Is Stress Making You GAIN Weight?

Stressed-Guy

Did you know that your stressful life could actually be making you gain weight? That may include your current workout and diet!

Stress isn’t just something you feel in your head. It’s something that moves all throughout your entire body.

As you may already know, under stress your body produces two hormones: adrenaline and cortisol.

Adrenaline is like “Gas”, and cortisol is like “wood”. The former quickly burns off the immediately available sugar in your blood, for “fight or flight”.

Cortisol continues to fuel the fire, pumping more sugar into your blood so you have energy to burn. The problem is that excess sugar coursing through your blood is meant to help you flee the saber-toothed tiger or battle the charging bull. It’s made to be burned off quickly as you either escape or attack.

When the stress comes in a more modern form — like a pressing deadline or a stack of unpaid bills — you can’t literally “fight back or flee” caveman style.

But without that burst of physical activity, you don’t have the chance to burn off this extra blood sugar, instead, it gets stored in your belly as fat.

Every time you feel anxious over those bills or deadlines, that’s fat added straight around your middle!

Stress also increases your cravings, which would explain why people eat more and badly when under pressure.

What’s worse is that stress actually reduces our testosterone and as men we need testosterone to help us burn fat, and perform many other activities!

So stress stores fat, increases cravings and reduces our testosterone!

But stress is difficult to avoid these days and often chronic, so what can we do to avoid it?

The good news is, you don’t need to quit your job and become a monk, there are lots of things you can do!

  • You need to eat! – Most people actually try to eat less when dieting, but maintaining the glucose levels will help to control the adrenaline in your system. Remember getting hungry can be stressful as hormones start to become unbalanced; keep your body stable by eating at regular times with balanced meals. Keep HEALTHY snacks to hand.
  • Drink coffee PRE workout not POST. If you have coffee after make sure it’s an hour later or it will keep the adrenaline spike in your system from the workout.
  • Avoid “diet” drinks and “low fat” products – they spike insulin levels, which increase fat storage.
  • Get sleep – this helps with everything! A University of Chicago found that men who got 8hrs sleep had 37% less cortisol in their system than those who got around 4hrs. Also those who were able to relax enough for deep sleep had 65% more human growth hormone (HGH), which helps with muscle mass. This helps prevent the loss of muscle mass that can be caused by cortisol; muscle mass helps you burn calories and maintain a constantly burning metabolism.
  • Exercise and put that stress hormone to work – but be careful if you’re exhausted, as your adrenals are already working hard and exercise can push them further. Gentle exercise is fine, but try to exercise in the morning when you’ve rested.
  • MOVE! – burn off that stress. Sedentary life is slowly killing us all and causing our bodies to keep going into hibernation. If you work at a computer, move for 5-minutes every hour.

If you’d like more tips on how to counteract stress, lose weight, boost testosterone and get those abs showing, download our 6-pack cheat sheet here.

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