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Cortisol, Blood Sugar And Stress, Bad News For Weight Loss
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Stress is hard on your body in many ways not the least of which is its impact on weight gain through increased cortisol and blood sugar. Cortisol is a major stress hormone which has the job of preparing your body for fight or flight. It gets your heart pumping faster, stimulates the adrenals, ups the blood sugar to get nutrition to your muscles, and takes energy away from systems like reproduction or digestion which are not needed to survive a physical threat. Unfortunately, today's threats are more often mental than physical and much of cortisol's revving up is counter-productive.

Blood Sugar

Blood sugar is the primary nutrition required by muscles and organs. Cortisol triggers an increase in the face of perceived stress. This means if you are stressed a lot your blood sugar will be higher than normal causing your pancreas to overwork as it send out more and more insulin to help reduce sugar levels. Eventually you may experience the following:

  • Insulin resistance
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Weight gain

Weight Gain

Your cells need nutrition to function and they rely on insulin to help open the door. If insulin knocks too often due to excessive blood sugar your cells will become resistant and will be less likely to open up. But they still need to eat so they suffer due to lack of blood sugar and your body begins to fear you may starve. To protect you from this calamity it starts to store fat to see you through what it believes are coming lean times. Meanwhile excess blood sugar and insulin continue to circulate causing other health problems, many of them serious.

Some Suggestions

Because of the connections between stress hormones, blood sugar and weight gain finding ways to reduce your stress level can be a big support to your weight loss program. Here are some suggestions:

  • Exercise more.Up to a point,more is better than less, especially if you are not exercising at all now. Find a coach or an accountability partner to help you stay on track and go for it. Not only will you be less stressed but you will burn more blood sugar and give your pancreas a break.
  • Meditation is one of the foremost stress relief and balancing techniques ever. We live in a very extroverted world and reacting to all of the stress out there can be overwhelming. Meditation gives you an opportunity to focus on who you are inside, and offers a break from all the distractions. Not only will it give you a few moments of peace, allowing your body to settle, but with practice you may find you start receiving intuitive insights to help you manage the stress.
  • Drink green tea. Hundreds of years ago green tea was the beverage of choice for Buddhist monks who wanted to stay focused and alert while meditating. It contains an amino acid called theanine which offsets the jittery feelings caused by caffeine and helps you concentrate. Without all the distractions you will be more productive and some of the stress producing overwhelm will recede into the background. Green tea also has fat burning properties to help with the weight loss.

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