Maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases, but it requires consistency and dedication. A psychologist can work with individuals and families to develop strategies that make it easier to control their weight.
Eating healthfully is the foundation of weight control. It includes consuming the right number of calories, making considered food choices and avoiding emotional eating.
Many people don’t realize the toll that day-to-day stress can take on their health, but it plays a significant role in weight loss. Studies show that chronic stress can increase the production of cortisol, a hormone that promotes fat storage and inhibits the body’s ability to burn calories.
During times of stress, people often turn to food for comfort. This can lead to “stress eating,” where people eat high-calorie foods even when they aren’t hungry. These habits can be difficult to break.
Stress reduction techniques can help with weight loss by preventing spikes in stress hormones, such as cortisol. One study found that overweight adults who participated in a stress management program had decreases in their BMI, depression and anxiety, as well as increased levels of happiness. The participants also reported healthier dietary behaviors. These results suggest that stress management could be a useful tool in addition to other treatments for obesity, including lifestyle interventions, diet and drugs.
Get Enough Sleep
Research has shown that getting too little sleep disrupts the balance of appetite-regulating hormones, leading you to eat more. People who get less than seven hours of sleep each night experience an increase in ghrelin and a decrease in leptin, both of which are linked to higher food intake and weight gain. The good news is that even modest amounts of additional sleep can improve these hormones, helping you maintain a healthy weight. The key is consistency.