Dec 29, 2020
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Why stress makes us lose weight

Weight loss and stress – what’s the connection?

For many of us, stress directly affects weight – Whether it causes weight loss or weight gain depends not only on the individual but also on the situation. In some cases, stress can lead to skipped meals and poor food choices. For others, stress can cause them to completely lose their desire to eat. This change is often temporary. Your weight may return to normal after the stressor has passed.

One of these stress hormones suppresses appetite, while the other increases it. Whether you lose or gain weight under stress may depend on your eating habits when you are not stressed.

Stress hormones and work

When you experience a stressful event, the first hormone to turn on is the corticotrophin-releasing hormone, or CRH. Within a few seconds, the CRH rush into your blood will shut off your appetite. So if your car is driving on an icy road or your child falls out of the jungle gym, the last thing you want to do is eat.

However, when the stressor wears off, your body releases glucocorticoids, especially a hormone known as cortisol. This will force your digestion back on so you can replenish the fuel lost while trying to drive or racing to help your child. Robert M. Sapolsky, Ph.D., in his book Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers, takes much longer from cortisol to enter the bloodstream than CRH. According to Sapolsky, if the stress incident ends in 16 minutes, you will have that amount of time with CRP in your bloodstream, while it may take two hours for cortisol to clear your system. Thus, you experience a relatively short time during which your appetite is dulled, and a prolonged stretch when your body is ready to feast.

Stress and weight loss or gain

Most people under stress are prone to hyperphagia or overeating, and fewer people who are hypophagous or malnourished. he says the ratio is 2 to 1. One study of university students in the UK found an even higher ratio: 56 percent of participants gained weight during their strenuous first year compared to only 18 percent who have lost weight. The female students in the study were more susceptible to both weight loss and gain than their male counterparts. The results appeared in Physiology & Behavior in 2007 year.

The prevalence of hyperphagia under stress makes sense given the longer period that cortisol stays in your system, making you hungry. In addition, chronic stress continually raises cortisol levels, for example if you struggle to adjust to a new situation, such as in college, or you are caring for a sick or elderly relative.

Nutrition patterns and weight loss

If you tend to gain weight under stress, you are probably a “low-key” eater under normal circumstances, according to a study published in Physiology and Behavior at 2007 year. This means that you are prone to dieting, and when you are under stress, you choose foods that are prohibited during the diet, such as high fat and high sugar. In contrast, “runaway” eaters are less likely to be dieters, and they tend to eat less food when under stress.

Loss of appetite by a rampant eater can lead to weight loss during stress. If you consume less food than your body needs to perform many functions, you will lose weight over time. For example, if your body needs 2006 calories per day, but you consume only 892 calories a day for a month when you are in a stressful situation, you will lose more than four pounds.

Recovery from weight loss

If your appetite tends to decrease when you are under stress, try eating small meals and snacks throughout the day to keep your calorie count constant. Go for nutritious and high-calorie foods – those that are packed with nutrients that are higher in calories per serving. Stay away from low-calorie junk food, which can further deplete your system of essential nutrients.

Good choices for maintaining your calorie intake or restoring weight include lean protein, nuts and seeds, avocados, dairy products, dried fruits, fresh fruits like bananas and mangoes, olives and olive oil. Get some celery with hummus, a container of Greek yogurt, an ounce of nuts and raisins, a slice of whole wheat toast with almond butter, two hard-boiled eggs, or a banana milk smoothie if that’s all you can eat. Eating enough protein every day can help replace muscle that you may have lost while under stress.

Signs of weight loss are associated with stress

Stress can cause more than unexpected weight loss. Other symptoms of stress include:

  • headache

  • stomach upset

  • pains

  • tense muscles

  • mood changes

  • fatigue

  • difficulty falling asleep or sleeping

  • difficulties with short-term memory

  • increased heart rate

  • decreased sex drive

Why are we losing weight

When you are under stress, you may behave differently than usual, such as skipping lunch due to being busy or staying up very late to meet an important deadline.

Your body’s response to fight or flight can speed up your metabolism

When you are under stress, your body goes into fight or flight mode. This physiological mechanism, also known as the “acute stress response,” tells your body to respond to a perceived threat.

