🗣Today’s Topic: Stress Management & Weight loss
❓Are you stressed in your life or struggling to find a work-life balance? Does it hinder your sleep badly?
When you’re under stress, you may find it harder to eat healthy. Also, during times of particularly high stress, you may eat in an attempt to fulfill emotional needs — sometimes called stress eating or emotional eating. And you may be especially likely to eat high-calorie foods during times of stress, even when you’re not hungry.
It may sound surprising, but stress actually plays a large role in your waistline and how easily you can lose weight. For example, multiple studies show how stress and lack of sleep can lead to an increase in your cortisol levels (the stress hormone). Having higher levels of cortisol in your body can cause you to:
- feel hungrier; and
- crave foods that have a lot of sugar, calories, and fat.
Yes, trust me(as no one could possibly know better than me), Stress can be a culprit to our progress as it spoils our sleep and in turn, it damages the sleep cycle and we are not able to recover well for tomorrow!
➡️Let’s see how Stress hampers our lifestyle and how can we find a way out of it?
Adrenaline, Cortisol, and Norepinephrine are known to be the Three Major Stress Hormones, out of which Cortisol is known to be the impactful stress hormone of three.
Adrenaline, along with norepinephrine is largely responsible for the immediate reactions we feel when we are stressed. So suddenly you feel your muscles are tense, you’re breathing faster, and also you may start sweating. That is the deed of adrenaline.
The primary role of norepinephrine is arousal so when you are stressed, you become more aware of the situation and you tend to think about it a lot which will keep you awake and also focused. You are just generally more responsive and sensible.
Now come to our favorite, Cortisol. When we are stressed, the body continuously releases cortisol, and chronically elevated levels can lead to serious issues. Too much cortisol can suppress the immune system, increases glucose in the bloodstream, and enhances our brain’s use of glucose. Hence it increases our blood pressure, produces acne, contributes to obesity, and more other side effects.
Stress-Induced Unhealthy Habits
In addition to the hormonal changes related to stress, stress can also drive you to engage in the following unhealthy behaviors, all of which can cause weight gain:
- Emotional eating: Increased levels of cortisol can not only make you crave unhealthy food, but excess nervous energy can often cause you to eat more than you normally would. You might find that snacking or reaching for a second helping provides you with some temporary relief from your stress but makes healthy weight management more difficult.
- Eating “accessible” or fast food: When we are stressed, and not planning, we tend to eat the first thing we see and/or what is readily available and accessible, which is not always the healthiest options. You may also be more likely to drive through a fast-food place, rather than taking the time and mental energy to cook a balanced, healthy meal.
- Exercising less: With all the demands on your schedule, exercising may be one of the last things on your to-do list. If so, you’re not alone. A long commute and hours spent sitting behind a desk can leave little opportunity for physical activity.
- Skipping meals: When you are juggling a dozen things at once, eating a healthy meal can drop down in the list of priorities. You might find yourself skipping breakfast because you’re running late or not eating lunch because there’s just too much on your to-do list.
- Sleeping less: Many people report trouble sleeping when they’re stressed. And research has linked sleep deprivation to a slower metabolism. Feeling overtired can also reduce willpower and contribute to unhealthy eating habits.
How to Break the Cycle of Stress and Weight Gain
✔Manage your sleep cycle well. Sleep early, get up early. Restrict caffeine intake post dinner.
✔Make exercise a priority. Exercising is a critical component of stress reduction and weight management. If you are active, your body will be tired and it will signal you to sleep.
✔You should have optimal nutrition, and keep your food habit in control. Don’t fall into the trap of stress eating.
✔Drink more water, staying hydrated can keep the tiredness at bay.
✔Try meditation, find out a calm corner at your house, and sit there for 15 minutes without any disturbances or interference from electronic gadgets!
✔Incorporate stress-relief strategies into your daily life, and manage your work-life balance. Once a job is done- good or bad, do not overthink it.
✔Get encouragement from supportive friends and family.
These are a few tips that you should be implementing if you are feeling stressed and if you look forward to building a positive lifestyle.
I hope this helps. Stay Tuned for my next writeup!
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❤Cheers and Love❤
Your FITTR Coach, Niti>
Certified Fitness and Nutrition Consultant
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