Gaining weight? One habit that’s causing obesity despite eating right

With a fast-paced lifestyle and unforeseen challenges at every turn, stress-related lifestyles are on the rise in a rapidly changing world. This global reality has manifested in the form of a series of diseases like cardiovascular ailments, weight gain, insomnia, stroke, depression, diabetes, cancer, mental disorders and multiple other illnesses.

Stress is the new pandemic

Stress hormones which put the body in a fight or flight mode as a quick design for self-protection can create havoc if they are released on a regular basis. These hormones which are released by the endocrine glands accelerate the heartbeat and blood to rush towards the muscles and other vital organs in the body creating a sense of fear, anxiety and even depression. They can cause mood swings, interfere with the menstrual cycle, digestive system and onset of serious diseases, which may need lifelong medical care and can even lead to a fatality. With technology driving human life and lifestyle choices, it’s important to take a pause and listen to yourself for a brighter and healthier future.

Here’s how stress impacts your weight
Chronic stress can cause obesity and diabetes: It is no wonder that chronic stress has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Like insulin, cortisol makes you fat – the stress hormone cortisol enhances glucose availability. In the short term this is good, however under chronic stress glucose levels remain high for months without resolution. Cortisol will increase insulin levels and weight gain. This is the reason that sleep deprivation (high cortisol) helps make people fat. Meditation, yoga, massage and exercise can all help lower cortisol levels.

Lifestyle diseases caused by stress


According to Deepak Pal, Sports & Functional Nutritionist, SENS Clinic, “Besides factors like excessive smoking, drinking and unhealthy diet, stress can increase the chances of diseases and ailments such as hypertension, heart attack, high cholesterol, type-2 diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases like wheezing, shortness of breath and more.”

Impact on mental well-being
From precipitating existing mental issues to creating new challenges on the mental well-being front, stress is a huge red flag for human health. Whether a temporary episode like a death or illness or chronic stress like a work-related daily issue, it can lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and even panic attacks.

Stress and its impact on musculoskeletal disorders

Neck and shoulder pain are the typical symptoms of psychological stress as they stiffen the muscles, cause soreness & pain. The strength of the muscles can also decline over a period of time, as the body releases the cortisol hormone which can cause inflammation and lead to more pain.

Here’s how to stay fit and healthy

Stress is not an unbeatable condition and can be kept at bay by practising several methods and ensuring there is a willingness to make changes in one’s life. Here are some ways to combat stress:

· Go for a brisk walk for 20 minutes daily. Spend time in nature and practice mindfulness.
· Eating whole food, packed with protein and fibre rich diet
· Get at least eight hours of sleep and take frequent relaxation breaks at work.
· Avoid excessive smoking, alcohol and tobacco consumption.
· Write a journal and set aside time for some hobbies and recreation.
· Try relaxation techniques and alternative therapies like yoga, meditation and more.

It’s important to ask for support from your friends and family if you are going through a hard time. Sharing your anxieties and fears will help lift many burdens off your shoulders and will strengthen your willingness to deal with life’s challenges.

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