Is Stress Making You FAT?

From Coach Laura:

Losing weight can be tricky for some.  When I lost 60 pounds in 2009, I was dealing with a lot of stress and sometimes felt like I was being pulled in 100 directions.  The person who seemed to lose most often was me!  Putting others ahead of ourselves is a challenge we can all find ourselves in.  Some of us have been taught from young on that is what we are supposed to do.  But let me ask, after you burn yourself out putting everyone above you, what is left?  Not just what is left for you, but what is left for everyone else?  Work, family, friends, and spouse all lose if we give everything we have away, without taking care of ourselves in the process.
Finding the balance in your life can be a struggle in this time of fast food, must see TV, job pressures, and family struggles.  Although there is no replacement for clean healthy eating that fuels your body and stress relieving exercise, does it seem sometimes like food cravings get the best of you?  Does it seem like your body is working against you losing weight, just hanging on to that fat for all it is worth?  You might need some additional support! 

Your job demands a lot of your time. Your family demands just as much, if not more. Trips to the mailbox are greeted by bills. Every day, life is taking its toll on you. Even in seemingly good times, stress is something we cannot escape; not only does it have a harmful effect on us mentally, but it can also wreck havoc on us physically – including on our waistlines.

When we are faced with stress, our bodies go into “fight or flight” response and certain hormones are released by the adrenal gland, hormones that would give the body a burst of energy and strength. This response used to be beneficial to our ancestors, allowing their bodies to physically fight or run away when faced with danger. But in today’s society, this response acts much differently, taking place as a result of stressful days at the office or traffic jam on your way home. The response is supposed to return to normal once the perceived threat is gone, but if the body is unable to return to normalcy due to increased stress levels, it could have a negative effect upon the body with symptoms including adrenal fatigue, suppressed thyroid function, an imbalance in blood sugar levels, and increased abdominal (adipose) fat.

One of the hormones released during this “fight or flight” response is cortisol, which increases blood sugar, suppresses the immune system, and aids in fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism. Under normal circumstances, cortisol helps restore homeostasis after stress. The problem is that constant stress leads to a constant state of cortisol production, which stimulates glucose production. This excess glucose is typically converted into fat, ending up as stored fat. High cortisol levels can also lead to binge eating. Not only do high cortisol levels make you want to keep on snacking, but excess cortisol also contributes to storing more belly fat, which is known to be a bit harder to lose.

Cortisol levels also have a direct relationship with the thyroid, and they act synergistically with one another. Cortisol assists the thyroid hormone in working more efficiently, and the correct amount of cortisol – not too high or too low – supports normal thyroid function. When cortisol gets too high, triggered by the adrenal glands response to elevated stress, it causes a delayed response to the thyroid hormone receptors. When this occurs, the hormones aren’t allowed to work at optimal levels, leaving you feeling sluggish, leading to a higher chance of stress eating, and giving up physical activity.

When you’re battling stress, it is difficult to lose weight for several reasons. Not only are you exhausted and lack the physical energy to exercise the way that you used to, but those suffering with adrenal fatigue also crave high-fat sweets and salty foods, turning to food as a way to comfort them and aid in assisting their exhausted adrenal glands. The combination of being sedentary, having no energy, and eating chips and cookies makes it seemingly impossible to lose weight, but there is hope, and it can be done without worsening your already delicate state of health and without feeling famished.

Is there a solution? 

Again there is NO substitute for clean eating and a good exercise routine, but when those are in place and you feel like you need additional help or would like to speed up your weight loss process, there is help.  Impact Fitness carries two supplements in the gym that work specifically to promote healthy adrenal gland function, cortisol levels and thyroid function to help control stress levels and minimize weight gain that is associated with increased stress. Unlike their competitors, StressAssist and Adrenal Health don’t just mask the problem of weight gain – they address the root of the problem by helping your body adapt to stress and assisting you with your weight management goals.


