Stress can lead to various health complications, one of them being unhealthy weight gain. Chronic stress can make it difficult for you to lose weight and also hinders weight management. Stress may overtake your body due to the increased level of a stress hormone called cortisol. The level of cortisol increases during stressful and dangerous situations. Thus, unmanaged stress will lead to an increased level of cortisol for a longer time. This can affect the appetite as unmanaged cortisol levels can increase the appetite and can lead to weight gain. After a stressful situation, you tend to crave sugar as it provides instant energy to the body. This means that after every stressful situation, the body craves sweets which can lead to overconsumption of sugar and can lead to weight gain. The energy produced from the consumption of extra sugar gets stored in the body in form of fat which makes weight loss more difficult. Stress also harms the metabolism as cortisol can decelerate the metabolism. This can also make weight loss difficult.
How to keep the weight off during stressful times
The first and foremost step to managing weight to stop stress is to manage stress by following various tips:
- Recognize the causes of stress
Often, there are multiple causes of stress in one’s life. It is easy to deal with stressful situations that are short-lived as they can be dealt with in less time and only some energy is used on them. However, chronic stress can consume a large amount of energy and take more time. It is necessary to identify what triggers you and causes you the most stress. Recognizing the cause can enable you to find the right solution to deal with the problem. Once you can recognize all the causes which lead to stress it will be easier to deal with such situations.
- Unwind with yoga and meditation
Yoga can be carried out in form of physical activity as well as a meditative process also. It has various forms which can help you to be fit physically and mentally. Yoga forms and poses that focus on breathing and stretching and help you ease stress. Such practices can relieve sore muscles and also provide peace of mind. Regular practice of yoga and meditation will also boost your mood as they help in boosting the feel-good hormones that can prove to be efficient in managing stress and also keep you in a good mood. It improves concentration and helps you to focus on the present which can improve your performance at work and can enable you to work more efficiently. It also makes you more accepting and teaches you to keep a positive outlook.
- Plan a meet-up
A meet-up can be beneficial in taking your mind off a stressful situation. Conversing and meeting with the people you value and care about can have a therapeutic effect. It was seen that when people converse in person the body comes out of the stress response and tends to relax. More social people are less likely to experience anxiety due to stress as compared to people who don’t converse with others at all. This is because socializing is necessary to keep your mind off the work and stressful situations. Sometimes social interaction can be beneficial as it can help you to feel heard and can provide you with some good suggestions for the problem.
- Enhance your time management
Time management is necessary for carrying out daily tasks smoothly. However, it is necessary to bring the required changes in your routine as time changes. During stressful times it is necessary to take breaks and avoid overburdening yourself with work as this will only lead to more stress and will also affect the work quality negatively. Working for long hours will affect your physical as well as mental health. It is necessary to prioritize your sleep and maintain a healthy balance between work and life.
These tips will enable you to manage stress which will help you in preventing weight gain due to stress as well. Below given are the key points that can help you to manage your weight during stressful times.
- Maintain a healthy diet
Diet plays a major role in managing your stress levels. A balanced diet can help you cope with stressful situations and also keep your weight in check. A healthy diet provides you with enough energy to deal with the after-effects of stress easily and enables you to feel energetic for a longer time. This can have a positive effect on your work and mood. Although junk food looks more appealing after a stressful day it is necessary to avoid eating such food as it offers no nutritional value and also leads to weight gain. To maintain a healthy weight it is necessary to consume protein, carbs, and healthy fats in the right proportion along with some fresh fruits and vegetables. This will help you deal with stress and stress-related weight gain.
- Exercise regularly
Regular exercise has various health benefits like better weight management, reducing blood cholesterol levels, improving sleep cycles, and also helping you to cope with stress. An improved sleep cycle is necessary for weight management and stress management. Inadequate sleep can lead to overeating and also affects your mood negatively. Hence, if you face difficulty falling asleep exercise can help you to improve your sleep quality. Regular exercise also makes weight management easy as it enables you to enjoy little treats once in a while without leading to weight gain. This also helps you to avoid stress related to weight gain and enables you to focus on other important tasks. For some people, it can be a way to unwind as exercising can release feel-good hormones. This means improved mood every day hence it motivates to exercise every day. It is not necessary to join a formal class or a gym, a simple walk, riding a bicycle can also help you to reap these benefits.