6 Tips To Escape The Anxiety Weight Gain Cycle?
As any anxious person can tell you, anxiety leads to stress. Not all anxious people have weight issues, it can go either way. However for those experiencing prolonged stress the chances of weight gain increase significantly.
You may not realise that prolonged stress will lead to the release of Cortisol, the stress hormone. When this hormone is released in the body it sends a signal to the brain that it must stock up on energy sources in case fight or flight is imminent. This message is received by the brain which will then tell you that you need sugar, carbs and fat. It will tell you in the most persuasive way possible so that you are soon craving foods like chips or chocolate and telling yourself you don’t feel like cooking vegetables or don’t have time because you need to eat the quickest easiest thing possible and eat it to excess.
Cortisol encourages the body to store fat around the midsection which is why people under stress find it more difficult to lose weight. To exacerbate this Anxiety uses up a lot of energy, and consequently it leaves people feeling drained and less inclined to be involved in calorie burning exercise and activities.
Weight gain and inactivity can then become an additional cause for anxiety. The body needs to move a lot because that’s what it’s evolved to do; when this doesn’t happen chemicals that lift the mood are not released in the brain leaving you feeling flat.
Adding to these factors, one of the main underpinnings of anxiety is the self-critical and judgemental internal voice. This judgemental self-talk will convince the anxious person that everyone is judging them negatively due to their appearance and weight gain. This leads to extreme self-consciousness particularly when doing exercise, and often leads to avoidant behaviour and comfort eating.
As if all that’s not enough; when people become overweight it can affect their breathing pattern. Excess weight can cause shallow breathing. Shallow breathing compounds the existing symptoms of anxiety because it is a fight flight response and thanks to the mind body connection the brain will take it’s cue from this physical indicator and jump on board the fight flight response bandwagon activating other responses.
Understanding how weight gain and anxiety can contribute to each other is the first step to tackling the problem. Some simple steps to take are to:
If you are finding your Anxiety levels difficult to manage or are struggling to lose weight and would like some help please feel free to give us a call on 0435 923 817 or use this Contact Form. Our programs are tailored to your individual needs and will help you achieve the change you want to see in reducing your Anxiety levels so that you can live a full life with confidence!
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I’d love to hear from you, if you have any experience with Anxiety and weight gain please comment below.
Leading Anxiety and Weight Loss Specialist Melbourne
Located Mentone, South East Suburbs Melbourne
Georgina Mitchell was born in Ireland, moving to Australia in 1989. Georgina spent many years working in senior management in the Corporate world, before leaving to pursue her passion to become a Therapist.
Please note as with all therapies, Results for Therapies delivered by Hypfocus may vary from person to person