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Does Stress Make You Fat?

Does Stress Make You FatThe simple answer is yes.

Therefore, if you hope to lose weight then you need to manage your stress and give your body to opportunity it needs to recuperate.

Cortisol

Cortisol is the main hormone associated with stress. It plays many important roles in your body including:

 

  • Increasing blood sugar
  • Increasing stores of sugar in the liver as glycogen
  • Aid in fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism
  • Suppressing the immune system

All of these functions prepare you for physical readiness in a ‘fight or flight’ situation.

Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands which sit atop the kidneys, the same glands that produce adrenalin. Adrenalin and cortisol are produced in larger amounts during stress but the effects of adrenalin dissipate quickly after a stressful event while the effects of cortisol are longer lasting.

Hence chronic stress becomes detrimental for your health because the effects of the elevated cortisol levels are never given time to fully dissipate.

How Does Cortisol Make You Fat?

Cortisol contributes to fat gain in a number of ways. High cortisol levels cause muscle breakdown which lowers metabolism. We know by now a lowered metabolism means you burn less energy and store the unused nutrients as fat.

But not only does it metabolize muscle, cortisol also reduces levels of your androgens (male hormones) and growth hormone, which are responsible for muscle building.

Cortisol is also a counter-insulin hormone, which means it works in opposition to insulin, thereby increasing your insulin resistance. Your pancreas compensates by increasing insulin output, which has the side-effects we discussed previously of increased glucose lipogenesis (glucose converted to fat), increased fat deposits around the waist and increased appetite.

Cortisol by itself also increases appetite, especially for sweet, high energy foods so your tendency to overeat the wrong foods becomes exaggerated. Binger eating on carbohydrates is a typical characteristic of someone with high cortisol levels

Even thyroid function is effected by elevated cortisol levels and the resultant lowered T3 levels in your blood lower also contribute to a lowering of your metabolism.

All these factors contribute to weight gain and obesity, which is not surprising to hear. However, what you may not be aware of is the physical stress of obesity increases your cortisol levels! It becomes a self-perpetuating feedback loop.

And the fat gain is mostly visceral fat because visceral fat cells have many more cortisol receptors than fat cells found elsewhere in your body. Visceral fat is the fat found in your abdominal cavity and intra-muscularly as opposed to beneath the skin. The bad news is visceral fat is most closely associated with severe health risks like heart attack.

Weight gain is not the only reason stress needs to be minimized and managed. It is also associated with many serious health problems including:

  • Breakdown of collagen in the skin (wrinkling)
  • Weakening of joints, ligaments, tendons, bones and muscles
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood fat levels
  • Gastric reflux
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Depression

Stress, Cortisol and Making the Right Choices

We now know increased cortisol levels from stress stimulate cravings for sweet, high energy foods and your tendency to overeat is amplified.

But what you may not know is this effect is compounded if you use food to comfort yourself when emotionally stressed. Let me explain why it’s more likely you comfort yourself with food than you imagine.

As a baby, when you cried for whatever reason, your mother probably checked your diaper and if it was dry she stuck a bottle in your mouth. You may have been crying for an entirely different reason other than hunger but were soothed none-the-less by the warm, pleasant tasting formula.

The hard-wiring effect on your brain is probably still in place and functioning such that you find some comfort in consuming food when you’re stressed. Other people smoke (which is the similar action of putting something in their mouth) for the same reasons.

Now if you’re stressed and over-taken by cravings for the wrong foods PLUS you are a comfort eater, you can see the problem. Changing this behavior takes effort but if the stress persists, the battle will be uphill all the way.

Instead, learn to manage your stress and you’ll find “making the right decision” a whole lot easier.

Growth Hormone (GH)

GH gets a mention because it is partly responsible for building muscle and burning fat, both of which make you leaner.

However, GH is secreted according to your circadian rhythm, which is the natural daily rhythm your body operates by. So GH secretion is highest when you’re sleeping.

But sleep quality and duration suffers under chronic stress, resulting in reduced GH production.

Even if you’re sleeping ok, stress can decrease your GH levels by affecting your brain and pituitary gland (GH is produced in your pituitary).

Stress also causes damage to the GH receptors in your cells, which creates GH resistance. Unlike your pancreas, which can produce more insulin in the event of insulin resistance, your pituitary is not able to produce more GH.

The Causes Of Stress?

