Hey! I am so happy about how consistent I have become this month. (not because I have a lot of time at my disposal to blog, but because I have fallen in love with you more than ever, lol).
Anyways, enough of my excitement! How are you doing? As for me, i am doing pretty good and I am happy it’s friyayyy (dancing while writing because it’s another time to have a long sleep and rest).
So, i have been writing about maintaining a healthy weight since the beginning of the Month and I am happy at the feedbacks you are giving me.Thank you for trusting and following the principles. As it is popularly said, “prevention is far cheaper and better than cure”.
Today, I am writing about the harm of poor sleep and stress in relation to weight gain.
Let me give you one gist… when I started my current 8-5pm job I was weighing 62kg and that was about a year ago but at the beginning of this month, I weighed 69kg! so saddening …then, i started checking to know what the problem could be and here we are… my discoveries led to me writing this post.
HOW DOES POOR SLEEP INCREASE OUR WEIGHT?
While growing up, my mum complained that sleeping for a long time would get me fat. While that is true, it is also true that not getting enough sleep increases your chances of weight gain. I asked the same question you are thinking too…. What exactly am I even supposed to do?
Although it is great to eat well and exercise, it can’t be overemphasized! chronic stress could 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 a 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. This makes your body keeps pumping out that cortisol as long as the stress continues.
In this case, when you are under stress, healthy diet is difficult to maintain. Now guess what you crave for during these periods…. Of course you guessed right….. All manner of fattening foods such as 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 YOU 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!
- Don’t rush your measls. Eat Slowly – 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 then gets deprived of sugar ( fuel), your hunger centre will be triggered and you might not have a choice than to eat (heavily).
- Have a craving? Indulge once in a while – You should 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.
- Stay away from Caffeine / Coffee when stressed – Combining stress with caffeine, raises your 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 may want to consider quitting caffeine as well.
- Do not Skip Your Breakfast – Have a breakfast 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 after all
I care for the total man…
I am Adenike Oladimeji (RN).