The world today is a place of constant movement, with people always rushing from place to place as they try to complete the many tasks they’re faced with on a daily basis.
If you feel you’re always stressed, not only is this bad for you mentally, but it’s also a huge contributing factor to unhealthy weight gain.
External Reaction to Stress
When you first begin to experience stress, studies have shown you’re most likely to experience a loss of appetite. More than likely, you’ll be so focused on the issue that is causing you stress that you’ll either not want to or forget to eat.
However, the same researchers have found that if this stress continues for an extended period of time, you’ll actually begin to eat more.
This will continue and begin to snowball, until you’re putting on quite a few unwanted pounds. For those who are trying to lose weight, this is a horrible predicament.
Internal Reaction to Stress
While stress definitely feels like an emotion, it is actually a complex biological response that happens within the body.
When you’re stressed, you trigger your ‘fight or flight’ mode, which means the body is releasing adrenaline and cortisol. This will put your body in a state where it thinks it’s doing serious physical activity, like running away. After this, the body will think it needs to be replenished with increased nutrition.
So, even if you’re sitting at your desk stressed out about a deadline, your body will want enough food to feed it as though it had completed a serious workout. This makes it hard for people who are stressed to lose weight.
Controlling Stress Externally
Just like stress is both an external and internal reaction, it can be managed both externally and internally. If you find yourself extremely stressed, and putting on extra weight, take time out to exercise as much as possible.
This will put all those stress chemicals to good use, plus it will help you burn extra calories.
Also, make sure you’re getting enough quality sleep. Losing sleep is a very efficient way to get you snacking and eating more, so get to bed on time. This will also help you feel more refreshed and prepared to face the day in the morning.
Controlling Stress Internally
To both control your stress and to manage your weight while you’re stressed, your diet is extremely important. You’ll want to eat healthy, balanced meals consistently.
Avoid caffeine, sugar, and over processed foods. If you’re lacking specific things in your diet, take vitamins to supplement your meals.
Also, take a break and time to yourself to unwind and relax. Give your body a chance to realize that it doesn’t have to be in flight or fight mode.
Read or listen to music. If you want to relax but still be active, try a few yoga stances. These meditative moments will allow you to get your stress under control, physically and mentally.