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Can Anger Impact Weight Control?

By a show of hands, how many people out there have ever felt “angry”?  I believe I see every hand raised.  Now, to the next question:  How many of you have felt much more angry over the past 4-5 months?  Once again, I think I see every hand raised again.

I will not delve into the causes of the anger, as we all know about the events that have transpired/are transpiring and that have/are changing all of our lives.  This is a completely apolitical blog and my intentions are to try to help people lose weight, keep that weight off and journey towards better health and happiness.

Back to anger and the impact on weight control:  Chemically, anger will translate into a increase in release of the “fight or flight” hormones, specifically epinephrine, norepinephrine and cortisol.  Initially, the stress hormones reduce appetite but when they are then lowered, this results in the body seeking the carbs/sugars/salt.  Cortisol also negatively impacts fat production and deposition.

Anger, being a negative emotion, produces a desire for an immediate gratification action to try to offset the negative.  Yes, taking a great escape vacation or buying a new Corvette and driving far away may reduce anger but these take lots of time and lots of $$$.  Sucking down 3 glasses of wine, an entire bag of Reeses Pieces or scooping through an entire carton of Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia may also reduce anger and are much more available and cheaper than the vacation or new Vette.

How can we reduce “anger”?  If you find yourself seething every time you watch the news, perhaps you should not watch the news.  An alternative activity would be a nice walk, sweating on your home workout machines, reading a book that calms you or watching a movie that makes you smile.  Other ways of reducing anger would be to hang out/have talks with the people in your lives that do not rile you up, but rather, calm you down. Here is a great way of reducing anger: An Hour Of Tranquility. For people that have a true “anger disorder”, there are medications that can help with this.  

I know most people despise being placed on medications, but the risk/benefit analysis may show that the benefit of being treated out weighs the risk of the medication.  Anger causes blood pressure to go up which in turn, increases the risk of stroke and heart attacks.

I welcome your comments and insights as to how you reduce your anger levels.  I will write a separate blog posting sharing these (anonymously of course) great recommendations so others can be helped.

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