Relax Your Way to Weight Loss

Stress creates an intense and unstable appetite for many Americans, which in turn creates additional stress concerning any weight loss worries. While an increase in stress may initially lead to a temporary loss of appetite, experts indicate that chronic stress can actually be connected to an increase in appetite—eventually leading to weight gain, obesity and consideration for medical weight loss treatment. For people suffering from chronic stress eating becomes a way to relieve stress— which can easily derail any efforts to lose weight.

When our bodies are stressed, hormones such as adrenalin, corticotrophin, and cortisol are released into the bloodstream. Initially, adrenalin and corticotrophin decrease our appetite when confronted with a stressful situation. However, cortisol stays in our system longer, increasing our appetite over a longer period of time. What’s more, cortisol gives off a signal to consume high-carbohydrate foods. This response to stress not only leads to weight gain, but a likelihood of “visceral fat”, which is fat stored around the midsection. Unfortunately, visceral fat has been linked to both an increase in heart disease and diabetes.

There’s good news on the weight gain and stress front, however. Experts contend that introducing a few healthy habits into your daily routine will help break the stress cycle that causes weight gain. A few of these healthy habits include:

If you find that you are habitually stressed, follow the above tips to decrease your stress level.

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