10 Truths About the Stress of Being Fat

Much has been written about the emotional effects that overweight people can suffer. In addition to  physical impairments, stress can be another factor of living with obesity. Stress can be both emotional and physical, as we’ll see in this article. The following is a list of ten truths about the stress of being fat:

  1. Cortisol – A hormone which is released when the body is under stress. Any stress on the body triggers a fight-or-flight reaction, which in turn increases metabolism for the burst of energy your body calls for in the name of defending itself from the cause of this stress.
  2. Metabolism – Can be slowed down by too much cortisol, resulting in more weight gain. This triggers a vicious cycle whereby the weight gain induces more stress, releasing more cortisol, etc.
  3. Energy – When your body is in that state of stress, it expends a great deal of energy, which creates an appetite for more food to replenish that energy. That cortisol mentioned earlier continues to create glucose (sugar), the excess of which is converted to fat.
  4. Diet – When a person is under stress, it’s not uncommon that they will not take the time or even feel the desire to fix a healthy meal, but rather reach for something more readily available, like fast food or junk food.
  5. Chronic Stress – Although under normal circumstances it is natural for a body to change its metabolism momentarily for the above-mentioned self-defense scenario, it can have a runaway effect when that stress is chronic. The constant stress creates a constant need to replenish spent energy.
  6. Slow Down – It seems counter-intuitive, but the way off the merry-go-round is to relax, get a proper night’s sleep, and deal with the stress first in order to then lose the weight. Take time to enjoy stress-relieving activities.
  7. Exercise – will not only burn calories and fat cells, but will also release the anti-stress hormone HGH and endorphins which also counter the effects of stress. If you burn more calories than you take in, you lose weight. It’s that simple.
  8. Cognitive Dietary Restraint – a study done in 2001 showed that this stress about food, or a restrictive dietary regimen, can increase cortisol levels, which leads us back to square one.
  9. Eat More Often – Yes I know, it sounds contradictory. Nevertheless, eating smaller meals,, more frequently, reduces the body’s natural tendency to store fat because it “thinks” it needs to, due to long periods between meals, which leads us to …
  10. Breakfast – Yep. Turns out Mom, and all those doctors were right. Starting your day with a high-protein meal will help fight stress and give your body the right kind of energy, and maintain a healthy metabolism.