I want to talk about the effect that stress and sleep deprivation may have on your weight. I spent the last six years of my life in Los Angeles partaking in the “Rat Race”.
Two things I discovered: only rats win the rat race and stress can play havoc on you emotionally, spiritually and physically. This stress can lead to weight gain and what is worse if you are trying to Lose Weight while you are stressed out or fatigued you will not gain any ground.
The reason is a little stress chemical called Cortisol. Cortisol aids the body in recovering from the effects of stressful experiences. Cortisol instructs the liver to release sugar into the blood and triggers the body to release storehouses of fat and muscle so the body can use it for energy.
There is another piece to the cortisol puzzle and that is is also slows everything down so the body can replenish energy stores.
We all have cortisol circulating in the blood at all times. But after stressful situations our cortisol levels increase dramatically. So let’s say for instance you are experiencing a constant stream of stressful situations.
After enough of these episodes, the body adjusts its control mechanism in the pituitary gland to maintain a higher constant amount of cortisol in the body. Continually elevated levels of cortisol can have long-term health effects including but not limited to weight gain, Heart Disease, ulcers, Insulin resistance, and Hypertension.
While cortisol may have served us well while we were a bunch of knuckle dragging Neanderthals fighting for our lives, 21st century living for the most part has kept us from facing daily life threatening situations.
Unfortunately for most of us we have replaced those threats of the past with screaming bosses, unruly children and unreasonable partners all which can cause elevated levels of cortisol to be delivered into our bodies.
Stress is determined by what an individual perceives as stressful. The answer to balance lies in not taking things personally and finding ways to relax the mind and body.
There have been many infomercials and advertisements touting the benefits of their ’snake oil’ to lower cortisol levels. Let me assure you, none of these claims are true and some of these marketers of these products are now facing indictments and large civil lawsuits.
After talking with several physicians the answer is always the same, manage your physical and emotional stress levels. This can be achieved through, Meditation, massage, long walks, deep breathing exercises, Yoga, Tai Chi, basically anything relaxing and of course spending time with people who comfort you.
By practicing these relaxation methods you will be able to bring your cortisol levels down. This coupled with a healthy balanced diet and exercise will result in a long life and slim physique.
About the author
Thom King is the President of Steviva Brands, Inc. Steviva manufactures and distributes stevia powder, stevia blend, stevia leaves and Yerba Mate. All of Steviva’s product are all natural and have no calories or carbs. Subscribe to Mind, Body and Spirit is a weekly email publication which covers topics pertaining to a sharp and Focused mind, motivation, healthy body and spiritual growth. It’s free and you can cancel anytime. Go to http://www.steviva.com for more information.
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