When Stress Causes Weight Gain
It is no secret that stress has major effects on our body. When we undergo severe, chronic stress, the visible effects can be readily seen or felt. Headaches, muscle tension, digestive issues, depression, and sleep deprivation are a few side effects of stress that can manifest themselves in how we feel. But, in addition to the visible symptoms, stress can wreak havoc on our body and directly affect our metabolism. How Does Stress Affect Our Metabolism? A high level of the stress hormone cortisol can influence our metabolism in a way that leads to weight gain. In addition to affecting our metabolism, cortisol can up our appetite, cause us to crave all the wrong foods, and build belly fat. Although we can practice many stress reducing practices, some life circumstances simply eliminate the possibility of reducing our stressors. If you can’t fix what is causing you stress, making small changes to offset its effect can reduce the likelihood of gaining weight from stress. Choose your fats wisely. If you suspect stress may be causing you to burn less fat, change the way you are choosing fats when eating. Avoid eating an excess amount of fatty foods. Swap one meal for healthy fats to develop a balance that can help keep you from gaining weight. Snack on healthy choices such as nuts. Choose a salad with healthy fats, such as avocado, for lunch. Balance is key when adjusting the way you eat to reduce the effects of stress. Adjust your portions. If you are experiencing a schedule where it may be difficult to move around after you eat, switch up your meals. Shifting your servings can help to keep your metabolism working even when stress is weighing you down. Make sure you have a balance of fiber in your diet by eating things like water rich vegetables. Add a metabolic booster. One of the most common metabolism boosters is hot peppers. Choose ingredients like cayenne or chili pepper. If you don’t mind spicing things up, add jalapeno peppers. In additions to aiding in weight loss, these can help to boost immunity and lower cholesterol. Take your time. In our busy lives, sometimes all it takes to aid our weight loss is taking some time to breath and slow down. Before you consume your meal, take five minutes to relax and catch your breath. Become aware of your surroundings. Take deep breaths. Work to reduce your stress, at least momentarily. If you relieve muscle tension and shift your mindset, you might reduce your cortisol levels at the same time. Take a walk. After you eat, get up and get moving. Take a fifteen-minute walk after your meal. This will normalize your blood sugar levels for three hours after eating. If you can’t take fifteen minutes, use whatever time you should take a break in sitting and get your blood pumping. Not only will this help with digestion, you will have time to unwind, clear your head, catch up with family or friends, and this might ultimately reduce the level of your stress. Weight gain comes from a combination of resting metabolic rate, food intake, and the amount of exercise you get. In many cases, especially when weight gain can’t be explained, this is when stress causes weight gain.