The Science Behind Stress and Weight Loss
Stress impacts everyone differently, but there are some aspects of stress that are pretty universal. Stress interferes with your normal decision making, causing you to seek comfort from sometimes unhealthy avenues. If you’ve ever caught yourself stress eating, then you know exactly what this means. Stress doesn’t make you want to focus on your weight loss plans. Instead, stress makes you want to binge eat all of the sweets in the pantry, and then head out to buy more.
But stress eating isn’t the only reason as to why stress is actually bad for you. Stress has a huge impact on the body’s biological functioning, and before it even causes you to start overeating it can begin interfering with your ability to lose weight.
Here is a breakdown of how stress may potentially cause problems for your body as you are trying to lose weight:
Chronic stress causes the hormone betatrophin to build in the bloodstream. This is a stress-related protein that makes it difficult for the body to break down fat and lose weight. For people who have diabetes, chronic stress also causes an increase in the number of insulin-producing cells. Both of these can cause major problems when you are trying to lose weight, especially if you are diabetic.
So then what can you do if you are trying to lose weight, but are experiencing too much stress? The best thing that you can do is be proactive about how to manage your stress level. This means taking your time and thinking things through before reacting to potential stressors, and taking time out of your day to manage your stress as well as possible.
After having weight loss surgery, you need to take steps to manage your stress level to prevent it from interfering with your weight loss potential. Here are a few strategies to help you manage stress:
- Exercise every day
- Journal your thoughts
- Talk with friends and family about your concerns
- See a mental health counselor
- Engage in relaxing activities, such as drawing, writing, or other creative expressions
- Try meditation or yoga to clear your mind
Using strategies like these can help you overcome stressful situations and cope with the feelings of chronic stress that may otherwise interfere with your ability to lose weight.
If you are experiencing a lot of stress after having weight loss surgery, then talk with your weight loss surgeon about any weight loss surgery support groups that may be in your area. Support groups are a great way to meet with other people coping with similar issues, and this may help alleviate stress by providing you with coping strategies that you hadn’t thought of.