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Stress can make it difficult to lose weight.
Stress can make it difficult to lose weight.

Stress could be making us fat

Stress hormones dictate how our body uses energy, whether it needs to be stored as fat or used as fuel. So take a moment and breathe.

According to a study by Dr Lenny Kravitz, absolutely.

When your body is in a state of stress, adrenalin and cortisol are released to ready the body for a "fight or flight" response, a natural survival instinct. For many, stress is daily, meaning we have high amounts of these stress hormones cursing through our bloodstream.

These stress hormones dictate how our body uses energy, whether it needs to be stored as fat or used for fuel. Under stress, the body stores energy rather than burns it and fat accumulates around the stomach and intestines.

To compound matters, high levels of cortisol caused by stress alert your appetite, with sugar cravings being at the top of the list. This is nearly impossible to ignore because your entire body chemistry is urging you to eat. The cookies are indeed irresistible.

Stress hormones also create acid and they give the brain a toxic bath, affecting our ability to think clearly and rationally.

This acidifying effect launches the body into neutralisation, and does so by leaching the major alkali minerals, calcium and magnesium, from your bones and muscles. This is very harmful to your health, especially for your bones and heart, which depend on these minerals to function properly.

Under stress the body diverts energy to only vital organs and functions, digestion not included. This wreaks havoc with your ability to break down food and absorb nutrients. Nutrient deficiencies, gas, bloating and weight gain are the ultimate results.

Diet and exercise simply will not alter the chemistry of stress, as many people find when, whatever they seem to do, they can't lose weight. Often we make matters worse by eating even less and exercising even more. Unfortunately, this just creates more stress and the cycle continues.

The solution? Take a moment and breathe.

Laura Holland is a well-being consultant and nutritional therapist. For more information, go to www.BeUtifulYou.co.uk

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