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Gaining Weight and Stress

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When we look all around us,  we can actually see people having a serious obsession with weight. This is why there are so many weight loss clinics, and gyms have gained a high level of popularity nowadays. 
 
One of the favorite lines of women in a party is " Oh I really think that you have lost weight " This is almost a cliche.  Yet we need to realize that, we actually hold the control button to this story of weight loss. 

Stress has a serious impact on how much we weigh. Sometimes it can be responsible for weight loss and sometimes for weight gain. 

REASONS FOR WEIGHT CHANGE

Stressful experiences contribute in a very big way to gaining and losing weight. We each one of us, on an individual level, respond to stress in our own unique way. 

Gaining weight has many reasons:

CHRONIC STRESS

One of the maIn reasons for weight gain,  is an increase in appetite due to stress. Craving for all the wrong foods becomes high,  as the desire to create happiness within is primary. Slowly by being over indulgent over the months, weight gain begins to occur. 

HORMONAL CHANGES

These are mainly triggered by stress and can be held responsible for many changes in the levels of weight.

METABOLISM CHANGES

Due to metabolism changes, the levels of insulin change in the body, and fat storage undergoes a change. 

FIGHT OR FLIGHT RESPONSE

The reaction to this response, is the release of adrenaline  and cortisol. 

1. Adrenaline,  minimizes the desire to eat and prepares the body to take action. 

2. Cortisol, temporarily suppresses the nonessential functions, such as, digestive, immune and reproductive response. More cortisol in the body, gives you a craving for sugary things and high fat content snacks. 

METABOLISM SPEED

Research by Ohio State University suggests that stress was directly linked to slower metabolism. On an average, they noticed that women who were fed a high calorie diet the previous night, their stress levels when checked in the morning  showed that, women with higher level of stressors had slower metabolism. 

FAT STORAGE

Excessive fat gets stored in the body,  when the person is under higher stress.


COMFORT EATING

1. High sugar foods are preferred
2. Emotional Eating is a key behaviour. Excessive nervous energy promotes greater eating. Snacking or temporary eating provides momentary relief.   

FAST FOOD

This is preferred over a healthy diet,  in times of stress. 


BUSY SCHEDULES

Leaving little time for oneself.  Long working hours,  extremely unhealthy schedules

 
FAD DIETS

Unbalanced diets are bad for health. They promote a stressful condition.  

NOT ENOUGH SLEEP

This is also the result of a slower metabolism, triggered by stress. Feeling tired depletes from will power and leads to stress. 


COMBAT STRESS RELATED WEIGHT CHANGE

EXCERCISE AS A PRIORITY

 A good walk, badminton, going to the gym, whatever the type of exercise you enjoy,  just stay with it. 

MINDFUL EATING

Pay attention to food intake.  Keep a tab on what you eat.  Maintain a food diary and keep consciously track of food habits. 

STRESS RELIEF STRATEGIES

These help to lower cortisol levels and help to beat the cycle of stress. 
Stress generated weight is a very easily  reversible  condition.  Once you are clearly aware that it is stress,  it becomes easy to resolve.  

 SELF CARE STRATEGIES

These include,  eating healthy,  lots of water,  lots of exercise and improved sleeping habits. These strategies even if followed at a comfortable pace,  will help you to balance your life. Eating all meals and not skipping any is essential. We need to realize that paying attention to your body is essential. 

The body is the temple of the human spirit, and all that goes on through our minds,  is reflected through our bodies constantly.  
It is our duty to maintain a healthy body, by keeping a healthy mind. Accept only positive things, reject the negative. This is the only way to a stress free life. 
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