Sunday, 5 February, 2023

Stress and weight gain: Why does it happen and how to prevent it

  • Sun Online Desk
  • 24th January, 2023 05:30:05 PM
  • Print news

Cortisol can increase your hunger because it stimulates the release of insulin, which is necessary to keep your blood sugar levels stable. Weight gain could result if you give in to those cravings. In fact, studies suggest that those who are heavier typically respond to stress by producing more cortisol. 

Along with this, when under a lot of stress, the majority of us start eating excessively. Your fight-or-flight reaction, commonly referred to as survival mode, is what causes this. When your body reaches a particular point of stress, it reacts as it sees fit. That typically refers to overeating. Why? because even if you haven't consumed any calories when under stress, your body believes that you have.

In addition to making you feel hungry, cortisol can also cause your metabolism to slow down, which acts as a strategy to help you store energy so you can handle whatever is happening. More severe, long-term health effects may develop when stress peaks or becomes challenging to manage. Untreated chronic stress has been related to depression, high blood pressure, sleeplessness, heart disease, anxiety, and obesity. 

The dangers of gaining weight include diabetes and increased blood pressure, heart condition, stroke issues with reproduction, a rise in joint pain, and a decline in lung and respiratory function. Furthermore, there is evidence linking obesity to a number of cancers, including pancreatic, esophageal, colon, breast, and kidney cancer. Let's now understand how we can combat weight gain from stress.

The first step in treating and controlling stress-related weight gain is to talk about your concerns with your doctor. After a comprehensive examination, they will rule out any other health problems and assist you in developing a strategy to control your weight and relieve stress. 

Along with taking the aforementioned stress-relieving measures, your doctor could advise consulting a registered dietitian (RD) who focuses on stress management and weight loss. You can create a balanced nutrition plan that meets your needs with the assistance of an RD. 

A psychologist or therapist may be recommended by your doctor as a way to learn stress management techniques. Finally, if your stress is brought on by long-term anxiety or depression, your doctor may possibly discuss medication with you.

Gaining weight might be caused by ongoing stress. The good news is that managing your weight is possible by reducing daily stressors in a simple and efficient manner. You can start to lower stress and control your weight by engaging in regular exercise, making healthy eating choices, practicing mindfulness meditation, and cutting down on your to-do list.

Short-term sleep deprivation results in higher caloric intake and weight gain. This might occur as a result of alterations in the hormones leptin and ghrelin, which control hunger, as well as increased consumption of high-calorie meals and beverages with added sugar. Most adults should try to sleep for at least seven hours every night. 

Along with getting good sleep as discussed previously, exercise reduces stress and may lessen the signs and symptoms of anxiety. But regularly working out has additional advantages. By aiding in calorie burning and boosting lean muscle mass, exercise can directly affect weight by assisting with weight management. 

Exercise on a regular basis might increase your body's resilience to stress. Exercise can result in positive changes in the stress response system that enhance how your body responds to upcoming physiological stressors. This may make your body better capable of handling psychological pressures as well. 

Regular exercise can also help you feel better after stressful events and recover from them more quickly. As a result, the overall toll that stressors take on the body is reduced.

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

Source: NDTV