Stress And Weight Gain!

Posted Wednesday at 18:21

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This blog is inspired by another conversation I had with a client today. We were talking about other aspects of their health and they mentioned they’d put on some weight this year, and couldn’t seem to figure out why, as nothing in their diet has changed recently. So we started brainstorming, to figure out what other causes of weight gain there can be. 


The big thing we kept coming back to was stress. Emotional stress from things going on at home. Chemical stress from hormonal changes within their body. Physical stress from her body, which is the reason for them coming to see us in the first place. All three aspects of the triad of health are being affected, which over time has resulted in their body being in a chronic state of stress. 


 When we are stressed, one of the hormones our body releases is cortisol. This is our primary stress hormone, and is responsible for regulating our stress response. Stress is usually self limiting, meaning that once the threat has passed, our body starts to calm down and we return to normal. When the stressor remains however, we end up being exposed to too much cortisol. 


Short term exposure to cortisol has lots of positive effects, it increases the availability of substances that help repair damaged tissues and enhances your brain's use of glucose. It also stops or reduces functions that could be harmful or non-essential during times of stress. This includes slowing down our digestive and reproductive systems, and suppressing our growth response. In times of acute stress, this is exactly what we want to happen, so that our body can prioritise keeping us safe and getting us out of danger. But when the stressor becomes chronic, these same effects start to become detrimental. 


Long term exposure to stress can result in the following symptoms: 

  • Weight gain
  • Sleep disruption
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Memory issues
  • Digestion issues
  • Muscular pain
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke 
  • High blood pressure

Any one of these symptoms is another type of stressor for your body to deal with, so the stress response is continually being triggered. 


If you experience any of these symptoms, or want to find ways to cope better with stress, get yourself booked in for a consultation and we’ll help you find the solution that's best for your body.