The Causes Of StressThere are several factors that come in to play when you talk about stress. It’s such an all-encompassing term that basically people use it to talk about anything that stimulates them in a negative manner. But let’s break it down a bit:

Survival Stress – this applies to the type of event we originally evolved the stress response to survive. It is stress in response to a dangerous situation like fighting off a mugger or running from a savage dog.

Emotional or Internal Stress – this type of stress is the result of worry, anguish, anxiety… any emotions that disturb you. It is stress in response to getting yourself worked into a state about making enough to cover your bills this month or worry your child is 1-hour late returning home from a friend’s house or fear and worry your relationship maybe ending.

Environmental Stress – this type of stress is the response to things we encounter in our environment like peak-hour traffic on the way to work, loud noise, overcrowding on the subway, pressures from work and family

Fatigue and Overwork – this type of stress is your body’s response to chronic exposure to long hours and urgency at work or home. Being in an elevated state of urgency and pressure to complete projects can be good to meet deadlines but when the pressure is a daily work staple, even if you feel you’re coping ok, long-term exposure can have detrimental effects.

Physical Stress – this type of stress is your body’s response to physical exertion, temperature extremes, poor or under nourishment (as in a fad diet) or illness.

This brings us to the question: Is there such a thing as “good” stress?

Not all stress is bad. In fact without any stress, life would be very mundane and no one would achieve anything of significance.

We all need stress to achieve peak performance, and research has shown that as your stress response increases so does your performance.

But beyond a certain point, if your stress continues to rise, your performance begins to decline. The optimum use of stress is limiting it in degree and in duration.

Unfortunately, in today’s demanding life controlling your stress is an ever losing battle, instead the answer lies in managing your stress.

Stress and Its Fat-Building Effects!

Stress and Its Fat-Building Effects!I should say right at the start that acute short term stress does not result in weight gain.

However, long-term chronic stress does. Weight gain occurs when long-term chronic stress begins changing your body’s hormonal balance, which results in a slowed metabolism.

Chronic stress increases insulin resistance, lowers levels of estrogen and testosterone, lowers growth hormone and increases cortisol levels… all of which result in a slowed metabolism and weight gain.

The stress can be physical, psychological or emotional.

Diets that rely on calorie deprivation place a lot of stress on your body and your hormonal system responds by making all the changes in your hormonal system which act to lower metabolism and conserve body weight.

Your body cannot tell the difference between a diet and a famine, so the genes you inherited from your starving ancient ancestors switch into survival mode and tell your body to conserve body weight.

Of course you know what stress is, right?

But let’s take a moment to clarify.

Stress is not the thing that is happening.. stress is actually your body’s response to what is happening.

It’s your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand, irrespective of whether it is a good or bad experience.

When you feel stressed, your body responds by releasing chemicals into your blood.

These chemicals give you increased ability to react physically to the event triggering your stress. For example, your heart beats faster, your arteries dilate and blood is sent to the muscles of your extremities and your heart. In effect, you’re ‘primed’ to fight or flight. That is, your body is ready to fight the stress causing event or to run away from it.

When early man lived in the open amongst other predators, we evolved the stress response to help us survive.

However, modern man is rarely in a situation where either a fight or flight response is appropriate. Much of today’s stress comes from things we can neither fight nor run away from like work stress, relationship stress and peak-hour traffic stress.

So our bodies are pumped full of these stress chemicals but we’re not able to dissipate the stress by physical exertion and instead have to resist the stress and remain in control.

And when we are exposed to stress over a long time (chronic stress), the chemicals begin to have several deleterious effects on our bodies including weight gain.

Increase Adiponectin Levels and Boost Fat Loss

Increase Adiponectin Levels and Boost Fat LossAdiponectin is a hormone produced exclusively by fat cells and secreted into the blood, but surprisingly, the higher your body fat percentage the lower your levels of circulating adiponectin, particularly when it’s fat accumulation around your waistline.

So now the question we ask ourselves is, “Is that good?”

Well, where adiponectin is concerned, you want higher levels because it increases the effectiveness of insulin, that is, it decreases insulin resistance.

Studies show when we have healthy levels of adiponectin, insulin production is lower (decreased insulin resistance) and therefore our blood sugar is better controlled. Besides the benefits of reduced risk of diabetes and heart disease, lower insulin levels also mean decreased storage of glucose as fat.

So here’s the bottom line: higher adiponectin levels make it easier to lose weight and keep it off.

