The role of stress in weight gain

Sweets and snacks on a table

Everyone experiences stress on a daily basis. Small levels of cortisol, or the stress hormone, in your body can actually be a positive contribution to your everyday actions by motivating you to complete your tasks. However, for many people, life has become increasingly busier with constant pressures from family, work, relationships, social networks and societal expectations.

Over time, accumulated stress can make you feel overwhelmed and anxious. To cope with high levels of stress, some people turn to food as a way to find control amid their busy schedules. Often, this unhealthy coping mechanism leads to unwanted weight gain.

Reasons Stress Contributes to Weight Gain

  • Not being mindful of the present moment. When you become stressed, it is difficult to be mindful of your thoughts and actions. Some individuals become so consumed with their stress that they do not listen to their body’s needs. Individuals may react instinctively and reach for unhealthy food to escape whatever is making them stressed in the moment, even if they are not actually hungry. By not being aware of the present moment, individuals may react instinctively and replace unwanted thoughts and feelings with unhealthy food.
  • Psychosocial factors. According to a study conducted by the National Institute of Health, stress can accumulate due to the following psychosocial factors: “low socioeconomic status, personal conflicts with friends and family, stressful work environments, lack of adequate social support, poor self-esteem, trying to balance home and work life, or caring for a sick loved one.” All of these factors can increase someone’s stress levels and can largely contribute to negative thoughts and destructive actions. In fact, research has shown that high levels of stress caused by these psychosocial factors contribute to weight gain and other health problems, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
  • Biological factors. When your body is stressed, the hormone cortisol is pumped into your bloodstream and adrenaline levels increase. This makes your breathing heavier and your heart beat faster. When individuals experience chronic, or persistent stress, it can drastically change their body’s ability to maintain balance. For example, when you experience persistent stress over time, it can lead to overeating high-caloric foods. This activates the reward system in your brain, and you can crave more foods that are high in fat and sugar. These foods can change your appetite hormones, insulin, and the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis, which is responsible for your stress response. When you continue to cope with stress by eating high calorie foods, your brain continues to crave these foods, creating a vicious cycle that can alter your metabolic rate and lead to substantial weight gain.

How to Control Stress-Related Weight Gain

  • Find coping strategies that elicit the relaxation response and release stress. Whether it is practicing yoga, taking a spin class, meditating, or simply taking a short walk, finding activities you enjoy that provide positive outlets for stress can replace the thoughts and behaviors that lead to weight gain.
  • Become more mindful. Becoming aware of the present moment and responding to your body’s hunger cues will help you become conscious of how your thoughts affect your behaviors and overall well being.
  • Take action today. Commit to a healthy lifestyle by incorporating a healthier diet, a weight loss supplement, and an exercise regime that you enjoy. This can help increase your self-esteem and can promote a healthier response to stress associated with psychosocial factors.

Lean 2.0 Supports a Healthy Lifestyle and Correct Body Weight

Fortunately, stress doesn’t get to have the last word. Now there is a weight loss supplement on the market that helps you lose body fat and increase lean muscle mass, despite your stress levels. By dedicating your life to becoming happier and healthier, you can make the decision to battle your stress in a productive and positive way by using Simplipur’s Lean 2.0. Based upon the science of chronobiology, the A.M. and P.M. blends of Lean 2.0 are proven to help you lose fat in the morning by activating your metabolic processes to extract fat from your storages reserved to maintain energy throughout the day. In the evening, your body works to grow lean muscles and tissues for a leaner and healthier figure.

To battle stress in your personal and professional life, it is important you practice self-care and address your needs first. By losing fat and gaining lean muscle with Simplipur’s Lean 2.0 proprietary blends, you will gain the confidence needed to respond to your stress in a positive way.

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