How Stress Makes You Fat, Relaxing Makes You Thin
New Living Translation (NLT)
13 The Lord looks down from heaven
and sees the whole human race.
14 From his throne he observes
all who live on the earth.
15 He made their hearts,
so he understands everything they do.
16 The best-equipped army cannot save a king,
nor is great strength enough to save a warrior.
17 Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory—
for all its strength, it cannot save you.
“526. What a Friend We Have in Jesus
Text: Joseph M. Scriven, 1820-1886
Music: Charles C. Converse, 1832-1918
Tune: CONVERSE, Meter: 87.87 D
1. What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer. 2. Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer. Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer. 3. Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care? Precious Savior, still our refuge; take it to the Lord in prayer. Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer! In his arms he'll take and shield thee; thou wilt find a solace there.
Several years ago, when I first started seeing Dr. Katherine Henry, (Texas Institute of Integrative Medicine, 1-972-234-4776) my wonderful physician out in Richardson, Tx, she did a saliva test on how well my adrenal glands were functioning. When the results came back and my adrenals weren’t functioning well, one of the things she told me to do was to go to bed every night by 10:00 p.m. Whether I felt like it or not. She also mentioned yoga and some things I didn’t feel comfortable with to relax. I wasn’t too good at following her instructions about that….in fact, Johnny gets on to me many nights for not getting in bed early enough. After studying this chapter, I realize so much more the importance of relaxing and giving our adrenals the opportunity to recover by getting enough rest. One of the things Dr. Soto emphasizes is relaxing and meditation…as CHRISTians, the best way we can relax is by our mind being stayed upon the LORD.
In our day and age, there are many worries, and there are many physical things in our environment that cause our adrenals to stay stressed, release too much cortisol, and keep our bodies in a constant state of fight or flight….
Let’s learn more about how stress works to keep us fat, and relaxing makes us thin….
Again, this is a chapter that I can really relate too….a great deal of my sickness, I have felt stressed. There is something about chemicals, pesticides, that affects the autonomic nervous system….our whole family stays stressed.
There are MANY factors that contributes to our adrenals not working properly: lack of nutrients in our foods, soil, We use up nutrients detoxing chemicals, we stay in a constant state of on the go, without much down time to relax….and I am chief. Even as I am typing this I feel stressed because I should have done it earlier! But even if I wasn’t….i still feel stressed.
I have taken Magnesium, Vit. C for years, and Dr. Henry mentioned B5, Panotheic Acid, along with Ashwangda and phosphatidylserine, and some other nutrients. Dr. Soto is using some of these on me and I have responded well thus far. I really noticed a difference with the Ashwangda and Phosphatidlylerine.
The patient Dr. Hyman used as an example had a daughter who moved to Israel during a time of particularly heated conflict between Israel and Palestine…she would watch CNN constantly and worry about her daughter constantly. She gained 35 pds. during this time of worry. While watching hrs of TV is correlated with weight gain her case was compounded by worrying, the state of alarm her nervous system stayed in. It was as if she was living in a war zone in her body, the hormones the produced while she was stressed made her gain more and more weight! She didn’t need to exercise more (though exercise often helps me relax) or change her diet, she needed to massage her nervous system, to quiet the molecules of alarm making her gain weight. She needed to remove CNN from her diet…once her daughter returned home from Israel, her weight returned to normal.
There is a lot of reasons the LORD tells us not to worry…one its useless and shows a lack of trust in the LOVE our HEAVENLY FATHER has for us
2 It is detrimental to our health in many ways…not just gaining weight, but insulin resistance, and all the health issues that insulin resistance contributes too.
Matthew 6:25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?
Matthew 6:27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
Luke 10:41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,
Luke 12:11 “When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say,
Luke 12:22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.
Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
ew International Version (©1984)
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
But stress is not only worrying, it’s not allowing our body’s to rest as GOD intended. How many of us really practicing resting on Sunday? If you are Baptist, if can be the busiest day of the week! When GOD told us to rest on the Sabbath, I believe that was truly resting from our works, and our salvation being in the LORD JESUS CHRIST. HE is our Sabbath rest, but I also believe HE means for us to have a day of resting in HIM…renewing our strength, focusing on HIM, meditating on HIM. Sunday afternoons are a great time to spend some extra time with the LORD, take a nap…resting instead of shopping, playing ball, working. We have paid a high price in our culture for not honoring the Sabbath…”Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy,” is the The 4th commandment. Personally I don’t think watching football or car races, or they myriad of other distractions we do on Sunday are honoring to CHRIST.
Getting in bed on time…i read this week, that Americans average 2 hours less of sleep per night than we did several years ago. I know this is true for me….keeps us pushing our adrenals with little time to recover.
Feeling like we have to be engaged in so much activity…whether through our kids activities, church, work, etc.
Dr. Hyman gave the example of the lab rats who were immobilized by wires in a cage. He said to pretend that’s us! We are tied down, scared, and because of that, our body has triggered a special state of alarm-the flight or fight response GOD build us with to help us get away from danger. All the molecules that scream danger are flooding into your bloodstream! These molecules tell us it’s time to run for our life or fight! Our breathing increases, blood pressure goes up, and oxygen shifts from upper part of body to lower to prepare us to run. Our adrenal glands…small glands on top of the kidneys that control stress and fluid balance) release adrenal and cortisol (the stress hormones) into our blood stream, causing this chain of events to occur. ONE of the things this causes is it increases blood fat, sugar and insulin levels, preparing us for increased energy needs.
As long as I can remember my adrenals have been in a state of “flight,” feeling.
What is amazing is this actually happened with the rats and without any caloric intake (they actually ate less)or decrease in energy expenditure, they gained weight! They actually expended more energy by struggling to get free. They ate less, exercised more, and gained weight! That’s right, they gained weight from stress alone!
We humans experience a similar “fight or flight” response and our bodies gain weight too in response to stress. It doesn’t have to be a literal dangerous situation for us thought, we often feel “stressed about things that have very little impact on our physical safety.
Marital stress, kids stress, job stress, , whatever triggers the same mechanism, and when triggered too often leads to insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome, that leads to weight gain. Chronically high levels of stress hormones circulating in the body have detrimental effects on humans similar to those seen in caged rats. The connection between tress and impaired metabolism is not well appreciated by doctors or the general public and is a recent breakthrough in scientific research.
This was a revelation to me how stress can lead to weight gain! You can eat less, exercise more, and still gain weight! The body is designed by GOD to protect itself and one way it does that is to preserve weight. We are going to have to learn how to relax….
How the Stress Response Affects Us:
- low blood pressure
- dizzy when you get up
- craving for salts and sweets
- dark circles under your eyes
- trouble falling asleep or staying awake
- feeling groggy and not refreshed when we wake up
- mental fogginess or trouble concentratingheadaches
- frequent infections…colds
- tire easily on doing exercise
- feel stressed,
- tired and wired at the same time
- water retention
- panic attacks or startle easily
- heart palpitations
- start the day with caffeine?
- Poor tolerance for alcohol, caffeine or other drugs
- feel week and shaky
- sweaty palms and feet when nervous
- weak muscles
Stress is a real or perceived threat to our body or ego. It may be our house on fire, or a feeling of helplessness. It might be a stressor such as depression, anxiety, grief, low socioeconomic status, divorce, loneliness, or unemployment.
Or a physical stressor (and depression, anxiety can be symptoms of physical stressors such as chemicals, smoke, pesticides, formaldehyde) , infection, inflammation, cold temps, environmental toxins, pain, excessive exercise, smoking, alcohol, stimulants.
Being overweight is a significant stressor….physically and psychologically. It leads to the production of more stress hormones, which cause depression, memory loss, bone loss, heart disease, cancer and immune diseases. Besides the physical stress of carrying around those extra pds and wear and tear on your joints…the hormonal and immune changes that occur with obesity lead to more rapid aging and degeneration.
In addition, there are many social pressures that come from being overweight: social derision, sexual problems, lack of ability to engage in enjoyable social activities such as playing with your kids, shame about have to shop in stores for “big” men and women….list goes on and on. Being overweight is a stressor in itself.