How to Increase Adiponectin Levels

A 2004 study published in the Journal of Diabetes Care showed exercise to increase levels of adiponectin in overweight adults. There have been several other studies showing similar results and the adiponectin levels stay elevated for many months.

The increase in adiponectin levels in healthy adults is shown to be minimal to none but since levels remain elevated for a long period of time it’s probably reasonable to say these healthy adults already have elevated levels of adiponectin and therefore no significant increase above that is found.

So there’s yet another good reason to make exercise a permanent part of your life!

Leptin is the Fat Cell Hormone, and It Resists!

Leptin is the Fat Cell Hormone, and It Resists!First let’s get a little background on what exactly fat hormones are—your adipose tissue (fat) was for a long time viewed as a relatively inert body tissue responsible for little more than fat storage and insulation. But in the past couple of decades, discoveries about the functions of adipose tissue have lead to scientists calling it the largest hormone producing system in your body.

It’s now known fat cells produce many hormones and more are being discovered.

Of those hormones, one of the most significant is a hormone called Leptin, produced by your white fat cells, which has the functions of:

  • Signaling your brain your stomach is full
  • Acts on the brain to manage appetite
  • Plays a role in energy expenditure
  • And plays a role in regulating body temperature

All of those functions have a significant impact on your body weight.

So, when leptin levels are low the following occurs:

  • You don’t feel satiated (you’re still hungry after eating)
  • You feel hungry
  • Your energy levels are lower (decreased metabolism) and
  • Your body temperature is lower (decreased metabolism)

No doubt you’re not surprised to hear you get fatter when your leptin levels are lower.

However, leptin deficiency is very rare. In fact, the fatter a person is the higher their leptin levels are because more fat and more fat cells to produce more leptin. So any hope of developing a leptin supplement to help the obese lose weight is not going to happen just yet.

Leptin Resistance

Leptin deficiency may be very rare but leptin resistance (similar to insulin resistance) is very common, particularly in people that are already overweight or obese. And some doctors believe that prescribing leptin injections to obese individuals that already have elevated leptin levels may still work to help them lose weight by overcoming the leptin resistance, similar to the way insulin is used to treat insulin resistant diabetics.

The degree of leptin resistance in your body increases as your weight increases. The receptors on the cells, normally affected by leptin, dysfunction and leptin loses its effectiveness.

The good news it can be reversed with weight loss.

Improving Your Leptin Resistance

Leptin resistance can be reversed by following these suggestions:

  • Lose weight. Obvious right? With fat loss, leptin resistance decreases and it becomes easier to lose even more weight.
  • Lower your insulin resistance because there is a connecton between insulin and leptin resistance. Follow the suggestions in the earlier discussion we had about insulin resistance.
  • Reduce the stress in your life or adapt strategies to manage it because high cortisol levels (the stress hormone) limits the effectiveness of leptin
  • Follow the suggestions given earlier about improving your growth hormone levels because the effectiveness of leptin increases as GH levels increase
  • Quit smoking because smoking lowers leptin levels (with today’s level of awareness about the multitude of dangers associated with smoking there is no reason left for smoking except for disrespect of oneself)
  • Zinc regulates leptin so make sure you are getting enough zinc in your diet from foods like oysters, wheat germ, veal liver, roast beef, pumpkin seeds, lamb and peanuts. You may recall zinc is also important for your thyroid hormone levels

Leptin and Neuropeptide Y (NPY)

NPY is the most potent appetite stimulating hormone your body produces. It also plays a role in the fat accumulation and lowering metabolism.

One of the effects of leptin is keeping your NPY levels low and thereby limiting your appetite, maintaining a higher metabolism and keeping fat deposits low.

But when you put your body on a crash diet, your NYP levels skyrocket. Not only will your appetite and propensity to store fat increase and your metabolism decrease, your cortisol levels will also go up.

And as we discussed in the articles on stress, cortisol is responsible for weight gain through a number of different actions. So keep these things in mind as you go through the journey of weight loss. By know you are gaining a steady accumulation of knowledge about the little-known factors that are either helping or hindering you from losing weight. Tune in again for more tips!

What Part The Growth Hormone Plays in Losing Weight

What Part The Growth Hormone Plays in Losing WeightIn this article, we will discuss the role that Growth Hormone, or GH, plays in weight loss. Most people know that Growth Hormone production is connected with muscle building, and for burning fat.

