There is a close link between stress and weight gain in middle age group women.Especially for women the Stressors or causes of stress depend mainly on demanding lifestyle ,interpersonal relations ( within family or at workplace) and circumstances . But it also depends on how the situation is perceived , it can be a positive challenge for one or anxiety causing for another. women especially in mid life respond to stress in a rather accentuated way . And women can easily blame it on hormones.
Women of 21st century face stressors like economic status, workplace stress and poor work-life balance. On a personal level they may get stressed due to conflicts in relationship .They deal with demands from kids, partners, in laws, workplace seniors but are too stressed to look after themselves .They often feel neglected , they have low self esteem.
Some life altering situations like death , major illness, divorce also drain them emotionally and physically.
Thus simple stress as well as chronic stress work at hormonal level and brings about many changes.
It speeds up ageing process. It shows in premature greying of hair, wrinkled skin, sagging,dryness etc.
The stress response causes increased fat accumulation.
The hormonal levels and their ratios get disturbed which eventually cause different menstrual problems.
Chronic stress leads to hypertensive and cardiac problems too.
Some women under stress tend to starve or eat hardly 2/3 meals in a day as they are too busy looking after loved ones or do mot give importance to themselves as an individual . That causes nutritional loss over longer period of time .Body responds by slowing metabolism and weight gain (!)
Interestingly stress also manifests in Comfort Eating( ladies remember those shakes and pastries or all wrong calory loaded foods eaten while dealing with stress ) . It is body’s response to deal with the stress The carbohydrates raise serotonin or ‘feel good hormone ‘ levels so it’s body’s self help solution ,it directly gives weight gain .
Another hormone released during stress is cortisol which Is related to fat stores and energy usage. It results in more hunger n cravings . So again weight gain is the outcome
The so called ‘ remedy ‘for stress for some is alcohol consumption and smoking but which again leads to cardiac , renal problems, weight gain, cancers ,psychological problems and many more .
stress thus diminishes quality of life, it leads to addictions, wrong foods, no food leading to diseases like hypertension, Diabetes, cardiac, renal problems which were few years ago problems in old age . But stress has brought all these to 30s.
Stress management is very crucial to avoid problems created by it which may otherwise lead to intense complications.
1.we have to identify and avoid Comfort foods, Task Foods( junk food at workplace while completing the deadlines).
2. Make wise choices and control portion sizes.
3. Never go hungry for a long time as it will lead to wrong food choices .
4.Organise yourself and keep a stress log so that you identify and deal with stressors effectively.
5. Engage in exercises , they too release ‘ feel good hormones .’
6. Be positive in life , deal with stress by considering all sides of the problem , then you may perceive it differently.
7. Try and learn something new at this juncture of life which will keep your mind occupied , keep mind away from stress .it will rejuvenate your brain cells .
8. You have to love yourself , You can be your biggest fan. You have to place ‘ you’ at a prime position. You can not neglect’ you’.
9. Learn relaxation techniques .Spend some time every week pampering yourself.You have definitely earned it.
So ladies be aware of the dangers of stress induced weight gain . Try to tackle stress . That’s the key to happy n healthy 30s to 50s.