Let’s Battle Stress Induced Weight
Neelam started noticing a sudden surge in her weight. Over the last few months, she had been so stressed with new projects at work that she barely got any time for herself. She had gained over eight kilos in barely two months and this made her worry that she might have some thyroid problems. A visit to the doctor revealed that she did suffer from hypothyroidism and she was put on a healthy diet and regular exercise regime.
Like Neelam, many of us face stress induced weight gain. Stress is known to reduce metabolism as the body is led to believe that it needs to conserve energy. The stress hormone ‘cortisol’ is known to cause hunger pangs. This explains why many of us feel cravings for tasty food when we are under high levels of stress. Weight is easy to gain and hard to shed. However, the good news is that with a few simple steps, you can easily bring your weight under control. Here are some easy steps that you can incorporate in your daily routine to battle stress induced weight.
- Chew your morsels well
Research and studies have shown that we must chew each morsel of food at least 35 to 40 times. This helps to slow down the process of eating and also makes us feel full faster. If you scarf down your meals, you will end up eating more and putting a load on your digestive system. Eating slowly also helps to balance cortisol levels in the body.
- Never skip meals
A hectic work routine might tempt you to skip your meals in favour of your deadline. However, this can be especially damaging in many ways. When you skip meals, your body thinks it’s starving and slows down its fat burning process to conserve energy. If you have a tight schedule, carry along a filling fruit such as a banana or an apple or tuck into a vegetable sandwich.
- Skip the comfort coffee
Two or three cups a day is fine but highly stressed people often find themselves guzzling over ten cups of coffee a day just to stay alert. An excessive intake of caffeine is known to cause acidity, insulin imbalance, and thyroid problems. If your coffee is loaded with sugar, it can worsen your dependence on caffeine. Many workaholics try to curb hunger pangs with cups of coffee. Not only is this a futile effort but it also can lead to tummy ulcers.
- Treat yourself occasionally
It’s all right to give in to those sugary cravings once in a while. Choose a cheat day and indulge in your favourite foods. Curbing your taste bud cravings may show results on the weighing scale immediately but can actually do more harm eventually. As the cravings build up, your body gradually loses the will to resist and this can result in sudden binge eating sessions.
- Breakfast like a king
Yes, you know this one. Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a beggar. Eat a wholesome breakfast rich in nutrients such as calcium, Vitamin B, and C. You can choose an interesting menu from a few slices of toast with honey or roti with ghee, boiled egg whites, boiled pulses, fresh fruits with yoghurt, muesli with dry fruits, peanut butter, and some steamed spiced vegetables. Your breakfast should be heavy but not calorie laden so go easy on cheese, sausages, and sugary jams.
- Don’t skip the gym
If you are tired or you have a hectic day ahead of you, skipping the gym might seem to be the only way you can manage your routine. Skipping your exercise routine occasionally is fine but skipping it almost every other day will make you pile on the pounds. If you have less time, simply for a quick 10-minute jog or do a few stretches. This will keep your body in routine for the days when you hit the gym.
- Get sufficient sleep
People who sleep late and wake up early are harming their metabolism in the long run. Your body needs sufficient rest to heal and prepare itself for the next day’s stress. Lack to sufficient sleep slows down the metabolism and this leads to weight gain which is often accompanied by thyroid problems.