10 Powerful Ways to Destress and Lose Weight

One thing that comes up repeatedly when studying weight loss is the fact that while we live in a modern world, we do not live in modern bodies. Our bodies have changed little in the past 30,000 years, and many of the ways our hormones respond to things like hunger and stress are adapted to a lifestyle far, far less sedentary than the one we are living today. Due to the way our lifestyle has outpaced our bodies’ ability to evolve, many of the “right” signals sent by our brains have the “wrong” result-rather than aiding in our survival, they can increase our risk of illness and death by promoting weight gain.

The hormone cortisol is one such example of this phenomenon. Studies are increasingly demonstrating that this hormone, which is released when you are under stress, contributes to weight gain and obesity today in a way it would not have in prehistoric times.

When you are under stress, your brain calls on cortisol to provide you with ’emergency’ energy by tapping into the body’s fat stores, moving them to the abdomen, and providing the body with protein for energy production. This occurs through the process of converting amino acids into glucose in the liver called gluconeogenesis. It also matures fat cells, and prompts the brain to crave more ‘high energy’ foods, such as sugars and fats, something which may cause your tendency to reach for “comfort foods” when upset.