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Stress and your metabolism

stress and your metabolism

The relationship between stress and your metabolism is involves several chemical reactions within your body. Find out more about this and follow our tips to keep your stress levels and metabolic rate under control.

What’s the deal with metabolism

The word metabolism describes how the kilojoules you consume are turned into energy. How quickly or slowly this conversion takes place is your metabolic rate. Various factors play a role in the speed of your metabolism, such as the number of kilojoules you consume, how often you exercise and how much stress you're under.

The link between stress and your metabolism all boils down to cortisol

Stress occurs when your body is put into a situation where you are under pressure. It triggers a “fight or flight” response which releases cortisol (the stress hormone) and adrenalin into your system. When cortisol is released, it emits glucose into the blood stream. This is so that your body has energy in case you need to fight or run away. Cortisol also slows down digestion and other processes so you can focus all your energy on the situation that is causing your stress. In the long-term this can cause your entire system to be thrown off-balance. It may lead to insulin-resistance (because the extra glucose in the body is not used), kidney disease and other conditions.

How to beat it

The best way to keep your body (and stress levels under control) is to ensure you eat a healthy balanced diet and ensure you’re getting enough physical exercise. You can also set some time aside to meditate, listen to music or bond with loved ones or a pet – all of which have been shown to lower stress levels.

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