Thursday, February 5, 2015

Can Stress cause weight gain or slow progress?

Can stress cause weight gain or slow progress?
This is a topic that came up in the past week within a challenge group and I really wanted to sit down and write more about this subject in hopes of helping each of you if you feel stuck.  Losing weight in general is not typically something you wake up thrilled to do, it takes talking yourself into not hitting the snooze, staying consistent, saying no thanks while others around you indulge.  When stress is added in it's an entirely different leave of challenge involved especially if you’re in the beginning phases of creating a lifestyle change.  

Let's face it we live in a day and time it's easy to let circumstances around us cause unwanted stress, death in the family, job changes, moving, family members health, your children and dealing with issues of them maturing, unexpected bills, things breaking at the house and need repaired.  Somewhere along the line even as level headed as most would like to remain life throws stress.


So how can stress delay weight lose?
Stress and Food Cravings
Many people find that they eat when they are under stress. This is when you eat not because you’re hungry but because some emotion such as anger, sadness or frustration is pushing you to reach for food. Usually, you eat when you are stressed because food brings you a sense of comfort and at a very young age we are taught to use food for comfort. Everyone has their own comfort foods. Commonly eaten foods to relieve stress are sweets such as chocolate, ice cream, cookies or candy. Salty and fatty foods such as potato chips and pizza are also common foods. These foods contain higher fat and salt content and are generally lacking in nutrition. For me personally it’s ice cream and for the first 6 month of eating clean it’s an item I could not have in the house or when stress, happiness, boarded, well let’s face it any emotion would kick in I would reach for a little ice cream.  Growing up ice cream was a treat (something we had often) it was found at every celebration so it’s no wonder that’s my go to food.  Do you know what food is not safe in your house?  Take time to think about this one
Can Stress cause weight gain or slow progress?
Stress Hormones and Weight Gain
When you are under a great deal of stress, your body releases cortisol, which is a stress hormone. The release of cortisol has been linked with the buildup of abdominal fat. In one study, slim women gained weight due to their inability to deal with stressful life conditions. Being under a great deal of stress causes physiological changes that can lead to cravings and a change in eating patterns.
When your body releases an excess of cortisol, this interferes with your metabolic processes. The release of stress hormones has been linked with a slowing down of the metabolism. So when you are dealing with a lot of stress, you may be eating the same amount of food as before but not burning off as many calories as you used to.

Can Stress cause weight gain or slow progress?

Ways to relieve stress that work well, taking a bath, going grocery shopping alone, surfing Pinterest, taking a long drive with nothing but the radio, reading a new book, asking a friend to join you for coffee, a great sweat session, take part in your favorite hobby, keep a journey and write down your feelings, surround yourself with those that support and understand what you’re going through in life, drink a warm cup of green tea, breathing exercises, clean up the clutter in your house, get a message, do charity work, go for a walk,  and a cat nap just to walk away from the situation and regroup.
Can Stress cause weight gain or slow progress?

I hope this helps with the next time life hands you that unexpected phone call, turn of events, or a twist in everyday life.  Smile!!  Whether you're riding life and coasting along or feel that today could not get any worse remember this too will pass and thank goodness for seasons in life. 


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