Is your work life and your personal life taking a toll on you? Are you incredibly stressed on account of the multiple obligations and the humdrum of life? Is it beginning to show in more ways than one?
Stress levels, on increasing, are known to cause an increase in weight as well. While it is true that anxiety and stress cause hunger to reduce, long term stress can lead to weight gain as it causes hunger to increase. And not just hunger, it causes hunger for ‘comfort food’ to increase. Comfort food refers to fatty and sugary food here. None of this is arbitrary. The release of stress hormone called ‘cortisol’ causes the insulin levels to rise causing blood-sugar to dip and the body to crave fatty, sugary food. Hence in times of stress, we hardly reach out to the salad or to oats but tend to eat fried, sweet and carb-heavy items.
The stress levels cause our bodies to slip into survival mode a.k.a the ‘flight or fight’ mode i.e. the brain starts believing it needs more food to survive and hence sends signals to the body to stock up on food and nutrients. In its endeavor to calm the body down, it starts storing excess nutrients that eventually lead to more calories i.e. essentially fats. This masking or disguise mode of the body manifests into urges and cravings. And to top it all, most people love food with sugar and oil in them. This deadly combination of love for this kind of food and the urge for it directly results in an increase in body weight.
A need for instant energy on account of demanding work schedules or a shift in metabolism because of it are the start of stress-induced eating. Combine the rise in cortisol with excessive nervous energy and not only are you eating unhealthy but are also over-eating. You slowly start eating junk food even when you’re not truly hungry. That is where the battle begins. Once the weight starts piling on, it slowly starts becoming a cause of worry in itself. Issues with the heart, breathing difficulties, lack of energy and flexibility and risks of high blood pressure are not far from an onset of weight in a person.
This may all sound very over-whelming but it is important not to fret. Preventive measures are possible and so are curative ones. Fortunately, there are things you can do to reverse the weight gain and to reduce the stress at the same time. While you may not be able to control the circumstances that caused you stress, you can definitely control the stress itself.
Ultimately, invest in yourself. Take some down time. Cultivate a hobby. Ensure you pay as much attention to yourself as you do to all those stress-inducing activities in your day!
The purpose of this blog is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health and wellness topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.