It's not just extra calories that cause you to gain weight. How your body metabolizes those calories is key. For those of us with stress in our lives, our body will store them as fat. Our flight or fight response system was built to store food as fuel when we are in danger or under threat. Our body does not tell the difference between stress from a lion chasing us or stress from our phone blowing up while at work. Both are stresses and in both cases our body produces cortisol. With excess cortisol comes weight gain!
A recent study at Ohio State University demonstrated that even one stressful event experienced within the day before you eat slows down your metabolism and results in your body burning fewer calories, which can cause up to eleven pounds of weight gain in one year! Research also reveals that even if you usually eat well, exercise, and generally try to take care of your body, when experiencing chronic stress you can not only not lose weight but actually put on additional pounds for "no obvious reason."
It's worthwhile to note that as you naturally age, the muscle-building hormone testosterone slows down, decreasing your muscle mass -- and so you naturally burn fewer calories. Then, when you're under chronic stress, the ongoing high level of cortisol encourages your body to store visceral fat (the kind of fat that surrounds vital organs) and releases fatty acids into the bloodstream, raising cholesterol and insulin levels. This is when you say hello to heart disease and diabetes.
Super herbs to the rescue!
Fortunately, herbs can work to counteract metabolic disturbances to keep you looking and feeling your best. Here are some helpful herbs for optimal metabolic function:
1. Green Coffee Bean: Targets the body’s metabolic pathways to support healthy glucose response. Find this in Premier Research Labs' Lean Advantage.
2. American Ginseng: Suppresses appetite and boosts metabolism. Find this in Jing Soda, Ginseng Lemon Lime and our American Ginseng Extract.
3. Hibiscus Flower: Antioxidants and other compounds known to encourage weight loss. Find this in Jing Soda, Super Berry.