Metabolic health is one of the most critical aspects of overall health and well-being. We all want the most recent information about metabolism to make well-informed decisions about the foods we eat and the exercise we engage. Thankfully, there are many places to get information about metabolism. There is no shortage of information about metabolism in the media today from books, magazines, articles, white papers, research studies, videos, and more. 

Stress affects people differently. Some lose weight. Others gain weight. Both epinephrine and cortisol are adrenal stress hormones that might be partly responsible for these reactions. Cortisol increases your metabolism, but it also makes you hungry. So, while your body may burn more calories when stressed, you may eat more to compensate. 

When you’re under stress, your body reacts by releasing hormones. These hormones (epinephrine and cortisol) gear your body up to respond to stress, often categorized as “fight or flight.” Cortisol taps into your energy, including energy forms of glucose, protein, and fat, to give your body the energy it needs to react. This process burns calories and increases your metabolism.  

Muscle breakdown from one stressful incident may not have much of an effect on your metabolism, but long-term chronic stress might. While the stress may initially increase your body’s calorie-burning furnace, the loss of muscle may ultimately cause an overall decrease in your metabolism. However, cortisol is also considered a catabolic hormone, which breaks down muscle for energy. 

When we seek information about metabolism, weight gain is typically front and center, a negative result of stress on the metabolism. While stress may temporarily increase your metabolism, it’s not suitable for your overall weight, especially if it is a chronic condition. Chronic stress causes your metabolism to dip from loss of calorie-burning muscle and increases your appetite. It also causes a desire for unhealthy foods (or comfort foods) that can increase body fat and belly size. 

Also, cortisol causes an increase in insulin resistance. This happens when your cells become unresponsive to insulin. This leads to a rise in blood levels of sugar and insulin. While the research is preliminary, there seems to be a connection between high insulin levels and obesity. 

Information about metabolism is in demand, and thankfully there are plenty of books on the market today. Here is a quick list of books to check out next time you look for a good read. 

 “The Complete Guide to Fasting,” by Dr. Jason Fung, explores the ancient practice of fasting for medicinal purposes. For those with diabetes, he outlines how intermittent fasting can boost metabolism and impact blood sugar levels. Check out his book for various guides to the different types of fasting practices. 

“Smart Fat” by Dr. Steven Masley and Dr. Jonny Bowden is about the benefits of including healthy fats in your diet. The book starts by busting some common myths about fat, like the idea that all fat is bad for you. It then explains the different types of fat and their respective benefits. 

“Glucose Revolution” by Jessie Inchauspe offers information about metabolism for anyone interested in learning more about glucose’s important role in the human body. The book discusses types of diabetes, symptoms, and the importance of diet and exercise in regulating blood sugar levels. The book also includes a variety of recipes and meal plans designed to help readers control their blood sugar. 

As mentioned, there is no shortage of information about metabolism, whether from a book, a podcast, the internet, or one of the many apps and social media available today. Seek, and ye shall find.