How stress affects your weight
- 3 Months ago
Apart from cravings and emotional eating episodes, stress contributes towards weight gain in many other ways:
- Stress and related conditions like increased anxiety and dysphoria could decrease the motivation to engage in the regular physical activity, thus adding a step towards obesity.
- Cortisol- a stress hormone, has an intricate relationship with insulin. When faced with stress, cortisol provides the human body with glucose to fight the stress, while suppressing insulin production to prevent the storage of this glucose. Chronic stress coupled with unhealthy lifestyle patterns prevent the use of this excess glucose, thus leading to increase in sugar levels and weight gain.
- Excessive cortisol in the body can cause a serious condition called, Cushing’s syndrome, a cluster disorder with symptoms that include weight gain, depression, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Obesity can also lead to stress in following ways:
- Weight gain often leads to feelings of low body image, which can then add to the list of worries causing stress
- The health conditions like diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, that often accompany obesity could also lead to stress, as coping might get overwhelming.
Tips to manage your stress:
Know your stress triggers: Think ahead about what upsets you. Whenever you feel the stress rising, take a moment to yourself to think about the situation that has caused stress.
Differentiate between emotional and actual hunger: Every time you have an urge dig into some delectable food, ask yourself why you want to eat. Is it because you are truly hungry? Or is it because you are upset and worried?
Focus on what you can control: Using your stress tracker, track your stressors, and understand which of them are under your control. Come up with ways to tackle them.
Relaxing is important: Even if you are busy, take 15 to 20 minutes a day to sit back and relax. Try practicing relaxation techniques like meditation, progressive muscle relaxation or yoga.