Is Stress Stopping You from Losing Weight?


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If you are eating right but are still having a hard time losing weight, it may be time to look at your stress level. Stress is not only bad for your immune system but also stimulates the release of certain hormones that cause your body to hold onto unwanted pounds instead of losing them.

When you feel stressed, your body releases epinephrine. This particular hormone relaxes your digestive muscles and reduces the flow of blood to the stomach and intestines. Norepinephrine, another hormone released when under stress, raises your blood pressure and causes your body to release glucose into the bloodstream. High levels of glucose increase fat production in your pancreas and raise blood fat levels.

When your stress levels decrease, your body releases cortisol to rein in the two hormones mentioned above. Unfortunately, cortisol does not dissipate; it remains in the body, causing fat to move to the stomach and signaling your body to hold onto the belly fat for the foreseeable future. Furthermore, cortisol can cause a plethora of health problems, including diabetes and cancer.

Eating right can help reduce the damage cortisol causes in your body. If you feel stressed, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and avoid fattening foods with little or no nutritional value. At the same time, take an honest look at your daily schedule and see if there are ways you can reduce stress in your day to day life. Making time for daily exercise, going to bed at a reasonable time each night or even engaging in a relaxing hobby on the weekends can help you avoid stress related problems and make it easier for you to reach your weight loss goals.

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