Stress has a strong causal link with obesity and being overweight. Research has found that it will lead a person to eat. Eating will release chemicals in the brain such as dopamine and serotonin. These chemicals tell our brains to be happier or calmer now.
Stress releases cortisol, a chemical that tells the body it is hungry. So we start to crave for fast satiation, and go for high glycemic food or high fat food. Research also shows that anxiety releases chemicals such as neuropeptide-Y which makes the body store fat.
Stress and weigh loss programs have to factor this into their plans. Research has shown that an anxious person is more likely to eat than a person who has no anxiety. Irrespective if a situation is not stressful for a normal person, an anxious person in that same situation will likely go for food, for quick relaxation. This can result in binge eating, as the satisfaction from the food wears off, anxiety will direct the person to eat again. As such, prolonged stress is self reinforcing and leads to an increase in weight, which can lead to obesity which leads to increased anxiety.
What can we do to control the effects of stress on our body? We need to find non weight gaining methods to manage it. Some weight loss programs have supplements that control stress. Go and see your doctor for a consultation or prescription if you feel you may have an anxiety disorder.
Change your lifestyle to include stress management activities such as tai chi, yoga or meditation. Manage your meals to ensure you do not get hungry. There are weight loss programs that can plan these out for you with recommended scheduling based on your work schedule.
You are not alone. Join a group that has walked and are walking the path before you in this issue and see how they overcame these challenges. It can be managed and weight loss can be achieved.