How Stress Causes Weight Gain and How to Beat It?
So, how Does Stress Cause Weight Gain?
Stress is a natural defense mechanism that encourages adrenaline influx. This is what gives a boost to the fight and flight hormones. This results in the release of a hormone referred to as cortisol. Cortisol encourages the storage of visceral fat which is detrimental to your general wellbeing and the health of vital organs. It will also release fatty acids into your bloodstream, raising the levels of insulin and cholesterol.
Additionally, the body’s natural reaction to fight stress after an increase of cortisol is eating foods high in sugar, salt and fat. This is because these foods stimulate the release of pleasure chemicals in the brain to help in the reduction of tension.
Since the brain will start associating such foods with stress relief, you can easily get addicted to them. The more stressed you become, the more of these foods you will eat and this will lead to weight gain.
How to Fight Stress-related Weight Gain?
1. You Should Be Active
When you get active, it is likely that your body will take it as an escape from a stressful situation. This will lead to an increase in blood pumping and circulation.
The more the blood is pumped, the more the cortisol is sent to the kidney for elimination. Getting active can be a jog in the morning and evening or some sweaty time in the gym; just get your body working.
2. You Might Want to Avoid Caffeine
If you have been feeling stressed lately, it is a good idea to stay away from any form of caffeine. Taking caffeine will increase the levels of cortisol in your body and this means a higher level when you are stressed.
Caffeine is also known to increase the period in which the cortisol in your body is active by as much as 30%. This is not healthy especially since you are fighting to reduce the amount of cortisol in your system.
It is, therefore, a good idea to ditch that morning, midday or evening cup of coffee because it might be doing you more harm than good.
3. Get Enough Sleep
Not getting enough sleep is the beginning of many health problems. Sleep is crucial for the reduction of levels of cortisol in the body. Experts recommend that you should sleep for at least 7 to 9 hours at night.
Sleeping for about 6.5 hours can increase cortisol levels and appetite. When these two are combined, you will not escape the unhealthy weight gain you are trying so much to lose.
Sleeping more, eating less will reduce your stress and help you in combating the weight gain it brings about.
4. Take More Vitamins
Your meals should contain all essential vitamins such as vitamin B, C and D. It should also have magnesium and calcium because the combination will reduce levels of cortisol and the cravings that come with it.
Most foods that have these nutrients are also rich in healthy Carbohydrates, healthy fats and proteins which encourage a healthy body as long as they are in a balanced diet.
Not all diets work for everyone, Therefore, you should try a couple and see what works best for you. You could try the Three Day Military Diet or the Caveman Diet. There are many other to consider as well. Consult your physician or dietician for diets that will provide best results.
Diets and Exercises
Which diets or Exercises have you tried with positive results?
• Military Diet
• Circut Training
• Caveman Diet
• Jogging or Cycling
Life Happens to Us All
In most case, people get stressed over things in their lives they cannot control. They start gaining weight and start stressing over the weight gain. This becomes a cycle that is difficult to break if you do not know where to start. To address the weight gain, you should start with addressing the stress behind it.
Facts of Life
We all know the importance of exercises and eating right, yet, we always seem to have excuses.
We don't have time
Our days are too full
We have kids
We work long hours
Yes, these are some of those excuses and there are many more. However, the truth is, if we truly try, we can find the time. All you need is that 10 minutes before bed or after waking up. Do office exercises or some cardio in your kitchen. How about adding a stationary bicycle in your lounge and riding while watching television.
If we try real hard, we can find ways and time to do exercises.
Changing our eating habits aren't that difficult either. Just add some fruit, salads or veggies to each meal and you will already be making a difference.