Say goodbye to stress-induced weight gain

Say goodbye to stress-induced weight gain

Say goodbye to stress-induced weight gain



3  Mins Read

Hong Kong employees, in a frenetic working culture, are no stranger to the long working hours and chronic work stress. Many are even expected to be on standby 24/7 on weekends and holidays, and ready for WhatsApp messages or conference calls from colleagues and supervisors. A lot of people believe that an irregular or even stressful lifestyle leads to weight loss. In fact, work stress is the main culprit of weight gain.

Yes, I’m talking about stress-induced weight gain. When we are under pressure, our brain stimulates the production of adrenaline, aka stress hormones, a type of cortisol that increases our appetite. If this continues or the stress level is too high, excessive cortisol will be produced. Our appetite will increase dramatically and it’s easier to accumulate belly fat, ie. beer belly.

Beware of the following scenarios that are the leading causes of stress-induced weight gain:

  1. Sleeping late - Our body will produce more adrenaline to keep us awake if we don’t have enough sleep. This will lead to an increase of appetite resulting in accumulation of toxins in our body and weight gain.
  2. Eating late - You will gain calories and hence weight if you only eat and don’t exercise. So if you eat late at night, there’s not enough time for the body to burn calories before you go to bed. They will turn into fat and load you up with weight.
  3. After-meal snacks - This will affect the movement of our stomach and intestines, the secretion pattern of our digestive glands, and lead to digestive disorder.
  4. Work stress - Too much stress or fatigue affect our endocrine system, causing a continuous production of adrenaline that eventually increases our appetite.

How to deal with stress and fats:

  1. Take a walk outdoors after lunch.
  2. Do a minimum of 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, 2 to 3 times a week.
  3. Eat breakfast every morning.
  4. Switch to healthy snacks such as nuts and dried fruits.
  5. Sleep at least 6 to 8 hours every day.

Sonia Tsang – Senior Manager, Organization and People Development Division of a listed company; Founder and Executive Director of F8 Funding Limited