There are many people who at some point in their lives suffered some kind of anxiety disorder. These episodes are accompanied by associated symptoms such as weight loss or weight gain. but really fattening anxiety? And if so, why?
Before checking whether anxiety is fattening or not, it is necessary to take into account that the main problem is not gaining a few pounds, but the disorder itself. This fact should not be lost sight of, as weight gain can even make the situation worse.
Said that, what science says it’s that anxiety (and stress) can make people fat who have it. The reason is that we are facing a disorder that causes the generation of high levels of cortisol, the hormone that causes weight gain.
Does cortisol make you fat?
When the body is subjected to an anxiety disorder, it needs to generate defenses that allow it to face this dangerous situation. From the adrenal glands cortisol is generatedwhich will join adrenaline to provide the body with the necessary energy.
For this reason, Cortisol is known as the “stress hormone”, as we tend to increase its production at times when the body considers it needs it to overcome a crisis. As we have just seen, the same thing happens with anxiety. However, it is not the increase in cortisol that makes you fat. In fact, when cortisol is high, it is the cause of other unfavorable consequences, such as interference with memory and learning processes or a decrease in our immune capacity.
Anxiety fattens when the body relaxes
When cortisol is released, blood glucose also rises. But after this crisis, the body “relaxes” and it’s time to recover the energy that was used.
And the easiest way to do this is eat highly sugary foods, which in turn tend to “lodge” in the abdominal region in the form of fat. Therefore, when you suffer from anxiety, you should try to control your diet, as this way you will not only avoid gaining a few pounds, but your body will work much better and you will be more prepared to overcome this disorder again.
unhealthy eating habits
When we come to the conclusion that anxiety makes us fat, we are actually associating this disorder with an unhealthy diet, which in turn is a consequence of the described process. A good example of this is eating foods that we would not regularly include in our diet under other conditions. It is the case of the ultra-processed or those high in sugarsvery common in fast food.
This impulsive eating, along with the symptoms of anxiety, affects sleep quality, which in turn results in a slower metabolism. The result is that the body becomes more tired and weight gain occurs. Finally, tiredness and mental status are important deterrents before exercise is recommended. And, of course, a sedentary lifestyle is a direct cause of our weight gain.
May affect eating habits and sleep
Anxiety can also have a knock-on effect on a person’s body weight. When a person experiences anxiety, it can affect their eating habits and your sleep patterns. Some people may turn to food as a form of comfort or to manage stress, which can result in weight gain if left unchecked. In addition, anxiety can disrupt sleep, which in turn can affects the metabolism and make weight control difficult.
So while anxiety itself doesn’t directly cause weight gain, it can have an indirect effect on eating habits and a person’s drowsiness, which can lead to weight gain if not managed properly. It is important for people who suffer from anxiety to seek support in learning how to manage their anxiety and its effects on their eating and sleeping habits.
When we have anxiety, it is important to choose healthy food which can help balance blood sugar levels and reduce inflammation in the body. here are some food choices that may be beneficial to eat when you have anxiety:
- Foods Rich in Magnesium: Magnesium is an important mineral that helps regulate anxiety and stress levels. Magnesium-rich foods include nuts, seeds, legumes, spinach, avocados and bananas.
- Fruits and vegetables: Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help reduce inflammation in the body, which can contribute to anxiety. Additionally, fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, making them an excellent choice for a healthy diet.
- lean protein: Eating lean protein can help keep blood sugar levels stable and prevent sudden spikes and drops that can contribute to anxiety. Healthy lean protein options include chicken, fish, tofu, lentils and chickpeas.
- Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy fats found in foods like salmon, walnuts, flaxseeds, and olive oil. These fatty acids have been shown to help reduce anxiety and improve mood.
- Avoid processed foods and refined sugars: These foods can contribute to inflammation in the body and increase anxiety and stress.
It is important to pay attention There is no magic diet to cure anxiety, but choosing healthy and varied foods can help. reduce anxiety symptoms and improve overall health. In addition to a healthy diet, it’s also important to stay hydrated, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep. If anxiety persists, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional.