Most of our patients are dealing with some form of stress on a daily basis. When it comes to weight management, stress is your #1 enemy. Aside from throwing your hormones off balance, many Americans deal with stress by turning to their favorite comfort foods. We typically don’t go for the carrots and cucumbers when we’re frazzled, do we? Nope. We want the cake, cookies and chips. There is a physiological reason for this so know that you are not alone!
Sugar and calorie dense processed foods release dopamine and serotonin in our brains. These chemicals are “feel good neurotransmitters” that produce a feeling of pleasure and calmness. So it’s no wonder you run to the vending machine right after the boss chews you out for something that wasn’t your fault. During times of stress your body releases the hormone cortisol which increases hunger, signaling your body to eat something with a lot of calories. This is great when you need the energy to run from a predator, but not so helpful when you’re stressing over a work deadline (likely sitting long hours at a desk). Cortisol can also increase insulin levels which causes your blood sugar to drop. Low or unstable blood sugar in turn makes you crave more sugar and carbs. Insulin is also known as the “fat storage hormone” because it stores the excess sugar in your body as fat. See how stress causes your body to work against you when you’re trying to lose weight? If you want to lose weight, start with lowering your stress levels to help balance your hormones.
5 Ways To Get Your Stress Hormones Under Control
1.) Exercise. You’ve heard this time and time again, but it’s true! Moving your muscles around helps to circulate blood and pu