If you’re like me, stress seems to be a common factor in your day to day life. I start finding when I have extra stress in my life my health seems to start going downhill. I get back pain, headaches, tension in my shoulders not to mention the exhaustion and moodiness that comes along side of it as well.
When I first started my weight loss journey I found that some weeks the weight just wouldn’t come off. I was so stressed about dropping pounds and having 4 kids and was just plain frustrated. What was the deal?! I was doing EVERYTHING by the books.
Check out the excerpt from Today’s Dietician:
Weight Gain and Obesity
Repeated elevation of cortisol can lead to weight gain. One way is via visceral fat storage. Cortisol can mobilize triglycerides from storage and relocate them to visceral fat cells (those under the muscle, deep in the abdomen). Cortisol also aids adipocytes’ development into mature fat cells. The biochemical process at the cellular level has to do with enzyme control (11-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase), which converts cortisone to cortisol in adipose tissue. More of these enzymes in the visceral fat cells may mean greater amounts of cortisol produced at the tissue level, adding insult to injury (since the adrenals are already pumping out cortisol). Also, visceral fat cells have more cortisol receptors than subcutaneous fat.
A second way in which cortisol may be involved in weight gain goes back to the blood sugar-insulin problem. Consistently high blood glucose levels along with insulin suppression lead to cells that are starved of glucose. But those cells are crying out for energy, and one way to regulate is to send hunger signals to the brain. This can lead to overeating. And, of course, unused glucose is eventually stored as body fat.
Another connection is cortisol’s effect on appetite and cravings for high-calorie foods. Studies have demonstrated a direct association between cortisol levels and calorie intake in populations of women.3 Cortisol may directly influence appetite and cravings by binding to hypothalamus receptors in the brain. Cortisol also indirectly influences appetite by modulating other hormones and stress responsive factors known to stimulate appetite.
And then this quote, “While the immediate . . . response to acute stress can be a temporary loss of appetite, more and more we are coming to recognize that for some people, chronic stress can be tied to an increase in appetite — and stress-induced weight gain,” says Elissa Epel, PhD, an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of California at San Francisco.
Stress and Weight Gain
Does that visual help you? Kinda crazy. I had a hard time really understanding it until I saw it. But it totally makes sense. Even though I don’t go for food when I’m stressed, I’ll usually not eat anything until I am starving but then I grab the wrong foods, which in turn is just as bad.
It wasn’t until I got in touch with a friend who mentioned that she started adding some herbal supplements to help with her stress levels and weight loss that she started noticing a difference not only in her weight loss but also in her daily mood. How had I never thought of that?! I took that herbal supplement when I was at my whits end, but using it daily to help combat the stress levels of daily living with 4 kids?! Genius!
What I Use
The Stress Relief Complex formula contains ashwagandha, a traditional herb used to help the body adapt to heightened stress. Also contains L-theanine, ashwagandha, beta sitosterol, and L-tyrosine.
Why I chose Shaklee’s Stress Relief Complex? Stress Relief Complex was tested in a preliminary 7-day, double-blind, placebo-controlled, employee use test. In four key categories (feeling relaxed, being more alert, feeling less tense, and having better concentration), people taking Stress Relief Complex felt more benefits than those who consumed a placebo in a preliminary employee use test.
This past week I added it to my daily vitamin regimen. I was WAY more calm with my kids than usual, and my husband was out of the country the whole week on a business trip!
If you are someone who struggles with stress in your life. Don’t just live with it. Help your body & your health. Stress causes more than just weight gain. It causes a whole host of other issues.
I am always working on my health and some of you may only see the “good” side of me, but I have my insecurities as much as the next person. Yes, I am finally comfortable in my own skin 90% of the time, but these scars & saggy skin still get me down occasionally.I absolutely HATE when people try to say that stretch marks are scars of love. Umm no.
I try not to lay down on my side as the skin just droops down and flops. Sitting down it folds over and I just hate it. But, those times are minimal to how I feel the rest of the time.
The rest of the time I am more confident, my husband sees me being more engaging with him, I take pride in how I dress and I just feel proud of how far I’ve come. I even have days when I look in the mirror and am happy with what I see before me. (This is a HUGE one for me!)
When I first started my weight loss journey I never thought I’d see the day where I was comfortable again. I lost about 60lbs after having my girls and it’s still a maintaining process.
So if you are trying to lose weight, have lost it but gained it back, or you’ve lost it and are maintaining but still only see the negatives on your body – just keep going. Keep looking up. Keep making the healthy choices and don’t get down on yourself. Being healthy isn’t a quick fix or 30 day challenge, it can start there but it needs to transform your whole body, mind and soul.
It’s not always an easy journey but it’s worth it. Losing weight is hard but so is being overweight.