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Why stress can make you fat – and what to do about it

Why stress can make you fat – and what to do about it

Can’t lose weight? Or maybe you have lost some but can’t shake off the bit of a tummy that crept up on you over the years? Do those scenarios sound familiar? If so it could be stress that’s causing the problem, and some of your training might even be working against you Beat the stress Most people are familiar with the fight or flight response that was crucial in keeping our ancestors alive when they hunted big, dangerous animals and tried to evade even bigger and more dangerous ones.

Fight or flight is still crucial today if you are in a life-threatening situation, and it’s a big help in competitive sport, but such moments of acute stress are thankfully quite rare.

The thing is fight or flight can’t distinguish between short bouts of acute stress and long-term chronic stress.

Whether you are being chased by a bear, stuck in traffic or worrying about your finances, fight or flight still kicks in. Not quite as sudden or intense in the last two scenarios, but it lasts much longer.

Stress response is controlled by your brain, specifically the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, working with your adrenal glands.

The process is called the HPA axis (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis), […]

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