When GH levels decrease, you lose muscle mass and deposit fat around your waist, which is considered the most dangerous place to accumulate fat because it is associated with type 2 diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.

This fat gain around your midsection increases your insulin resistance (which as we’ve discussed several times now, culminates in even more fat gain) and the reduction in muscle mass reduces your metabolism.

If your weight gain around the midsection becomes pronounced, it is termed ‘central obesity’ and leads to a condition known as obesity-related hyposomatotropism. That is, you develop a growth hormone deficiency.

You are probably beginning to see that when your body weight is out of balance, there are many feedback systems that act to make your problem of obesity even worse.

There is nothing good about obesity.

Thankfully, this form of growth hormone deficiency and many of the other feedback systems that make obese people even more obese are corrected with fat loss.

Your Liver and Growth Hormone

Most of the effects the layperson attributes to GH are actually from a derivative of GH called IGF-1 (Insulin-like growth factor 1).

IGF-1 is created from GH in your liver so when liver function is compromised so is your ability to produce IGF-1.

The result is a reduced ability to build muscle and burn fat.

Fat cells have receptors for both GH and IGF-1 and these hormones signal the fat cell to breakdown its fat and make it available as energy. Thus you lose fat AND have increased energy for doing more (like exercise), which further burns calories.

But when you have a GH deficiency, fat builds and muscle diminishes, your metabolism decreases and your insulin resistance increases.

So treat your liver well! As the previous articles have discussed, there are many ways to treat and preserve your liver well, and this is very important for fat burning and weight loss.

Stress and Growth Hormone

With stress, sleep suffers and without quality sleep GH levels decrease because it is secreted mostly during your sleeping hours.

Even with decent sleep, stress can cause GH resistance in your body cells and unlike insulin resistance, your body is not able to compensate with increased production.

Exercise and Growth Hormone

Exercise, especially strenuous exercise, causes your GH levels to surge.

You benefit with increased muscle mass, increased fat burning and the subsequent increase in energy.

With increased energy you’re more likely to exercise and the positive feedback loop continues and your physical condition and appearance continues to improve. So always keep your eye on your goal – a fit, slim, and glowingly healthy you, which we will help you achieve in the following articles. Keep reading!

Weight Loss and The Thyroid Hormone

Weight Loss and The Thyroid HormoneThe thyroid is a gland positioned at the base of your throat that secretes 2 hormones responsible that help regulate body temperature, sex drive, mood, psychological well-being and more importantly for this discussion:

  • Appetite
  • Metabolism
  • Energy levels

Hypothyroidism (insufficient thyroid hormone) effects about 10,000,000 Americans (American Medical Women’s Association, 1999)and is 10 times more common in women than men (The Thyroid Society, 1996).

There are many symptoms but for our discussion the most important are:

 

  • Weight gain
  • Low energy levels (and therefore decreased drive to exercise)
  • Depression (shown to be a cause of obesity)

Types of Thyroid Hormone

The 2 types of thyroid hormone are the relatively inactive T4 and the much more potent T3.

The main components of both T3 and T4 are iodine and the amino acid tyrosine.

Most T3 production comes from the conversion of T4 into T3 in the liver. The conversion requires enzyme action by enzymes containing the trace minerals selenium and zinc.

Thyroid Hormone Regulation

The pituitary gland, located in the brain, releases TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) which signals the thyroid to release T4.

When T4 is released into your blood stream, your metabolism is maintained or increased, depending on the amount released.

When the pituitary secretes less TSH, your thyroid produces less T4, which lowers your metabolism.

How Calorie Restriction is Bad For Thyroid Hormone

First thing you want to do is keep your thyroid active so it keeps secreting T4 to maintain or increase your metabolism.

However, when you restrict calories or go too long between meals your pituitary will start producing less TSH, resultantly less T4 will be released by your thyroid into your blood followed by a subsequent lowering in metabolism.

In short, calorie restriction dieting lowers your metabolism so you can’t lose weight…. yet another reason why most diets fail.

