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Learn to Control Stress and Lose Weight

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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recognizes the profound impact stress can have on the body. They published a perspective on stress written by Harrison Wein, Ph.D. which states, "For thousands of years, people believed that stress made you sick. Up until the nineteenth century, the idea that the passions and emotions were intimately linked to disease held sway, and people were told by their doctors to go to spas or seaside resorts when they were ill. Gradually these ideas lost favor as more concrete causes and cures were found for illness after illness. But in the last decade, scientists like Dr. Esther Sternberg, director of the Integrative Neural Immune Program at NIH's National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), have been rediscovering the links between the brain and the immune system." While this statement is intended to demonstrate the link between stress and the function of the immune system, it can also be applied to obesity which is now considered to be a disease.

The correlation between stress and weight loss can be difficult to understand but this article will serve to simplify the effects of stress on the body for you and also offer you advice on how you can control stress to help achieve your weight loss goals. You may be aware of how stress affects you on a regular basis but may not fully understand how this stress if affecting your weight. If you feel as though you are suffering from chronic stress which is affecting your health or your weight, contact your doctor to discuss your situation and determine how the stress is affecting you and how you can reduce the amount of stress in your life.

How Stress Affects the Body

Have you ever eaten an entire bag of potato chips while working late at night on a presentation for work which is due the next day? If you have, you are certainly not alone as many women turn to excessive eating when they are feeling stressed. Often this eating is done while working and the individuals is barely even aware of the number of calories she is consuming. This type of reaction may be a result of how stress affects the body.

One of the effects of stress which is most significant to weight is the release of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is released in stressful situations to provide the body with the energy it needs for a fight or flight response. This may include a burst of energy, a decreased sensitivity to pain and increased memory function. All of these attributes can be helpful in a case of acute stress when the need to either flee or fight arises. However, in cases of chronic stress this hormone is secreted regularly and can begin to cause physical problems which can contribute to weight gain or the inability to lose weight. Some of these problems may include decreased thyroid function, imbalances in blood sugar levels, decreased muscle mass and even the inability to sleep.

Methods of Controlling Stress

While the affects of stress, and specifically the hormone cortisol, on the body may seem daunting it is worthwhile to note there are methods of controlling stress which can help to prevent the weight gain or inability to lose weight which is typically of increased cortisol levels. The link between the brain function and body issues is supported by the stress related perspective issued by the NIH with the following statement, "A growing number of studies show that, to some degree, you can use your mind to help treat your body. Support groups, stress relief, and meditation may, by altering stress hormone levels, all help the immune system. For example, women in support groups for their breast cancer have longer life spans than women without such psychological support." This statement demonstrates how controlling stress can help to support physical goals.

Stress can be characterized as either acute or chronic. Acute stress is stress which results in a scary situation such as an attack on your life by an animal or human attacker. Avoiding and managing this type of stress is not always possible but chronic stress can be managed. Lifestyle elements such as family, work and financial situations often contribute to chronic stress. In some cases the stressors can be completely eliminated by changing the situation. For example a job which causes chronic stress with frequent, difficult deadlines can be resolved by changing jobs. However, stress which cannot be eliminated should be managed by other methods. Some popular stress management techniques include exercise, meditation, keeping a journal and even breathing exercises. Other activities such as reading a book or listening to music can also help to alleviate stress.

Can Supplements Help?

There are many weight loss products on the market today which make claims about reducing stress or helping you to lose weight. If you suspect the stress in your life is contributing to your weight issues you may wish to try a product such as Meltorin to help reduce the effects of stress. You can learn more about Meltorin and how it can help you at the following web address: www.Meltorin.com. Meltorin can be especially helpful for women who suffer from fluctuating insulin levels as a result of stress. In addition to trying to mitigate the stress in your life and seeking out helpful herbal supplements you should also consult your doctor before beginning to take any supplements for the purpose of weight loss.


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Disclaimer: This article is not meant to provide health advice and is for general information only. Always seek the insights of a qualified health professional before embarking on a health or fitness program.

This article is provided by the vTeam, Kamau Austin Publisher. Visit Health and Fitness Vitality and the Fit After Forty blog at... http://www.HealthandFitnessVitality.com for more articles on how health is your greatest asset.

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