Stress and Insulin Resistance

Posted: August 14, 2012 in Uncategorized
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Have stubborn excess bodyfat that you just seem to not be able to get rid of? Have you tried everything from exercising everyday and counting calories to extremes? There is often one aspect of weight management people overlook and that is stress.

We have systems in place to help us during a stressful situation when physical action is needed. When we encounter a stressor we release glucocorticoids. One major role of glucocorticoids is to make sure our working muscles have the energy we need to fight or flight. It does this by counteracting the effects of insulin. Insulin is the hormone that removes glucose from our bloodstream and brings it into our muscles and fat tissues for storage. This is great if we are running for our lives, but not so good if we are not.

The typical stressors we encounter do not require us to run for our lives. Our boss yells at us, we get stuck in traffic, etc. Encounter stress enough and we will have an excess amount of glucocorticoids in the bloodstream. This causes our pancreas to increase the amount of insulin to counteract the glucocorticoids and clear the bloodstream of the excess glucose. The increased insulin causes our insulin receptors to become desensitized to the hormone as a protection mechanism. This causes the pancreas to release more insulin and the cycle continues until we are potentially diabetic.

Exercise is a stressor! Overexercising will not get you lean, it will just increase the amount of stress your body is under. We need the right amount of exercise to elicit a positive change and no more or less. Eating is the same. Too much food and too little food are also stressors. If this is true then you may ask what you should do.

Undergoing a stress management protocol is key to weight loss and long term health along with proper exercise and nutrition. Try meditating a couple minutes a day and work up to 30 minutes per day. If you are in front of the computer watch a stupid video on You Tube that makes you laugh. Stick to funny television shows as well. Ever wonder why scary movies make you jump? They use your sympathetic nervous system against you to stress you out! Eat paleo and try lifting weights for 2 days and doing some sprints for 2 days.


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