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Christine Dreher, Nutritionist, Herbalist, & author of "The Cleanse Cookbook" founder of TransformyourHealth.com
Christine Dreher, Nutritionist, Herbalist, and author of
 "The Cleanse Cookbook"

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Stress Eating

 

Let’s face it. The holidays can be stressful, but the truth is that stress is part of our lives. It can motivate excellent performance or drive us to the other extreme. Stress can also increase levels of cortisol, a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, resulting in adverse effects on the brain, blood sugar, bones, muscles, immunity and appetite—to name just a few. Called “the stress hormone,” cortisol can also cause you to gain weight, to increase your risk for heart problems and more.

Cortisol is one important hormone, too. It helps to support normal glucose metabolism, blood pressure levels, insulin release, immune function and inflammation levels—which means it can have some positive effects. When it’s released in small amounts, cortisol can help you quickly tap into energy, memory, immunity, equilibrium and lower your sensitivity to pain.

When you’re under chronic stress, however, increased levels of cortisol can wreak havoc by adversely affecting your brain, thyroid, blood sugar, bones, muscles, blood pressure, immunity and inflammation levels. Too much cortisol in the body, for instance, can result in foggy thinking, feeling run down, altered blood sugar levels and muscle discomfort. That’s not all, though. Cortisol can also adversely affect your appetite.

Elissa Epel, Ph.D., an associate professor at the University of California, San Francisco (USCF) Department of Psychiatry, says, “Cortisol and insulin shift our preferences toward comfort foods.” In other words, there can be an increased appetite for high-carb, high-fat or sugary foods, including junk foods. Epel is a leader in the UCSF Center on Obesity Assessment, Study and Treatment.

Lack of sleep is a stressor, too, and can be catalytic for negative metabolic changes that can lead to weight gain. "Not getting enough shut eye can directly affect two important hunger hormones called leptin and ghrelin," says Kristen Knutson, Ph.D., a research associate who specializes in sleep and health at the University of Chicago’s Department of Medicine.

In a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, participants who slept only four hours per night had an 18 percent decrease in leptin, the hormone that tells your brain you’ve had enough to eat and a 28 percent increase in ghrelin, the hormone indicating you’re hungry. Results of the study indicated that the sleep-deprived participants had a 24 percent appetite increase.

To add to the vicious cycle, increased cortisol levels can increase your girth—which is not good news for your heart. But that’s not all. Fat cells also produce cortisol, so if you happen to be stressed and overweight, then you could have double trouble.
Stressors can take on many forms, too. For example, women who were overweight gained weight when they had to deal with common stressors such as job demands, struggling to pay bills or family-relationship strains, according to a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

The bottom line is that managing your stress is important for your health. You’ll want to be sure to eat sensibly, to get enough sleep and to exercise regularly. Likewise, journaling, breathing exercises and listening to music are just a few ways you can relax. Altogether, these can help you keep your cortisol levels in balance—helping to avoid stress eating and its effects.

Achieving and maintaining your perfect weight is an admirable goal that can be accomplished. However, lifestyle changes including diet and exercise often carry with them the need for additional support in the area of nutrition. More stress is being put on the body’s systems due to increased exercise, immune function may not be at its peak from ingesting less nutrients and fatigue or lack of energy may become an issue due to all of the above.

Vitamin Code Perfect Weight Formula is a comprehensive multi-vitamin with RAW Food-Created Nutrients offering an extreme synergistic blend of vitamins and minerals for extraordinary health and vitality. This specialized formula designed especially for those seeking their perfect weight the nutritional needs to support the following areas:

Metabolism† – Ashwagandha*, Vitamin B Complex, Chromium

Heart Health† – Vitamin B Complex, Vitamins C and E

Mental and Physical Energy† – Vitamin B Complex, Chromium, Iron

Immune Support† – Vitamins C, A, Selenium, Zinc

Optimal Digestion† – Live Probiotics and Enzymes, Vitamin D

Stress Response† – Ashwagandha*, Vitamins A, C, and E, B Complex, Selenium

 

Additional Stress Eating & Weight Management Support:

 

Read the Article:
Want to Loose Weight or Maintain Weight Loss? Boost Your Metabolism!

Read the Article:
Winning the Weight War

 

Note: The content provided in this article is intended for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to take the place of professional medical advice. You are encouraged to consult with your medical health care provider regarding any health concern or health-related condition you may have.

†These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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The statements contained on these pages have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information conained here is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Suggestions and ideas presented in this document are for information only and should not be interpreted as medical advice, meant for diagnosing illness, or for prescriptive purposes. Readers are encouraged to consult their health care provider before beginning any cleanse, diet, detoxification program, or any supplement regimen. The information in this document is not to be used to replace the services or instructions of a physician or qualified health care practitioner.
 

 

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