Why Stress Causes Obesity
by Mary Bodel
of sleep. How could these cause us to gain weight?

Cortisol is a hormone produced as part of the "fight or flight" reaction. People under
constant stress have a much higher amount of it circulating the body, and one of the
side effects of it is an increase of abdominal fat. Getting the hormone back down to
normal is required to help lose it. One thing to be aware of, we do need some
cortisol in our bodies as the lack can lead to a serious medical condition.

Insomnia has a tendency to follow along with this condition. Lack of proper sleep can
cause heart disease and...obesity. The studies performed have not yet determined
why this is true, but many studies were performed and they all indicated a
relationship. Age is not a factor, some of these studies were done on children as
young as two years old.

Understanding the problem gets us half way to a solution. There are several things
you can do about it, both in stress reduction and in the weight category. While you
may ultimately need a doctor to help, many of these things can be done at home.

Comfort Foods: I have two suggestions here. One, find another means of getting
comforted. Set aside some time for a soothing tea rather than tucking into the mac
and cheese. Check out a new book at the library. Find something that is not food
related (well tea is kind of close...) as a means of reducing the levels. Second, find
healthy comfort foods. Substitute fat free frozen yogurt for the triple chocolate fudge
crunch ice cream. There are a lot of ways to do both ideas.

Exercise: It doesn't matter where you do it, but get moving. A piece of gym
equipment at home is just as useful as one found in a gym. However, getting away
from the area causing the problem is not a bad idea. You might want to go for a walk
or a hike. This will help you clear your mind and it should release endorphins. That's
called the runner's high, but you don't have to run to feel it.

Herbal Remedies: Stress relief may be found in both aromatherapy and herbal teas.
Lavender and chamomile are good choices, both as tea and in aromatherapy.
Jasmine and passionflower are also good choices. These can be mixed or used
individually. Insomnia may be helped by skullcap and/or valerian, though be aware
that valerian smells horrible.

Your Doctor: Both stress and weight control may require some assistance from
your doctor. If the above remedies don't help enough, a visit is a good idea.
Medications can help bring stress down to controllable levels. Finding an appropriate
exercise program may also be done with the doctor's help.

Both obesity and stress are serious medical issues and you should pay attention to
them in order to prevent future problems. With a little help and some hard work, you
can live a healthier, less stressful life.

My eBook Home Remedies Stress has much more information about stress and
stress management, including the following topics:

• Diet and Stress: Page Eight
• Children and Stress: Page Fifteen
• Caregiver Facts: Page Twenty
• Herbal Recipes and Instructions: Page Thirty-One
• Herbs for Stress: Page Thirty-six

About The Author

Mary Bodel

Our site has information on many topics and my five eBooks about herbal remedies.
You can also download my free report, the Top Ten Herbs. It details ten popular
herbs, their uses, side effects, precautions and drug interactions. If you have any
questions, feel free to e-mail me:
If you've watched news segments
talking about how dangerous stress
can be, you may be hearing the
reporter's voice dubbed over a
restaurant scene where people are
eating. There's a good reason for
that. Most of us reach for comfort
foods when we're dealing with
stressful situations. Most of those are
high in calories, fat, sodium and
cholesterol, leading to weight gain.

Is that the only thing stress does to
cause obesity? No, there are other
aspects of it. One is produced by our
body and the other is related to lack
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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The content on
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