Are you finding that all of your usual weight loss strategies aren’t helping you to budge the weight?

If you are noticing that you are stacking on weight a lot easier around your mid section and sugar cravings are out of control, then you may need to take a deeper look into what your hormones are doing.

How Stress Can Make You Fat

During long periods of stress, such as constantly working under pressure to meet a deadline, or experiencing financial or relationship strain, your brain will create a distress signal.

This distress signal from the command centre of your brain orders your adrenal glands to release a hormone called cortisol, launching you into a state of ‘fight or flight’.

During this stress response, your body prepares your body to run away by giving you the fuel you need to do so, by releasing sugar and fat into your blood stream for energy.

This ‘fight or flight’ response used to be very handy in the hunter and gatherer days, where your body would shuttle that sugar and fat into your muscles for fuel so that you could run away from a predator.

Now in the 21st century, when you enter that fight or flight response due to stress, instead of physically using that energy to escape, you are instead simply sitting at your desk feeling stressed out.

If you are not being physically active during periods of stress, your body becomes less able to clear these sugars and fat from your blood stream. This leads to another hormonal imbalance which makes it very easy for you to store fat particularly around your mid section. 

How Insulin Drives Abdominal Weight Gain

A constant rise of sugar and fat in your blood stream during the fight or flight response in relation to your stress levels, can elevate another hormone called insulin which converts excess sugar in the blood to fat, storing it particularly around your visceral organs (mid section).

The problem with this type of fat (other than finding it difficult to fit into jeans) is that it can become very inflammatory, increasing your risk for high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes. Getting your hormones sorted isn’t only beneficial for weight loss, but it will help you prevent chronic disease later down the track.

Where To From Here?

If you are struggling to lose weight, your normal weight loss tactics may not be enough to stimulate your metabolism and kickstart weight loss.

Understanding if these hormones are contributing to weight gain will mean you can get the additional herbal, nutritional an dietary support you require to reduce elevated cortisol or insulin and get your health and weight back on track faster.

A cortisol awakening response is a saliva test that is a diagnostic marker of work related stress and other forms of chronic stress which can be provided through a Naturopathic appointment . This will help assess whether chronic stress and cortisol is contributing to your weight gain. Additional blood testing such as fasting glucose, insulin and a full thyroid hormonal panel may also be recommended to ensure that a complete strategy to weight loss is given to help you achieve the results you are looking for.