Stress Eating & Obesity Role of exercise in decreasing effects of stress & weight gain From: Montes, M. & Kravitz, L. 2011. Unraveling the Stress-Eating –Obesity Knot. IDEA Fitness Journal, 2, 44-50.
Stress • Stress: A nonspecific response of the body to stimulus which overcomes or threatens to overcome the body’s ability to maintain homeostasis. • Types of stress: • Social (personal conflicts) • Physiological (pain, exercise, heat, cold) • Psychological or emotional (fear, sorrow, anxiety) • Chemical (low oxygen)
The body responds to acute stress • Release of stress hormones (epinephrine, norepinephrine) • These hormones trigger “fight or flight” response Acute stressor Response from Adrenal glands Blood pressure Blood fats Heart rate Blood flow to kidneys, skin & digestive system Increase in epinephrine, norepinephrine, testosterone Decreased appetite and food intake
The body responds to chronic stress • Release of cortisol via message hormone ACTH (process known as HPA axis) Appetite Anxiety, depression, apathy Activation of lipoprotein lipase Deposit of visceral fat Fat and sugar in diet Fat break down Chronic stressor HPA axis Insulin Cortisol Increased weight gain, leading to overweight, obesity
Summary: Effects of Chronic Stress • Increased fat storage, especially in belly area • Stimulated appetite, especially for fats and sugars • Emotional changes (anxiety, apathy, depression) • Stress induced eating is possible response to chronic stress
Stress induced eating • Defined as making oneself feel better by eating or drinking in response to a stressful situation • Two models: • General Effects (stress will induce some type of psychological change that results in eating) • Individual differences effects (Background learning, personal attitudes and biological differences might influence eating habits in stressful times)
Exercise and Stress • According to Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee Report (2008): Physical activity can protect against feelings of distress, defend against symptoms of anxiety, guard against depressive symptoms and development of major depressive disorder and enhance psychological well being. • Since 1995, more than 30 studies, involving more than 175,000 people have been conducted! • “Best” stress reducing benefits: 30 – 60 minutes of any aerobic type activity, moderate to vigorous intensity, 5 days a week.
Mind-Body programs and stress • Research suggests mind-body programs reduce recurrence of myocardial infarctions & other coronary events. Integrating mind-body into traditional medical intervention should be priority.
10 Strategies to cope with stress • Exercise: Cardiovascular, resistance & mind-body • Meditation • Progressive muscle relaxation • Time management • Support Systems • Healthy food & drink • Posture check • Recharging (planned relaxation breaks) • Speaking slowly • Visualization (as in a nice outdoor scene)
This PowerPoint was adopted from the article in a recent Idea Fitness Journal. Montes, M. & Kravitz, L. 2011. Unraveling the Stress-Eating –Obesity Knot. IDEA Fitness Journal, 2, 44-50.