The negative effects of constant stress are many. Almost every system in your body suffers when you are constantly feeling anxious, upset, or in danger. Many people feel stressed out due to the demands of a high pressure job, study, family, and just everyday life. Few people realize that weight gain is one of the many effects that stress has on the body. The good news is that finding some stress relief will not only help our mental health, but will also help us to start dropping the pounds.
How Stress Can Cause Weight Gain
When we are in a situation which we perceive as threatening, one of the responses of the body is to release a hormone known as cortisol. High doses of cortisol can actually slow down your metabolism, which means you burn fewer calories than usual and are more likely to gain weight.
Over time, stress can take a toll on the immune system, not allowing it to perform its job. This leads to many problems, like sleep disorders and constant illness. These problems in turn can lead to a sluggish metabolism and weight gain.
Sometimes stress affects our food choices. Did you ever get a lollipop from the doctor after an injection or a cupcake from your Mom for being well-behaved? Many of us link our emotions with food, so when we are stressed out we can overeat or make bad food choices as a way to deal with our feelings of stress and anxiety. Most of us are guilty of reaching for the fatty, salty, and sugary foods during difficult times. The spike to our blood sugar levels makes us feel better about what is happening, but this effect is short lived. Many people react this way to emotional stress. This is known as emotional eating.
Dealing With Stress While Losing Pounds
Yoga and medication
Many people are searching for a way to relieve stress. Reducing your stress levels is the first step to stopping stress-related weight gain. Investigate what is causing you so much anxiety and what you can do to reduce this. Looking into stress management techniques is also integral for your health. Yoga and meditation can be of great help.
Better food choices
Making better food choices will help you lose weight and also be healthier in general. Stay away from processed food whenever you can. Look for lean meats, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Make sure you are getting plenty of water as well.
Making time to exercise every day will also be of great help. Not only will it help you keep off the pounds, but just 30 minutes of exercise once a day is proven to reduce your stress levels as well as your likelihood of developing depression and anxiety.