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The Stress Factor and Weight Gain

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There was a commercial several years ago telling women they could bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan. This commercial was telling women they could be all and have it all; but at what cost?

Like most women, I too fell into this trap. It is so easy to get caught up in work and being successful. While I was focused on making it happen, I did not realize that I was quickly killing myself.

Most women take care of everyone else except themselves! From family to career, it never seems to stop. Day in and day out the rat race continues until we decide to say stop; only to notice that we have added several pounds and dress sizes to our body.

Emotional eating, lack of exercise, improper rest, and fast food are some of the culprits that can cause your waist to expand. If you add those things to a high stress level you are a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.

If you remain in this state of stress for a prolonged period of time, it becomes a health risk. There are several ways in which stress can contribute to weight gain. One has to do with cortisol, a stress hormone. It is true that prolonged exposure to very high levels of cortisol — such as due to Cushing's syndrome — can result in weight gain. Cushing's syndrome is a medical condition in which your adrenal glands make too much cortisol.

So stop giving away your power and make your health a priority today.

Be Aware of Emotional Eating -- Nervous energy can often cause you to eat more than your would normally. How many times have you found yourself scouring the kitchen, or absently munching on junk food when you’re stressed? You do not know if you’re hungry or not. You are just eating as an activity.

Make Fast Food Obsolete – Cut down on the amount of fast food consumption. Plan your meals. Drink half of your body weight in water. Choose healthy snacks like almonds and walnuts. Start to think of food as fuel. Choose to put good food in your body.

Start a Supper Club-- Gather new recipes and share them with your girlfriends. Take turns cooking and sharing the work. Learn how to share your thoughts while listening to others.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.