The issue could be chronic stress.

Is stress eating an old friend? How about making poor food choices when you feel anxious, depressed or nervous? Stress is not just some inconvenience to push through. Failing to address the stress in your life has profound ramifications on your weight as well as your health.

For most people today, stress is an everyday occurrence. Power through a day, fall into bed exhausted. Sleep a few hours, often fitfully, and wake up to do it all over again. This can't continue year after year. Unfortunately, this takes a hit on your metabolism. If you are having trouble losing weight, you may need to start taking time for you—to rest, de-stress and have some fun. Being stressed for months on end can increase your weight. A study in 2017 from the University College London measured the stress hormone cortisol levels in subjects' bodies. Their findings strongly indicate that stress and weight gain are directly linked—a combination for metabolic disaster.

Overworked, running late, juggling too much, not sleeping enough ... it's your body on fire. When you're stressed, your brain tells your body to release stress hormones into your system. And no matter what the reason for the stress, the result is the same. Adrenal hormones such as cortisol, epinephrine, norepinephrine and DHEA mess with your metabolism. When your stability is interrupted, your emotions, blood sugar, hormones, inflammation and nervous system get out of whack. Stress hormones cause you to crave certain foods and just plain want to eat more food. Your hormones that control appetite take a dip. You get hungrier and more irritable as the stress continues. Your body keeps pumping out the hormones. Your nervous system goes a bit haywire. Energy is not used efficiently and fat gets stored.

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If you use caffeine and sugar to get your body going, you may feel good in the beginning but more tired and ready to crash in the end. Stress makes everything worse and makes it harder to make good decisions including what you eat. Stress management is just what the doctor ordered. Choose things like prayer, meditation, exercise, rest, and good sleep. Even just 10 minutes sitting quietly or lying down can have a positive impact on your endocrine system, your inflammation levels, your quality of life, and, yes, your waistline. ("Couer Voice," Saturday, May 26, p. 8.)

Recipe for Today

Cranberry Green Tea Spritzer

Cranberry juice is an excellent diuretic, which helps you lose weight.

  • 4 green tea bags
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cranberry juice
  • 3 cups sparkling water
  • Several drops liquid stevia
  • 2 cups water

Cherie Calbom, M.S., holds a Master of Science in whole foods nutrition from Bastyr University. Known as "The Juice Lady" for her work with juicing and health, she is the author of 32 books, including her latest book ,The Juice Lady's Guide to Fasting. She and her husband offer juice-cleanse retreats throughout the year, 30-Day detox online and Garden's Best Juice Powder. "What You Can Do When Your Healing Doesn't Come" is one point from her teaching "7 Keys to Your Supernatural Healing." You can connect with Cherie at juiceladycherie.com.

This article originally appeared at juiceladycherie.com.

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