It’s no secret that environmental and lifestyle factors like diet and exercise can have a huge impact on your health, but one of the most significant – and frequently overlooked – factors that can affect our health is stress.
Many people struggle with managing stress on a daily basis – whether you have a very demanding job, have to keep a handle on several kids, or are one of millions of people worldwide who live with an anxiety disorder(1).
While a small amount of stress – like the kind you get from a vigorous workout – can be good for the body, chronic stress can have a number of negative impacts on your health, putting you at increased risk for obesity and diabetes, among other medical conditions.
Looking At The Connection Between Stress And Obesity
When a person lives with chronic stress, it can disrupt the natural rhythm of their body. This isn’t just a vague feeling of unease: chemicals like cortisol, a hormone which is normally high in the mornings when you wake up and tapers off gradually throughout the day so that you’re tired when it’s time for bed in the evening, can go out of control.
Makes You Want To Snack on Junk Food
The effects of increased and disrupted levels of cortisol are many, and can be serious cause for concern. It can raise your blood pressure levels(2), and make you feel hungrier more frequently, causing you to crave sugary and fatty snacks(3).
Slows Down Your Metabolism
It also reduces your ability to burn calories(4), which, combined with increased feelings of hunger, is a perfect recipe for dramatic weight gain. At the same time, it can make your cells less sensitive to insulin, putting you at a higher risk for type 2 diabetes(5).