How Poor Diet is Bad For Thyroid Hormone

Remembering that thyroid hormone is made from iodine ( average American eats double or more the daily recommended allowance) and tyrosine and that T4 is converted into the more potent T3 by enzymes containing zinc and selenium we can deduce a diet low in these foods may reduce thyroid hormone production:

  • protein (a source of the amino acid tyrosine)
  • iodine (a few sources listed below)
    • iodized salt – in the US we love salty foods so the average American actually eats more than 2 times the recommended daily allowance of iodine so it’s unlikely to be deficient
    • seafood
    • sea vegetables, like kelp
  • zinc (a few sources listed below)
    • beef
    • lamb
    • pork
    • crab
    • peanuts
    • dairy products
    • pumpkin seeds
  • selenium (a few sources listed below)
    • brazil nuts
    • tuna
    • beef
    • chicken

How Poor Liver Function is Bad For Thyroid Hormone

Most T4 to T3 conversion occurs in the liver so if your liver is not healthy, the process will be inefficient and you’ll have a lowered metabolism (remember T4 is mostly inactive, it’s T3 that has the most potency).

How Stress is Bad For Your Thyroid Hormone

Under stress your liver will convert T4 to an inactive form of T3 called ‘reverse T3’, instead of the active form of T3.

If the stress is chronic and reverse T3 production continues, it can result in lowered metabolism because of low levels of an active form of T3.

And of course when your metabolism is lowered, you use less energy throughout the day (& night) and more of the nutrients you eat are stored as fat.

Like I keep saying, chronic unmanaged stress makes you fat. We’ll discuss it a bit more in the succeeding articles, so visit again for more tips.

Now that you know a bit more about the thyroid hormone and the important part it plays in weight loss, keep these tips in mind for a scientific, proven and effective weight loss strategy.

The Role Androgens Play In Weight Loss

The Role Androgens Play In Weight LossIn the last article, we talked about the benefits of muscle and how It makes you lose fat. In this post, we’ll talk about the hormones responsible for increased muscle mass and reduced fat mass. They are called androgens, also known as male sex hormones.

Androgens include:

  • Testosterone
  • Androstenedione
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S)

Testosterone (produced in the testicles in men and ovaries in women), is the most important androgen for men while androstenedione and DHEA-S, produced in the adrenal glands which sit atop your kidneys, are equally as important for women as testosterone.

Men and Testosterone

Testosterone levels in men decline with age such that by 70 years, 80% of men have lower than normal testosterone levels.

Decreased testosterone production can begin as early as 25 years old.

A decline in testosterone is not always normal and when too severe, a man will experience a loss of lean muscle and an increase in body fat, particularly around the waist (there are many other symptoms but not related to weight management).

This condition is called hypogonadism.

It’s important for our discussion because hypogonadism and reduced testosterone production in men is related to:

  • Insulin resistance
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Liver malfunction

It’s also related to:

  • Smoking
  • Drugs (narcotics)
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Chronic stress (and the effects of cortisol)
  • Insufficient sleep

Each of these above can be managed through diet, lifestyle choices and stress management.

So:

  • Following a balanced diet of unsaturated fats, low GL carbohydrates and lean protein will decrease your insulin resistance, which promotes weight loss and recovery from obesity, which decreases the symptoms of diabetes.
  • Eliminating trans fats, additives, preservatives, artificial sweeteners and other toxic chemicals found in processed foods from your diet to restore liver health
  • Additionally, choosing not to smoke, drinking alcohol (and any other recreational drug use) in moderation and taking regular time out to exercise and manage your stress before a good night’s sleep…

… will not only have an amazing impact on your overall health, it will also help return your testosterone levels to a normal range so you can begin building muscle and losing fat much more effectively.

Women and Androgens

Conversely to men, androgen problems in women are usually related to an excess of androgenic hormones rather than an insufficiency.

In women, one of the features of excess androgens is weight gain, typically around the middle and difficulty losing weight.

Hyperandrogenism (excess androgens) is closely related to obesity and insulin resistance because high insulin levels stimulate the production of androgens by the ovaries and adrenal glands.

Similar to androgenic problems in men, there is a close link to insulin resistance in women also and treating insulin resistance is seen as the most effective place to start.

As we’ve discussed in past articles, insulin resistance is best reversed through:

  • Regular exercise
  • Balanced diet of unsaturated fats, low GL carbs and lean protein
  • Elimination (or reduction) of processed foods in your diet

In the next posts, we’ll talk more about just that, so keep reading for more important information on how to lose weight.

The Benefits Of Muscle Along With Weight Loss

The Benefits Of Muscle Along With Weight LossHopefully, I don’t have to convince you of the benefits of exercise. But if you’re a woman, maybe you have concerns about building muscle or becoming muscle bound.

