Stress Can Help Make You Fat
By Jim O'Connor
Do you know by not using proper stress management techniques or stress relief strategies you could be contributing to fat gain? There is a condition called stress induced obesity which promotes a stress producing hormone called cortisol. Let's take a closer look at how stress, cortisol, and fat promotion can make your waist, hips, and buttocks larger.
Stress is a word you hear often these days. Due to the extremely fast paced world we live in, greater demands are placed upon us, leading to greater stress levels which are higher than ever seen before.
People desperately attempt to juggle professional careers, family, and free time, all while fighting traffic jams, social obligations, financial pressures, and even natural disasters.
All of this results in being "stressed out." Demands are consistently being placed upon us from different directions, sometimes occurring at the exact same time. I constantly hear the words "if there were more hours in the day." Sound familiar?
Stress is defined as any event in which environmental demands, internal demands, or both tax or exceed the adaptive resources of an individual, social system, or tissue system.
How many times have you heard the controversial ads for Cortislim or Relacore? Both are suggested to block cortisol, a stress hormone that gets your body ready to respond to a threat, and has been associated with fat promotion. Depending upon the level of threat, the brain regulates the amount of cortisol excreted from the adrenal gland. If the risk is huge, like a bear chasing you, a large amount of cortisol is released into the blood stream. However, if you are late for a very important appointment, and rushing vigorously, a smaller amount of cortisol is released.
The state of readiness, the "fight or flight" response, which promote the hormone cortisol, has been associated with increasing fat storage, and cardiovascular effects such as faster heartbeat, higher blood pressure, constricted blood vessels, and a release of blood sugar.
Energy regulation and mobilization are also two crucial functions of cortisol.
Personality type, which includes the way you interpret stressors, can play a key roll in cortisol release, according to research studies.
Suppose you are considered a personality type D, which exhibits negative emotions, pessimistic behavior, and don't share emotions. In addition to your interpretation of stressful situations, you also lose your job. You would now be considered having the cortisol throttle wide open, stuck in the "on" position. Over the long haul, along with the heart effects mentioned about, fat gain can be promoted by the aggressive circulation of cortisol in the blood stream.
According to research, tissue cortisol concentrations are controlled by a specific enzyme, cortisone, that converts inactive cortisone to active cortisol. Studies show that the gene for this enzyme shows up more in obese conditions. It is shown that deep fat, surrounding the stomach and intestines have more of these enzymes compared to fat just underneath the skin. Thus, the high enzyme levels in the deep fat tissue surrounding the abdomen may lead to obesity due to greater levels of cortisol being produced at the tissue level. It is also noted that deep abdominal fat has greater blood flow and four times more cortisol receptors compared to subcutaneous, or surface fat. This, in effect, may increase cortisol's fat accumulation and fat cell size enlarging effect.
Another potential link between stress, and cortisol involves the appetite. Animal and human studies have shown an increased appetite, cravings for sugar, and weight gain when cortisol injections were administered.
Individuals with high circulating levels of cortisol tend to consume more foods high in sugar, and fat. This may occur because cortisol directly effects food consumption by binding to receptors in the brain. This can stimulate an appetite craving sugar, and fat.
Due to all the negative influences mentioned above, resulting from continual high stress levels effecting circulating cortisol, it is a good idea to manage your stress level well.
Please be aware that Cortislim, and Relacore do not appear to be the answer. The federal government has cracked down on products like these for stating false and unsubstantiated product claims. More research needs to be done on these products before being considered a viable solution.
A much more effective solution is watching your caloric intake, while participating in a consistent exercise program. You should also include stress reduction methods such as meditation, biofeedback, visualization, and/or yoga.
Work hard at exercising, keep a positive mental attitude, and incorporate as many stress reducing techniques as you possibly can. It will benefit your waistline, as well as overall health.
Jim O'Connor, Beverly Hills celebrity fitness consultant, has conducted thousands of personal fitness consultations with celebrites, business executives, and highly motivated individuals throughout Los Angeles. He is the Chief Exercise Physiologist for Wellness WORD, LLC, a health, fitness, and nutrition promotion company. Jim is the author of a well known, world wide multimedia newsletter called Wellness WORD, published online every other week promoting the health and fitness truth. He also is the author of a popular ebook called Home Gym Shopping Secrets. http://www.WellnessWord.com/
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Jim O'Connor - Exercise Physiologist / The Fitness Promoter
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