When stressed, many of us get physical symptoms such as, headache, digestive issues, inflammation and trouble sleeping. However, things that we can’t see are also going on in the body. When we are stressed our body releases hormones including epinephrine and cortisol. Both of these hormones help get our body into defense mode. With the increase in epinephrine, we may notice a decrease in appetite at first. The rise in cortisol leads to an increase of glucose in the blood stream giving the body energy for “the fight or flight”. Cortisol can also inhibit the release of insulin production, blocking normal body systems to again provide energy. The increase in cortisol often increases appetite and tends to have longer lasting effects than the other hormones.
Our body is working hard while we’re stressed to try and remedy the situation, but this is often why we can experience weight gain or a stall in weight loss during this time. Our best defenses to stress are diet, exercise and practicing mindfulness. As i’m tired and busy this week, i’m trying to remember how important those three are and how much they help to relieve my body of the stress symptoms.