Maintaining a healthy weight becomes more difficult the older we get. However, it is not just age that affects our shape, stress also has an impact. As well as causing obesity, high levels of stress can also hinder our weight loss.
When we get stressed, we release the hormone cortisol, which can cause weight gain. When we are stressed, the adrenal glands release adrenaline and cortisol, which causes glucose to enter the bloodstream. This process takes place in the body to give us energy to cope with stressful situations. When things settle down, blood sugar levels drop, but this process has several negative consequences. Stress causes a lot of glucose to enter the bloodstream, but a lot of it is also stored – this can lead to the formation of abdominal fat, which is very dangerous as it can contribute to metabolic syndrome.
Many people are surprised that they don’t eat unhealthy, high-fat and high-sugar foods and still gain weight. The reason is nothing other than high cortisol levels. It causes a very slow metabolism, which makes it difficult to lose weight.
Research shows that high stress levels cause people to burn far fewer calories, which also actively contributes to weight gain. Long-term stress also raises insulin levels. This is a hormone that is a major contributor to fat storage.
It is not enough that stress causes many negative events and processes to take place in the body, people also have to deal with other negative effects. High cortisol levels, for example, can lead to emotional eating, where people crave sweet and unhealthy foods.
Stress tends to make people neglect exercise, which can also be a cause of excess weight. Constant stress can lead to irregular eating and sleep patterns, which can all lead to weight gain.