Living under stress is both unpleasant and unfortunately common. From troubles at home to busy days at the office, stress is a contributing factor to the day to day lives of millions of Americans. Stress and weight gain often go hand-in-hand.
For those who make little progress in weight loss despite a great diet and regular exercise, the effects of stress may be at play.
How Stress Impacts Weight Gain
Stress can affect functions throughout the body, diminishing focus, negatively affecting sleep, and reducing productivity. A study in the United Kingdom, published in the journal Obesity, discovered stress can also influence weight gain. Those with a higher response to stress also tend to see a higher number on the scale.
In a survey of 2,500 people, researchers found a positive correlation between cortisol levels and waist circumference. Researchers also measured Body Mass Index, or BMI, and found the same overall results. This indicates a connection between cortisol – a chemical released in times of high stress – and weight gain.
Cortisol and Stress
Cortisol is a chemical secreted from the adrenal glands in periods of stress or anxiety, producing a calming effect through the regulation of blood pressure. Cortisol also reduces inflammation and helps maintain blood sugar supplies, providing glucose to the brain.
While these properties are effective at naturally reducing the sensations associated with stress, the release of cortisol also affects metabolism and the accumulation of fat throughout the body.
Scientists do not know exactly how cortisol contributes to weight gain, but they believe that the location of sensors – within the visceral fat tissue – may play a part. Some claim the stress associated with being overweight can cause cortisol levels to rise, but most research indicates a causation between cortisol's presence and increased weight.
Stress-Free Weight Loss
Fighting back against stress can be challenging, especially if you are working through challenging situations in your life. Losing unwanted excess weight may help relieve stress for some individuals. For those who meet the requirements, losing weight can be accomplished with help from bariatric surgery.
Efficient in reducing appetite, shrinking the stomach, and providing an easy way to control portions, weight loss procedures can provide a healthy way to lose weight. While not right for everyone, these surgical procedures bring relief to tens of thousands of Americans suffering with obesity each and every year.
Living with stress is not pleasant, but it's a standard part of being human. If you feel that your level of stress and weight gain are impacting one another, it's time to take action. Olde Del Mar Surgical can help you consider your options, helping you to choose an avenue to weight loss that is right for you and your body. Contact us today.