Is Stress making me fat?

Once upon a time, when we were living in caves and life was a lot more primitive, our survival instincts depended on our stress response. Our bodies instantly knew what to do when a tiger or any other predator or potentially fatal situation was threatening our survival.

Much like how your iphone goes on to ‘battery saving mode’ when it is low on juice, your body kinda does something similar when it is faced with acute stressors which are raising your stress hormone levels. Reproduction? Digestion? Immune function? We ain’t got time for that right now, and all of those tasks are suspended until you calm allll the way down, and your body thinks it is safe.

Your body is getting ready to either punch that tiger in the face or run, by making your heart beat faster, pumping stored glucose into your blood (hello type 2 diabetes), and sending that gluconated blood to your muscles. Problem is, your body doesn’t really know the difference between a tiger threatening your survival and you missing that train to work because you were 30 seconds late.

If you’ve been stressing about losing that belly, ironically the best thing you can do is..not stress. Stress can also take shape as illness, long term nutrient deficiency, unhappiness, overtraining, sedentary lifestyle, undersleeping and overeating.

If this is you, yoga style breathing exercises, meditation and grounding (sitting in nature) have been shown in studies to help lower stress levels, temporarily and long term if practiced on a consistent basis.

Taking brisk walks regularly, particularly in nature has been shown in studies to help lower levels of cortisol, one of our stress hormones. It was particularly useful for those of us who are slim all over, but still stuck with a pouch belly.

Of course, this should be followed in conjunction with an anti-inflammatory diet for optimal effect! I have loads of posts which can help you figure out how to eat an anti-inflammatory diet, start with this one.

Keep calm, and good luck!

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Great post 😊

    1. Nour Kader says:

      glad you enjoyed 🙂

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