When you are stressed, your body sends a message to the adrenal glands to release more cortisol.
Cortisol stops the hormone leptin being produced.
Leptin sends signals that make us feel full.
Without it, we are prone to overeating, and this absence makes us crave foods rich in carbohydrates in particular.
When we experience long-term stress, cortisol and insulin remain high in the blood, and the extra glucose that isn’t needed for energy gets stored in the form of fat – primarily adnominal fat cells.
Scientists have discovered that fat cells have special stress-hormone receptors for cortisol, but there are also seem to be more of these cortisol receptors on the fat cells around the stomach than anywhere else in the body.