Is Stress Making You Fat?

We all know that fat is simply stored energy waiting to be used and if we don't use it then the fat will just sit there around our waist. We also know that the more fat that we store the less energy we have, i.e. we don't feel like exercising. It's a quandary, at least it is for some of us.

When we feel tired we naturally want to eat energy rich foods - starchy, sweet or stimulating foods. This introduces a whole lot of issues around blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels rise and fall our body compensates by producing cortisol which as you know is bad for us.

Cortisol is also released when we are stressed. So, if you are feeling stressed your body will produce adrenaline and cortisol which we use to fight fatigue because of the stress. Our energy levels dip so we reach for a candy bar or a coffee and our body produces more cortisol.... You get the picture.

Cortisol activates the release of glucose (for energy) which is stored in the liver and muscles. If there is no glucose available, cortisol will prompt the liver to produce fat into sugar for the much needed energy.

This is a similar response that occurs when we are stressed. Guess what, the above reaction from eating starch and sugar makes your body think that it is stressed and produces adrenaline and cortisol. Sigh!

Cortisol stockpiles the energy around our waist, close to the liver for converting them to sugar for energy. We become even more stressed now as we see our waistline expanding. Is there no good news in all of this? Not if you keep doing what you have always done.

The way to stop this continuous cycle is to eat right, exercise right, and sleep right. And I have banged on about these three things for long enough not to bore you again with the details. 

Bottom line - don't eat sugar, get off the couch more, and go to bed early.