Stress, Grief & Weight Gain

Researchers have found a link between emotional issues like stress, anxiety, trauma and depression, and higher body mass indexes (BMI). If you can relate to the idea of overindulging after a bad day, or to help deal with bad news, it’s time to let me help.

How can stress and emotions cause weight gain?

Stress, trauma and emotions are linked to hormonal changes that influence the rate your store and burn fuel. They also trigger disordered eating behaviours such as grazing or over indulging. Keeping a healthy mindset and establishing healthy eating patterns are the first steps towards maintaining a healthy body weight.

Examples of disordered eating

  • Alcohol intake (drinking more 2 glasses more than 2 nights per week)
  • Fasting or chronic restrained eating
  • Skipping meals
  • Binge eating or constant ‘grazing’ throughout the day
  • Self-induced vomiting
  • Restrictive dieting
  • Unbalanced eating (e.g. restricting a major food group such as ‘fatty’ foods or carbohydrates)
  • Laxative, diuretic, enema misuse
  • Steroid and creatine use – supplements designed to enhance athletic performance and alter physical appearance
  • Using diet pills

Why are disordered eating and dieting dangerous?

Fad dieting is one of the most common forms of disordered eating. Research shows that fad dieting is common among people with disordered eating patterns.

Severely restricting the amount of food you eat can be a very dangerous practice. When the body is starved of food it responds by reducing the rate at which it burns energy (the metabolic rate), this can result in overeating and binge eating behaviours that can lead to weight gain and obesity.

Feelings of guilt and failure are common in people who engage in disordered eating. These feelings can arise as a result of binge eating, ‘breaking’ a diet or weight gain. A person with disordered eating behaviours may isolate themselves for fear of socialising in situations where people will be eating. This can contribute to low self-esteem and significant emotional impairment.

Fad Diets don’t work

Contrary to popular belief, research has shown that at least one-third to two-thirds of people on diets regain more weight than they have lost within four or five years, and the true number may well be significantly higher. ‘Fad’ diets do not take people’s individual requirements into consideration and can result in a person feeling hungry, experiencing low moods, lacking in energy levels and developing poor health.

Are there risks associated with disordered eating?

There are risks associated with disordered eating. People with disordered eating may experience:

  • Weight gain
  • Osteoporosis
  • Fatigue and poor sleep quality
  • Constipation and/or diarrhoea
  • Headaches
  • Muscle cramps

Is it possible to change disordered eating and dieting behaviour?

Yes. It is possible to change eating behaviour, even if you have been engaging in disordered eating and fad dieting for many years. With the right support and treatment and a high level of personal commitment your body can learn to function to its full capacity again.

Getting in contact can assist you in reversing the adverse effects of disordered eating and restoring emotional, mental and physical health.

3 Steps to Lose Weight By Clearing Blocked Emotions

As a practitioner in women’s health for over 20 years, I’ve explored the topic of weight from an entirely different perspective, focusing on where unwanted weight comes from, and why it’s so hard to shed unwanted kilo’s. Although, undeniably, diet and exercise play a big part in how we manage weight, the why of the matter is a different story. This can include hormones, digestive problems, pain, stress and so many more. In fact did you know there are over 120 hidden causes of weight gain in women?

Today however, I want to focus on emotions – in particular anger. Energetically speaking, I like to say that the first step in overcoming your battle with excess weight is to be open to the possibility that it’s “an inside job,” with repressed emotions at the heart of it.

By far the most important factor concerning weight loss has to do with difficult emotions. These could be the result of childhood trauma, divorce, illness, job loss, or the death of loved one. Repressed emotions can affect the body in various ways.

  • If you need to grieve but don’t, it can present as lung problems
  • Anger or bitterness that you don’t let go develops into areas like the liver and gall bladder
  • A broken heart that is never mended can result in cardiovascular problems
  • Abuse (sexual, physical, or emotional) often shows up as extra weight – unconsciously gaining weight for protection

After a lifetime of working with women in workshops and online courses, I know that unprocessed emotions are one of the leading causes of weight gain.

So what’s the secret to unblocking the emotions and letting go of the habits that cause you to retain and gain weight? You can start by getting in touch with your feelings.

Use this 3-step technique to allow you to get in touch with those old, stuffed down feelings so you can start the process of healing them:

  1. Relax – When you are in a state of relaxation for ten minutes or more, you have a chance to get in touch with feelings
  2. Face the old traumas – Know that it isn’t necessary to remember an event in order to heal from it.
  3. Journal about the emotions that surface – Give them a name: jealousy, anger, guilt, disappointment, regret, then focus on letting them pass harmlessly through you without attaching.

Now that you’ve taken time to clear out the old emotions that have blocked you, perhaps for decades, keep the energy flowing on a daily basis by acknowledging new emotions as you experience them.

These simple steps of “emotional hygiene” will keep you happy and help you keep your weight where you want it. If you’d like to learn more about how to release unwanted emotions and behaviors trapped in you, or provide your body with natural support to overcome anger, I invite you to get in touch.

You can email me at narelle.stegehuis@massattack.com.au or by sms 0425 769 344 to arrange an appointment. When you learn how to free trapped emotions, you experience a complete shift in what is possible for you.