Trigger #9: Stress
Stress can severely affect your weight.
Stress increases the hormone cortisol, which can lead to fat being deposited in and around the abdomen. This is because the adrenal hormone releases a good supply of stored sugar (from both liver and muscles) into the bloodstream, causing insulin to change it into fat. Types of stress could be contact with poison ivy, receiving a burn or an injury, loss of a loved one, fighting with your spouse, dealing with an angry employer, constipation, not sleeping, getting a hot flash, watching the news (usually negative), reading the newspaper (death, scandal, hurricanes) or hanging out with negative people, as well as having pain or inflammation in your body. If you have pain, cortisol is raised. Pain can prevent weight loss because the hormone cortisol raises sugar and blocks fat from being burned. At present I am doing some in-house studies on the reduction of cortisol.
Exercise can reduce stress; however, exercise can also increase stress on the body because it increases cortisol. The goal is to exercise in a way so as to not raise cortisol too much. This would mean keeping your pulse rate low during exercise. Weight training is resistance-type exercise and increases cortisol unless you do fewer repetitions and rest between them. You also would not want to exercise over soreness.
A few anti-stress activities include walking, hiking, slow endurance-type exercise, being outside, working around the yard, avoiding the computer screen, and avoiding reading the newspaper or watching the five o’clock TV news station. Try reading a book before bed instead of watching TV.
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