Well, hello. How are you?
I’m okay…just a little stressed this week. Thanks for asking…or reading.
I didn’t realize how much stress affected our life until I learned how much it affects our weight. I’ve always been a calorie counting kind of gal. As a nutritionist I know almost everything about how food effects health. Well, mostly. But all that goes out the window when stress comes creeping into our life. Have you ever wondered if the stress is making you fat?
I read somewhere that stress is related to feeling out of control or a change in routine. But I also believe that stress caused by anxiety is when we are not making decisions that are in line with our values. Is can also be a sign that we aren’t doing something we know in our hearts we know we should be doing.
This past week was stressful to me. We are remodeling our master bathroom after trying to share a very small one sink, 40 square foot bathroom for a while. I don’t know about you, but two people aren’t meant to gargle and spit so closely. So we decided to remodel. A small remodel became a major remodel and that’s where we are, somewhere between demo, dust, tar, and tile. And still no bathroom.
And did I ever tell you I work from home? So my stress is caused by having to work, think, write and make conference calls during the day –in between jack hammering, sawing, and strange men walking through my house (not you Mr. Steve). It isn’t fun. But I’ve found that once again, I’m fighting the weight.
So…. Is the stress making me fat?
No doubt it isn’t helping. When there is a change in routine or a constant stimulation of the nervous system, our body responds by secreting a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol not only eats muscle tissue for fuel but it also increases blood sugar levels which in turn increases insulin levels. Insulin is our fat storage hormone. Sorry, we can’t lose weight when insulin is constantly pumping.
Did you just have a-ha moment? I did.
Too much of that nasty cortisol also…
- Makes you crave fatty foods and carbohydrates (please bring me the potato chips)
- Boosts abdominal fat storage
- Zaps testosterone which also zaps your sex drive (not tonight honey—my cortisol is high!)
- Causes sleep problems (those 2 pm wake ups)
- Makes us age faster ( that’s just not playing fair)
Understanding where the stress is coming from is the first step, and working to reduce it is another. Luckily, we won’t always be in a state of construction. But there are strategies we can use, to not gain the weight. And that’s not beyond our control. I’ll be sharing more of that in a few days….