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Stress: Does Make you Fat?

by | Apr 1, 2021 | Stress | 0 comments

  1. Stress Marketing
  2. Catabolic Hormones
  3. Behavioral Factor

Stress is now widely believed to be one of the significant causes of weight gain and overweight and obesity.

Several scientific, statistical, and experimental findings are published on this subject.

Fortunately, not all stressed subjects gain weight; on the contrary, some people tend to lose weight. Why this inconsistency?

Clarifications are required to understand the subject; first of all, the correlation between stress and fatty, although undeniable, is not direct and independent.

So, without adequate contextualization, what remains is misguided and misguided speculation.

Stress Marketing

This misconception is not attributable to scientific literature, which is more than complete, but to disclosure by bodies and channels.

Simplifying a complex issue, causing sensationalism, and raising stakeholders from any responsibility is, to put it clearly, an always effective market strategy.

Typically, they follow the sale of a book, a supplement, a herbal tea, or a service.

Work, family, alterations, etc., have created, and continue to create, thousands of alibi for excess weight. But be careful. 

It is not our intention to argue that too much is to blame; on the contrary, we believe that this is a “responsibility” that each of us has towards ourselves.

To put it bluntly, also of the community. We do not talk logically of a mere aesthetic need but of the pathological excess that can compromise the homeostasis of the organism to promote the occurrence of obesity-related diseases.

As often happens, however, there is also a small base of truth.

Catabolic Hormones

In many people, chronic stress causes loss of appetite. This is a determining factor in so-called “seemingly” unjustified weight loss.

Suppose you are satiated before you do not feel like eating less. In that case, you get a negative energy balance from a metabolic point of view.

Moreover, stress is often due to frantic lifestyles, which increase motor physical activity, especially daily work and activities.

In particular, this increase in calorie consumption, when combined with the loss of appetite, rapidly promotes “idiopathic” slimming.

Let’s come to the biochemical aspect of stress. It stimulates the adrenal endocrine glands at the emission of corticosteroids (cortisol, aldosterone, etc.) and catecholamines (adrenaline, noradrenaline).

Such biochemical messengers mainly have a catabolic and anti-anabolic effect on fat and muscle and hyperglycaemic.

This leads to more demolition than building, both in muscle mass and fatty tissue and glycogen in the liver.

Therefore, the stress in itself “rebound” the masses does not build them.

In theory, therefore, stress should facilitate weight loss and not increase in all respects.

If this is not the case, high-energy sports activities and metabolic commitment should make you gain weight rather than lose weight – we know this is not the case.

Attention! However, an excess of cortisol can negatively affect weight loss, but we will not hold it here.

Due to its catabolic impact, chronic stress is considered harmful, as it leads to the person’s dementia and psycho-physical exhaustion.

So, for an opposite condition to happen, another factor must be involved: behavioral.

Behavioral Factor

The behavioral factor associated with chronic stress that promotes weight gain is psychological compensation, which usually occurs by abusing food or alcoholic beverages.

Psychological, but also neuro-endocrine. The hyper-food compensation meets the same symptoms as any form of abuse and dependence: the attempt to promote the feeling of relaxation.

Which, in that case, would be due to the increase of serotonin – good humor hormone resulting from the amino acid tryptophan.

The human body responds to atavic laws, built-in millennia of evolution in a hostile environment, not to the most modern socio-cultural ones.

So, it would not be stress itself – even chronic, when combined with a normal caloric diet – that would make you gain weight. 

And yet, as we have said, it could even make you lose from a biochemical point of view weight. 

On the contrary, it grows by “bouncing on food”, particularly on foods that are given an “anxiolytic” (crunchy, salty snacks) or “antidepressant” (creamy and sweets, especially chocolate) function. 

Note: There is no such classification, but there is a correlation between the state of mind and the choice of the food product from a statistical point of view.

To those who were thinking that getting stressed – for example, by obeying commitments – by skipping meals can be a good system of weight loss, we should remember that in the long run.

This would lead to wasting, wilting, physical and mental exhaustion, depression of the immune system, etc.

Not to mention the rebound or yo-yo effect. While causing weight gain in adipose tissue, on the other hand, does not allow an effective restoration of impaired muscle mass during the “scarification” made by fasting and stress.

Paradoxically, those psychologically driven to a behavioral pattern of compensation gain a greater advantage in weight loss by reducing the overall activity rather than increasing it.

If this is not possible, we should remember that good planning and planning of commitments is a real “manna from heaven”. Actively trimming the time to eat, the time to sleep, the time to train, the space of social interactions, etc.

Allows you to “order the mental agenda”, easing tensions, then stress, and facilitating the balance of internal feedback essential to well-being and general health.

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