It’s no surprise that when we’re stressed, we can turn to comfort foods. But what many people don’t realize is that stress also affects metabolism.
Studies have shown a connection between mental pressure and weight gain. Understanding some of the causes of this phenomenon will help you understand why those late-night trips to the refrigerator happen even though you’re not really hungry.
Many factors can affect your metabolism. Stress is one of these factors, and it affects people in different ways. While some feel the effects immediately after a stressful event, others may not notice them until they’ve been under stress for weeks or months. No matter how long you’ve been feeling stressed out, this blog will help you understand what is going on with your body and how to make it better!
What is Stress?
The dictionary definition of stress is “a feeling or condition of being under physical or mental tension.” In other words, stress is your body’s response to any demand placed upon it.
This could be a physical demand, like running from a bear, or it could be an emotional demand, like dealing with the loss of a loved one. It could even be something as simple as having too much to do in too little time. What are the best ways to deal with it? Let’s explore different methods for relieving stress so you can find what works best for you!
Many people claim that they don’t get stressed out at all, which is true in some cases. However, if someone does get stressed out, there are many things they could do to help themselves feel better. One thing that has helped me relieve my stress is getting up early in the morning to exercise or going for a walk before work. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and helps make me feel good and positive for the day!
Stress is an inevitable part of life for most people. The stressors in our lives are the things that cause us to feel worried or anxious. Stress can be caused by work, school, personal relationships, or even time constraints. It’s important to know how to manage your stress, so you don’t become overwhelmed and find yourself in a negative spiral.
Now, here’s where we get into another type of stress that can be just as detrimental to our health.
The textbook definition of oxidative stress describes it as a phenomenon caused by an imbalance between production and accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cells and tissues and the ability of a biological system to detoxify these reactive products.
Some of the causes of oxidative stress include:
- Diets high in fat, sugar, and processed foods
- Exposure to radiation
- Smoking cigarettes and other tobacco products
- Alcohol consumption
- Certain medications
- Exposure to pesticides…and more.
The human body is exposed to a constant onslaught of oxidative stress, and our cells must constantly adapt to the changing environment. Oxidative stress can cause changes in cellular metabolism that lead to chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, neurodegeneration, and cancer. The mitochondria are the powerhouses of all living cells – they convert nutrients into energy through metabolism. When mitochondrial function is compromised by oxidative damage, it leads to systemic metabolic dysfunction affecting every cell in the body. Oxidative stress can also cause mitochondrial dysfunction, which affects our health throughout different life stages.
The body is constantly producing free radicals, which are molecules that can damage cells and result in oxidative stress. The accumulation of these free radicals causes the development of chronic diseases like cancer or heart disease and can have detrimental effects on metabolism, aging, and fertility.
Oxidative stress negatively impacts several metabolic pathways, including those involved with glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, β-oxidation of fatty acids (FA), amino acid degradation/ synthesis (including purine synthesis), Krebs cycle activity, and mitochondrial function.
And even though this all sounds incredibly serious and life-threatening to an extent, there are ways to fix your metabolism and reduce stressors.
How to Fix Metabolism and Reduce Stressors
We all want to be healthy and happy, but stress can get in the way of that. Stress affects our brains and how we process information, as well as our hormones. Hormones like cortisol play a major role in metabolism and weight gain or loss. When we are stressed out, we tend to either eat more or not eat at all because we don’t feel hungry even when we should be eating due to low blood sugar levels. So what can you do about it? Well, there is good news: by reducing your stress level through meditation and exercise, you will notice an improvement in your health almost immediately! The first thing you need to do is set time aside every day for meditation – this will help lower cortisol levels, which in turn helps to reduce stress and support metabolism.
It is no secret that our bodies are constantly reacting to external stimuli. We can’t control what happens around us, but we can take steps to improve the way our bodies react to these stresses and reduce stress levels to maintain optimum health.
We all experience stress at some point in our lives, and it is a natural response to feeling threatened. When we are stressed, our brain releases hormones like cortisol that give us energy for “fight or flight” responses, such as running away from a scary situation (flight) or standing up to one (fight). However, too much of this hormone can lead to high blood pressure and other health problems. Learning how to manage your stress levels will help you live a healthier life!
Reducing stress has been linked with an increased lifespan, weight loss, improved memory function, ability to fight disease, and more.
Some of the best ways to reduce stress that will have the most profound impact are meditation, deep breathing, maybe even some light yoga, and just setting some time aside for self-care. If you continue to be on the go with no time for yourself, your stress levels will continue to rise, and your metabolism will be the one taking the brunt of it.
Foods that Boost Metabolism
There are a few foods that can help you boost your metabolism.
- Protein-rich foods
- Mineral-rich foods
- Chili peppers
- Beans and legumes
- Apple cider vinegar
- MCT oil
The bottom line is that stress can have a profound impact on your metabolism. If you find yourself feeling stressed, take some time for yourself to relax and unwind. Consider adding some of these stress-busting foods to your diet to help boost your metabolism. In no time, you’ll be feeling better and on your way to a healthier lifestyle!
Stress is a big part of our lives. We have to deal with it daily, and sometimes we feel like there’s nothing we can do about it. But what if the stress was actually hurting your metabolism? It turns out that chronic stress leads to obesity by causing changes in the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels. This means you could be overeating without even realizing it!
If you or someone close to you is struggling with stress, they must take the time for themselves. It’s not enough to go on a diet and exercise like crazy – your body needs rest to release hormones that are necessary for cognitive function, weight loss, and even general health.
We’ve looked at how stress impacts our mental and physical health, as well as the role of chronic inflammation in disease. Be sure to implement the tips to protect yourself from these harmful effects so that you can live a healthier life as soon as possible.
If your metabolism needs a makeover, join the waitlist for Dr. Ryan’s upcoming metabolism course here.