Stress makes us all do funny things. Your temperature rises, your stomach does flips and your mind goes blank.
So why is it that some people lose weight when they stress, while others gain weight? It really doesn’t seem fair.
At Rapid Loss we are no strangers to the side effects of stress. We share some tips for getting around your stressful habits and back into the fat-burning zone.
We live in fun times. Our phones are constantly abuzz with social media apps, work emails and news all demanding our immediate attention. And the precious little time we get to ourselves before and after work is quickly taken up with travel time, grocery shopping and family commitments. Put simply, our lives are more hectic than our minds and bodies can handle. It’s no wonder we’re all stressed and burnt out.
If that isn’t enough stress for you, recent scientific research suggests that long term stress can lead to persistent weight gain. Researchers from the University College of London conducted an extensive study on 2,527 men and women over the age of 50. They measured the level of cortisol, aka “the stress hormone”, in clippings of hair. They found out that the higher the level of cortisol, the bigger a persons body weight, BMI and waist circumference was. It was also linked to the persistent of obesity over time.
Several other studies have also examined the links between weight gain around the waistline and high cortisol levels.
Cortisol is a steroid hormone produced in the adrenal gland. This stress hormone has many roles in the body, including maintaining blood pressure, immune function and anti-inflammatory processes, and helps stimulate the release of insulin into the body. When we are stressed our cortisol levels rise which can in turn cause higher insulin levels and low blood sugar levels. All of this results in cravings for sugary and fatty foods and lead to possible weight gain.
This is the scientific explanation as to why you crave “comfort foods” like potato chips, pizza and ice cream when you are stressed. The other reason is somewhat less appealing. That is that we simply don’t take the time to care for ourselves. Unfortunately we can’t control our hormones, but we can influence the way we react to them.
So, how could your stressful lifestyle be ruining your weight loss efforts and what can you do about it?
Stressful Situation 1: Not eating properly
It’s very easy to ditch our healthy eating habits and exercise routine when we’re stressed, but learning about your triggers and ways to control them may just help you keep the kilograms off permanently. Many of us deal with negative emotions by eating them away instead of dealing with the feelings that cause us to eat in the first place. If you are an emotional eater, try this trick.
Worse yet, you may forget to eat altogether. But forgetting to eat will only slow your metabolism and increase the chances that you will overeat later.
The range of Rapid Loss Meal Replacement Shakes are so easy and delicious and they have been designed to combat all your hunger cravings. Formulated by leading food and nutrition technologists, the shakes are high in fibre and protein helping to create a feeling of fullness that can help satisfy your hunger cravings in-between meals.
Next time you are feeling stressed and reach for the chocolate, try reaching for our wildly popular Chocolate Rapid Loss Shake instead.
Stressful Situation 2: Not sleeping enough
As we already learned in our article Sleep Yourself Slim, not getting enough shut eye causes increased cortisol and gherlin levels. The hormone gherlin is an appetite stimulant.
When we are sleep-deprived, the balancing act of our hormones is lost: we produce more gherlin and cortisol, but less leptin. And as a result, our brain is told we are hungry! Our appetite is stimulated by the increase in gherlin, with less leptin to offset these signals plus more cortisol our increased hunger is not kept in check and we overeat.
It can be hard to get to sleep when we are stressed, but your waistline is depending on it!
Stressful Situation 3: Making poor choices
Stress and bad decisions go together like mac and cheese (pun intended)!
It’s bad enough that your head is clouded with many competing thoughts, but your hormones are also driving you straight down the junk food aisles at the supermarket.
Hitting up the bakery section is probably not the best idea when you are stressed and hungry. If you can’t send someone else on your weekly grocery shop, make a list before you go and limit the time that you’re in there.
Being organised among all the chaos can also be empowering.