Research is now showing a direct link between stress and weight gain. There are two primary causes of stress related weight gain:
- emotional eating
- effect of stress hormones on metabolism
Emotional eating is a rather obvoius cause of weight gain. Workplace situations that are chronically stressful - unreasonable deadlines, interruptions, layoffs, personality conflicts - create an atmosphere of reactive response. Without proper tools to manage chronically stressful situations, individuals often resort to quick fixes to soothe their stress. High on the list of quick fixes are coffee, soda, and sugary or slty snacks, all of which are readily available in most workplaces. Daily indulgences in these empty calorie foods results in gradual but steady weight gain.
Stress hormones are designed to activate the body and mind into a state of high alert in the face of an emergency. In a situation of life and death, the stress response is critical. It prepares the body to respond in a manner far stronger or faster than its normal capability. This response was very effective in days when danger was physical in nature, but today's "danger" is more cerebral - the deadline, the overcommitted schedule, etc. - so there is no need for this load of stress hormones. But because they still are emitted in the body when an individual is stressed, they dramatically slow metabolism. Metabolism is the process where the body burns calories. If this process is continually interrupted by the flow of stress hormones in the body, the stress/weight gain cycle will activate.
How Wellness and You Can Help
Through workshops and teleseminars, Wellness and You will help your workforce understand these basic principles. We will provide a series of practical steps each worker can take to reduce their stress and inplement healthy eating habits.
Workers will begin to understand that stressful situations are a part of life, and it is each person's right and responsibility to learn techniques to better manage stress. Once techniques are put in practice, the workplace becomes healthier and more productive.
Contact Wellness and You today to plan your Stress Management Program.