How Stress Increases Your Weight and The Ways To Manage It
Stress is a normal part of life. Everyone goes through stressful situations or experiences from time to time. However, being under constant stress causes numerous health problems. For one, it can lead to several health issues, including heart disease, diabetes, asthma, gastrointestinal problems, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression.
Aside from causing your health to deteriorate, too much stress can also give you unwanted additional pounds. Many experts associate unsuccessful weight-loss regimens with poor stress management. To know how true this may be, let us examine the relationship between our stress and weight and what you can do to eliminate those extra pounds.
The Link Between Stress and Weight Gain
According to studies, there are two main possible factors for how stress causes weight gain: hormonal and psychological factors. The human body has a hormonal checks and balances system that may facilitate weight gain when under stress.
During a stressful or threatening event, your body will release a stress hormone called cortisol, along with epinephrine and norepinephrine. These hormones are released to allow the body to adapt to stressful events. Once the latter has passed, your epinephrine and norepinephrine levels will return to normal, but your cortisol levels can remain high over a long period; this is especially so if you are prone to chronic stress, your cortisol levels remain persistently elevated.
Cortisol serves many purposes, and one of its goals is to provide energy for your body. It stimulates your fat and carbohydrate metabolism, as well as your insulin release and blood sugar level maintenance. All of these actions increase your appetite. Consequently, having an increased appetite can cause you to experience difficulty losing unwanted pounds.
Aside from the possible hormonal causes, psychological reasons may also be behind your stress-induced weight gain. Often, people eat a lot to fulfil their psychological needs when under stress, which is known as binge eating. The psychological effects of stress can essentially lead you to eat more than what your body needs.
Best Ways to Avoid Gaining Weight Due to Stress
Minimising your stress levels is the best way to avoid gaining weight from stress. However, it is normal for some days where the stressful events exceed your capacity to cope, causing you to feel beaten or overwhelmed. Nonetheless, managing stress and regulating our hormones is possible by doing the following:
1. Exercise Regularly
Doing regular exercises is one of the classic and most effective ways to manage your stress while at the same time burning the extra calories. It is also an excellent way to regulate your stress hormone. Though it may seem too burdensome at first, whether you hit the gym or go for a brisk walk in the morning, exercising can help maintain your lean body mass, which is essential during long periods of elevated cortisol levels.
2. Eat Right
The most common cause of weight gain is uncontrolled appetite and diet. Although they are called comfort food, processed foods and drinks contain high sugar levels, causing you to feel sluggish over time. Eating right is not always easy, especially when stressed out, but it is worth it. Therefore, it is necessary to curb your cravings and monitor your diet to have your fats at bay. By eating right, your consumed calories will turn into energy and not be converted into stored fat inside your body.
3. Practice Relaxation
Psychological instability is one of the possible factors behind stress-induced weight gain. Hence, to manage the effects of stress on your body, practice relaxation through meditation, yoga, deep breathing, or mindfulness. Relaxation can essentially help you maintain your mental stability and bring the production of cortisol back down to normal levels.
Healthy stress levels allow us to feel motivated and challenge ourselves to be the best version of ourselves. However, too much of it can also result in severe problems for your mental and physical health. If you are trying to lose weight, constant stress can prevent you from achieving your goals. Constantly feeling burnt out increases the need to fulfil your psychological needs through eating, making it hard to lose those extra pounds.
Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and practising relaxation can help you combat the adverse effects of stress on your weight. Aside from these methods, you may also try TCM slimming treatment to achieve your weight loss goals more effectively.
Here at Slim Couture, we have experts that incorporate traditional Chinese medicine methods in helping people achieve their dream body under any circumstances. Contact us today to begin your weight loss journey at the best slimming centre in Singapore right away.