It is natural for you to feel stressed, especially when you go through some major life changes or feel like you have lost control of what’s happening around you. Stress can be caused due to various reasons. But do you know that stress can also lead to weight gain? In the following blog, let’s look at some of the methods you can use to reduce stress and manage weight gain.
Stress can help motivate people and be an effective tool for survival. But as you know, too much of anything is good for nothing. Having too much stress for a period of time can affect your health and daily life. The most common symptoms of stress are sleeping problems, restlessness, and stress eating.
The problem with stress is that you can’t say it will happen only for these specific reasons. People can get stressed due to various reasons: it can be due to work pressure, family problems, relationship issues, etc.,
What Can Stress Do To Your Body?
You may not notice it at first, but stress can have a serious effect on your body. It causes headaches and makes you feel irritated, overwhelmed and out of control. It takes a toll on your physical, mental, and emotional health. Apart from this, there are other ways your body responds to stress, such as weight gain, which might take some time for you to notice.
What is Emotional Eating or Stress Eating?
Emotional eating or stress eating is a coping mechanism where we use food as a means to reduce stress. It has nothing to do with hunger since it is only done for the comfort and to suppress the uncomfortable feelings we have. While it can satisfy you now, overeating can give you another major problem to deal with, weight gain. Sometimes, you might even be at the risk of developing obesity.
Stress eating is not a novel practice because most people suffering from stress use eating as a means of comfort. This practice can significantly impact your ability to maintain a healthy weight. It is because of the hormone Cortisol produced by your body while you are under stress. This hormone sends your body into a fight-or-flight mode during crucial situations. While this hormone is essential for survival, too much of it can become harmful to the body.
Cortisol and weight gain
We saw that Cortisol sends your body into a fight-or-flight mode during urgent situations; this is how it does it. Cortisol creates this surge of energy in your body by stimulating your fat and carbohydrate metabolism. While this process can be beneficial during survival situations, it also increases your appetite, especially for sweet, salty, and fatty foods. This means that you are more likely to indulge in pizzas, burgers, or other fast foods than have a healthy, balanced meal.
An excess amount of Cortisol in your body can cause it to produce less testosterone. This may lead to a decrease in muscle mass and slow down the speed at which your body burns calories. This decrease in speed is what causes weight gain in your body. It might lead to fatigue, depression, high blood pressure, or even type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, the weight gained due to stress is often accumulated around the abdomen. This results in the development of belly fat and might lead to some cardiovascular diseases, thus earning it the nickname ‘toxic fat’.
How to Reduce Stress and Weight Gain?
As we have seen above, stress and weight gain are interlinked. So to prevent this problem from arising, we have to curb this problem at the root. Reducing stress and finding ways to overcome it can help you with the weight gain problem. Here are some of the methods you can use to reduce stress.
1. Identify the cause
Try and figure out what’s triggering or causing you stress. Once you find out the reason for your stress, you can consider whether there is anything you can do about it. You can find ways to solve the problem if you find out why you are so stressed out. Keeping journals and writing down your plans can motivate you to put your thoughts into action. Once you solve the root cause, a stress-free and healthy life is not so far away.
2. Understand how you react to stress
It’s good if you can find out the cause of your stress. It’s even better if you can find out how you reacted to stress in the past. Take a look at how you reacted to stressful situations in the past. This can help you understand your stress pattern better and help you find new and healthier ways to cope with stress in the future.
3. Exercise regularly
Exercise can improve your mood and make you feel good about yourself. Doing physical activities while being stressed is an effective coping mechanism. It not only helps you relieve stress but also keeps your body fit and healthy.
Exercise does not necessarily have to be your regular physical exercise. It can be any physical activity you enjoy doing. It can be gardening, fishing, household chores, or simply walking. By being physically active, you can overcome stress and develop healthy habits that keep your weight gain problem at bay.
Meditation is a good way to relax when you feel stressed. It can help you focus on the present moment instead of worrying about the past or future. You can get a better understanding of the situation around you and solve it accordingly.
When it comes to meditation, you can start with breathing exercises or even listen to relaxing music. There are also several meditation apps available these days to help you meditate. It doesn’t matter what exercise or tool you use to meditate, as long as you can calm down and refocus your attention.
5. Get adequate sleep
Another side effect you have when you are stressed is inadequate sleep. Inadequate sleep can affect your mood and concentration, and it can also shift the balance of hormones in your body. It is important to have at least seven to nine hours of sleep every day. If you find it difficult to fall asleep at night, you can listen to some calming music.
6. Stop stress eating
It’s common for people to resort to eating when they are stressed. We often see people eating tubs of ice cream when they feel angry or stressed. They either resort to eating loads of food or tasty, high-calorie food. After all, satisfying our tongues is equal to satisfying us.
But sometimes, stress eating or emotional eating can become an addictive cycle. Once you start eating when you are stressed, your mind will automatically start to look for food when you become moody the next time. If this goes on, it will ultimately result in weight gain.
It is better to stop this habit and respond to stress in a different way. Instead of eating, you can do other physical activities that distract you. It can be gardening, cooking, or any activity that you like.
7. Stay close to your loved ones
Having a friend or supportive family member nearby can help you reduce stress. Having someone to talk to and share your problems with can alleviate your stress more than anything. Not only that, but research has shown that giving social and emotional support to others can be a good stress reliever.
8. Get professional help
This is the final method on the list. Sometimes, dealing with stress may not be so simple. If you have tried all the above methods and still feel stressed, it is better to seek professional help. Some of the symptoms of severe stress are,
- Unexplained pains
- Sleep problems
- Being less social
In case you have these symptoms, it is best to consult a trained healthcare provider. They can help you find healthy coping mechanisms for stress.
VeCura Wellness Clinic
Until now, we have learnt about the methods we can use to reduce stress, thereby ultimately curbing weight gain. But what if you have managed to alleviate stress and still find it difficult to lose weight? There are exclusive weight loss clinics to help such people. We at VeCura, offer effective and long-lasting results that help you have a healthy body and a happy life. We offer customized weight loss consultations and treatments that will leave a lasting impact on your weight loss journey.
Services at VeCura
At VeCura, we offer a holistic weight loss treatment in the safest and healthiest way ever possible. Our team of professionals are weight loss experts who are focused on providing quality weight loss treatments. The services offered at VeCura are as follows:
From the above blog, we have seen the effects of stress and methods to reduce them. Reducing your stress is equivalent to reducing your weight gain. Follow the above methods to reduce your stress and weight gain and lead a healthy and happy life. For professional help regarding effective weight loss, reach out to us at www.vecurawellness.com