Why does a lousy day at the office or an ugly break-up make you want to inhale a box of biscuits or an entire tub of ice cream? For one of our readers, Rene Fortune, it was becoming a real problem. She wrote: “The more stressed I get, the more I seem to eat. My boyfriend has noticed my constant snacking, so now I sometimes wait for him to leave the house. This makes me feel guilty and I hate the extra kilo’s I’ve gained. How do I break this habit and is there a link between stress and weight gain?” We asked Dr Maurits Kruger from Health Renewal for some advice.
There is definitely a link between stress and weight gain. During tough times when you are constantly stressed, your body secretes high levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which increases hunger.
It can lead to a cycle of bingeing that goes like this: When you’re stressed, you eat a lot. After overeating, you feel bad or worried about weight gain, which makes you more stressed. Over time high levels of cortisol causes the body to store fat, especially in places like the tummy area.
Beat the binge
It is crucial to maintain a healthy life-style as this helps to prevent excess stress on the body and promotes healthier cortisol levels. Regular exercise, a healthy diet and enough quality sleep are all essential for healthy cortisol levels. There are also supplements which can help to regulate levels. Cortisol Control by VRP (Vitamin Research Products) is a good one. This would also help to control your snacking and help to prevent more fat accumulation from high levels. If you are unsure, come and see one of the Health Renewal doctors for further evaluation. We can guide you with the correct supplementation to support your stress levels and help with weight loss as well.