Stress eating, healthy eating habits, weight loss

Stress and Weight Gain — How Are They Related?

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Are you feeling frustrated about your weight and what to do about it? Does your stress lead to weight gain? 

Stress can be a powerful trigger of weight gain. The stress response affects many aspects of our lives, including food. When we are stressed, we have an overwhelming desire to ea, and if you try to eat in response to stress, it is likely that this will lead to weight gain. Being aware of stressful situations and avoiding eating as a way of coping with your emotions is a good way to ensure that you don’t tip the scales the wrong way.

How Stress Leads To Weight Gain

Stress can cause weight gain in a number of different ways. Stress can trigger the release of hormones that make you feel hungry, including cortisol and insulin.

It also affects the levels of leptin and ghrelin, which are responsible for regulating your cravings, appetite, and your feeling of fullness. With stress, these hormones are imbalanced, leading to feeling hungry and not feeling satisfied even if you’ve eaten plenty. This leads to overeating.

Stress also can make you so busy or tired that you don’t have time to eat right or get enough exercise. When you’re under stress, your body may crave high-calorie foods that are quick to digest and provide a burst of energy. Over time, these cravings can lead to weight gain if they aren’t satisfied with nutritious foods.

How to Break the Stress Cycle, Lose Weight, and Keep It Off

Stress causes us to eat more, and we may also crave high-fat, high-sugar foods when we’re stressed out. However, there are other ways that stress can negatively affect our health — including how much weight we gain. Here are a few strategies that can help you break the cycle of stress and weight gain;

  • Sleep well. Sleep is your Superpower. Sleep is essential for good health and weight management because it gives our bodies time to repair themselves from the day’s stressors. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep each night so that your body has enough time to perform its nightly repairs on your cells and muscles before the next day starts again!
  • Include stress management habits in your daily life. This could include making time for some deep breathing, even just one intentional breath per day, to pause and reconnect with your calm side. Being aware of your body, such as the tingling sensation in your hands and feet, is an excellent way to lead your attention away from the stressful thoughts and situation. Notice if you have tense muscles, and then gently release them. It’s impossible to feel stressed if your muscles are relaxed. Paying attention to your breath and your body is the best stress buster that you can practise, as you have your breath and your body anywhere you go. You can do it whether you’re busy or lying in bed, and it’s free!
  • Exercise regularly. It gets your body moving and helps relieve tension by releasing feel-good brain chemicals called endorphins. And regular exercise can help you control your weight over the long term.
  • Eat slowly. Slow down when eating meals, so that you don’t mindlessly scarf down everything on your plate — or even worse, eat other things throughout the day because you’re still hungry after meals. It’s important to eat slowly because it helps you feel full faster, which will help keep cravings at bay. It also helps you enjoy your food better, adding to your feelings of pleasure and satisfaction.
  • Stop skipping breakfast. If skipping breakfast works for you and your weight loss goal, go for it. But if it causes you to overeat in all your other meals, then skipping breakfast is not working for you. Skipping breakfast sets up overeating later in the day by making us ravenous and more likely to fall victim to junk food cravings. If you’re not hungry when you wake up, have something small like fruit or oatmeal with skim milk instead of skipping breakfast altogether.

The takeaway

Learning how to deal with your stress can not only reduce your chance of getting sick and lowering your immunity, but it can also contribute to weight loss. Work on your psychological health in order to be able to keep the weight off for good.

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