Stress and overweight: is there a connection?

Whichever article you lose on weight, the list of causes will accurately stress, and in the list of solutions – the stabilization of the psychoemotional state. This material is no exception. We will also call this reason and look for ways to deal with it. But, in addition, we will try to understand the details of such a connection and the principles on which it is built. So, is there a direct relationship between the level of stress in a person’s life and clothing size?

Definitely yes. Let’s take a closer look at how this happens.

Cakes are rushing to the rescue

People tend to eat stress. This habit is formed in infancy. Watch your mother, who is nursing a baby. What does she do if the baby cries or can not fall asleep? That’s right, gives him a breast or a mixture. A person grows, but his habit of popping something edible remains in a difficult situation in his mouth. Only with time, breast milk or kashka is replaced with dishes more seriously, which affects the weight and appearance. However, there are exceptions.

Among your acquaintances for certain there will be a couple of people who are losing weight in stress. Such people in difficult situations simply forget to eat or eat much less than usual. But in the overwhelming majority of cases, everything is exactly the opposite. Scientists say that the top places on the list of anti-stress products are chocolate, pizza and fast food like hamburgers. In addition, people suffering from psychological discomfort drink alcohol harmfulness.

As a result, it turns out quite useless and very high-calorie mixture. A high glycemic index of foods leads to the fact that the famine ceases for a short time, and soon the person has to eat another portion or two. The result: a search for calories, fats and carbohydrates, as well as a shortage of protein. Add to this a slow metabolism and low energy consumption (most often stressful lovers of food do not go to workouts) – and weight gain will occur swiftly.

The highest body mass index is for those who tend to look for comfort in the refrigerator in moments of sadness. It is interesting that men and women embark on all the hard in different situations. So, the representatives of the stronger sex are very worried because of problems at work or divorce. And women – because of a lack of emotional support. Thus, men suffer from stress-overeating much less than the fair sex.

Adrenal stress versus stress

Austrian scientists have conducted a study and found a direct relationship between the level of stress and the production of the hormone cortisol in the body. In a complex psychological situation, the gene responsible for the accumulation of fat stores (an important moment – in the abdominal region) is changing. This happens under the influence of cortisol – the hormone causes the gene to change! The picture is as follows:

  • The body captures the state of stress (which for him means unfavorable conditions that threaten stable functioning),
  • Reacts to this by increased production of cortisol,
  • The hormone affects the gene and causes it to change,
  • The gene triggers fat accumulation processes to provide the body with a margin of safety in case the situation does not change.

The adrenal glands are involved in the production of cortisol. This hormone is involved in many metabolic processes, including those due to which people gain weight. Because of cortisol, blood sugar levels are rising, fat is being stored in stores, and protein decomposition processes are faster. Cortisol is also called a stress hormone. It is traditionally considered to be “male” hormones.

In addition to these functions, he performs one more – increases psychological stability and helps to cope with difficult situations. But only under one condition – if its content in the body is within the norm. With prolonged stress, cortisol becomes too much, the accumulation of fat stores is gaining momentum, and overweight appears. Receptors to cortisol are located in the waist region, and stocks “for a rainy day” are postponed here.

Above we have already mentioned the metabolic processes. It is important to note that cortisol affects their speed. The increased secretion of this hormone slows down the metabolism. Against the background of excessive consumption of nutrients, inhibition of metabolism leads to the fact that more and more fat cells are deposited in the “reserve”.

It is interesting that women with a broad waist allocate more cortisol in response to an unfavorable situation than ladies with a narrow waist. That is, the fuller the woman, the more cortisol and, therefore, the more likely to get better. And scientists from the University of California have established: the body of women who love fatty foods, develops more cortisol in difficult situations. And then in a circle: more cortisol – more fat, more fat – more cortisol …

What to do?

There are at least three outlets from this situation. Try them individually, and ideally – make your good habits all the listed ways to combat stress-obesity.

  1. Stabilize the emotional state. Eliminate the very cause of the problem. Switch to other things. Help someone who is worse now than you. Walk, play sports, communicate with interesting people, take time to your family, go shopping, after all. Any activity that brings you pleasure will do. If you feel the need, consult a psychologist. He will tell you how to calm down, and, if necessary, will be able to give advice on the correction of eating behavior. All these manipulations are best spent away from home and refrigerator.
  2. Change food habits. Do not seek to get rid of all the harmful immediately. Take out once in two weeks or a month and slowly, slowly, make them a part of your life. Fat and sweet exclude from the menu first – do not give cortisol any chance.
  3. Stock up the allowed. If you are not a superman, you will still have to spend some time between the two worlds – with bad habits and without them. In itself, this situation is stressful, and instead of bringing up love for salad leaves, you will be in the habit of chewing something. Let this be something that is as harmless as possible. Low-fat protein, black (at least 75% cocoa) chocolate, a few nuts, a handful of berries – you can eat all these snacks instead of milk chocolate, pizza and hamburgers. Try to cheat. Eat, for example, apricot and do not throw away the bone, but roll it in your mouth like a candy. It is possible that your body will not even have enough food, but that there is something in the mouth – in the same way a child calms down and falls asleep with a pacifier.
  4. Look for other pleasures. Every minute, when you want to have a bite from stress, remember: it’s cortisol. The body asks for no sandwich or a slice of cheesecake. He asks for a hormone, a chemical compound. So if you do not give him another sandwich or a candy one time, the next time you want them less. And the hormones of joy – serotonin and endorphin – can be obtained from other sources: sports (“muscle joy” and the development of oxytocin will benefit you.), Communication, recreation.
  5. Retrain the body. Reducing the production of cortisol is real. To begin with, increase physical activity and try to eat more vegetables and fruits. This will cause the fatty layer to decrease. As a consequence, the production of cortisol will decrease, this will reduce the craving for food, which means that you will not overeat or grow fat.


local_offerevent_note August 27, 2017

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