Stress and weight gain - these 2 are said to go “hand-in-hand", by many researches that study the effect of stress on weights.
How does stress come about in the first place?
It's the result of our life that's so fast-paced; that's trying to do too many things at one time; that's so full of demanding requests of this and that at work, at school, in the family and in the society that we “stress up" when encounter these “challenging" situations.
How does your body deal with stress?
Well, when you encounter stressful situation, your adrenal glands release cortisol, a stress hormone. when you've lots of stresses, your cortisol also runs high.
When your cortisol is high, you could experience insulin resistance wherein cells in your body become resistant to the effects of insulin and your pancreas produces higher levels of insulin.
When you're insulin-resistant, your body converts sugars and carbohydrates into fat rather than burning them as energy. Hence, you gain weight.
That's how, in a nutshell, the connection between stress and weight gain begins. . . . . .
Stress also contributes to weight gain in other forms, such as through:
- A slow metabolism which makes you hard to burn off calories
- A craving for unhealthy fatty, sugary and salty foods which of course cause you to put on weight when you excessively consume them
- A change in blood sugar levels which can bringforth mood swing, tiredness and condition like hyperglycemia
- A fat storage that's gone out of whack as you tend to store fat at the abdomen area, which spells higher health risk of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and certain types of cancers than fat stored in other areas of your body
- An emotional eating episode which leads you to eat or binge more than you normally would, even though you aren't hungry
How to reduce stress?
Well, the best antidote is exercise.
Exercise promotes the secretion of the “feel good" neurotransmitters known as endorphins - the mood-elevating chemicals. They help to elevate your mood and alleviate your tension and bottled-up frustrations and anger, hence you feel good about yourself and have better outlook on every aspect of your life, including your stressful situation.
It relaxes your body and mind so you've clarity of mind and focus of attention in everything you do.
It also increases your self-confidence and reduces your inclination towards negative thinking and depression and gives you a sense of mastery over your life. These positive developments would be strong weapons to counteract the pressure of life you face.
You'd be surprised that even light exercise like slow walking can have positive effect on your brain and body, to let you handle your problems better. When you exercise, problems of work, family, kids, money and what nots seem less looming because you tend to shed off these problems during the workout.
Can I say exercise is thus a channel to vent off all your bottled up pressures, tensions and frustrations?
It is a channel, an effective one, at that.
Studies have shown that people who regularly exercise are less stressful and are able to better manage their problems.
Hence, make exercise an important part of your life.
You don't have to do lots, just a regular dose of 3-4 times per week for 30 - 60 minutes per session, is enough to de-stress you one way or another.
Go walking, jogging, biking, swimming, dancing. . . . . and vent off whatever pressure and frustration you've, through your workout!
Cecelia Yap is an avid exerciser and author of the popular exercise website: perfect-body-toning.com - a web site born out of her passion which she successfully turns into a profitable business
Perhaps you have a passion or hobby you'd like to write about. Find out how you too can turn it into a profitable business like Cecelia does, here: http://www.perfect-body-toning.com/my-passion.html