Are you wondering whether
stress is causing you to gain weight, or preventing
you from losing weight? Let’s find out. (guitar music) Hi, my name is Dr. Dan Maggs. I’m so glad you’ve landed on my channel. I help people achieve
sustainable, long-term weight loss through low carb real food nutrition. I make new videos every Tuesday, so be sure to subscribe and
hit the Notification bell if you wanna get notified
when I release a new video. So in the video, I’m
gonna be talking about the relationship between
stress and weight gain, and so hopefully by the end of it, you’re gonna have a good
understanding of why it’s so important to address stress as part of a weight-loss strategy. Now I’m pretty sure that stress was a significant contributing
factor in my weight gain through my 20s and 30s. I certainly had my fair share of stress as a medical student,
and as a junior doctor. And if you are someone
who suffers from stress, make sure to watch this
video, right until the end, because I’ve got something a
little bit special for you. So, I wanna start by
looking at what happens to the body in a time of stress. So first of all, you
have the stressful event. Let’s take the classic
“caveman ancestors being chased “by a saber tooth tiger.” And the observant among
you will notice that that is not a saber tooth tiger, but I for some reason
couldn’t find any videos of those online. So number two, your brain
has spotted that threat, and it sends a signal
to your adrenal glands to produce cortisol, which
is our stress hormone, and adrenaline. Cortisol then goes on to prepare the body for that stressful event,
and it does so by producing a load of glucose, and
that sudden flow of glucose into the bloodstream is really helpful, because you’re eight gonna be
running away from something, or fighting, so those large
muscles are gonna need energy, and that’s what the glucose is for. And also, we don’t want
insulin to suddenly spike up and store all that glucose as fat. So cortisol actually
inhibits insulin production, so that glucose isn’t getting stored. Cortisol also narrows up the
arteries, and adrenaline, so it increases the heart
rate, so you get a raise in your blood pressure, and
you’re gonna get that glucose delivered out to your
tissues a lot quicker. And then all being well, that
stress is going to go away, and everything is gonna go back to normal. And this hormonal response
to stress has been evolving pretty much since the dawn of time. You’ll see it in pretty much all mammals. But in modern times, the
way we experience stress is very different, it’s less
of the life-threatening events, more work stress, financial
stress, exam stress, negative online comments, or my own personal favorite stresser, being stuck in traffic. And rather annoyingly,
our bodies still respond in the same way to these
non-life-threatening stressers as they do to being chased by a tiger. But before we get into the
why this causes weight gain, I wanna know from you. Are you someone who
experiences a lot of stress in your life? Just write in the comments down below. Stress or chilled? Let me know. As is the case with many of the hormones we find in the human body,
they’re supposed to surge up, exert their effect on the
body, and then come back down to a nice normal background level. And this is how our stress
hormones are supposed to work, but if you’re getting
stressed all the time, then it’s gonna be a little bit different, because you’re gonna be having
persistently raised levels of cortisol, and that has
a very different impact on the body, to those hormones
just surging up temporarily, and going back to normal. There is a medical condition which causes persistently raised cortisol levels, and that’s really useful
to take a look at, because it kinda gives
us an extreme version of what persistently
raised cortisol levels, such as what we’d experience when we’re persistently stressed, does actually do to the body. Now Cushing’s Disease
is caused by a tumor, which tells the adrenal
glands to produce high levels of cortisol on an on-going basis. And this graphic shows us the
different signs that we see in somebody who’s got Cushing’s Disease. And I’m not gonna go through it all today, the one we wanna focus on is the fat gain, particularly abdominal fat. Now persistently raised
cortisol levels cause fat to be redistributed
from all over your body to around your abdomen, and that’s what’s called visceral fat. Visceral fat isn’t the fat
that’s overlying your abs, so your six pack doesn’t show, it’s actually the fat
that’s inside your abdomen that’s pushing your abs
out from the inside. And it’s visceral fat that’s
associated with heart disease, and a load of other medical problems. Now chronic stress also increases hunger, and in particular people
have a tendency to go for those comfort foods,
that ones that have the classic trifecta of
badness, which is high fat, high refined carbs, and high calories, all in one thing. So stress is an important
part of the picture when it comes to talking
about why we gain weight, particularly around the abdomen, and it’s also a significant
block that a lot of people experience when they’re
trying to lose weight. So I’ve seen many people that
are doing all the right stuff with regards to their diet,
but if they are not addressing this stress, then their weight
loss can be really slow, or nonexistent at all. And I really wanted to give
you some actionable tips on how to reduce stress in your life, and I know that a lot of
people’s stress originates in the workplace. So I called up my good
friend Dr. Anna Pinkerton, who is a psychologist,
who helps people prevent and recover from burnout. Now this was supposed
to be just a quick chat over Skype to talk about
how we could actually put something together
that’s gonna help you. But pretty much as soon as
I asked her the question, she came out with just
some golden advice about how to reduce stress and prevent burnout. And thankfully, I recorded the call. Now this isn’t your usual “get
massages,” “go to the gym,” “eat well,” “do yoga” kind of stuff. You know, that is important, but what actually Anna suggests
is far simpler than that. Actually, I think you’re
gonna be surprised about how simple it is. So I’ve edited that call down for you into a nice concise video, and the link to that is gonna
be down below this video. So thank you for watching. If you like this video, please let me know by liking the video down
below, and sharing it with your friends and family. Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel, and leave me a comment down below if this video has helped you. Have a great week, and
I’ll see you next Tuesday. (catchy but chill music)