Long-term stress is just as stressful as the word itself, you know?
You probably find yourself confused at some point about how on earth you managed to get fatter even with the kind of long-term stress you often put yourself through, right?
Well, sorry to burst your bubble. Stress (long-term stress) is a fat booster (not otherwise). How? You ask.
Let me explain how.
Stress can be a hunger precursor because while it can make you have less of an appetite at first, long-term “chronic” stress actually boosts your hunger.
Once this happens, your body reaches a certain stress level where cortisol (a stress hormone in the adrenal gland), is released into the bloodstream and in most cases, leads to overeating.
The release of cortisol can actually turn your overeating into a habit. This is because increased levels of the hormone slow your metabolism, disrupts your blood glucose (sugar) levels, resulting in fatigue and hyperglycemia, causing your blood sugar to drops and you begin to crave sugary and fatty foods while making you too tired and lazy to exercise, therefore, leading to the extra weight.
According to Shawn M. Talbott, Ph.D., a nutritional biochemist, “More stress = more cortisol = higher appetite for junk food = more belly fat.”
However, to effectively manage stress, you should:
1. Practise mindfulness can subdue long-term stress
Take time daily (first to in the morning and the last thing at night) to pay attention and be conscious of the happenings around you for 10-15 minutes at least. This will definitely help you relax more and reduce the cortisol level released into your bloodstream.
2. Make time to exercise
Regular exercise also helps keep blood sugar levels in balance and allows you to sleep better.
You might not need to go jogging nor involve yourself in any form of high-intensity exercise. A simple walk with friends and family can help you de-stress from time to time.
3. Plan a healthy eating habit
Taking time to plan what goes into your mouth from right from the beginning of the day will help control and maintain a healthy eating habit.
Practice healthy eating and fight overeating by mindful eating.