Stress and Weight Gain

Dropping that demanding friend might be the key to healthy weight loss

It seems there’s no way of avoiding it, we’ve all got stress in our lives - and the older you get the more responsibilities come your way, and the more stressful each day can be.

Not to mention, for many of us the number on the scale just adds to the stress in our lives. But don’t let it get you; by reducing the amount of stress in your life you can achieve healthy weight loss.

Advertiser Links for Stress and Weight Gain [what's this?]

When you’re under pressure your body releases a hormone called adrenaline, which helps it deal with the stress. This hormone increases your energy and temporarily decreases your appetite. After stress has passed, a hormone called cortisol is released. Cortisol has been linked to an increase in abdominal fat and may also increase your appetite, which can lead to weight gain. When cortisol levels are raised they stay elevated, and carbohydrate and fat metabolism are stimulated for quick energy. This can cause sugar and carbohydrate cravings. Ever feel like a slice of chocolate cake when you’re stressed? That’s why - when going through stressful situations, you may feel as though you deserve that slice of cake, and really, your body thinks it does too.

You might not be able to control all the stress in your life, but here are a couple of tips to help you deal with it more effectively:

Plan it - Invest in a good day planner or palm pilot and make lists to help you manage all your tasks. More importantly, plan time for you. It’s important to make time for things you enjoy to help manage the rest of the tasks in your day. And don’t forget to plan your workouts. Slot them into your day planner and keep those appointments!

Snack right - Make sure you nosh on high fiber and whole grain foods such as oatmeal and fruits and vegetables, to keep your hunger at bay and sustain your energy level. By consuming the right snacks you’ll be more apt to face stressful situations head on.

Stop feeding your addictions - Yes, I know how much a cigarette or a cold drink seem to help alleviate stress, but actually, they contribute to stress levels. These coping mechanisms cause an increase in the level of cortisol in your body, which leads to more stress that in turn affects your blood sugar levels, making you feel even hungrier. That’s not to say you have to cut these vices out completely; you just need to monitor your caffeine and alcohol intake, especially if you want to achieve healthy weight loss.

Sweat it out - Exercise is a great way to help manage your stress level. It provides a productive means of escaping your stress (temporarily), and it can also bolster your attitude and help you stick to your weight loss plan - just think of how good you’ll feel after kicking your own butt in kickboxing!

Vitamins are vital - During times of stress, important nutrients such as Vitamins B and C are depleted. These vitamins help you deal with stress and the build-up of stress-related hormones in your body. Restore these nutrients by taking a high-quality multivitamin everyday.