There is no doubt in my mind that chronic unrelenting stress makes you sick! It inhibits fat loss by way of elevating the hormone cortisol. Cortisol robs the body of metabolic muscle tissue and messes with your hormone levels. Unfortunately, today’s society leaves most of us feeling overworked and unrested. Our current culture thrives on material rewards, debt and drama. Needless to say, it’s no wonder we are all fat, sick, and nearly dead. Here is a little description of how the HPA axis works to cause weight gain.
1. Stress causes the hypothalamus to produce CRH (corticotropin releasing hormone) to the pituitary gland.
2. The pituitary gland then releases ACTH (adrenocorticotropin) to head to the adrenal gland.
3. The adrenal gland then receives the ACTH and starts producing cortisol.
4. When the hypothalamus senses the cortisol production is up—it turns off the production of CRH
Under normal conditions, the body programs a perfect cycle to rev up cortisol production and then shut it back down. However, if you continue to have unrelenting stress constantly –the cycle revs up and begins to dysfunction with the constant ups and downs of cortisol levels. Imagine if you were constantly washing your favorite pair of jeans, drying them and then rewashing –eventually, the jeans wear out and the machine breaks!
So why does stress give you belly fat? There are 4 more times cortisol receptors in abdominal fat versus subcutaneous fat.
Breathe, Live in the Moment, Smell the Roses, and Relax!