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Causes of Obesity: Stress and Boredom

Causes of Obesity: Stress and Boredom

Being social organisms, we all have a desire to be heard and to be understood.

Failure on these accounts manifests itself in abnormal health because it is difficult to control our feelings for an appreciably long duration. The more someone does it, the more he or she risks stress and depression. Boredom, a major cause of obesity, is a sister concern of stress though it assumes a different form.

We all are aware that stress can hurt our overall health and well-being, but a lesser-known fact is that stress can also contribute to weight gain and difficulties in being able to lose excess weight. That’s why it is more important for fitness-savvy individuals to manage their stress effectively.

We shall take up a detailed study of the phenomenon a little later in this discussion. For now, let’s take a look at how stress causes our bodies to gain weight and makes us obese.

Case 1: Stress (Cortisol hormone)

Why is it a cause of obesity?

When we are stressed, our body produces the stress hormone cortisol. Whilst we do need cortisol in small doses to be able to function appropriately in emergencies, having cortisol constantly running through our bodies can have some serious negative consequences. It affects us all in both the short and long term, and has both mental and physical impediments.

Cortisol slows metabolism, affects blood sugar level, interferes with insulin secretion, and increases fat storage- especially around the midsection. It also promotes cravings for fatty, salty, and sugary foods. It does this in its role to protect us. Back in the days when early humans hunted and gathered in the wild, they needed cortisol to help us to flee from dangers such as lions and tigers chasing them.

Effect of chronic stress and boredom on obesity and belly fat

For some people, there is enough cortisol running through their bloodstreams, thus wreaking havoc on their systems. If someone is chronically stressed, they can’t relax or get the rest they need. This can further spike the production of cortisol to create a vicious cycle of mental unrest. So, what can you do to minimize the production of cortisol and to manage your stress appropriately?

This makes the role of persisting with a healthier lifestyle and consulting an online wellness expert so very important. Meditating every day (preferably at 4 am) is another welcome step that you can take because it could easily prove to be a game-changer for office employees. Persisting with it would help you melt some of the excess flab on your body (including belly fat) and would also make you calmer.

How to live a stress-free life?

Here are some easy and simple ways to live more happily and to stay away from chronic levels of stress or boredom.

1. Managing stress with herbs

Several methods are easy (and not too stressful) to incorporate into your life. There are various herbs that you can take to nourish your nervous system to strengthen and restore it, or to help it calm down and relax.

Try adaptogens such as ginseng or holy basil, or relaxing herbs such as chamomile and lemon balm. You can brew these herbs into a relaxing tea after a hectic day.

2. Load up on calcium

It can also be beneficial to get plenty of calcium, which has a calming effect on the nervous system. Calcium stores can be depleted by cortisol, so it is a good idea to load up on calcium-rich foods such as leafy greens or bone broth during dinner.

3. Cut back on caffeine

It is also recommended that you avoid caffeinated beverages. Their overuse can affect your sleep patterns and your overall nervous system function. Explore coffee alternatives such as black tea, green tea, yerba mate, or rooibos to replace your usual caffeine fix.

If you are struggling with weight loss and know that you also lead a stressful life, then finding ways to minimize stress and maximize relaxation opportunities is key to being successful with your journey.

Case 2: Boredom

The relationship between being bored and being fat

Do you often find yourself munching on something or the other just because you are bored? Though it is rarely mentioned as a mood or state of mind and is never considered into causes that might be leading to weight gain, boredom is a major weight loss barrier.

It is not considered pathological and thus no health insurance will consider it under its leaf. But for people who are struggling to lose some weight faster, the easiest cure to handle boredom is to eat, eat and eat more food!

The tendency to eat when getting bored is inculcated within us from the age we are very young. We are offered food to stop us from crying, or to wait for someone, or to study, or to work, etc. Eating to relieve oneself from boredom is the habit that once inculcated from childhood, goes with one until old age. Many elderly people even welcome their evening snacks as a break in long hours of boredom and thus tend to overeat.

How to get rid of boredom?

If you are bored, you would invariably do two things: eat more and exercise less. The repetitive nature of exercises like walking in the neighborhood, working out with the same equipment, and going to the same yoga or dance classes seems more like a chore than anything else. You can rather replace them with these trendy exercises to keep obesity or unwanted weight gain at bay.

Even though boredom has its positives, it is worth noting that a mere switch of your mindset to positive activity can save you hundreds of extra calories and boost the weight-loss process. One should thus reduce boredom by turning away from a sedentary lifestyle and by doing more stimulating activities.

Depression effects: How does it affect the brain?

Depression affects us at some point in our lives and it drastically reduces our mental and physical health. One may see the extremes of behavioral and physical downswings. Our brain is directly affected and its capacity to govern our sleep patterns and appetite levels are reduced. It may also lead to gaining or losing weight just as easily too.

The patient also grapples with lower energy levels, focus, and self-esteem. These are the factors that affect his or her daily behavior subconsciously. Coupled with other mental ailments, depression may even drive a person to thoughts of suicide. It is best to promptly consult a mental therapist and to observe healthier living practices.

How to overcome boredom?

If you are an emotional eater, here are some of the activities that you could do right now to avoid weight gain from eating out of boredom:

  • Take a walk

  • Drink water

  • Don’t eat while watching the idiot box

  • Read a book

  • Talk to a friend

  • Don’t skip meals

  • Make friends and be more social

  • Avoid high-calorie foods on weekends; rather have a healthy meal & go clubbing

Exercising with a goal and adopting different patterns of the same exercise is a good way to keep boredom at bay. For example, running, walking on different routes, increasing your speed, changing the distance you walk, etc. Finding yourself capable enough to do the physical exercises in a better manner not only cuts empty boredom calories but also replaces them with exhilaration.

Exercising with a goal and adopting different patterns of the same exercise is a good way to keep boredom at bay. For example, running, walking on different routes, increasing your speed, changing the distance you walk, etc. Finding yourself capable enough to do the physical exercises in a better manner not only cuts empty boredom calories but also replaces them with exhilaration.

You can also work out by adding some entertainment into your workout routines. Such activities may include working out with a buddy, watching a movie, listening to music, etc. By doing so, you can even use your boredom to handle your stressful life and stay fit.

Chronic boredom: Medications may not always help

Please note that medications may be prescribed to help you get rid of chronic boredom or stress levels. But it is your current state of mind that would need to be attended to first before any of them could be administered. Your mind has the power to work way better and it can help you live better without any medical help too.

Binge eating is a natural reaction and it usually follows the first sign of trouble. However, please note that merely eating would not solve any of the issues but might create some more issues. The problem of weight gain (or being fat) would be way worse than the stress or boredom that you could be experiencing at the instant!