If we learn to think of our stress mechanism as an ancient response to danger we can understand how stress makes us fat. Our ancestors lived in small groups, hunting and foraging. Danger, for instance, lack of food, would activate the stress mechanism, elevating cortisol levels and causing the entire chemistry of the body to change. The body would go into storage mode and hold on to all the energy eaten. In those days food was not plentiful, now in the 21st century we live in constant stress surrounded by an abundance of food. Our ancient stress mechanism doesn't know the difference between mental or emotional stress and a famine. We go into storage mode. Deep breathing, restful sleep, yoga can all effect weight loss by lowering our stress and telling the body it's ok to use our food as energy today rather than save for later. Christine Blakeney, D.O.