Why Stress Makes You Fat

The world health organization has declared stress to be the biggest health risk of the 21st century. Chronic stress does not only make you sick but also fat.

There are numerous causes for stress: too much work, disputes with the neighbours, familiar burdens, problems in the partnership. There is no time and peace to get rid of these problems. It is assumed that in Germany alone, every third person suffers from chronic stress.

Whereby short-term stress is a positive quality, as in case of emergency it enables a rapid processing of stimulations and a similar quick decision-making ability. Such sudden alertness is required to protect us in case of need.

However, long-term stress has exactly the opposite effect. The body reacts with exhaustion, mood problems, migraine or back pain. As a result of the permanent load, the exceptional situation becomes a rule.

Why stress makes you fat

To direct stress into the correct paths, messengers such as adrenaline, noradrenaline, serotonin and dopamine are available to the nervous system. Another hormone that energizes the body in stressful situations is cortisol. It does this by reducing the metabolic activity.

And not only that, but cortisol also inhibits the so-called saturation hormone leptin. In case of constant stress, this is permanent. A vicious circle which quickly leads to becoming fat: due to the deficiency of the saturation hormone, one is constantly hungry and therefore puts on weight faster, because the metabolism has slowed down.

The so-called emotional eater finds consolation in sweets and fatty food. The short-term feeling of happiness perceived thereby usually results in a long-term weight problem.

To deal with stress

Each of us reacts differently to stressful situations. Some are relaxed; others fight it with activity. The only important thing is to get regular rest and to balance yourself.

If you belong to the agile, dynamic people, then you should face the stress with equal enthusiasm. For example, with jogging in the morning, a walk at noon, cycling in the evening, boxing, tennis or dancing at the weekend. In short: any movement and physical activity make you more resistant.

If you are a rather calm, gentle type, you may find systematic relaxation methods for stress management. For example, the autogenic training, the progressive muscle relaxation according to Jacobson or the mindfulness method according to Jon Kabat-Zinn. Also, yoga, tai chi and qigong, which combine relaxation and exercise, have a strong effect on the inner calmness.