Stress And Weight Gain

Photo Credit: stuartpilbrow CC-BY-SA-2.0

Many people are under stress. Work, social obligations, bills, running the kids here and there can cause a great deal of stress. Often people under stress fail to maintain healthy eating and exercise habits and may gain weight. You may be tempted to stop for fast food on your way to work or skip the gym because you worked late. Even if you do try to eat a balanced diet and exercise, you may still gain weight. Stress triggers a hormone that may actually cause you to gain weight. 
Cortisol is a hormone that is essential for a number of body functions, including maintaining blood pressure, metabolizing carbohydrates for energy and stimulating the release of insulin into the blood stream to keep blood sugar levels stable. Stress causes elevated levels of cortisol in the blood. Excess secretion of cortisol by the adrenal glands stimulates your appetite, which can lead to overeating or unhealthy snacking. 
Elevated cortisol levels may also cause your body to store fat in your abdomen. Belly fat has been linked to diseases, such as stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. The best way to combat stress-related weight gain is to reduce the amount of stress in your life. If that’s not immediately possible, continue eating a healthy diet and get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day. Exercise can help combat stress. Take time to relax and care for yourself. Do things that are enjoyable and help you relax. 
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About Robin R.
I’m an AFPA certified personal trainer & nutrition consultant, NASM certified corrective exercise specialist, NASM certified youth exercise specialist, online fitness coach and freelance writer specializing in health and fitness. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health. I specialize in weight loss, functional strength training, total body toning, aerobic conditioning, plyometric training, nutrition planning, and home-based boot camp style workouts for women. My goal is to make every personal training session fun and effective for my clients. My services include both in-home personal training and online fitness coaching.

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