Let me put your fears at ease by telling you it is extremely difficult and unlikely a woman can become muscle-bound without steroid abuse because your body simply does not produce enough androgenic hormones like testosterone.

And without them, muscle tissue cannot grow to any significant extent. But it’s not to say you can’t grow a little muscle. Not only is a bit of muscle important, I think it’s also sexy!

By exercising your muscles, you tighten them. Just like tighter clothes make you look slimmer, tighter muscles have the same effect.

The volume and total surface area of your body will decrease even if you have not lost any weight because in a way, you’ve shrunk. But the magic of muscle doesn’t end there.

The most beneficial reason for increasing your muscle mass is because muscle is energy hungry in 2 different ways:

  • Increased muscle uses up your glucose stores more rapidly through increased energy expenditure
  • Muscle can store glucose in the form of glycogen, which would otherwise have been stored as fat

To make a long story short:

Muscle makes you lose fat!

The more muscle you have, the more fat you lose because of them. So don’t shy away from muscle. A few will look great on you!

Tips On How To Eat Meals For Fat Loss!

Tips On How To Eat Meals For Fat Loss!By now, you understand that eating in a way that creates a large insulin spike leads to unwanted fat storage.

What you may not be aware of yet is that even if you eat a healthy meal containing low GL carbohydrates, you will still get a large insulin spike if your meal is huge.

Let me repeat that because it’s important:

“Eating a huge meal of carbohydrates (even if they are low GL) will create a larger than desired insulin spike.”

So rather than eat 2 or 3 large meals every day, its much healthier to eat the same volume of food over many more meals, 5-6 meals in a day for example.

By nibbling many times in a day, rather than gorging a couple times a day, your body receives a constant supply of energy and your metabolism remains high.

It makes sense when we consider that for ancient man a huge meal was a rare event. More commonly they scrounged and foraged throughout the day, nibbling a few nuts here and some berries there.

This is the way your body has evolved to receive nutrients.

Don’t Skip Breakfast

But, if you skip breakfast and then eat a huge lunch and a huge dinner, your body thinks there is a famine and goes into starvation mode. Why else would you go so many hours without supplying nutrients?

So when you do eat your huge meal after a long fast, your body decides the food should be stored rather than used. Typically after eating your big meal you’ll feel sleepy because your body has slowed your metabolism to conserve energy so the nutrients can be stored (as liver and muscle glycogen and as unwanted fat).

Knowing this, it comes as no surprise to learn research published in the American Journal Of Epidemiology in 2003 showed that the more meals eaten in a day the lower the risk of obesity.

The study also showed skipping breakfast in particular, increased the likelihood of obesity.

If you find you’re just not hungry in the morning, start eating smaller meals in the evening because you’re probably overeating at dinnertime and waking with a ‘full’ feeling from the night before.

Skipping breakfast and then getting so hungry you gorge at lunch and dinner only to wake full again the next morning is a cycle you need to break if you want to start eating more frequent smaller meals throughout the day and lose weight.

Avoid Late Night Eating

Also avoid eating late at night because it interferes with your hormonal cycle and circadian rhythm.

In research at Northernwestern University by Fred Turek et al they fed one group of mice high fat diets during normal sleeping hours and another group of mice the exact same diet but during normal waking hours.

The mice fed during normal sleeping hours gained more than twice the fat as those eating during waking hours!

Cortisol and growth hormone are typically secreted at night between the hours of 3-6am, presuming you follow a standard sleeping pattern.

Both of these hormones counter the effects of insulin and by doing so, increase your insulin resistance.

So if you eat late at night and your blood glucose levels are elevated during the same time your body is secreting cortisol and growth hormone, your pancreas will have to compensate by secreting higher levels of insulin.

Combined with the sedentary nature of sleep, your body will store the nutrients as fat and you’ll wake in the morning in a state of reactive-hypoglycemia and be more likely to reach for the high sugar cereal and overeat.

Eating Frequency in Practical Terms

Presuming you have about 8 hours of sleep per night (you shouldn’t be sleeping any less than that if you are trying to lose fat), then this is how often you should be eating during waking hours:

  • 5 meals per day: 1 meal about every 3 waking hours or
  • 6 meals per day: 1 meal about every 2.5 waking hours

It’s actually possible to eat TO lose weight, as long as you follow these important tips. Eat more and weigh less sounds like a strange contradictory combination, but it actually works. Try it out today.