There’s a new key to weight loss – reduce stress, say experts. Though they don’t notice it, most people tend to overeat when they are stressed out. This will upset their fitness plans and keep them from achieving their weight loss goals. Managing chronic stress helps you eat better, exercise better and also improves your overall health.
Why does stress cause weight gain? Experts say that anxiety causes sleep deprivation and triggers the release of certain hormones that increase cravings for food – both factors that promote weight gain.
- When you are stressed, you tend to stay awake at night for a long time and fail to get the recommended hours of sleep. Lack of sleep may disturb the function of chemicals that control appetite. Also, you may crave for carbs when you are tired.
- Similarly, when chronically stressed, most people crave comfort foods. These foods are generally easy to eat processed foods (such as cookies, potato chips and ice cream) which make you gain weight easily.
- Anxiety can also trigger emotional eating which sometimes result in overeating. The American Psychological Association’s “Stress in America:” survey found that a massive 40% of respondents deal with stress by overeating or eating unhealthy foods.
Improved mental well-being is a key element in preventing obesity and related conditions such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.
With current fast-paced lifestyles, stress is often inevitable, but there are many ways to cope with it, reduce its harmful effects, and prevent it from getting out of control. Techniques such as exercise yoga, meditation, and relaxing hobbies are highly recommended strategies to deal with stress and anxiety. And people are learning. The results of a large nationally representative survey published earlier this year by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health shows that the number of Americans using mind and body approaches to improve health and well-being is high. Choose a technique that is appropriate to your lifestyle and enjoy many benefits, including weight loss.