Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility STRESS HORMONE RISE AT NIGHT MAKES YOU FAT!

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science nutrition blog

science nutrition <strong>blog</strong>

By Steve Blechman

Prolonged stress brought on by financial problems, relationship difficulties, pressures at work or individual coping strategies can increase levels of hormones called glucocorticoids. Glucocorticoids are steroid hormones that include the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands located above each kidney. The adrenal glands are composed of two parts: the cortex and the medulla. Cortisol is produced in the adrenal cortex. Cortisol controls the metabolism and use of proteins, fat and carbohydrates. It also increases blood sugar and regulates blood pressure.

Chronically high levels of cortisol suppress the immune system and are an important component of overtraining syndrome that plagues intensely trained athletes. High levels of cortisol can promote weight gain by increasing caloric and fat intake, resulting in greater body fat. Cortisol can increase the number of fat cells, which makes it increasingly more difficult to control body fat. Chronic stress and elevated cortisol levels can increase abdominal fat! We did not completely understand the molecular role of cortisol in promoting obesity and weight gain until now.

For the first time, a new study provides the molecular understanding of why people gain weight due to chronic stress, disrupted circadian rhythms and the use of glucocorticoid drugs often used in treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. The new research was done by researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine and published in the prestigious journal Cell Metabolism on April 3.

Mary Teruel, Ph.D and senior author of the study said, “It explains why treatments with glucocorticoid drugs, which are often essential for people with rheumatoid arthritis and asthma to even function, are so linked with obesity, and it suggests ways in which such treatments can be given safely without the common side effects of weight gain and bone loss.” This new research suggests that by controlling the timing of cortisol levels, pulses can help reduce weight gain.

Cortisol levels rise and fall over a 24-hour cycle, lowest at 3:00 a.m. and highest at 8:00 a.m. The circadian rhythm cycle is 24-hour body clock governed by when we wake up to light and start the day and exercise, and at night when getting ready to slow down and go to sleep.

The researchers studied precursor fat cells in petri dishes and feeding glucocorticoids to mice leading to increase in fat mass. Teruel said, “Yes, the timing of your stress does matter! Since conversion of precursor cells into fat cells occurs through a biostable switch, it means you can control the process with pulsing. Our results suggest that even if you get significantly stressed or treat your rheumatoid arthritis with glucocorticoids, you won’t gain weight, as long as stress or glucocorticoid treatments happen only during the day. But if you experience chronic, continuous stress or take glucocorticoids at night, the resulting loss of normal circadian glucocorticoid oscillation will result in significant weight gain.” Yes, again— timing of your stress does matter! The results of this study show that if you get highly stressed you won’t gain weight, as long as the stress happens during the day!

So, what can we do to lower stress at night to prevent weight gain?

1. Practice relaxation techniques. Learn how to relax! Yoga, meditation and deep breathing activate the body’s relaxation response. Also, read a book and get a massage. These activities can reduce your everyday stress levels.

2. Exercise during the day. Exercise relieves and lifts your mood during the day and night. 

3. Eat a healthy Mediterranean diet. Recent research has shown that a low-carb Mediterranean diet is more effective for weight loss than a low-fat diet. The Mediterranean diet is high in fish, vegetables, nuts, beans, legumes, olive oil, mono and polyunsaturated fats and small amounts of red wine. 

4. Take a sauna bath or hot tub (i.e., Jacuzzi™). Heat therapy is a great way to relieve stress. It increases vasodilation, blood flow and relaxation. 

5. Turn off the TV. Watching TV before bed or worse, falling asleep to the TV, interferes with sleep. The blue light from TV can affect sleep and production of melatonin, which tells your body it’s time for sleep. 

6. Avoid tablets and smartphones before sleep. Research has found that mobile devices, tablets, backlit e-readers and computer screens emit blue light and disturbs melatonin and biochemical processes that promote sleep.

7. Listen to classical music. Recent research has shown the powers of soothing music to lower stress. Especially slow, quiet classical music! This type of music slows pulse and heart rate and decreases stress hormones.

8. Have more sex. Sexual activity, especially orgasm, triggers the release of oxytocin, which promotes bonding and helps relieve stress. Science suggests sex can improve mood and combat anxiety by reducing stress.

9. Get more sleep. Recent research has shown that nighttime owls have higher risk of dying sooner. Sleep problems disrupt metabolic and hormonal control systems that regulate bodyweight. This has resulted in poor blood sugar control, insulin resistance and stress-related increase in cortisol. CT scans have shown that short sleep duration increases abdominal fat, total body fat and surface fat. Many studies link inadequate sleep to obesity.

10. Take Advanced Molecular Labs™ (AML) ThermoHeat Nighttime Fat Burner. It boosts metabolism, helps manage stress and appetite. It also promotes relaxation and sleep. A good night’s sleep is a requirement for the maintenance of proper body weight. ThermoHeat Nighttime contains a thermogenic blend of spices combined with a mixture of anti-stress, relaxation-inducing agents: melatonin, L-Theanine, 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) and gama-aminobutyric acid (GABA). AML ThermoHeat Nighttime Fat Burner is scientifically formulated based on the latest scientific research.

For more authoritative information on ThermoHeat Nighttime Fat Burner, see The Thermo Heat® Weight Loss Revolution, by Michael J. Rudolph, Ph.D, including the foreword by Daniel L. Friedman, MD and Eugene B Friedman, MD. The Thermo Heat®Weight Loss Revolution is a groundbreaking scientific plan based on research involving brown fat (BAT). The Thermo Heat® Weight Loss Revolution offers its readers a brown fat, thermogenic and brown fat-activating-diet, nutrition, supplement(s) and exercise program.




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