Stress plays a huge role in a person’s ability to maintain healthy body weight. A person can either lose or gain a lot of weight due to too much stress. But more often than not, stress tends to make a person gain weight instead of losing it. It can be the result of high levels of the stress hormone cortisol, unhealthy stress-induced behaviours, or a combination of the two. The only way to succeed in obesity prevention or obesity treatment is less stress.
The Relation Between Stress, Cortisol, And Weight Gain
It is well-known that rise too much stress leads to a rise in the stress hormone cortisol. This, in turn, can lead to weight gain. Your adrenal glands tend to release adrenaline and cortisol whenever you get stressed. As a result, glucose is released into your bloodstream. This happens to give you energy in order to escape a risky situation. After a while, the threat subsides and your adrenaline wears. Your blood sugar also drops. This is the exact moment when cortisol kicks in and you are required to replenish your energy supply really quickly.
So, in order to replenish your energy, you will be eating. In most cases, we tend to reach for sugary foods as sugar or glucose are supply that is needed to gain energy quickly. But the disadvantage of eating too much sugar can lead to weight gain. Our body tends to store this sugar, especially after a stressful situation. This energy gets stored mostly as abdominal fat which is the most difficult to lose. This is how the vicious cycle starts. You become stressed, your body will release cortisol, you will gain weight, then eat more sugar and gain more weight.
Another way cortisol can lead to gain weight is by slowing down your metabolism. Even if you don’t eat foods rich with fat and sugar, cortisol can still affect you. If you stress too much then your metabolism will slow down and the food you eat will get stored as fat.
Seven Tips For Dealing With Stress
The good news is that stress is reversible which means you can easily break this vicious cycle. All you need to do is acknowledge it and try several ways to cope with it. Below methods will help you in obesity prevention.
- Get good sleep
- Be physically active
- Talk to a friend
- Keep a journal
- Read a book
- Get in touch with your creative sides
But in case you feel nothing is working to reduce stress, it is best to see a professional. Also, if you keep gaining weight, you can try for obesity treatment. This will help to lose weight and reduce your stress as well.