7 Ways Stress Can Cause Weight Gain

Every day as moms we encounter issues with our kids, husbands, work and more that causes stress. We are wired to be the caretakers and when something doesn’t go right we get stressed. Too much stress hormones cause negative effects on our bodies including weight gain.  Here are 7 ways stress can cause weight gain and what you can do about it.

1. Stress Destabilizes Our Blood Sugar Levels

In order to lose weight it is important to have a normal blood sugar level.  When our blood sugar is elevated we have the tenancy to crave and eat more sweets.  Too much sugar in our diets leads to weight gain.

2. Stress Increases Cortisol

Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal gland and is essential for our bodies to function properly.  However, when we are under a lot of stress our adrenal glad can release too much cortisol. This will in turn cause us to store fat around our midsection.

3. Stress Leads to Sleep Disorders

For overall health it is important for adults to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night.  When we are under a lot of stress high levels of cortisol prevent us from falling into a deep sleep.  If our sleep cycle continues to be disturbed we will lack the energy we need to burn calories and fat and will have a difficult time controlling our blood sugar levels. 

4. Stress Can Lead to Thyroid Problems

If our thyroid is not functioning properly it effects our metabolism.  Thyroid hormones control our metabolic rate and tell our bodies how fast we should burn calories.  When we are under a lot of stress slows down the conversion of the inactive thyroid hormone T4 into the active thyroid hormone T3. Which means that high levels of stress will slow down our metabolic rate making it harder to lose body fat.

5. Stress Decreases Vitamin and Mineral Levels in the Body

We depend on vitamins and minerals in order to produce the stress hormones needed to respond to stress. For example, if we are deficient in magnesium it can cause hi blood sugar, a lower metabolic rate and other issues that can slow down fat loss.

6. Stress Causes Our Immune System to Weaken

Our immune system is the wellness warrior.  It works hard every single day fighting against viruses, pathogens and other foreign bodies.  Too much stress causes the immune system to work less efficiently. This in turn can lead to chronic colds, influenza or other viruses.

7. Stress can Lead to Digestive Issues

If our digestive system is not working correctly everything else will slow down.  Excessive stress causes inflammation in the intestines making it more difficult to lose body fat.

If you are under a lot of stress do not panic.  Here are some simple ways you can reduce the effects of excess stress. 

1. Eat a well balanced diet to help keep your blood sugar stable. If you eat 4-5 smaller meals high in lean protein, and plant based food it will help stabilize your blood sugar.

2. Decrease your caffeine intake.  If you can not survive without that cup of joe in the morning cut back.  Stop drinking coffee after 12 noon.  Avoid caffeinated sodas or eliminate soda all together. 

3. Avoid unhealthy foods that can lead to intentional problems.  These include: processed foods, wheat and dairy.

4. Learn how to manage your stress through meditation, prayer or yoga.  Making time to relax every single day helps your body fight stress.

5. Take a fish oil supplement.  Fish oils like Krill, can reduce inflammation caused by high levels of stress.

About Our Founder

Cascia Talbert is a busy blogger,  and mother of five children, living in Spokane, WA. With a B.A. in history and law and a passion for writing and staying healthy, she started The Healthy Moms Magazine in 2007. The Healthy Moms Magazine is currently ranked the top health blog for moms. Ms. Talbert believes that if mothers are well educated on health issues and how to stay healthy, they can pass that information down to their children and reverse the childhood obesity statistics in the U.S.

Ms. Talbert  runs the Healthy Moms Social Network on Ning, is the founder of Healthy Moms Media, and is the Chief Marketing Officer for Talbert Nutrition LLC. You can follow her on facebook.com/TheHealthyMomsMag, and twitter.com/cltalbert.

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