The hard truth is that chronic stress can make it very difficult forewomen 35 and over to lose weight or maintain their current weight. When you are stressed or worried about something, your body kicks into survival mode. It’s the fight or flight response. When presented with a stressful situation, your brain tells your body that it needs extra energy to deal with the danger at hand. Of course, the body listens to its boss and releases the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. The adrenaline provides the body with a surge of energy to deal with the stressful event. Once the stressful event has passed, the adrenaline goes away. But the coritsol lingers around to restore the energy expended during event. This hormone stimulates your appetite, particularly for highly palatable food loaded with sugar, fat and salt. The food is then metabolized and stored in the belly as fat for energy reserves.
So how does this relate to managing weight for women over 40? It has to do with chronic stress. Do you worry or think a lot about not getting thick around the middle as you move through menopause? Are you frustrated daily because you can’t seem to lose weight no matter what you do? If your answer is yes, then it is likely that you are creating a state of chronic stress in your body. Your brain is forever giving permission to your body to release cortisol, increasing your appetite for unhealthy food, which is stored as fat in your belly. I’m not saying that if you manage your stress, that you will magically lose weight. BUT, can you agree that it is a pretty major factor?
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