Your body prepares itself by releasing hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. Adrenaline prepares your body for vigorous activity, but it can also minimize your cravings for food.

Meanwhile, cortisol signals your body to temporarily suppress functions that are irrelevant during a crisis. This includes your responses of the digestive, immune and reproductive systems.

You don’t feel hungry

All P the overwhelming power of stress can make you think of nothing else. This can affect your eating habits. You may not feel hungry or you may forget to eat altogether due to stress, which leads to weight loss.

A calorie counter is a good resource to help you get quality nutrition every day.

Simple rules to help you get a toned body and become healthier

Belly fat, especially in the lower area, is a problem area for many women. Alas, even vigorous abdominal and cardio workouts don’t always help you lose volume in this area. The reason for this is often overeating: the body “stores” extra calories in case of frost and hunger. Since it is impossible to lose weight locally, the accumulated fatty tissue lasts to the last, which is why even slender girls have a tummy (and, by the way, many find it very tempting).

Visceral fat is often the cause of abdominal volume. In such a situation, we are no longer talking about aesthetics, but about health: visceral fat entangles organs and becomes the cause of many diseases. It is very important to take action and reconsider your habits, because in such a situation, it is not the pursuit of beauty standards that is at stake, but your health.

The main factors that affect the accumulation of fat in the abdomen are:

  • Lack of regular exercise;

  • Lack of sleep;

  • Stress.

Eating rules for a flat stomach

For starters, it is worth giving up fast food, frozen convenience foods, sugar and trans fats once and for all. It’s important not just to create a temporary calorie deficit, but to change your eating habits. Lemonades and fruit juices are best replaced with pure water and herbal tea, chocolate with unsweetened apples, and complex lattes and raffas with black coffee without sugar. You will be surprised how many empty calories you can avoid during the day, you do not need to starve – just make the right choice. What’s more, a good cold brew (cold brewed coffee) with fresh Ethiopian beans can be much tastier than a milk frappuccino with syrup and whipped cream.

Another important point is fiber. Once you increase the amount of fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains in your diet, you will feel fuller more quickly and you will be less drawn to fast carbs.

To see the results faster, avoid alcohol, as it inhibits the metabolism, this accumulates fat faster in the abdomen.

Add protein and exercise. Muscle burns fat even at rest, so high-quality plant-based proteins and regular exercise will help you get a toned, healthy body faster.

Eat slowly. Treat your meals with great respect: set the table, choose fresh produce, make sure you have enough time.

A study by Stanford University School of Medicine revealed interesting data on the process of losing weight

Many people believe that diet success depends on unwavering willpower and incredible motivation, but there is actually a pretty impressive list of factors that interfere with your metamorphosis (age, metabolic rate, genetics, etc.). An effective way to lose weight is a rather unique thing: for someone it is enough to simply give up sweets, for someone – to observe 16 – an hour fast, for someone – add protein to the diet. Scientists at Stanford University School of Medicine conducted an interesting study in which they formulated three universal rules for maximizing the success of any diet.

About the research

The experiment was attended by 612 people aged from 32 – 56 years, the number of men and women was approximately the same. The researchers wanted to trace the relationship between biological factors and different diets. Half of the participants followed a ketogenic diet for over a year, a low-carb diet with high amounts of fat and moderate amounts of protein. The other half stuck to a low-fat and low-carb menu, with an emphasis on protein. A group of scientists observed the dynamics of the experiment. As a result, the researchers formulated three rules that guarantee the success of the diet for any person.


Choose nutritious foods

The diet can be “cheated” by adding a balanced meal. Rely on natural and high quality products: fish, vegetables, unsweetened fruits, vegetable oil. For example, on a keto diet, it is healthier to eat an avocado than cheese, because in the first case, you will get more vitamins.

Avoid white flour products

Products made from white flour move you away from the cherished numbers. Better to rely on whole grain bread, pancakes and pancakes can be made with almond flour.

The diet is based on vegetables

Vegetables contain a minimum of calories and a maximum of vitamins and minerals. This will help you maintain a feeling of fullness for a long time and avoid “breakdowns” on unhealthy foods.


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