DOES STRESS CAUSE FAT GAIN AND STOP FAT LOSS?
The short answer is, NO…. it doesn’t.
The long answer is, yeah… it does kind of.
Let me explain.
Typically when we discuss stress, we are referring to the hormone CORTISOL, however ADRENALINE is also another stress hormone, for your reference.
If you read the superhero themed posts i did a few weeks back, you will remember that CORTISOL has a relationship with SEROTONIN, our happy hormone.
When one goes up, the other goes down. When this happens, the body does everything it can to stabilise them both and return them to a neutral state – this is called HOMEOSTASIS. A big fancy word that basically means “a healthy hormone balance”.
Cortisol by itself DOES NOT STORE FAT in anyway. However, when elevated, as above, the body increases the cravings for things like carbohydrates (which raise serotonin) so that it can reduce stress.
It is this elevation in cravings that can, very easily, cause us to over eat on carbohydrate dense foods and given today’s fast food industry, most carb dense foods are also fat dense foods – so have a high caloric number.
What usually happens with human behaviour, and the learned coping mechanism of using food to manage stress, is that we want to reduce the stress so quickly, we eat the carbs very quickly and mindlessly. Thus causing, in most cases, a large calorie intake. 9 times out of 10 this takes us over our daily calorie requirement and we store body fat.
- Combine that with a lack of activity.
- Combine that with poor sleep.
- Combine that with a lack of education on what is happening
…and we have a recipe for fat gain.
So stress directly, does NOT cause fat gain… but it is large part of the originating suspect that leads to fat gain.
This is why, as a coach, its usually my main port of call to get my clients de-stressed as quickly as possible so that this cycle is minimised or in the best cases, removed.
Find out more how to de-stress and manage weight loss by signing up to The 80/20 Lifestyle Plan