Stress and sugar making you fat

Life is not easy when you are fat.

It is also very hard to lose weight but it is very easy to gain weight.

To begin.

We have to understand what happens when we eat food. When we eat a food it gets digested and the minerals and nutrients from that food are absorbed. We use these to provide energy for our bodily functions. We absorb all sorts of nutrients and minerals from this food. Often sugar is one of them depending on the food source.

When we get this sugar in our blood our pancreas then kicks into action. The pancreas produces insulin so that this sugar is transported to the muscle. In the muscles it gets stored for when we exercise and will require this sugar for energy. This is all perfectly natural and healthy.

It is when we start to abuse this system that things start to go wrong.

Modern life works against us.

Most of us today lead a very stressful life. We get up in the morning we are after having a crap night sleep because we had a stressful day the previous day. When we got home we were too tired to cook a proper meal. We have take-out or we just picked up a ready meal on our way home.

Then we spend most of the evening sitting in front of the T.V. Looking on our laptop or tablet and often well into the night time when we should be asleep.

We wake up in the morning we feel like crap and wonder if we slept at all.

Cortisol our natural alarm clock is out of sync because we stayed up all night has flat lined. This is at a time when we need it most to wake us up. So because our built in alarm clock is broken we go straight for a coffee. This gives our cortisol that hit it needs.

Sugar the white killer

After our coffee we might have a breakfast. Of course we will have a nutrient deficient, high sugar cereal from a box such as cornflakes.

Drive to work in rush hour traffic, people getting in your way, traffic is at a standstill. We are freaking out to get to work on time and all the time. Arrive at work in a job which most of us hate. Then we have all these things we need to get done and nowhere near enough hours to get them done in.

Lunch comes. If we have time we run to the shop and get a convenient sandwich or a roll. Maybe a little chocolate and probably a coffee to help us get over the 3pm slump. Blood sugar gets another boost to help it reach the sky high limits.

Then we travel home in rush hour again stressing ourselves out again. When we get home we might have a dinner which will be predominantly high carbohydrate and a treat. Or worse repeat the previous night’s routine and have even more junk food.

All this stress and high sugar diet lead to extremely high levels of blood sugar which means that insulin is constantly elevated.


Insulin in the blood has one job and one job only. That is to take sugar from the blood and stores it in our muscles for energy.

At a certain stage our muscles are going to reach a point where they block insulin. The muscles do not need this sugar for energy because it is doing nothing just sitting at the desk all day. At this point insulin has no other option but to look elsewhere to deposit this sugar.

It goes to our fat cells and what do you know, our fat cells are delighted. They store up as much of this sugar as it can because it still has all its primal instincts. This is our bodies way of preparing for a lack of sugar in the winter time.

Winter is a time when we should have very limited carbohydrates available. So it keeps packing in as much of this sugar as possible and storing it as fat. Fat cells will also reach capacity. At this point things really start to go wrong and diabetes, metabolic syndrome etc. all start to develop.

Stress + sugar=fat

So it is a mixture of our stressful lives. When I say stress I encompass everything here, mental, emotional, physical, environmental. They all have the same effect, raising cortisol. It is this prolonged cortisol elevation along with the high carbohydrate diet that lead to high blood sugar. Which in turn lead to high insulin which leads to obesity.

To reverse this we have to get insulin out of the blood stream. As long as insulin is in the system glucagon cannot be there, they just do not mix.

Enter glucagon

Glucagon is what we need in our blood streams to get our bodies to start burning fat. To get insulin out of our system we reduce our daily stressors and cut out sugar.

The 3 macro nutrients are fats, proteins and carbohydrates, let’s see what impact these have on insulin levels.

  • Fat – absolutely nothing.
  • Protein – very minimal
  • Carbohydrates – increase insulin.

The food pyramid that we have all been thought to follow is in fact playing a large in our obesity issues. So along with reducing our stress levels we should reduce our carbohydrate intake.

Each person is an individual so this will be different for each person. To keep our calories up we need to increase fat consumption. I am talking healthy fats, butter, animal fats and coconut oil as well as our protein intake. Fats will not make you fat and protein will not damage your liver and kidney. If you have previous liver or kidney issues be wary of protein over-consumption.

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