Is Stress the Cause of Weight Gain?

Dr, Donna Restivo

Posted on March 29 2018

We all know that stress is the cause of some pretty pesky issues. It can wreck havoc on our bodies and it doesn’t do a whole lot for bettering our outer appearance. But, how do you know if stress is the main reason why you are gaining weight? 

stress march 2018 dr restivo post

 

Most of us know when we are stressed. Our heart rate gets elevated, our minds are going a mile a minute, and we do anything we can to get through the trying time. For some of us, this could go on for weeks at a time, which is why you need to realize when you are making poor health choices as a result of stress, and do something about the things that you can control. 

Right alongside rising stress levels are rising cortisol level. Cortisol is the hormone that regulates insulin. What happens is that our insulin levels rise, which in turn spikes our desire for sugary foods. If you find yourself unusually craving sugar, then it could be related to stress. It is for this reason that the term “comfort food,” was coined and we reach for sweets and carbs when we are stressed. Recognize the problem and stop yourself before you give in. 

When we are experiencing high levels of stress, our bodies naturally default to the “fight or flight” setting and we do anything we can to survive. So, if we are hungry, we have a tendency to grab anything in sight to fuel ourselves. Instead of preparing a healthy and hearty meal, we may instead grab a bowl of mac n’ cheese, as a way of survival. The key to fighting these poor food choices is to recognize when stress is involved, and do what you can to battle it. Meditation, yoga, exercise and preparation are all things that can drive a stress-free life. The long-term effects of stress on the body can be life threatening and the added weight gain can lead to high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and heart disease. Not to mention the sluggish feeling you get with weight gain, which can in turn create more stress. If you find yourself reaching for a bagel on a whim, instead of some prepared eggs, then you may just be battling a tough case of stress associated with weight gain.  Feed the adrenal gland with healthy protein when under stress.

For more, call (845) 208.5555, for a free consultation, and find out how we can help you de-stress and get back to gaining energy and vitality.


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