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How Stress Can be Responsible for Your Weight Gain?

So what is on our wish list this year? For millions its, being fit, more exercise, losing weight or sleeping more? Well each of you can consider tackling one issue that can put all your new year resolutions on a backseat – Stress! The most underrated aspect and an issue that affects us all the most.

The World Health Organisation calls stress ‘the health epidemic of the 21st century’ and my experience highlights that today 80% of the GP consultations are somehow related to stress.

Every day, I see patients in my practice who are literally stressing themselves to an early grave. I know a local accountant who is go – go the entire time. He never switches off, and his wife is worried. But because he has no serious symptoms at the moment, he won’t listen to either of us. He assumes nothing’s going wrong and that the stress isn’t harming him. But it’s probably damaging his body so much that, within a few years, I suspect he’ll be hit with a serious health crisis.

The Stress is not just affecting your Mind – its Harming your Body too:

Too much stress in life can be a double whammy. Causing serious complications affecting your mind and body, both. Invariably, stress directly causes obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, strokes and Alzheimer’s disease. Stress is also a key player in insomnia, burn-out and auto-immune disease, as well as many mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression. 

Stress is also a two-way street

It makes us more likely to binge on bad food and alcohol, sleep badly and skip exercise – poor lifestyle choices that are significant stressors on our bodies, themselves. The very existence of stress generates more stress, and the more of it piles up, the less we’re able to cope. 

Know what Stress does to you:

Let’s discuss the areas that can get affected by stress the most and can adversely affect you and your life. Go through the list below and decide on the aspects that you need to work on.

How does Stress make you put on weight?

Stress levels are detected by the hypothalamus in our body. When it senses high stress levels, it releases sugar into the blood stream. At the same time, muscle and liver cells within our body become resistant to the hormone insulin, so that this sugar remains in our bloodstream and available for the most important organ of all, our brain. Our heart starts to beat faster and our blood pressure rises, while non-essential processes such as digestion are switched off. These short sharp sugar bursts give us triggers. However, continued high stress levels can lead to long term insulin resistance, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Digestion issues such as constipation, bloating, indigestion, IBS can follow along with chronic inflammation. These issues engineer our body to ‘hold’ on to weight, no matter what our food intake, making us put on the extra pounds.

Tips to avoid weight gain due to stress

  • Do not stress eat. Make healthy choices
  • No matter how much the pressure may be, take out ‘Me’ time – time for yourself
  • Eat the alphabet – have a fibre rich diet and keep your ‘gutbugs’ happy
  • Find your personal exercise prescription. It could be yoga, walking, running or simply doing household chores, what ever it is, do it and include it in your life
  • Avoid smoking and drinking – save your biome from these culprits
  • Treat yourself to sleep – always try and keep time for yourself to take short naps and a proper night sleep.

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