Autonomic Nervous System is the “second brain” or “gut” nervous system…how the brain talks to our gut. It is made up of two parts….
- Sympathetic nervous system is responsible for the stress response….it slows things down causing you to store fat, decreases your metabolism, increases your blood sugar, and leads to heartburn or reflux ( where food moves up the digestive tract when it is supposed to go down), and constipation.
- Parasympathetic nervous system- is responsible for the relaxation response. It makes you digest your food, keeps things going in the right direction, increases fat burning and lowers your blood sugar.
When you feel relaxed and safe, GOD programmed our body to digest and process food. When we are stressed is not the best time to digest lunch…Dr. Soto says I shouldn’t even read while I’m eating lunch so I can relax and digest my food better.
When we are stressed, the part that makes us fat ( sympathetic nervous system) gets turned on and all the signals go haywire: hunger increases, metabolism goes down, and you gain weight. For some people, eating is a stressor…they worry about gaining weight so dining is a stressful experience for them. So it’s not just the calories they’re consuming, but the stress from consuming the calories that makes them fat.
This is only part of the story…when we are chronically stressed, it sets off a series of hormonal imbalances that complicate the problem even worse.
Stress: Hormones Out of Balance
When our brains are chronically stressed, our hormones get out of balance. These imbalances can have a serious impact on our health and ability to loose weight…my bad estrogen is weigh high, my progesterone was low.
When we are introduced to a stressful situation, our body releases a hormone called cortisol. (What happens when I take cortisone-I gain weight! Gained 10 pds first time I took it and still haven’t been able to get that weight off!)
Cortisol is responsible for seetingoff all the physiological responses associated with stress. Studies have shown that when cortisol is released in the bloodstream, we become less sensitive to leptin, the hormone that tells our brain we are full.
When this happens we eat more and crave more sugar….our body slows down our metabolism and tells us to eat more when we are stressed out!
We get stressed out, releasing more cortisol, this decreasing leptin which controls our feeling full sensation, so we are more hungry, and we gain weight.
Innumerable studies have been done o show a direct link between stress and weight gain.
Studies of women that worry show higher levels of cortisol and cholesterol, lower levels of testosterone and thyroid hormone and more weight around their middle than women who didn’t report such anxiety….which came first the “chicken or the egg?” Anxiety or environmental toxins influencing these hormones, causing us to be stressed???
Stress lowers testosterone levels, which leads to muscle loss and fat accumulation.
Many other effects occur from being in a chronic alarm state that leads to a burned out metabolism and eventually obesity. Growth hormone, testosterone, and HDL or good cholesterol levels drop, while insulin, blood sugar, and bad cholesterol levels and blood pressure all increase, all of which leads to weight gain.
Prolonged stress may also lead to insulin resistance, diminished sex drive, and infertility. We may also lose muscle mass, and our belly fat increases making us apple shape. As a result our bad cholesterol goes up, blood pressure, and triglycerides go up. We are tired but our sleep is restless. We get more and more depressed, our immune system gets turned up and the inflammatory process increases (causing arthritis and other inflammatory processes…), as does the “rusting,” process or oxidative stress. Our thyroid gets sluggish, and our detox system gets overloaded. Without a way to counteract the effects of chronic stress, we are on a slippery downward slope to weight gain and ill health.
“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.”
When you feel stress your body sets off a series of chemicals that slows down our metabolism and stores fat. A good portion is the visceral adipose tissue (VAT)…fat around our belly. We are now learning that fat cells are part of the endocrine systems, a part of our hormone communication system (fearfully and wonderfully made). One of the main hormonal messenger that our fat creates is cortisol…our major stress hormone. When we get stressed our body releases cortisol, that inhibits leptin (feeling full hormone) and slows down metabolism, gaining VAT. Then this VAT sends out more cortisol into our bloodstream starting the whole process over again.
Bottom lie…being stressed makes us fatter, the extra fat around the middle produces more stress hormones, leading to more fat storage, leading to more stress hormones, and more fat…
He says the only way to stop this is to relax…which includes slowing down, spending time with the LORD daily and keeping our mind stayed on him, it can involved replacing nutrients that are depleted, detoxing our bodies, many strategies….
