Did you know that stress and obesity are deeply connected?

Every third person on this planet is either obese or is on the verge of becoming obese. Surprisingly, people in their 30’s itself are getting bombarded with all kinds of health issues which are popularly called as lifestyle disorders. Among all the problems that creep in, obesity tops the list.

Have you ever thought how intelligently our whole human body system has been designed? Our body is self-sufficient in every way to look after itself. Yet, today we have to work so hard to maintain the right body weight.

But, the biggest challenge with weight management is to gain permanent results. The fight with being overweight is constant and requires a dedicated and focused approach. The moment you stop all this, you are back to being overweight even though you might be restricting sweets and oily food.

Why is it so? Our bodies should be able to metabolize everything that goes into our mouth, without any possibility of fat deposition or weight gain. But, unfortunately it is not so!

So, why are our bodies not able to maintain optimal metabolism to process everything that enters our stomach?

And, what is the reason behind obesity spreading at such alarming rate?

The reason is stress. Stress…..yes stress has proven to be a direct cause of obesity in people of all age groups. In one of the recent studies done by Dr. S Jackson from the department of Epidemiology and Public Health University College London has shown that stress directly leads to comfort eating.

Scientists found that people who are highly stressed release higher levels of stress hormone, cortisol, which is the main cause of obesity. It has also been observed that people who are stressed for prolonged periods of time have larger waist lines than otherwise.

Here, is what stress hormone cortisol does to our body:

  1. Cortisol aggravates the desire of ‘comfort eating’. It means that when you are stressed, you tend to binge eat or eat all kinds of unhealthy stuff. Sugary and fatty foods are usually preferred when you are stressed out because of dropped sugar levels.
  2. Stress drops the glucose level in the blood. When you are stressed then your body goes in energy conserving mode. It senses that some unfavourable situation has come up which is why cortisol is released in the body. As a result, all the energy is conserved as fat to utilize it in fight or flight response (unfavourable response).

Stress not just leads to obesity but it causes a lot of damage internally to our body system. You would see that people who are happy tend to put on less weight than people who are sad and negative.

This is so because when you are happy, your metabolism is at its peak and it helps you to metabolize all those sugars, fats, oils that are entering into your body. Also, a general well being is restored in the body when you are happy which ensures that you not just digest all that you eat but all other functions are also well taken care off.

By the way, in some people stress is known to cause weight loss. As in stress, people lose out on their hunger and start skipping proper meals. Such cases are rare but yes stress can also lead to weight loss.

Acidity, feeling pukish, headaches, stomach aches, disturbed sleeps, feeling drowsy and inactive, feeling sad are just few of the many symptoms seen in stress.

Obesity is deeply interrelated to our weight. If you want to stay fit and in shape, it is extremely important to take care of your mind. Stress is something that builds within us. We need to take charge of our lives to ensure that the mind doesn’t create any negative fearful thoughts which build up stress.

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