What Is the Relationship Between Stress and Weight Gain?

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There is a very strong co-relation between stress and weight gain. We find that people who are stressed out, tend to have high cortisol levels and that this can throw off the appetite suppressing hormones in the body, that would normally cue our brain to suggest that we are done eating, we are full, stop eating.

People who are stressed out, may not have those cues as strongly or their brain is not listening to or able to respond to those cues. So we find that these people tend to eat more emotionally. They might be eating more carbohydrate foods, they also have problem with insulin resistance.

We find that high cortisol level which is a hormone that's secreted in stressful times in the body, which everybody has, tends to cause disruption in insulin which causes us to feel hungry and to want to eat more sugar. So it's important that people who are trying to lose weight modulate their stress levels.

Modulate their anxiety levels, get enough sleep and get exercise. Because all of these things can help independently reduce our stress levels, and as a result, help us with our weight loss. Most Americans get fewer than the average number of hours required to maintain low stress levels.

Most of us are sleeping less than seven hours a day which is really not adequate in order for us to function both mentally and emotionally. We find that people actually, an interesting anecdote, when I was a medical resident we were up for 24 hours and I later learned when people are working 18-24 hours hours a day and not getting a lot of sleep that is the equivalent of having your blood alcohol level in many cases above the state's legal limit.

So keep that in mind that when a person is not sleeping they are functioning almost as an intoxicated person, that's something important to remember. Also that when you're not sleeping this increases the cortisol level in the bodies, and cortisol affect your appetite, it affects your ability to control what you're eating and can really wreak havoc on your body.

So sleep getting adequate sleep at least seven hours or more nightly will be very beneficial in your weight loss plan through cortisol and through some of those appetite suppressing hormones that we talked about.