Some folks have a genetic variation that makes it difficult for them to process cortisol properly. Polymorphism-unable to put the brakes on the stress response.
When stress is persistent, you lose the normal circadian or daily, rhythm of your hormones. Certain hormones go up when they should go down and down they they should go up…eventually our system burns out
Cortisol normally rises in the morning to wake us up, increase our appetite and give us energy for the day. At night it falls and growth hormone and melatonin levels rise, helping us sleep and repair our bodies. With metabolic burnout, this normal rhythm gets flipped or disappears causing more weight gain…some people suffer from “night eating syndrome’ leading to decrease appetite in the morning, and increase of hunger at night…after a week of training in relaxing resulted in lower levels of eating at night.
SLEEP DEPRIVATION- major source of stress in our modern world…we sleep two hours less than we did forty years ago….lack of sleep leads to increase in hunger and craving for calorie dense high carb foods.
Chronic Stress negatively affects all 7 Keys of Ultrametabolism and is one of the major factors in the development of metabolic syndrome.
What Is Metabolic Syndrome?http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/ms/
The term “metabolic” refers to the biochemical processes involved in the body’s normal functioning. Risk factors are traits, conditions, or habits that increase your chance of developing a disease.
In this article, “heart disease” refers to coronary heart disease (CHD). CHD is a condition in which a waxy substance called plaque (plak) builds up inside the coronary (heart) arteries.
Metabolic Risk Factors
The five conditions described below are metabolic risk factors. You can have any one of these risk factors by itself, but they tend to occur together. You must have at least three metabolic risk factors to be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome.
- A large waistline. This also is called abdominal obesity or “having an apple shape.” Excess fat in the stomach area is a greater risk factor for heart disease than excess fat in other parts of the body, such as on the hips.
- A high triglyceride level (or you’re on medicine to treat high triglycerides). Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the blood.
- A low HDL cholesterol level (or you’re on medicine to treat low HDL cholesterol). HDL sometimes is called “good” cholesterol. This is because it helps remove cholesterol from your arteries. A low HDL cholesterol level raises your risk for heart disease.
- High blood pressure (or you’re on medicine to treat high blood pressure). Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps blood. If this pressure rises and stays high over time, it can damage your heart and lead to plaque buildup.
- High fasting blood sugar (or you’re on medicine to treat high blood sugar). Mildly high blood sugar may be an early sign of diabetes.
Relaxing Makes Us Thin:
We do have control over part of our nervous system that makes us relax: the parasympathetic system. We we relax it turns off the genes that cause us to gain weight and turns on the genes that cause us to lose weight. When we relax, our metabolism is turned up, our fat burning increases, we come more insulin sensitive, and we lose weight…Relaxing is a GREAT weight loss strategy!
Insulin_ What does it Do? http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090110042510AAOGvNF
Insulin is a hormone secreted by groups of cells within the pancreas. When we eat, our bodies break down foods into organic compounds, one of which is glucose. The cells of our bodies use glucose as a source of energy for movement, growth, repair, and other functions. But before the cells can use glucose, it must move from the bloodstream into the individual cells. This process requires hormone insulin. When glucose enters our blood, the pancreas should automatically produce the right amount of insulin to help cells to absorb glucose. Without insulin, you actually be in a state of starvation since many of our cells cannot access glucose. This is why diabetics who do not make or use insulin can become very weak or tired easy.
How Do We Train Our Body and Mind to Relax? Six Steps
- Identify and Reduce the Causes of Stress
- Practice Relaxation…be careful how you do this, make sure you are focusing on the LORD and activities that are pleasing to him, not new age methods of relaxation
- Eat stress reducing foods and avoid stress producing foods
- Use supplements to reduce your stress.
- Measure your stress response with testing…adrenal stress test.
http://www.yourdoctors4life.com/ Click on Next Seminar, This is a Dental/Whole Body Seminar sponsored by the Weston A. Price Foundation Chapter in Middle Tn. Click on the link for more great information about this one day seminar in Columbia Tn on March 2, 2013
http://7minutestresssolution.com/?subid=newsstress0209 Another good link about how stress makes us fat…