Stressed Tired and Overweight?
Have you noticed how stressed tired and overweight people are nowadays?
You can see it on their faces. If it’s not their job, the bills, the kids or their relationship, then they’re stressed out about their bodies.
In their desperate attempts to lose weight they flit from one idea to another, each failure further spiralling their stress levels. The crazy thing about all of this is that the very act of stressing about how to lose weight is putting on weight – fast!
The Stress Spiral
What happens when we are stressed and feeling tired?
Most of us seek a way to find comfort, to give ourselves a treat and, so, lift our mood. For some people that means puffing on a cigarette, for other’s hitting the bottle. For most of us, however, it equates to stuffing our mouths with junk food. In a desperate bid to shut out our stress we end up vegging in front of the TV with enough comfort food to stave of famine in a small African nation for a year.
That off course, has the effect of making us more stressed, tired and overweight, which makes us even more stressed as we search again in order to find outhow to lose the weight we have gained.
Inevitable failure feeds the whole vicious cycle over again.
The Stress Hormone
Cortisol is known as the stress hormone. That’s because it is produced by the adrenal gland in response to stress. The hypothalamus in the brain instructs the adrenal glands to secrete both cortisol and adrenaline when we are under stress.
This occurs as a part of the body’s flight or flight response to a stressful situation. The adrenaline puts us in a heightened state of readiness to ward off the perceived threat while the cortisol makes the body more effective at producing glucose from proteins. It also increases the body’s temperature.
These systems worked well at times in centuries past when we faced irregular periods of stress that needed an immediate, short-lived response, such as fighting off a wild animal.
With the frenetic pace of our modern living, however, too many people are in a constant state of stress. As a result, we are constantly releasing too much cortisol into a system that is already overloaded with the stuff.
One effect of having too much cortisol in our body is that extra glucose production is stimulated. Typically, the excess glucose is converted to fat, which ends up being stored on the body.
There’s no doubt about it – stress is making you fat. You can find out how to lose the gained weight, apply that knowledge and still get nowhere if you allow yourself to be plagued by stress. To start making traction on your fat loss goals, then, you have simply got to get a handle on your stress levels.
Here are 8 practical ways to do just that:
- Don’t be a perfectionist
- Get 7-8 hours sleep each night
- Write down your concerns and how are you going to address them
- Learn to prioritise
- Allow yourself “me” time
- Enjoy nature
- Learn to be a good communicator
- Get regular exercise