Even though both women and men are negatively affected by stress, it’s most common that women always receive the short-end, as opposed to men, and gain a few extra pounds, or even hold onto weight as a result thereof.
Whatever it is that might be bothering you, whether you’re conscious about it, or it’s hidden in your subconscious, and you don’t even think about it at all, many factors can cause you to be stressed out.
Due to life being filled with stressful factors, especially when it comes to our work environment, studies or having too much to do and too little time, stress is identified as the number one cause of weight gain and even as the silent killer sometimes.
The Link Between Stress and Weight Gain
Stress can be good in moderation, but when your body is faced with high levels thereof, it might not be good at all.
When we are stressed, we tend to push ourselves harder in our work environments, school, college, or whatever we are faced with, but it can also turn out to be very bad for us.
The effect of high levels of stress on the body results in an increase in the hormone, known as cortisol, which commonly rises under pressure and typically occurs in the body holding onto weight, which it can either be water weight, or visceral fat.
When stress levels are increased, there is also a greater chance of an increase in thyroid activity, which might also lead to excessive weight gain, which can’t be explained or isn’t a result of food intake at all.
How to Stop Gaining Weight with Stress
If you want to prevent weight gain, caused by stress, there are a few things you can do to counter it. Something as simple as following a well-balanced diet and getting enough exercise, are just two lifestyle factors, which will help aid in your resistance to gaining weight.
- Exercise – Known as one of the best methods to lose weight and reduce stress, exercise is better than any other weight loss plan, remedy or medication you can think of to combat weight gain. Not only does it aid in heart, body, metabolism and mental health, but it also helps your body and mind to remain peaceful, calm, relaxed and even fight off depression or stress. Exercise also helps lower blood pressure, reduces your blood sugar levels and can improve LDL cholesterol.
- Avoid Caffeine – Since caffeine increases cortisol levels more than stress ever could, to avoid increasing it and ultimately gaining weight, one must avoid it altogether.
Given that caffeine also raises catecholamine, which are the stress hormones that stimulates cortisol, caffeine isn’t considered to be good for those who are prone to stress at all.
While many believe that caffeine can curb hunger, it encourages you to consume more food, especially carbs and sugar.
Meditating can come in many different forms. It can mean to meditate physically, reading a book or even just taking a hot bath. It can be anything that avoids your body from being stressed and can aid in your body connecting to your mind and also leave your mind fit.
By meditating regularly, you can help balance your cortisol levels and as a result, reduce stress and weight gain altogether.
- Get Enough Shut-Eye
A lack of sleep is known to raise cortisol levels and is also considered to be one of the major causes of depression. It is thus essential for both your mental and physical health. If you’ve been sleeping too little lately, it might be the reason why your gaining weight.