Hey guys, I am so happy I am a bit consistent this month (not because I am very free but because I have fallen in love with you more than ever, lol).
Ok! How are you all doing? I am doing pretty good and I am happy it’s friyayyy (I am dancing while writing because it’s another time to have a long sleep and rest).
So I have been writing about maintaining healthy weight since the beginning of the Month and I am happy at the feedbacks you guys are giving me.
Thanks for following the principles; prevention is far cheaper and better than cure.
In case you missed my previous post on BMI/Obesity, being active and knowing your calorie limit, you can check them here, here and here.
Today I am writing about the arm of poor sleep and stress in relation to weight gain.
You know when I started my current 8-5pm job I was weighing 62kg and that was about a year ago but when this month was starting I was 69kg! so saddening and I started checking what the problem could be and it led me to writing this post.
HOW DOES POOR SLEEP INCREASE OUR WEIGHT?
When I was growing up, if I sleep for a long time my mum would be shouting that I will be getting fat and it is true but now not getting enough sleep again causes weight gain! What exactly are we even supposed to do?
Even if you usually eat well and exercise, chronic high stress can prevent you from losing weight—or even add pounds,”
Every time you have a stressful day, your brain instructs your cells to release potent hormones. You get a burst of adrenaline, which taps stored energy so you can fight or flee. At the same time, you get same sudden increase in the production of cortisol, which tells your body to replenish that energy even though you haven’t used very many calories. This can make you hungry…very hungry. And your body keeps on pumping out that cortisol as long as the stress continues.
In that case, when we are under stress, healthy diet is difficult to maintain while under stress and during these periods you know what we crave for??? All manner of fattening foods (burger, gala, coke, and so on).
With your adrenal glands pumping out cortisol, production of the muscle-building hormone testosterone slows down. “Over time, this drop causes a decrease in your muscle mass, so you burn fewer calories”. Cortisol also encourages your body to store fat—especially visceral fat (i.e fat inside the organs) which is particularly dangerous because it surrounds vital organs and releases fatty acids into your blood, raising cholesterol and insulin levels and putting you at risk for heart disease and diabetes.
HOW THEN CAN ONE TREAT OR PREVENT THE DANGERS OF STRESS AND POOR SLEEP?
- EXERCISE- This cannot be over emphasized! It relieves stress. It actually fools your body into thinking you’re escaping the source of your stress,” says Talbott. Read my post about exercise here. Flex your hands, your legs, take a stroll… Be active!
- Slow Down During meals- Don’t do meet up! I mean don’t try to eat all the meals you skipped at once.
- Don’t do Strict Dieting- It increases the level of your cortisol and it makes your blood sugar spike up and then go down. The brain begin to be deprived of sugar( fuel), your hunger centre will be triggered and you might not have a choice than to eat (heavily).
- If you are craving for something sweet/salty, eat it! You might not do this all the time, give in once in awhile! “Have a piece of chocolate. You will feel better. Just stop at one.” If you have trouble restraining yourself, take precautions so you won’t binge. Buy a single cookie when you’re out instead of keeping a box at home; or keep them in the freezer so you have to wait for one to defrost.
- Don’t Drink too much of caffeine/coffee when you are under stress- When you combine stress with caffeine, it raises cortisol levels more than stress alone. In one study by the University of Oklahoma, consuming the equivalent of 2½ to 3 cups of coffee while under mild stress boosted cortisol by about 25%—and kept it up for 3 hours. When subjects took 600 mg of caffeine (the equivalent of 6 cups of java) throughout the day, the hormone went up by 30% and stayed high all day long. You’ll experience these effects even if your body is accustomed to a lot of lattes. And because high cortisol levels can contribute to stress eating, you might want to consider quitting caffeine as well.
- Do not Skip Your Breakfast- eat breakfast that is rich in nutrients (vitamins) and calcium and magnesium. Take fruits and vegetables and do not forget to stay hydrated by drinking enough water!
- SLEEP!!! It is the greatest stress reliever- “Your body perceives sleep deprivation as a major stressor,” says Talbott. A University of Chicago study found that getting an average of 6½ hours each night can increase cortisol, appetite, and weight gain. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7 to 9 hours. As if that weren’t enough, other research shows that lack of sleep also raises levels of ghrelin, a hunger-boosting hormone. In one study, appetite: particularly for sweet and salty foods—increased by 23% in people who lacked sleep. The good news: A few nights of solid sleep can bring all this back into balance and getting enough regularly helps keep it there. Says Talbott, “You’ll eat less, and you’ll feel better, too.”
Oh ye workaholics, this is the time to strike a balance!!!
You only live once afterall
I care for the total man…
I am Adenike Oladimeji (RN).