Is your work pressure causing weight gain? - Stress and weight gain

  • By Sahana Rajan

How does your body react to stress?

When your body is in stress, it produces a hormone called cortisol. It is one of the hormones produced when your body feels endangered in any situation. While the body can produce these hormones occasionally, if you stay in this state for a long time due to prolonged stress at office, then it can cause a series of medical dangers, one of them being weight gain.

How do hormones regulate your body in stress? The metabolism of your body lowers when you continue to stress for long. This will lead to weight gain at a higher rate than normal. When you are under stress, the body also craves high-calorie foods like sweets and others which stimulate the part of your brain that gives you pleasure and relaxation. Thus, you also eat more junk and fast food while stressed. The level of blood sugar also rises rapidly when you have stress for a long time.

The worst part about stress-induced weight gain is that it reinforces itself. Bonnie Taub, a weight-loss expert and spokeswoman of American Dietetic Association remarked that due to stress people begin to gain weight and due to weight gain, in turn, they start to eat more.

Lifestyle of a Workaholic :

People who work excessively also do not have time for a workout. A rigorous workout is not required to keep your health in check. All you need is 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic activity every week. However, due to poor eating, work, and sleep schedules, exercise and health take a backseat in your daily chores.

How to deal with stress and not gain weight? Firstly, accept that you are under stress. This will help you to manage and shape your lifestyle according to the demands of the situation. Secondly, keep a check on your eating. Avoid binge eating in order to satisfy your stress. Thirdly, sleep at least for 7.5 to 8 hours every day. Not sleeping enough can result in your body feeling fatigued during the day, and consequently, eating too much or eating unhealthy. Fourthly, take a break! It is important to make sure you give your body enough rest. Our bodies are not made to be in a continuous survival-mode caused by chronic stress. Go for a vacation during the weekend. Take up hobbies and find time to practice them.