Lockdown Weight Gain
Suffering from lockdown weight gain? You’re not alone.
Did you know that nearly 50% of the UK population are coming out of lockdown larger than they went in!
With the end now in sight, restrictions lifting and a happier, more sociable future just around the corner, it’s time to start looking ahead and getting back on track. Here at RT Aesthetics we can help you every step of the way.
Whether you have a few extra pounds or a few extra stones, losing your lockdown lbs can help you feel better about your body. Losing weight can also help you feel a little more in control of your life and help increase endorphins within the body.
But why are so many people suffering from lockdown weight gain? The simple answer is, stress.
Stress & Weight Gain
Think stress eating is all in your head? Think again.
There’s an actual physiological reason for our stress bingeing and the lockdown weight gain has been brought with it. Whether you’ve indulged in too much chocolate or gorged on bottles of wine and gins, there’s more to it than “no willpower” or a “sweet tooth”.
It all comes down to your sympathetic nervous system – and the fight or flight response.
You’ve probably heard of the fight or flight response before; it is your body’s way of preparing to protect you when it comes under threat from any danger, including stress.
When faced with a threat, such as a lion in the jungle or a burglar in your house, your brain responds by preparing you to fight your attacker, or run away.
Stress hormones (such as adrenaline) flood your body and your brain. More blood is directed to your muscles, breathing speeds up to increase your oxygen levels, your pupils dilate to improve your vision and your brain becomes more single-focused – allowing you to concentrate on the threat at hand.
It’s super clever and has protected us for thousands of years. It is very handy if you ever find yourself facing a rogue lion. The problem is it’s not only physical threats that can trigger this cascade of chemical reactions in your body – emotional stress can stimulate the same response.
The fight or flight response is supposed to be a quick-hitting temporary solution to deal with an imminent threat, it is not a permanent state your body should be in. When we live under constant stress, we can spend a lot of time operating within our sympathetic nervous system (in our fight or flight state).
With adrenaline constantly surging around your bloodstream, your cortisol levels can start to rise and you find yourself stuck in a constant cycle of fight or flight existence. This is what we call chronic stress – and chronic stress is the big baddie we all hear so much about.
There’s no denying we’ve all been under a lot of stress these past 12 months, but does stress really have a big impact on our weight? Could it really be to blame for your lockdown weight gain? In short, yes.
Ever notice how stress makes you hungry? It’s not just in your mind. When stress is chronic, as it so often is in our chaotic, fast-paced world, your body produces high levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.
Adrenal glands, which are responsible for making your adrenaline and cortisol, use a lot of resources and energy when they’re in a fight or flight state. Your brain, exhausted by the demands placed upon it, looks for the quickest “high energy fix” available, this been carbohydrates or more commonly known as sugar.
Cortisol triggers cravings for salty, sweet, and fried foods—foods that give you a burst of energy and pleasure. The more uncontrolled stress in your life, the more likely you are to turn to food for emotional relief.
So as you can see, your stress eating isn’t all in your head, it is in your body too.
Other causes for emotional eating include:
- Stuffing emotions. Eating can be a way to temporarily silence or “stuff down” uncomfortable emotions, including anger, fear, sadness, anxiety, loneliness, resentment, and shame. While you’re numbing yourself with food, you can avoid the difficult emotions you’d rather not feel.
- Boredom or feelings of emptiness. Do you ever eat simply to give yourself something to do, to relieve boredom, or as a way to fill a void in your life? You feel unfulfilled and empty, and food is a way to occupy your mouth and your time. In the moment, it fills you up and distracts you from underlying feelings of purposelessness and dissatisfaction with your life.
- Childhood habits. Think back to your childhood memories of food. Did your parents reward good behavior with ice cream, take you out for pizza when you got a good report card, or serve you sweets when you were feeling sad? These habits can often carry over into adulthood. Or your eating may be driven by nostalgia—for cherished memories of grilling burgers in the backyard with your dad or baking and eating cookies with your mom.
- Social influences. Getting together with other people for a meal is a great way to relieve stress, but it can also lead to overeating. It’s easy to overindulge simply because the food is there or because everyone else is eating. You may also overeat in social situations out of nervousness. Or perhaps your family or circle of friends encourages you to overeat, and it’s easier to go along with the group.
Losing Weight After Lockdown
So what if you’ve piled on the pounds or a few stone? What if your stress levels are through the roof and your only pleasure is a large gin and tonic and bag of chocolate buttons every evening?
The good news is this is a solvable problem – and you don’t have to solve it alone.
First, look for ways to reduce your stress levels. By reducing your chronic stress you’ll naturally lessen your cravings and help your body to return to its natural healthy eating habits.
Easy ways to reduce stress include:
- Herbal Teas
You really are what you eat. If you’re bingeing on fatty, high-carb junk foods for that quick fix energy hit, you’re going to struggle to put an end to your lockdown weight gain. You might already know what works for you – but if you’re stressed out, overweight and overwhelmed – then it might be time to get a little extra help.
Click here to read about the number 1 diet for weight loss.
Kick Start Your Success
There’s nothing more motivating than seeing progress and the pounds falling off the scales. However some clients need a helping hand and some areas of fat can be stubborn to shift. Non-surgical fat removal treatments could be the ideal solution for you. Treatments such as the following can destroy your unwanted fat cells and stimulate your body to clear them out over the following weeks and months.
Here at RT Aesthetics Newcastle we are committed to your and your success. Our Body Transformation packages combines our weight loss programme with a personally tailored course of body contouring treatments to help you shed the pounds and inches quickly, helping you unlock the key to successful, long term weight loss.
Contact us today to learn more.