Archive for the ‘Off Topic’ category

Don’t overeat to relieve stress!

June 9th, 2009

Cortisol is a hormone produced and released by the adrenal glands in response to stress.  It’s sudden small increase and secretion into the blood stream activates the quick burst of energy required for survival in life threatening situations.  The heightened memory, sharp decision making and action, and lower sensitivity to pain so necessary in “fight or flight” situations are all enhanced by small increases in cortisol.

dreamstimefree_1780080The problem is we often don’t relax once the crisis has passed.  Or because of our rush-rush busy lives we live in a constant state of “increased stress”.  In this situation the increases of cortisol are not helpful at all.  Blood sugar remains high, blood pressure is elevated, thyroid function suppressed, cognitive skills can be impaired, inflamatory response and immunity are lowered, headaches and fatigue set in, muscle strength decreases, and along with all this, abdominal fat increases.  The higher level of cortisone prevents the body return to homeostasis which is exactly the opposite of the proper use of this hormone.

Increased cortisol causes the body to make more adrenaline giving us the boost needed for escape or to “fight the enemy”.  Adrenaline signals cause release of fatty acids into the blood stream to be used for energy.  How our body works is truely amazing but what if we don’t really need those extra fatty acids? What if we are simply sitting about worrying or rushing about so busy that we don’t stop to sit down for a meal, instead we eat on the run; hamburgers, pizza, corn chips and sour cream dips (my downfall), take-out, fat laden meals, and alcohol.  Our body then stores the unused fatty acids as belly fat and adds to this any fat it can pull from the food we eat.  Perceiving danger and the need for extra energy the body stores fat in the abdominal area as this area has many cortisol receptors. Studies have shown that under ongoing stress people who secrete more cortisol also eat more carbohydrates which can add to blood sugar imbalances along with adding even more fat from the fats in the carbohydrate foods.

We respond to Stress in individual ways; of course it is not only a negative in our lives, it’s the impetus needed to bring about action, but if you’re sensitive to stress reaction you need to take steps to break the cortisol belly fat problem along with learning to relax completely.  Ways to do this include journeling, listening to music or even watching a movie, deep breathing, adequate sleep, exercise as simple as taking a walk, sex (yes, I really did say this), and remember, Don’t overeat to relieve Stress!

Vibration Training works well to release stress. The body reacts to “attack” by the machine by pulling away but by fighting back instead, keeping in perfect position with the end result of increased blood supply; the fatty acids start to get used for energy and this continues over the next 24 or more hours as the body’s metabolic rate has increased.  Serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is responsible for “good” feeling is increased along with endorphins which give the “runners high” that comes from exercise.  There’s even the creation of new nerves within the brain. Sounds good to me!