How Stress Makes You Fat

Do You Lose or Gain Weight With Stress?

It all depends on what is happening with your insulin and cortisol hormones.

Key Points:

• Acute Stress (Short Term) – lowers insulin, which means you may lose weight.

• Chronic Stress (Long Term) – increases insulin, which converts glucose into fat. You would gain weight.

The body‘s response to long-term stress is to spike cortisol and adrenaline. Cortisol has the potential to increase insulin, which releases glucose from your liver and dumps that stored sugar into your bloodstream. Insulin has to take it into storage as fat. That is why some people gain weight.

Cortisol breaks down protein and converts it to glucose, which can be stored as fat. This is why women after menopause they start losing their muscle mass.

Cortisol decreases insulin sensitivity.  This leads to insulin resistance, which causes the body to make more insulin to make more fat, which slows down the metabolism. It is a vicious cycle.

Cortisol will drive the storage of fat to your midsection or the area around the organs around in the midsection and the liver. This is why people under a lot of stress end up with a lot of midsection weight, skinny legs. It is because the body is breaking down proteins from the upper leg and butt muscles and turns into sugar and then converts that too fat and puts it around your midsection.

That is the relationship between long-term stress and belly fat.

Even if you are on the Ketogenic diet and you are doing intermittent fasting you will see that your blood glucose goes up when you are stressed or experiencing trauma.

When people are continually stressed mentally, they will gain weight eventually because they are mobilizing so much glucose and they are not using that glucose because it is all mental stress. 

If they are not physically using up the glucose, they will tend to get fat because the insulin starts to increase because the body also does not want a lot of sugar in the blood so it gets it out of there and it gets stored as fat.

It is always very important for those people who go through a lot of mental stress to exercise on a regular basis not only is that good for fitness but it is also good to keep the sugar burned off from the spike from the cortisol.

This Post has been condensed from Dr. berg’s video: How Stress Makes You Fat

For more information on how to relieve stress please see:

  1. How to Relieve Stress
  2. 9 Ways to Boost Your Stress Tolerance.
  3. 20 signs that you have too much stress
  4. What Determines If You Lose or Gain Weight With Stress
  5. Why Stress (Cortisol) Makes You Fat (Spikes Insulin)

Dr. Berg is a chiropractor who specializes in Healthy Ketosis & Intermittent Fasting. He is the author of the best-selling book The Healthy Keto Plan, and is the Director of Dr. Berg Nutritionals. He no longer practices, but focuses on health education through social media. He has taught students nutrition as an adjunct professor at Howard University.

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Lydia Polstra

Author: 2healthyhabits

My goal in life is to experience the exuberance of true good health by returning my body to the healthy state it was meant to have.

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