Stressful situations happen periodically in our life. And perhaps many of you have noticed that during such periods the arrow of the scales quickly creeps up, and there is nothing you can do about it.
Does depression and stress cause weight gain?
This leads many experts to believe that stress has a direct effect on our weight. Let’s try to figure out if this is actually the case.
First of all, stress affects our endocrine system, which begins to actively produce hormones that lead to the deposition of fat in the body.
Stress is different. Short-term stress caused by various circumstances can lead to a slight weight loss, but, as a rule, after resolving a difficult situation, the weight returns to its constant indicators.
But the most dangerous for both the psychological and physical state of the body are prolonged prolonged stress. Tensions at work, in the family, and other such factors tend to affect a person’s behavior. The feeling of dissatisfaction in any areas of life entails malnutrition. And so many people are prone to “jamming” stress. After each unfavorable situation, such people open the refrigerator, deciding to treat themselves to “something tasty”, which can hardly be called proper nutrition.
As a rule, such “goodies” are sweet (sweets, chocolate, cakes, all kinds of pastries), salty and smoked foods.
The thing is that during stress, the body produces cortisol, which is popularly called the “stress hormone”. The products listed above help the body to relax for a while and to some extent replenish the “hormones of happiness” – endorphins.
We sometimes deliberately create a stressful situation for ourselves by trying to lose weight in record time, or by going on a strict diet. Now you understand why it is so easy to “break loose” and abandon any diet? Stress! We create it for ourselves, it also prevents us from losing weight.
But do not despair, there is still a way out of such a difficult situation! To begin with, analyze what situations in your life contribute to the fact that you feel tension, anxiety, and at the same time, the desire to eat again or eat your fill. It can be an unloved job, in which you lose all your vitality, and difficult relationships with relatives and friends. But know that only you can change everything.
Change jobs, put up with enemies, finally feel the taste for life! Stop constantly sitting at the computer, do not watch TV, go for walks more often. And most importantly – sports! Finally start exercising. Firstly, you will feel a surge of strength and energy, secondly, you will spend your free time to good use, and thirdly, sports, like nothing else, affects your weight. During active training, the pituitary gland begins to actively produce endorphins.
To neutralize stress hormones in your body, try to “kill” them with happiness hormones – endorphins. Eat foods that promote the production of these same endorphins. Such foods are chocolate, bananas, oatmeal, dried fruits, freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices, tomatoes, green apples, zucchini and eggplant, walnuts and cashew nuts. You do not need to consume all the listed products in kilograms (and not far from overeating).
Treat yourself to a few slices of dark chocolate, snack on a handful of nuts or a banana. And in the morning – oatmeal with dried fruits!
So, if you are losing weight, lose weight correctly to lose weight, you don’t need extreme sports at all. If you have problems in life, try a little easier, as if “from the outside” to look at the situation, perhaps everything is not so bad. Get enough sleep, go in for sports and just be an active person, and then no stress will spoil your mood, and your weight will always be normal!
How is stress-related weight gain diagnosed?
The best way to be aware on the off chance that your weight gain is connected with pressure is to see your PCP.
“That is on the grounds that pressure-related weight gain must be analyzed by taking a cautious history and precluding different things, similar to low thyroid capability, that can likewise cause weight gain,” makes sense Seltzer.
How to Break the Cycle of Stress and Weight Gain
When you’re stressed out, healthy behaviors likely eating properly and exercising regularly can easily fall by the wayside. Maintaining a schedule and/or routine can help make these healthy behaviors a habit and combat stress-related weight changes. Here are a few strategies that can help you break the cycle of stress and weight gain:
- Make exercise a priority. Exercising is a critical component of stress reduction and weight management. It can help you address both issues simultaneously, so it’s essential for warding off stress-related weight gain. Whether you go for a walk during your lunch break or hit the gym after work, incorporate regular exercise into your routine.
- Eat healthier comfort foods. You don’t need carbs or fats to make you feel better. One of the few studies testing the effectiveness of comfort foods in improving mood found that eating relatively healthier comfort foods, such as air-popped popcorn, is just as likely to boost a negative mood as “unhealthy” foods.6 Making sure your pantry is stocked with these types of foods will make it easier to grab a healthier option during times of high stress.
- Practice mindful eating. Focusing on what you’re eating—without distractions—may help lower stress, promote weight loss, and prevent weight gain. One study found that overweight women who had mindfulness-based stress and nutrition training were better able to avoid emotional eating, and had lower stress levels, which led to less belly fat over time.7 Next time you eat a meal, try enjoying it without the distraction of your phone or the TV.
- Keep a food journal. Paying attention to your eating habits can help you gain control over your food consumption. A 2011 review of studies that examined the link between self-monitoring and weight loss found that those who kept a food journal were more likely to manage their weight than those who didn’t.8 So whether you use an app to track your food intake or you write everything in a food diary, being more mindful of what you put in your mouth could improve your eating habits.
- Drink more water. It’s easy to confuse thirst for hunger. But confusing these two cravings can lead you to eat more calories than your body needs, prompting weight gain. It’s much easier to identify hunger after you’ve eliminated any mild dehydration. If it’s only been a couple of hours since you’ve eaten and you feel hungry, try drinking some water first. If you still feel hungry, then grab a snack.
- Incorporate stress-relief strategies into your daily life. Whether you enjoy yoga or you find solace in reading a good book, try adding simple stress relievers like taking a deep breath, listening to music, or going on a walk into your daily routine. Doing so can reduce your cortisol levels, helping you manage your weight.