How Stress Causes Weight Gain

How Stress Causes Weight Gain

There are many people who tend to have no success in weight loss, despite all their efforts with exercise and diet. Sometimes this can be due to their stress levels. Stress is a common emotion for most people, however chronic stress is a risk factor for weight gain. It affects your emotions as well as your figure. Hence, to shed pounds you need to learn how to manage and reduce your stress.

How Stress Causes Weight Gain

Stress signals the brain to release stress hormones
When we encounter stressful events, the body’s natural response is to release stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones can trigger the factors that can contribute to weight gain like cravings and elevated blood sugar levels. More so, this physiological response stimulates fat storage to serve as energy reserves to compensate for low energy levels.

Slows down the metabolism
When you feel down, you either eat a lot or less. Either way, it can cause weight gain because overeating can increase your weight and too few calories can stall your metabolism. Slowed metabolisms prevents you from burning more calories and fats as a result you rapidly gain weight and build more fat deposits, particularly on the arms, thighs and abdomen.

Stress can cause sleepless nights
Lack of sleep, not only affects your disposition it affects your way of thought processing. When your body experiences stress, you often grab comfort foods as a coping mechanism. However, at night, your metabolism is normally slower, which causes you to take extra calories from the foods that you eat. Moreover, insufficient sleep can lead to fatigue, low energy levels and irritability, which can further add to your stress levels.

Emotional Eating
The fastest way to relieve stress is to satisfy your cravings. This is a good thing if you crave for healthy foods like veggies and fruits. Nevertheless, when you feel down you usually choose unhealthy food. According to Susan Bowerman, the assistant director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, Emotional eaters opt for high-carbohydrate foods to manage stress. High-carb foods can trigger the brain to increase the serotonin levels which help calm the mind. Even so, starchy foods only provide a temporary fix. When continuously taken to manage stress, it can cause a huge amount of weight gain in the long run.

Inactivity due to Low energy levels
When you have low energy levels due to  stress you often feel tired. Therefore, exercise and sports are often not on your priority list. Instead, you spend your time lying on the couch and watching movie reruns, or you may sleep a lot. These activities will not stimulate weight loss but rather weight. Inactivity when stressed is almost similar to sedentary lifestyle, which is a significant risk factor of obesity.

How to manage stress
It’s normal to feel stressed sometimes. What’s not normal is when you continuously dwell on the unfaithful event that causes prolonged stress. To flush out the negativity, you need to do diversional activities like sports, exercises, yoga, meditation or anything that could make you feel relaxed and active. Getting the right amount of sleep and eating foods that are rich with antioxidants can also combat and guard against stress. Here are four fun ways to relieve stress.

About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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