We all know the feeling: we step on the scale and see the numbers have gone up, even though we feel like we’ve been eating reasonably and exercising regularly. It’s frustrating, and it can feel like the pandemic has sabotaged our weight-loss efforts.
But there’s a reason you might be gaining weight during this stressful time, and it has to do with your hormones. In particular, the stress hormone cortisol can cause weight gain, especially around the midsection.
When we’re stressed, our bodies release cortisol, which triggers our “fight-or-flight” response. This comes in handy if we’re actually in danger, but the thing is, most of us are not in danger of being chased by a bear (although the pandemic has definitely been stressful).
Cortisol helps to increase our blood sugar levels, which gives us energy to fight or run away from a threat. But if we’re not using that energy, it gets stored as fat. And since stress can be a constant in our lives these days, our cortisol levels are often elevated, which can lead to weight gain.
There are a few things you can do to counteract the effects of cortisol and stress on your weight. First, make sure you’re getting enough sleep. When we’re tired, our bodies release more cortisol, so getting enough sleep is essential.
Second, eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of protein, healthy fats, and fibrous vegetables. This will help to stabilize your blood sugar levels and keep your energy up throughout the day.
Finally, make time for relaxation and self-care. This can be anything from reading a book to taking a bath to going for a walk. Whatever brings you joy and helps you to relax, make sure you make time for it in your day.
The pandemic has been stressful for all of us, and it’s natural to see some weight gain as a result. But by taking care of yourself and making healthy choices, you can minimize the impact of stress on your weight.
When it comes to unwanted weight gain or weight loss during the pandemic, you can blame your stress hormones. The pandemic has caused a lot of stress and anxiety for many people, and this can lead to changes in your hormones that can affect your appetite and weight.
If you’re struggling with your weight during the pandemic, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Many people are also experiencing changes in their weight due to the stress of the pandemic. If you’re concerned about your weight, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian to get more information and help.