The Connection between Stress and Your Weight

Wondering where the uninvited hard roll of fat that has centered itself in your midsection came from? Nutrition plays a huge role in how your body behaves, but so do your hormones – particularly cortisol.

Cortisol is known as the body’s “stress hormone” as it helps regulate your immune system, blood glucose levels, and other important functions during times of stress.  In a perfect world, your body and its cortisol secretion process would return to normal once the crisis is over. But usually cortisol circulation remains in turbo gear for much longer than expected.

Common Contributors to Overproduction of Cortisol

Stress is the big one. When your body experiences stress, it is prompted to store fat to protect the vital organs from being invaded by toxins that may result from physical, emotional or environmental reasons.

Irregular circadian rhythms caused by a whacky sleep schedule. Whether it’s worrying, partying, or working, interrupting your sleep pattern for extended periods of time may contribute to the accumulation of hard fat around your belly!

Another contributor is sugar, found in many of the foods that make up your regular diet, as well as in the comfort food that you turn to when you simply want to disconnect.

All this may tempt you to hit the gym a little harder to start “burning off” some of that fat. Yet rigorous exercise might actually perpetuate the problem as your body considers this another stressor!

What to Do

There are plenty of natural approaches to help alleviate some of the stress and help you release some of the unwanted fat. Here are my Top 4:

  1. Gentle exercise. Nothing punishing to the body. Try restorative yoga, swimming or walking at a moderate pace for at least 20 continuous minutes at a time. Practice rhythmic breathing as best you can while exercising. This combination of movement and proper breathing techniques keeps your central nervous system calm and accelerates detoxification of the body. The less toxins in your body, the less it needs to hold on to the fat!
  2. Eat Functional Meals. There’s something to be said about the energetics of food. Kale, spinach and other leafy greens are loaded with electrical energy they receive from natural light – and energy might be just what you need to power through what you’re facing. Sweet potatoes and other tubers grow deep in the earth and promote a grounded vibe that might help you feel rooted and in control. Berries are naturally sweet and painted with bright and vibrant colors. These can help you feel buoyant and light, making it easier to let go of stuff that is weighing you down.
  3. Use Essential Oils. There is a plethora of Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG®) essential oils available for daily use! Lavender, Wild Orange and Frankincense are great to help promote relaxation in the body. Peppermint and Ginger are amazing to help promote alertness while also supporting healthy digestive function. Diffuse them, add them to your bath or make yourself a nice cup of tea* before bedtime. (*Methods of application depend on the oil and on you, and not all oils are safe to be taken internally. Please contact me for more information on this.)
  4. Develop a Grateful Mindset. I know how tough it might be to focus on the good when things aren’t going as planned, but that is when it’s extra important! Counting your blessings regularly and expressing gratitude for what is going well gives your brain evidence that it is capable of having/doing/experiencing better. This helps your brain tap into a memory bank full of ideas on how to manage things, moving it from stagnation to creativity. Make a list of all you love and have, and all you love and don’t yet have and empower your brain to start taking action on this!

Helping you Elevate, Energize, and Balance Your Brain & Body using natural solutions is my expertise. To discover the things that are keeping you from experiencing optimal health, please schedule your private Breakthrough Session here.

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