Why Stress & Anxiety Is Causing You To Gain Weight
You’ve probably heard me talking about your blood glucose management, or heard people say you need to balance your blood sugars, what does this actually mean though?
Well, if they aren’t balanced and for example are high for a long while it can lead to a lot of problems with your heart such as diabetes, heart problems, brain function, even losing limbs for example.
Here’s what happens.
When we eat, food get’s broken down and goes into the stomach.
It’s absorbed through the stomach (mainly the bits we can use – some is absorbed in the small intestine too) via sodium bitransporters.
Filtered around and then dumped into the blood where it is essentially a ‘toxic’ object.
Here is where it get’s interesting (if you’re a geek on this stuff like myself).
The pancreas is signalled to produce insulin via beta cells.
The insulin is then sent to grab this glucose and take it to the cells.
Cells are lined with phospholipid bilayers – fat and water based and in order to get the glucose into the cells we need something called a GLUT-4 transporter.
Insulin binds to these glut-4 transporters and pulls the glucose into the cell where it is used by different organelles namely your mitochondria (probably heard of these too) – we also have non-insulin dependant glut-4 transporters which is why we are told to do exercise to lower blood glucose too.
It’s here where we have to have healthy cells to be able to go through something called glycolysis and turn this glucose into a substance called pyruvate to fuel the citric acid cycle and create ATP which is energy you need for the processed your body goes through.
When we eat a high carbohydrate and highly processed diet our body will spike glucose within the blood needing more insulin to get this into the cells, we only have a certain amount of storage sites within muscles and the liver so when we have filled these up the body will signal to fat cells to start expanding their storage capacity, it’s also worth noting not just carbohydrates will spike insulin.
Too high for too long we will have problems with receptors potentially down regulating throughout and we have blood sugars too high for too long, leading to basically a flood of toxicity within the body which can lead to serious health problems.
Problems also arise when we get too low on blood glucose – our adrenals will release cortisol who’s main function is to boost blood glucose levels in order to make sure we’re able to fuel our brains.
Here is where it can get a little trickier for us.
If we are stressed out – that could be from both physiological stressors such as too much exercise or low sleep and even such as psychological stressors such as mental stress and anxiety our body will go into the fight or flight mode.
This is when our adrenals will fire up and produce cortisol (we can do into burnout here if we want and talk about when we’ve been stressed for too long our body has stopped firing cortisol and it’s now low so has to use neurotransmitters such as epinephrine to fire up but we are focusing on the main subject matter) which will spike our blood glucose because essentially that energy is then ready to fuel the brain and limbs to run away from a lion (hypothetically).
See where I am going here?
We’ve already spoken about what happens when our blood glucose levels are high and we’ve run out of storage space for glucose right?
Fat cells get signalled to store and expand.
Our blood sugars start to go all over the place causing more cravings and temper problems and I will go into the problems we can face in more depth in the future.
What can you do in order to help yourself lowering your stress levels?
- Breathing techniques, meditation and mindset work
- Exercise but not all out, get out of the house and walk, jog, yoga etc
- Hydrate your body with good filtered water adding hydration drops for mineral content
- Don’t drink caffeine as it will spike your cortisol levels
- Eat a balanced diet consisting of mainly green leafy vegetables and protein throughout the day making sure carbohydrates are spaced around when you are exercising
There are more things we will go into over the next couple of weeks but let’s focus on these things for now.