Stress will keep you up at night, leave you feeling exhausted during the day, it can cause dark circles in your eyes along with a few wrinkles and in addition to all that – it can make you gain weight.
You may not notice it initially but with time you’ll begin to notice the pounds you have been putting on. Instead of gaining the weight and going through the troubles to burn it away, it’s better to recognize the actions that are causing you to put on weight and stop them immediately.
It’s not easy to stop worrying but you should know that a large portion of those pounds that you are gaining can be explained by how much you worry.
Your body responds to feelings of anxiousness by releasing stress hormones in the body. These hormones then travel down your bloodstream and gather in particular spots in the body and trigger specific emotional, physiological and psychological changes in your body. Sometimes the release of stress hormones also activates the production of blood sugar in the system and this rush of extra fuel in the body causes you to feel hungry.
This urge for blood sugar by the body usually causes cravings for food high in carbs and sugar since they can easily be converted into blood sugar.
- Skipping Meals
You are inclined to skip meals when you’re stressed. You’d think this will cause you to lose weight but it does the opposite. Not eating on time forces your body into a state of starvation which leads to the release of ghrelin in your body. Ghrelin is the “hunger hormone”; it stimulates appetite causing you to eat. When ghrelin is released in the body you tend to eat more than you need to and since ghrelin also promotes the storage of fat, you gain weight.
When you’re down in the dumps you look to the easiest way of fixing your mood, in a desperate attempt to feel better people indulge in comfort foods. Stress-eating with a tub of ice cream or a giant plate of chili cheese fries may feel great for a short period but once a couple of hours later it will cause you to feel sluggish and low again.
Fatty and sugary foods do pick you up for a moment before you’re back to feeling horrible again. Constantly indulging in fatty and sugary foods is bound to make you gain weight.
- Not Getting Enough Sleep
Stress prevents you from getting enough sleep which causes an imbalance in the nightly hormones, ghrelin and leptin.
Ghrelin is even more of a problem when you are not getting enough sleep as there is more of it present in your system when you are sleep deprived. When you’re sleep-deprived there is less leptin in your system, this is the hormone that tells you to stop eating.
Being sleep deprived forces you to consume food for the sake of providing you with instant energy that will help you get through the day.
Your metabolism is also much slower when you are sleep deprived.
- Going to the supermarket when hungry
Most of us aren’t thinking straight when stressed and are prone to making rash decisions. Going to the supermarket when you’re stressed is a bad idea mainly because you’ll pick up all the wrong items. To prevent impulse purchases that you will regret later, force yourself to prepare a grocery list before you head out to the supermarket.
- Drinking too much caffeine
Other than food, we also rely on caffeine excessively to help us get through the day when we’re stressed, whether it’s in the form of energy drinks or coffee.
Studies reveal that drinking 5 or more cups of coffee can lead to weight gain as well is irregular levels of insulin.
We really don’t want to do anything when we’re under stress. You may be tempted to remain in bed or slack on the couch all day but the more time you spend being lazy, the less calories you burn which in turn leads to weight gain.