Emotions Can Lead To Weight Gain
Written by: Kavata Kithome
While on your transformation journey, you may sometimes find yourself experiencing some resistance. This resistance might be because of some emotional patterns going on inside you that you may not even be aware of.
Your body often reflects your emotional state – for instance, your heart pounds when you are scared, or your blood pressure increases when you are angry, or your stomach knots when you are feeling nervous. Your body responds to emotions on a very physical level.
One of those physical outcomes can sometimes be weight gain.
Your belly fat responds to your emotions – or more specifically, the hormones flowing throughout your body. Depending on the balanced or unbalanced state of those hormones, it can ultimately lead to weight loss or gain. Those hormones may even influence the behaviors that lead to greater weight gain.
We can easily say that paying attention to your feelings can help you develop and maintain that set of abs we all want. Today, we are going to discuss 4 emotional states that can lead to increased belly fat and simple ways to combat them.
Being bored is one of the top reasons why people emotionally eat and tend to go for the more fattening foods that lead to weight gain.
Being bored confuses your brain, making it more difficult for you to make smart food decisions and, according to a study in the Journal of Health Psychology, this is why it can lead to you becoming an emotional eater.
How to COMBAT this: When you feel bored, do something that is purposeful and challenging – work through your good old to-do list and before you know it, you will find that you are no longer bored. Re-inspire yourself!
When you are stressed, your body increases its adrenaline production. Adrenaline leads fat cells to release fatty acids into the bloodstream for energy, therefore triggering fat storage. A great mechanism when you are running away from an animal attack or a house fire, but not so much when your stressors mostly include deadlines or getting stuck in traffic.
People will normally reach for a snack or two to help soothe their nerves. In the meantime, the cortisol hormone takes up all the unused fatty acids in the bloodstream and stores it in the belly region, which leads to more eating that will replace the fatty acids you released earlier (when your body thought it was being attacked by a large animal).
How to COMBAT this: When your feel stressed, look for something to laugh at. There’s a reason why it’s said that “laughter is the best medicine” – this is because it lowers your heart rate, improves your mood, decreases anxiety and (bonus!) makes you friendlier.
When you are anxious, your body undergoes a significant amount of stress and to make it worse, it starts to experience this stress all the time.
Anxiety is a powerful trigger for weight gain. According to the journal Eating and Weight Disorders, two-thirds of people with eating disorders also suffer from anxiety and oftentimes, the anxiety was in place first.
How to COMBAT this: The key is to find a way to soothe yourself. There are many ways to do this. I find drinking a cup of tea always does the trick. Some teas to consider – pu-erh, chamomile, oolong and my favorite, jasmine green tea. All of these and more can help soothe you anytime you’re feeling anxious.
Feeling deprived of something tends to manifest itself as hunger and can lead to overeating. You may be feeling deprived because you are probably trying to eat right, which increases your cravings. Remember, your brain is hardwired to see “forbidden” foods as rewards (this is why most diets fail).
How to COMBAT this: When creating your meals, build in a cheat day or guilt-free meal at least once a week. By doing this, you will stop craving the forbidden foods less and less, because you are allowing your body to occasionally indulge in something it had grown so used to, rather than cutting it off cold-turkey – gradual reduction has often proven itself to be an effective method when you’re wanting to completely eliminate something from your life.
Do you have any other tips for how you can combat these negative emotions? Please share with us in the comments below!
Kavata Kithome is an advocate for living your best life, full of health and longevity. While working closely with gym owners and personal trainers, she was able to sculpt a well-rounded view of fitness and understands how to incorporate it with a healthy balanced diet. She is a regular contributor to the One More Step Lifestyle brand.
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