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.