Why Stress is Making You FAT

Stress is a problem that affects many people. There are different causes of stress, and it’s becoming more prevalent in the modern day. We are constantly bombarded with external factors that will increase stress levels. Ironically, inventions that are designed to make life easier are causing more stress. Now that we have become accustomed to these external factors, they are extremely difficult to remove. People are now becoming more aware of the fact that stress can be a direct link to causing weight gain. 

So, Is Stress Making you Fat? how do You Deal With Stress Levels?

The Basics of Stress 

Stress has always been a natural part of life, and is actually an important survival mechanism. The fight or flight response. In the days when humankind lived a hunter/gatherer lifestyle, stress was often the difference between eating and being eaten.nImagine the scenario… You are tracking tonight’s dinner through the jungle when you inadvertently stumble into the path to a hungry bear... 

In response to this obviously stressful situation your body:

  • • Increases adrenaline production

  • • Speeds up your heart rate

  • • Dumps lots of glucose into your blood for energy

  • • Increases muscle tension

  • • Increases nerve transmission speed

The result? Your body is primed to run, or fight for your survival. After doing one or the other, and having removed yourself from the source of stress, your body recovers and soon returns to its pre-stress state. Your heart rate returns to normal, as does your blood glucose levels.

Muscle tension eases and cortisol is produced to counteract the effect of adrenalin. Fast forward to the 21st century, and your body responds the same way to modern stresses. Unlike our ancestors stress is often a constant companion and we have fewer outlets.

For modern people, the physical threat of hungry bears has been replaced with: 

  • • Blaring alarm clocks

  • • Commuter traffic

  • • Money worries

  • • Demanding jobs

  • • Crashing computers

  • • News/politics

  • • Noisy neighbours

  • • Unreasonable deadlines

  • • + All the other things that seemingly conspire to make your life more difficult than it needs to be!

What Stress Does to Your Body 

Being constantly stressed plays havoc with every system in your body, and can cause a wide range of health problems including:

  • • Weight Gain + Obesity

  • • Skin Breakouts + Acne

  • • Depression + Anxiety

  • • Digestive + Gastrointestinal Problems

  • • Migraines + Headaches

  • • Accelerated Ageing

  • • Heart Disease or Hypertension

  • • Diabetes

How to Decrease Stress 

Many of the causes of stress are unavoidable. Short of selling all your possessions and moving to a desert island, it’s all but impossible to remove external stresses. However, if you know that certain situations cause you stress and they are avoidable, it’s a good idea to do so.

For other sources of stress that you cannot avoid, it’s important to learn how to make them less impactful.

Good Stress Coping Strategies Include:

  • • Low Intensity Exercises such as Yoga or Pilates

  • • Good nutrition

  • • Deep Breathing + Meditation

  • • Adequate Sleep

  • • Supplements (EHPlabs Perform)  

  • • Positive Mindset

  • • Better time management skills

  • • Learning to prioritise

  • • Avoiding perfectionism

  • • Negotiating more realistic deadlines

On days when feeling really stressed and exhausted, it would be best to remove the pressure of high intensity workouts. Slow the pace down with a strength session that is really working on form + technique. Make sure to take ample time at the end of the session to stretch.


Why Exercise Should be a Priority 

Exercise is a very powerful stress management tool. It addresses both many of the symptoms and causes of stress at the same time, and its effects are often long lasting.

Those effects include:

Increased insulin sensitivity and decreased blood glucose 

When you exercise, your muscles use glucose for fuel. Increased insulin sensitivity also helps lower your blood glucose levels. Elevated blood glucose can contribute to diabetes and systemic inflammation. Inflammation is linked to a great many diseases including heart disease and Alzheimer’s.

Increased vasodilation and decreased blood pressure 

To supply your muscles with enough oxygen during exercise, your body dilates or opens up your blood vessels. This helps reduce blood pressure by lowering the resistance to blood flow. Reduced blood pressure is an important factor for reducing the risk of heart disease.

Increased endorphin production leading to a better mood 

Many of life’s stressful events are much less impactful when you are in a good mood. Exercise increases endorphin production – your body’s natural mood enhancer.

Distraction from whatever is causing you stress 

Exercise is meditation on the move. Whatever you do, it will distract you from many of life’s stressors. It’s hard to think about your boss and his unrealistic deadlines when you are concentrating on counting reps or keeping up with a Zumba class. An opening like this can often lead to the creative breakthrough that allows you to deal with whatever was stressing you in the first place.

Reduced muscle tension 

A good workout will leave your muscles feeling like wrung-out sponges and the tension that was responsible for your neck and headache will often disappear.

Better sleep 

Stress can keep you awake at night, and tiredness has a way of magnifying whatever is causing you to feel stressed in the first place. Exercise can help you sleep longer and better.  This additional mental energy and focus will improve your ability to cope with the stresses of the coming day. If you are someone who likes to exercise in the evening, make sure your pre-workout is a non-stim. Like the Ehp Labs PSI. Having a pre-workout that isn’t loaded with caffeine is essential for a good night's sleep! 

An outlet for anger and aggression 

Much of the problem with stress is that it is socially unacceptable to let it out in public. You can’t drive your fist through your computer when it crashes and loses all your work, even though you really want to. Instead, you have to sit and simmer.

A hard workout allows you to let out your pent-up anger and aggression in a way that won’t get you into trouble. Workouts that let you really “go for it” are great for this purpose.

Examples include strength training, boxing, sprinting, and circuit training.

Why You Should Supplement to Reduce Stress

For many stress is extremely difficult to just remove or decrease. Including a supplement to your diet could be incredibly beneficial. EHPlabs have created PERFORM for this very reason. Working with individuals from across the globe, including athletes and novice’s, there was one common factor for all these individuals... Stress. Perform is a unique blend of nootropics, amino acids, multi vitamins, minerals, probiotics and antioxidants works in synergy to become the ultimate stress combating supplement!

If you are looking to..

  • • Increase energy levels

  • • Reduce stress

  • • Enhance your mind-muscle connection

  • • Help boost your memory, motivation, creativity, alertness, and overall problem-solving processes

  • • Provide hormonal balance and support

  • • Aid muscle recovery

Then the Perform supplement should become a staple in your routine!  

Stress could be the greatest health threat you face. It’s also an unavoidable fact of modern life. Use coping strategies whenever you can, and exercise regularly to help counteract many of the health risks associated with stress. However, if stress is causing you more problems than you can deal with on your own, you should seek medical advice. Stress IS that serious.