Stress and Weight Gain
As many people experiencing stress can tell you, weight gain appears to be a normal part if the condition. What's more is that so many Americans are in a constant mode of stress, they never have a chance to recover, and the weight many people gain due to this is believed to play a role in the obesity epidemic that plagues the country.
The connection between stress and weight gain comes from the hormones that are released when we are presented with a stressor. The brain goes into "fight or flight", which is a primal survival technique that is deep-rooted and involuntary. In order to ensure survival, our brains release a series of hormones, some of which suppress appetite, and in some cases can lead to weight loss. As the body recovers, another hormone called corisol, helps to bring the body back to a state of normalcy. In a modern-day environment, very little energy is usually used during your fight or flight response.
However, cortisol doesn't know this, and it creates the urge to eat carbohydrates and sugars to rebuild energy, causing overeating and weight gain. Cortisol from stress also causes weight gain in that it promotes the storing of fat in the midsection, which is particularly unhealthy and difficult to lose.
Some ways to help prevent stress and its weight gain include:
- Exercise regularly
- Eat properly proportioned and balanced meals
- Get plenty of sleep
- Snack on fiber-rich foods
- Avoid caffeine, cigarettes, and alcohol
- Take a multivitamin
By following these tips you may be able to help reduce stress and its weight gain effects. Take some time to relax, and you may find that this simple step can not only help you maintain a healthy weight, but also live a happier, healthier life!