Primary Benefits of StressAssist and Adrenal Health Formula:


  • Acts as an adaptogen, allowing a body to appropriately respond to stress placed on it
  • Impacts hormones affected by stress
  • Helps body adapt to stress
  • May help reduce occasional fatigue associated with stress
  • May help to minimize certain stress-related issues (weight gain, difficulty sleeping, etc.)
  • Helps maintain healthy levels of both serotonin and dopamine
  • Helps enhance and stabilize mood
  • Helps to stabilize emotional responses to stress
  • Promotes relaxation without drowsiness
  • Supports improved mental clarity
  • Helps to reduce stress placed on the adrenals to perform, thereby helping to decrease the possibility of adrenal fatigue
  • May help support normal thyroid function
  • Helps to promote healthy levels of cortisol                                                                                              


Frequently Asked Questions About StressAssist and Adrenal Health Formula:

How should I take these products?
Take two per day. You may take one pill or both pills at the same time depending on your preference.

Can I take just one of these supplements and not the other? 
StressAssist and Adrenal Health work best for weight loss when taken in conjunction with each other, but you can take them separately if you choose. 

What are the contraindications for these supplement?
If you are currently taking warfarin (Coumadin), other anti-platelet/anti-coagulant medications, antihypertensive medications, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medications or have an ongoing medical condition, you should consult your physician before using this product. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use this product. This product may decrease the effects of stimulants and caffeine.

Can I take StressAssist Formula instead of my prescription?
No. StressAssist is not intended to replace prescription drugs. StressAssist is a natural reliever of sudden stress. It is intended for use during or after engaging in stressful activities. You should contact your doctor before going off any prescriptions.

If I am on a prescription for anxiety, is it safe to use StressAssist Formula?
It would be wise to consult your doctor before adding any dietary supplement. The ingredients in StressAssist are all found in nature, they may have side effects, so make sure to contact your doctor or pharmacist before mixing them.

What is the relationship between Cortisol and the Thyroid?

Cortisol levels have a direct relationship with the thyroid, and they act synergistically with one another. Cortisol assists the thyroid hormone in working more efficiently. The correct amount of cortisol – not too high or too low – supports normal thyroid function. When cortisol gets too high, triggered by the adrenal glands’ response to unwanted stress, it causes a delayed or absent response from the tissues to the thyroid hormone signal. This absent or delayed response from the tissues causes resistance from the thyroid hormone receptors. When cortisol gets too high, and this resistance occurs, it requires more hormones to create the same effect. That’s why elevated stress, which elevates cortisol levels, leads to a sluggish feeling. The hormones aren’t allowed to work at optimal levels. Every cell in the body has receptors for both cortisol and thyroid and nearly every cellular process requires an optimal functioning thyroid.


How do StressAssist and Adrenal Health support weight management?
When our bodies experience stress, we switch into ‘fight or flight’ mode – our body’s response to perceived threat or danger. As a result, our bodies prepare to be sustained by building up ‘energy’ (aka, fat) and strength for the battle. This response used to be beneficial to our ancestors, but now this response can be triggered in not so appropriate situations and repetitively. Stress can physically cause us to put on extra weight — and keep it there. Whenever we are under stress, our bodies release certain hormones by the adrenal gland — adrenalin and cortisol, cortisol being the primary stress hormone. Cortisol is a potent signal to do two things — increase appetite and store fat. Increased cortisol in our body tells our brain that we’re hungry, while at the same time telling our fat cells to store and hold onto as much fat as they can. StressAssist and Adrenal Health are  a natural dietary supplement designed to help the body adapt to stress, promoting healthy levels of cortisol while enhancing and stabilizing mood, and supporting thyroid function.*


Remember this is just the opinion of one trainer, but also the opinion of someone who used these supplements to lose 60 pounds in just 8 months.  If you have any further questions please feel free to ask via email, or stop by the gym and we can discuss if these supplements might be right for you. 

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